Monday, April 7, 2014

Lessons from the Homes of Others

Over the past few weeks, I've had the blessing of being in the homes of others. New people. Spring and Summer are my favorite for one clear reason: the celebration. I want my life to be filled with showers, weddings, and birthday parties. I eat it up. I love watching the large milestones of others.

Because I love interiors so much, or because I love hospitality so much, I thrive when people open their doors. Without realizing it, I soak up knowledge in each home I enter. How do they prepare a powder bathroom for visitors? Does their home represent their personality? How is this person loving the people that walk through their door?



First, was my good friend Michelle's bridal shower. Her wedding is on May 3, and I'm giddy about it. She is too. Her shower was hosted by the mother of her longtime best friend. Michelle put it this way, "the first time I met a southern belle was when I met Suzie, she walked in from outside wearing a long dress and a big sunhat, coming in from working with flowers and said, daaaarrlin, nice to meeeet you." That story is so iconic to me, and everything about attending this shower was consistent. I left feeling like I would be welcome anytime. I loved seeing the apothecary jar full of soaps. I loved the open layout of the home, just inviting people to come inside and stay awhile. I can't put my finger on why, but I left that home feeling encouraged. I felt like I had learned things about how to carry myself as a woman. I learned about fresh flowers and monogrammed towels. I learned about greeting every person as they walked through the door and making them feel valued.



This Saturday was my sister in law Kayce's first baby shower. Each little detail of this event was done beautifully. The dispenser full of water contained mint and blackberries. Labels had been written in gorgeous calligraphy. Everything had just been done with immense care. The home was clean and light and sometimes when I'm in a home I feel like I can really imagine people enjoying the life that is lived there. This was one of those homes. You could see where people would feel comfortable leaning on the kitchen countertop or watching a movie on the couch or letting the puppy in and out of the back door. It was styled perfectly but communicated that it was a house that wanted you to live. A house that was enjoyed by it's owners. A house that friends loved being in.

I so deeply desire for our home to be a sweet sanctuary to those who enter. I want our friends and family to always count on being able to relax and be nourished in their hearts and their bellies. I want it to be real, I want people to feel loved and valued as they walk in the door. I crave for people to see Jesus in our home. I want others to be able to picture themselves seated at our table or on our sofa, laughing and crying and everything in between. I want people to feel comfortable getting a glass of water or asking for one or to be offered one in good timing. I want Ben to live in a clean, natural, pretty house. I want healthy, filling, enjoyable food to be served.

Every time someone opens their doors, I truly believe there is something to be learned. Starting with their willingness to house company. People love and serve and style in different ways and every single one seems perfect to me.

What are some things you love doing to make others feel welcome in your home? What do you believe defines your home? What have you noticed in the homes of others?

15 comments:

  1. LOOOVE that backdrop. That's so cute!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a touching post, Victoria! Your words here are one of the big reasons that I enjoy reading your blog. I am trying to figure all of this out, too, and have to say that watching you learn and grow is inspiring. A caring heart towards a comfy home with Jesus at the forefront is a truly important ministry. Many may not see or understand it, but the home you are creating now will guide your future children to focus on what matters and that will be carried on to their friends and others.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I saw this pic on instagram and absolutely fell in love with it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a lovely post! I've read your blog for a little while and always admire the heart you show for hospitality. It's definitely inspiring. There was a blog post I recently read that references Mark 4:30-32 and how Jesus calls his whole kingdom to be like a mustard tree and bear the burden of hospitality -- I thought I'd share it with you :) http://www.everysquareinch.net/2014/02/making-your-home-hospital.html?crossingpermalink=true

    ReplyDelete
  5. Victoria this is exactly how I feel, I was reading this and nodding at everything. I totally get it about wanting all those things for people who come to your home, that's why I love decorating my place because I want to feel uplifted being around beautiful things, and I want that for my guests as well. Thank you for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. that is such a cute idea! love the rain drops as a back drop for a food table. genius!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I used to volunteer with Denton YoungLife while I was in college, and our Christmas party was held at this house that was indescribably gorgeous. Of course, I got lost on the way out there and managed to be 30 minutes fashionably late. I walked in and immediately felt the Lord and so much hospitality. I don't remember how they decorated, just that they were able to fit 20-30 people in their living and kitchen space comfortably. Nearly 5 years later, I still want to be that kind of hostess. The kind where love overflows from your home and everyone feels it from the second they walk in.

    Such a beautiful post, Victoria!!

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  8. What I remember most about growing up in a home that had an “open door policy” is that my Mom always had our half bath cleaned with a candle lit. Anytime she knew we had people coming over, she would light candles all over the house. A few weeks ago I had a girlfriend (just one! ha!) coming over and I still lit every candle in the house. I do it without even thinking now! I love those little things that you carry on from family members who love to serve.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hospitality is a deep passion of mine as well. As my husband and I are still in the renting phase of life (and will be for a while), for me it's making sure my home is clean, it smells good and people ultimately feel comfortable to lounge and eat as they might at home. I can't wait to have a home truly suitable to host our small group in. I adore hosting, I love loving on people in that way. So with you!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are a girl after my own heart! I'm the exact same way! I've been following you blog for a little while and I love it so much I decided to nominate you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award! I hope you accept the nomination because your blog is lovely and should be recognized.

    You can find the rules in my most recent post: http://busygirlblog.blogspot.com/2014/04/ive-been-nominated.html

    Keep doing what you're doing!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, I love this post so much! <3 and what you talking about, yes! so so big in my heart too. hospitality, making a house a home. *le sigh* Even though I'm just 18 and still living with my parents, I dream of my future home so much - the design, the feel, the people that will come and go. improving and making the space that you live in beautiful is terribly important, I believe. <3

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this post! Growing up, my parents were never big entertainers, but I do have a few memories of us spending all day cleaning and waiting anxiously for guests to come and then lighting all the candles just minutes before they arrived. The smell, the ambiance, the talking, and the laughing was always a magical thing. I loved to see our house open up to be a home for others and I hope one day I will be active in inviting friends and family over and sharing the bond of home with them. I'm in a dorm now so it is hard to "entertain" so to say, but come August I will be in an apartment and I am so excited to cook for myself and guests (I say that now, probably naively). Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Your heart for others is so very lovely. You have a beautiful soul and your perspective on life is a breath of fresh air.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oh joy, my first anniversary is May third :) Congratulations to her!

    www.shewhofears.com

    ReplyDelete