Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Love The Home You Have - Book and Challenge

Recently, I was introduced to a new book, Love the Home You Have, by Melissa Michaels. I have followed Melissa’s blog, The Inspired Room, for several months so I knew that I would love her book if it was anything like her blog. I have to admit that every time I say the title in my head it goes like this...Love The Home You Have (With Quilts!). We will see how that gets interpreted as we go along.

Her writing is gentle and positive. She teaches through her experiences and guides her readers to take a look at their homes and their lives in a new way. There is a 31-Day Love Your Home Challenge in the back of the book with lots of good ideas and approaches to making your home the best it can be for you and your family. I have decided to embark on this challenge at my own pace. My challenge may end up being a 31-week challenge and that is perfectly okay.

Day One is Home Gratitude. Melissa’s instructions are to walk around your home and think about how thankful you are for a place to call home. Let me back up a little first. At the beginning of the year, my husband and I took a tour of our home and wrote down everything that was wrong with it. All of the maintenance we needed to do, all of the improvements we wanted to make, every bump, bruise, and negative thing about our home was analyzed and documented. While that was an exercise we needed and wanted to do for planning purposes, it was the exact opposite of the idea behind Home Gratitude. I was thankful to have the stark contrast of that day to compare to this day of Home Gratitude.

My home tour did not make it very far. One of the first places I looked was across the room to our kitchen table. Our home is not a fully open plan but it is open enough and the kitchen table can be seen from several other rooms. This is our fourth home and we have been here for twelve years. The kitchen table was purchased right after we moved in.

I thought about all the memories around this table. How many meals had been eaten here? How many games played? How much homework conquered? How many birthday candles had been blown out? How many times had we laughed so hard we cried? If this table could talk, it would have many wonderful stories to tell. So for today, that is where my grateful home begins and ends.

These aren't the best quality pictures. I did that on purpose. They aren't staged. The lighting hasn't been set just so. They aren't even in great focus. I didn't clean up anything. You can see the recycling on the counter and the chairs not pushed in all the way and the place mats (made by a dear friend) that are a little out of line. But if you look really close, you will know that this is a room full of family, full of memories, full of so many things to be grateful for.

Thank you Melissa, for helping me to pause and be grateful for this perfectly imperfect home.

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