real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

great thought #38

As a mom with young children I would often be frustrated looking at decorating magazines because the rooms in my home never resembled the rooms in those beautiful, glossy pictures. However, my attitude changes as one day I read the following (roughly paraphrased) in one of my favorite magazines: “The bedroom displays a striking combination of stripes, plaids and florals, all unified by a common color palette.” To me it just looked like someone couldn’t decide what fabric they liked best and so had used them all. And that’s when it hit me, the secret to true decorating with style: it’s not how you decorate; it’s how you describe your decorating.

In a flash my mind began to imagine how my home would be written up in one of those magazines: “While the living room shows a more traditional side of the homeowner, the Darth Vader mask and green light saber on the coffee table lend an air of surprise and whimsy. The kitchen is reminiscent of a modern art gallery, with the refrigerator and walls displaying original artwork in a variety of media, including paint, markers, craft sticks, and glitter. The basement is liberally sprinkled with action figures while the blanket fort lends a rustic feel to the area. In the back entryway the homeowners cleverly bring the outdoors in by creatively displaying sand, grass clippings, and whatever the cat has caught the night before.”

As my fantasy tour ended, I realized that my home was decorated exactly as it should be when one has children. And to be honest, I wouldn’t trade any of my original artwork for a priceless masterpiece. So remember the secret to decorating with style: decorating is in the eye (and the descriptions) of the beholder.

by Karen Leif as quoted in A Life That Says Welcome by Karen Ehman

This book, by the way, is wonderful and encourages women to realize that, as Christians, we are called to offer “hospitality” to our families but not to “entertain” them. The author offers wise advise on understanding the difference and on how to fulfill the hospitality commands in Scripture.



  Susan T wrote @

So true! Great story. And I must say, now that my youngest is almost (gulp, sniffle) 14, I really miss the Playmobil sets all over the living room… we used to have our own police station, fire dept., rescue helicoptor and hospital, not to mention all the historical sets…. Those were the days. Thankfully he still sets up war scenes every so often and we are keeping everything for the dream grandchildren.

I really enjoyed hearing Karen Ehman speak at Hearts at Home Midwest conference in March. Very encouraging, do-able organizational & cleaning ideas. Her website is down to earth as well…

  thatmom wrote @

Hi Susan.

I miss those days, too, though now with older boys I have my own sort of mess. They have been staying up late all summer and when I get up in the morning, there is new mess in the kitchen and sometimes, and I REALLY hate this, there are dirty dishes in the upstairs bathroom. All I can say is that it is a good thing I am not pregnant. The site of leftover salsa before I brush my teeth is horrible!

  Light wrote @

For years, I joked that my home was decorated in “Early Childhood Crayon” style. My youngest had a habit of scribbling with green crayon on every wall.

After awhile, I just gave up looking at the magazines because it was too discouraging. Now that my kids are older, we can let a little HGTV back into our lives. I always admired those moms who could have really nice homes while their kids were small. That certainly wasn’t one of my strengths.

  katiekind wrote @

That’s hilarious! And true-to-life.

  Michelle wrote @

I laughed out loud at the flowery description of your home with the Darth Vader mask. I needed that lift today as I look around at my house! 😀

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