It’s a new year, and there are TOTALLY curtains in my house, you guys. What can I say? We know how to kick off the new year right.
I know curtains aren’t exactly on the top 10 most exciting things in the universe list, but for me, the whole process has been a rush.
Oh, you thought I was kidding? Well, this is awkward. Let me explain.
For Christmas, my brilliant mother used my brilliant Pinterest Wish List board as my Christmas list (aka the whole reason I made it up! well, mostly it was intended for my hubs to nudge him in the right direction should he need such a thing…) and the brilliant result was her brilliant purchase of the brilliant book, The Nesting Place, by The Nester (aka Myquillin Smith).
If I didn’t already love The Nester, than I am over the moon about her now. (Nester, if you’re reading this, I promise it’s in a totally non-creepy, you’re-my-new-best-friend-whether-you-like-it-or-not, super chill kind of way.)
I love her philosophy on decorating your home… because it’s not just decorating your home. It’s working to create a place of beauty, love, connection, fun- a safe place for your family to dwell and grow and live. “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful,” as she says.
The biggest thing I took away from this book? Permission. To make mistakes. To try rearranging stuff- maybe even to (gasp!) spray paint something.
To take risks.
Ah, that beautiful, terrible word. Something I’m altogether abysmal at most of the time. (Remember this?) I’m not sure if I was always this bad at taking risks, or if being a “grown-up” has just thrown my fear out into the open where everyone (or at least I) can see it.
Reading The Nesting Place just proved to me how bad I’ve gotten at it, because I realized I’ve been somewhat afraid to try things in my own home. And if you can’t take risks in your own home, then where on earth can you?
One of the best things about Myquillin’s book is that she talks frequently- and creatively- about living in rentals. There is this one part where she talks about how renters are the “unreached people group of the design world” and I totally agree!! My favorite quote from that section is this:
Sure, there are all sorts of inspiring ideas for those singles in New York City leasing tiny lofts with exposed brick walls. But what about the suburban mom? What about someone like me who struggles with feeling second class as the renter in the subdivision with the HOA full of homeowners? What about the military family or the missionaries or the pastor’s family living in the parsonage sometimes referred to as “the dilapidated shack next to the church?” – Smith, p. 21
(Incidentally, how do you cite quotes from books in a blog post? I’m sure someone out there is grammatical and anal enough to know the answer… Watch my husband correct me later… Love you, babe!)
That part about the pastor’s family in the parsonage/shack? I’ve lived it, folks. (And admittedly, it wasn’t as dilapidated as some parsonages out there are. Still… I think it was built in the sixties or seventies when apparently no one wanted sunlight in their homes because the windows were small.)
And the part about NYC tiny lofts with exposed brick walls? I literally yelled, “Preach!” when I read it, because seriously- go look on Pinterest right now for aparment decor ideas. I guarantee that among the first few pins you find there will be links that feature apartments Just. Like. That. I’m over here like, yeah, if there were exposed brick walls and hard wood floors in my apartment , I’m sure it would look that awesome too! Meanwhile, most apartment-dwellers in the country live in the spectrum of crappy carpet with ominous/ambiguous stains and weird-cream-ish colored walls (and that’s if you’re lucky).
But I digress.
The whole point is that I’ve decided- this year we’re going to take some risks. And since I’m out of practice, they’ll probably be smallish risks, comparatively speaking. And yes, a number of them will be risks in our home- which right now is an apartment. (Really, a pretty nice apartment compared to a lot that we could be living in… and/or have lived in.)
I wish I could remember where it is in the book, (you know, so I could improperly cite it) but one of my favorite things she says is something to the effect of: don’t cheat on your current home by dreaming about your dream home or “the next home” etc.
I took that and thought of it in terms of life, too. Dreaming is healthy, but I want to be excellent at loving the life we’re living right now. As Aimee Brown says, “I’m so glad it’s right now.”
That’s how I want to be. Don’t get me wrong- I still love Pinterest and daydreaming in general, but I want to be fully present in the gift of this moment, because that’s all I truly have.
The Lord holds the rest. As for taking risks in the right now, I’m starting with little ones, like putting up curtains in my apartment. And people, they were 10 bucks at Walmart, and they’re super neutral. But they look 5 times more beautiful than those heinous vertical blinds that were there before. (Seriously- WHY vertical blinds, I ask you, apartment complexes of the world?)
It only took me three years to take the risk of putting up curtains. If anyone has tips for taking risks in your home, or just how to rent beautifully, I’m all ears!
Welcome 2016! Let’s risk together.