"You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways."--Psalm 139:3 One of the dreams I have for my home is not just for the people that come to visit, but for the ones that live there. As you may have figured out, my family consists of four other people: my husband of almost 18 years, Daniel, my daughter (15), Janna, my son, Matthew (11) and my youngest (4), Jonathan. If you've been tracking with our adoption story as well, you will probably also know that we are eagerly expecting the arrival of Anah Joy (turning 7 in ten days!) sometime (God willing) this year.
Anyways, we are a busy ministry family. Our faith is central to our family and our home, as well as in our work. My husband works full-time as an associate pastor at our church, Evergreen Baptist Church of San Gabriel Valley. I work full-time at home, teaching and discipling our children by supervising their education (a.k.a. homeschooling). Although I keep myself busy with my children most of my waking hours, I enjoy taking the time to learn, grow and stretch myself as a mother, and then share what I am learning to encourage other moms. This keeps me balanced so that I am not just turned inwards.
In our home, our priorities are God first, with family relationships (marriage and children) next. We strive to keep people as a higher priority over projects and work (even good work like ministry assignments!). I'm not always good at living this out, but I do have it in the back of my mind!
So why am I sharing all this with you? Because I believe that our priorities, values and loves will flavor and influence our homemaking. If you value comfort, you will look for pieces that are comfortable, even if they aren't "cool." If you value education and learning (like us), you will have tons of bookcases, educational toys, art supplies and equipment all over. So, even though I am sharing with you ideas for our home, think about what you value in yours. How we feather our nests will fit what we love and cherish.
Also remember that creating a home is a long-term process. You can have all the right fixtures, furniture and fun findings, but home is about ultimately about your family. I am decorating my home for the ones I love. When I pick things out, when I think of arrangements, I want them to be a blessing to the ones that live under my roof. I want things to flow and be functional for my family (I'm on this alliteration kick, aren't I? Sorry.)
With that said, it's time to move step in through that front door! What do I want it to look like? In our home, we like to take off our shoes before going through the house. However, with a narrow entrance, that can often result in a traffic jam. Our kids (when they were little) were very good at taking their shoes off, but liked to sit right in front of the doorway to do it! This made it a bit difficult if we were coming in behind them with groceries!
Given what we have then and what we like to do (just thinking out loud here), I'd like to have a place for people to put their shoes easily and quickly, that doesn't take up too much space. Ideally, if it could even serve as a place to sit as you put your shoes on, that would even be better! Maybe some shoe cubbies would be nice.
What would be the best is something that will also provide a landing spot for things we bring in or a place to put things (I have my kids collect their church stuff out on Saturday night) in preparation for the next day. Again, with the limited doorway, I won't be able to have a table. But maybe if we were able to find/make a shoe rack that will allow us a spot to put things as well, that would be great. Multi-use seems to be the key factor here. This idea may be perfect. I bet my husband can make this pretty easy to fit our space. Sturdy. Bench-like. Landing pad. Works for me!
Lastly, I'd like a place to put our keys and other small items (like incoming mail, outgoing letters, stamps, and such) in an easy to access place. As we now have wall space right by the door, I think I'll have to consider some of these options...
Source: Martha Stewart
Source: The Lung Family
It's a good thing my husband is pretty handy! =) He's getting quite a little to-do list here!
To keep the area tidy, here's a list of things I'll be working in to our cleaning and chore rotations! You can print out a copy here: Entryway blank
May the Lord bless you and keep you in all your comings and goings.