This is a term my dear friend Aly uses when she feels that internal pull to dedicate extra focus on her role as homemaker and mom. It always makes me smile when she says she feels like feathering her nest because it is the best description of that feeling of longing to create (or rediscover) a home environment brimming with love and nurture that I've ever heard.
I feel like feathering my nest.
Part of it is the time of year. School has started, and there is something I love about the time of year when we use new, sharp pencils, get back into familiar routines, and prepare for football. It feels like a good time to embrace organization and simplicity. I want to be able to sit in a lightweight sweatshirt, sip a cup of tea, and enjoy a calm, clutter free, quiet home. But to get there, the work starts this weekend.
I have been reading an interesting little book called The Simple Home by Sharon Hanby-Robie, and it has spurred me on in my quest for a more simple and beautiful home. A few things have challenged me to really think about our home and the work I want to do. For one, she encourages the reader to list the spaces that are needed. Immediately, I realized we need a work space for Jude to do homework. So far this year, he has done his daily work at the kitchen table while I fret and fuss about whether he put his paper in drops of maple syrup or if he'll spill the left over cup of milk. I am often beginning dinner preparations when he starts homework time, and that leads to distration for both of us. Creating a suitable place for Jude to do homework is at the top of my list.
Mark and I also need a quiet spot to read and pray. Hanby-Robie encourages people to find a space in the house for quiet reflection and prayer to encourage us to spend more time with God. I admit, she has me pegged. While I love to sit in our sun room to read and reflect, I am completely distracted by the kitchen and any mess I see there. I end up setting aside my Bible until the kitchen becomes spotless and organized, which of course means the Apocalypse is imminent and my work is all for naught. It's time to address a quiet space.
The second thing I want to work on is my entryway. Our entryway is fair in functionality, but sorely lacking in ambiance. We have a shoe rack, a little table for purse and keys, and several hooks for jackets and bags. While I appreciate the function of the entryway, I never realized how...not welcoming...the space has become. I've done a few different things in that space, but right now we have too much bare wall, too much bare floor, and not enough color or spunk. The same is true for the hallway to the boys' room and guest bathroom. There's not much you can to do to spice up a hallway, but surely there is more to this space than beige walls!
In this book, the author encourages the reader to walk around the neighborhood and look for homes whose exterior feels inviting. We are blessed to have a house with a terrific front porch. I am a HUGE fan of our front porch - we have a lovely set of wicker furniture with new cushions that is perfect for morning tea or evening reading. Despite having a great porch, our home doesn't fit the picture on my mind (and in our neighborhood!) of an inviting home. I confess I am a flower person (the actual "five love languages" are flowers, chocolate, jewelry, shoes, and purses...), but my flowers have succumbed to a southern August with not enough watering. I have a darling purse planter (See? Love language...) but right now it holds the remains of a dead pansy. Our door and the space around it is bare. I want our home to reflect my family's heart - we have a joyful, lively family. The front of our house needs some loving touches to show that.
So this weekend I will be feathering my nest. I am not sure how much will get accomplished, but I am feeling inspired. I am ready to sort through piles that have snuck up on us, deal with our excess quickly and decisively, and express more of my heart around the house. I know it's going to be a lot of work, and I'm sure it will take a lot longer than this weekend to create the simplicity and ambiance I desire. We have a lot on the calendar this fall, and I want to enjoy it all in a home created with thought and love.