I don’t know about you but something about ushering in the New Year makes me want to clean out and freshen up. I get busy going through drawers and cabinets and files and closets- reorganizing, filing, shredding and purging.
The first few days of this year has been just that, only a lot of rearranging going on too. You see, I just read Myquillyn Smith’s, a.k.a The Nester, book The Nesting Place and cannot stop “shopping my own house” as she calls it.
I’m obsessed now and can’t believe, considering her 40,000+ Instagram followers, that until my sweet friend gave me this book she was unfamiliar to me! Turns out I even read her sister’s blog, Chatting at the Sky, and promote the grace-in-all-things lifestyle they each write about.
Well, better late than never, I’m glad to have been introduced and this is why:
Her motto: “It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful”
We are called to holiness, not perfection. Thank the Lord since we can never attain it! Most of us though tend to think they are one in the same. Therefore, we strive for perfection and feel like failures when we miss the mark. Instead of our inadequacies leading us deeper to dependence on Him, we try to hide our imperfections and sin from others while secretly beating ourselves up and resolving to try harder.
As I’ve written before basing your standing and worth on a million things other than Christ is a relentless treadmill hard to step off of. But, oh, how freeing when you do!
It will affect you in every way – even in how you see your house – which I am getting back to:). But first you must see how what you believe and the depth it reaches your heart matters in every day moments.
When your identity rests securely in Christ, the opinions of others matters less. No longer will you endlessly strive to meet their approval. No longer will you stress over what someone might think. No longer will you base your worth on how you look or compare to others.
You will be free! Free to stop thinking so much about yourself, which frees you up to love others better.
This freedom plays out in our homes too. When you are free to not be perfect, your house does not have to be perfect either. As The Nester says and I agree, the most beautiful houses are truly lived and loved in homes. They are not necessarily the ones most perfectly decorated, but the ones that invite you in as a place of hospitality, safety and rest.
Funny though how we hesitate to invite guests over because ‘Oh no’ they might see how we really live or because a certain room isn’t finished yet or we think it’s not big enough or as pretty as someone elses. Guess why this is?
Fear of what others think and of not measuring up. Fear that robs us of contentment and joy. Fear which is the opposite of freedom. Freedom we are not finding in Christ, but an identity we are trying to secure though something else.
Back to my own freshly inspired decorating: I realized the piano no one regularly plays, taking up wall space in our living room, was the ideal spot for another couple chairs and table. Considering how frequently large groups are over for Bible studies, teenage hangouts and dinner gatherings, it dawned on me having the extra seating makes more sense.
Of course, moving that area led to another and before my family knew it I had brought items from upstairs oblivion to new prominent table space for us to enjoy. Space as conducive to sipping coffee and reading as entertaining, like we did earlier this week for a bowl game and New Years Eve.
Even though I still haven’t solved the problem of the poorly positioned piano off the entryway (which was my grandfathers and won’t be parted with) being free from the standard of perfection allowed me to be okay with it there even with guests coming.
And you know what? That piano there, squished by the dining table, didn’t take away one bit of fun or laughter we shared.
Oh, the beauty that comes when we let go of perfection… and the joy found in an imperfect loved home with imperfect, but deeply loved people!