Tuesday, June 12, 2018

What Kind Of Home Do You Want?

I can still remember the moment I walked through the door of my new apartment in Nashville for the first time. There’s something simultaneously exciting and overwhelming about that first look.

The exciting part is the idea of getting to fill the place up however I see fit. The overwhelming part is thinking about all the work going into doing that!

The first thing that struck me was the emptiness. The off-white walls. The clean carpet. The stillness and silence.

An empty apartment is basically a blank canvas. You get to make it your own.

That emptiness was an invitation -- an invitation to fill all that empty space. It doesn't matter who or what was there before. It's yours now. You get to arrange everything to your liking. You decide what your place is going to look like. It’ll take a lot of work to get it to where you want it to be, but at the end of the day it will be your space, one that reflects who you are in a number of ways.

My first week in town was filled with conversations like Let’s have the bed face that direction... I like the bookshelf on that wall... I guess we could use a new toaster that doesn’t burn the toast every time I use it. I'm also pretty confident that I can sleepwalk through the Target near my place and find everything I need.

Little by little, piece by piece, what started out as an empty apartment began to look like home. It was very exhausting (and expensive -- if you’re planning on making a move in the near future, start putting some money aside now!), but it was also very rewarding, too.

But just because my apartment was starting to look like home didn’t mean the work of creating a home was done. On the contrary, the real work was just getting started.

In many ways, I’ve looked at this move to Nashville as an opportunity to start over and create the kind of life I want to lead. And that goes a lot deeper than sofa placement or what brand of coffee maker to buy.

What you’re able to do in your own home is more important than what’s in it. What’s in your home and how it’s arranged should point you to what is most important in your life.

Now that most of the heavy lifting is done, I’m asking myself some questions:

  • What kind of home do I want? 
  • How do I feel when I open the door after a long day at the office?
  • If I invited someone over right now, how would they feel when they walk in?
  • Am I able to create, learn and grow here? 
  • Am I able to rest, relax and unwind here? 
  • Am I able to worship, pray and reflect here?
  • Is my home helping me live the kind of life I want to live?

This move and trying to answer these questions has helped clarify what's important to me and to remove some of the things that have been cluttering my life for sometime now. But you don’t have to move halfway across the country to take stock of where you are.

Whether you are just moving into a new apartment or you’ve been living in the same place for 25 years, take a look around -- not just at your space, but at your life, too. Take inventory of what’s there and what isn’t. What needs to be added? What needs to go in the trash or sold in a garage sale? What needs to be rearranged -- in your apartment and in your calendar -- so you can focus on what’s important?

Taking those little steps, no matter what situation you’re in, can make you feel like you’re home - no matter where you are.

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