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If you have ever felt like moving would solve your problems, like the next home would be the house where you could finally be settled, happy, and live the life you were meant to live, then this post is for you. Or if you already currently LOVE the house you’re living in, read on, because there may be something you’d never considered about where you live.
I built a house 14 years ago with my ex husband. I really felt like it was the perfect house. But as the years passed, I began growing a list of “things I would change” if only I had the time and money to do it. Eventually, we divorced, I kept the house, remarried and started a new life as a family of 7 in the same house. Not the best idea for our new blended family, but the market had tanked and I was upside down in the house. I began to resent my house. I resented that we couldn’t dump it, we couldn’t afford anything else, and that our lives were so hectic it left little time for upkeep, let alone improvement projects.
One day I did finally snap when the cheap, builder-grade carpet in the hall finally wore down to the carpet tacks underneath. We had talked about new flooring and had planned to purchase some that year, but had yet to set aside the time to make it happen. Since I have some of that “make it happen” energy as part of my makeup, I bent over and ripped up a 10ft section of carpet, then snapped a picture and texted it to my husband, who was at work, and said, “Look honey, we’re getting new floors!” Or something crazy like that. Bless that man.
Anyhow, we went through several months of bare concrete before we actually had my husband’s brother and nephew step in (thankfully) to help him complete the project, and it really changed how I was feeling about my home! It was amazing! There may have been some bad vibes in that carpet or something.
Soon after that we began to look into purchasing a new home for our now family of nine that was crammed into 4 bedrooms. We ended up not finding anything within our price range or that fit our needs. At that point, though, it was the new year, and the thought kept coming to me that although we needed a new place, I also needed to be a wise steward over the house I did own. God will not add upon us unless we exercise wise stewardship over what he has already given us. I repented of my ingratitude and got to work, repairing, cleaning and maintaining our home.
Another year passed, and I had been doing my best to be a wise steward for our home, when my realtor called with an opportunity to remodel and purchase a larger home in our neighborhood. I felt like the Lord had blessed us with greater abundance because the efforts to appreciate what we already had were made. We moved, and as we have adjusted to living in our new home, I felt that there were certain areas of the new house I just couldn’t like, let alone love. Then, I heard about the idea of putting Love into your home. Every room. And especially where you enter.
And as I thought about that, I realized something: There are two keys to loving where you live. Wise Stewardship and Putting Love into Your Home.
Becoming a Wise Steward
Start small. I started by trying to recognize the little things I had been overlooking when I had mentally washed my hands of caring for my home. There’s a broken toy in the yard, with plastic shards that no one has picked up. There’s a pile of sun rotted flower pots out back. Here’s a pile of clothes that need to go to the thrift store. Here’s a baseboard that needs repainted. I started focusing on one area at a time, either cleaning, de-junking, or repairing (where I was able). I was by no means a perfect housekeeper; I have seven children, I work full-time, and have church responsibilities. I did not even complete every repair job, but I was making consistent efforts on a regular basis, and it started to show in the way I felt and in my home’s condition.
Express gratitude daily for what you’ve got. You can list it on paper or pray it, but gratitude unexpressed is really just ingratitude. We can’t expect to have room in our lives (hearts) for more if we hate or do not appreciate being given what we already have. This is probably the most important key in becoming a wise steward.
Remember that you have been given what you have for a purpose. If you are a grateful recipient, are you using what you have to bless yourself, your family, and others? In the parable of the talents, it is a wise servant (steward) that multiplies his talents (blessings). (See Matthew 25:14-30)
I found that as I began to care more intentionally for my home, I felt more connected to it and grateful for it. I was able to find joy in living there again. I felt peace, instead of the desire to light a match and walk away, like I threatened jokingly many times. It was much less overwhelming to focus my intention on becoming a wise steward than to think of all the things I wanted to change about where I lived.
Putting Love Into Your Home
I guess I must have some sort of romantic side for my surroundings. I like to feel joy and love in my living space. It might be learned from my upbringing or inherent in my nature, I’m not sure, but pulling up to my house and feeling that happiness that I live here is really important to me and my sense of well-being. While I want to Love my home and that is important, I recently learned the concept that I needed to put Love into my home, which is a slightly different concept.
I learned that we need to feel and put Love into each room in our home. Everything is made of energy, and we can actually change the energy in a room by how we think and feel about it. If you hate where you live, you can move wherever and you will still hate it, because you are putting hate there. I decided I did not want to repeat that mistake in my new house.
Start the entrance to your home
The best place to start is the entrance to your home. Where do you enter your home? For me, it is through the front door (ahem, 15 passenger vans simply don’t fit in a standard garage), and we will come back to that in a moment. But I had never considered putting Love into my garage before. Most of us, as women, probably give little thought to the garage’s appearance. It may not be our domain. Or we may be the one who runs the power tools in the family. 🙋 (My husband is fully capable and uses all the tools I don’t, so we share this domain in harmony.) I am the garage cleaner and organizer in our family, and the house we bought was the hang out spot for drinking beer and smoking cigarettes, watching tv and was decorated with bikini model posters by the previous tenants. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that I didn’t like our garage. The space felt chaotic, I couldn’t organize the space in my mind, and no one in our family liked being in there. We had it painted and the smell of cigarettes lingered. One day in the automotive section of the store, I saw an odor absorber for RVs. It was charcoal based, and had a lavender vanilla fragrance. I thought it could do the trick, and it did. It was only a few bucks, but it started the transformation from the domain of the previous occupants to mine. You can find it here if you need any such odor removing miracle.
Some tips for putting Love into your garage:
-Clean and get rid of junk
-Organize any shelves or wall hangings so that it does not feel visually chaotic.
-Add something to the wall that is visually pleasing. It could be a license plate collage from your old license plates, your family motto painted on a wall pallet hanging, or installing garage cabinets to streamline the appearance and keep the dirt and dust to a minimum.
-Take part in the beautification process. Whether it’s just sweeping, organizing, building shelves or hanging the family motto on a nail that you didn’t put in the wall, it will connect you to the process of putting Love into the space. Even if the garage is not your domain, you can think loving thoughts about the space, and while any clean up, repairs or enhancing happens. Something as simple as a magic eraser on the light switch and garage door opener can help so much! This was a before and after as I went through initially to clean baseboards and saw these fixtures.
If you enter through your front door, make sure you clean it regularly. Wipe down the doorbell. Just like the light switch pictured above, doorbells are often overlooked in cleaning. Make sure you sweep or clean your doorstep. Add a potted plant, wreath, or flowers outside. The more inviting you make the entrance, the more love you will be able to put into your home. You should feel like your home is the Haven it was meant to be.
The “Why” of Why You Should Love Where You Live
You can see in the picture below, the before and after of our home. The before: it was truly an unloved home. The owner wanted to be rid of it, and it shows. It had been a rental and was neglected by the tenants for years. As we remodeled, we were putting our all into the remodel. Painting cabinets, ripping up carpets, priming floors, etc. were all done with the anticipation of making this into a home we would love. When we are loving and have loving thoughts and feelings, we are happier not just at home, but anywhere. People will notice the energy (good or bad) when they come to your home, and you should feel love where you live. Being attuned to loving energy helps us to become better, happier people. Personal circumstances and living arrangements aside, we can only control ourselves and our thoughts and feelings, and tuning those feelings in to love is the first step in the Divine Art of Homemaking.