All I wanted for my birthday was a day with my three favorite people in Texas, my two roommates + recently married roommate who still counts. Today we went to go see Lincoln together (because I’m a history & constitution nerd) and then came home to home that smelled of the chicken and turnips in the crockpot ready for us to eat by candlelight with wine, followed by my favorite pumpkin pie and a fire in the fireplace.
Perfect. I know.
More than one person has told me that my photo stream is a constant flow of perfect images that make our home seem idyllic and warm always. I usually laugh and tell them it’s partly true, that IS how our home is. But it’s also true that our bathrooms get dirty and sometimes we have miscommunications and sometimes people are sad or mad, even if I don’t frame that moment in a filtered photo.
I took the opportunity tonight to take a photo of our less than orderly table with a less than proper roommate digging into the roast chicken. Just to say, hey we’re not perfect—but we’re okay with that.
Here’s why I write about my home so much, and why I take photos of it, and delight in it:
It’s very tempting, for single women particularly, to place deep stock in the future home. To dream about what it will look like, to stockpile images and Pinterest boards and magazine pages, to wish for what is not—and lose sight of what is. And what is might not be what you dream about it being. Maybe you don’t have the crockpot you want or the set of knives all your friends got when they got married. Maybe you’re waiting until you marry Mr. Right before you light candles for the dinner table or use a tablecloth.
It’s also very tempting to place our worth and security in our home today, to indulge ourselves in DIY projects or keep up with others in terms of decor and furniture—to own whatever we can in place of what is not ours to own today. It is tempting to feel that since so much seems to be withheld from us today, we are going to grasp and grab whatever we can in the meantime.
So as much as I’m able, I’m going to write about my home and keep a steady stream of beautiful photos of it.
I treasure my home. I do. I treasure the people who inhabit it, I treasure the moments occurring in it, and the meals shared in it. I treasure the small touches, the artwork from all of our international travels, the thrift-store finds, and the teakettle we use every day. I treasure it, but I do not own it and I do not let it own me.
And I want to communicate that to my unmarried sisters and brothers. I want them to know that these days are numbered, whether marriage is your future or not, your days are numbered. Singleness is not an excuse to let life pass you by while you mourn what is not your portion for today. But it is also not an excuse to indulge in creating a self-made kingdoms of you.
My challenge to you (and to me every day) is to evaluate what you’re treasuring and to find beauty in today’s portion—it’s there and it’s yours for the enjoying. Don’t wish yourself living in my home with my roommates eating at my table—where is your table? Who is sharing your life? What is treasured in your home?
Photo filters make everything look better and the gospel does the same for us—the ordinary becomes extraordinary, the mundane becomes beautiful, the normality is filled with joy, and the everyday is special. It’s that way because our hope isn’t in today, it’s in something much greater, much deeper, and much fuller. It’s in the hope of heaven for tomorrow and the sufficiency of Christ for today.
Go and fill your Instagram up with beautiful things. Real things. Happening right now, today, to you, in your life. Find them, they’re there.