Wednesday, December 7, 2011


What am I doing right now? Crafting.
What will I be doing later? Baking.
What have I been up to lately? Decorating. Well, this one I have to use very, very loosely. It's been more of a process of returning things but I'll get to that. On another day. Maybe.

Here's the thing. I want to cultivate the space I've been given to bless my family and friends. One of my former students recently inspired me with this thought through her grad school application essay. She talked about the symbiotic relationship between an environment and it's inhabitants. Built spaces with intentional designs are usually found in thriving environments. What is one thing you can do if you want to revitalize a neighborhood? Build a playground. Plant flowers. Watch how people grow as their space is cultivated. Some of the most healthy places are those filled with art, music, and beauty. You know, the gravy of life.

So here's the thing, I will never be Suzy Homemaker. Not me, don't want to, won't do it. However, I am committed to serving my family and anyone that enters into our space. Yup. Serving them. As my husband is committed to serving us as well. It will probably take a lifetime to flush out exactly what this means, but I know we are both committed to learning to put the other person first and willing to extend grace to each other as we figure it out. I truly want to be purposeful about this for everyone that walks through our door.

So how does this happen?

Who knows, but it's a nice thought.


I'm still in the process of thinking it through. Here's what I have so far though. The best relationships are fostered through time, commitment, and hard work, but there also must be lots of room for laughter and playfulness. So it is with the space I have to cultivate these relationships. I want to work hard to make it an environment that encourages growth. I want to be intentional. I want to work hard with what I've been given. I have to keep it simple though. I'm easily overwhelmed in these areas. And when I get overwhelmed I shut down. I mean, like serious hairballs in the shower shutdown. Got the visual? Great. So I'm just going to continue to give it a go. We'll see. I'm sure there will be lots of failures, but it's all in the journey, baby.

So here goes...

I want our home to be a place where people feel welcome. Whenever. As I've said before, I miss the days of running down the hall to share a bit of time together. I want our place to be warm, welcoming. And dangit, I want to finish it. One. Project. At. A. Time. Moving into a new place, decorating it, moving out a year later and then moving back in almost another year later is annoying. And great. We were able to get so many upgrades, but mustering up the motivation to start over with a completely different color palette while trying not to spend a lot of money and figuring out a style that we can both agree on has been tough. So, I've avoided it and used it as an excuse not to open our house to people. So lame. Done with that. In the next couple months I will finish my downstairs though. At least fill in the picture frames with blonde haired children that resemble us instead of the muy bonita chicas that currently hang on our walls. Photo shoot on Thursday. Check.

I want the things that leave our home to come from our hearts. I want to give in meaningful ways. If I give a gift, I want it to make the receiver feel loved. And I want my children to be generous. We very clearly saw our lack of success in this area a few nights ago when Matt offered to let one of Em's friends borrow a movie. She threw a royal fit. I mean, with fist pumping and screeching. It was pretty bad, but obviously the concept of a cheerful giver doesn't come naturally to a three-year-old. It doesn't come naturally to me, but this is a huge area that God has been pressing on my heart. It's our job as parents to instill this in our children. I also want to be intentional about what I support with my money. I'm debating staying away from the mall for a while. My problem is that I'm generally content with what I have. Until I enter the mall and see all the things I don't have. What can I say, I love pretty things! This in itself isn't bad, but it's when I start feeling dissatisfied and want more that it becomes an issue. And I don't want to give to big corporations that exploit others so I can save a few bucks to look pretty. Intentional living folks- being accountable for what we know!

I realize I digressed quite a bit, but well, it's late and I've been crafting all day. Love this new excuse. Looking forward to diving into what it means to cultivate my environment in order to build up those around us.


Brooklyn Lindsey said...

Really great post. I'm cheering you on and am right there with you!

Anna said...

Love it! Interested to hear about your crafting, too... while I'm not naturally crafty, (I'm more write-y photograph-y), this year I was seized by the need to MAKE gifts for family rather than buy (aside from books for nephews)... partly because funds are tight, and partly because it is turning out to be really fun! it's taking a ton of time but it is rewarding in a way that buying clothes and gadgets is not. It still takes some startup money for supplies, but somehow feels thriftier and more meaningful both as the giver & hopefully to the receiver.

meg said...

i love this, kel. i want to know/see what you've been crafting and baking! i'm trying to still do that stuff even if i don't always feel like it right now... it's therapeutic for me :)