{Day 21} Real Home: You Won’t Remember, I Promise

We’ve been watching home movies over the last couple of weeks. These audio-visual memories are my most cherished possessions. I tear up every time I hear their toddler voices that I’ve long since forgotten. You think you’ll remember but you don’t. 

I told my husband that I want all of our old tapes put on DVD for Christmas.

My kids have been watching what we’ve taken over the last couple of years over and over again. We have laughed ourselves silly over the ways they pronounced things and how Blondie acts like a troll for the first hour after she’s woken up. Just like her mama.

There’s something else I noticed in these videos. My furniture is somehow arranged differently in every single one and the decor is altered. I guess I am always looking for some new and improved way to make our home feel prettier, cleaner and more spacious. And because I know myself well, that will probably never change. 

But I was also struck by the fact that I don’t remember how my house looked or was arranged on any given day or during any given season of life. 

More importantly, as I watched the everyday moments of the past replay in the here and now, the background matters not one bit.

The only things that matters are their voices, toddler cheeks and baby-teeth smiles. Mussed-up morning hair and fuzzy pajamas on Christmas morning trump a pristine background of perfect-paint-color walls and a non-stained sofa. 

The furniture and background could have been on fire and it wouldn’t matter now. 

The reality is this. Years from now I won’t remember how organized I was or wasn’t. I won’t care how clean my house was on October 21st, 2011. Scuffed-up walls? Weeds around my mailbox? All irrelevant in the whole scheme of things. 

When I think of my own upbringing, I honestly can’t tell you if our house stayed clean and uncluttered. I don’t remember my mom being obsessive over those things. But I have a slew of wonderful memories like popcorn and Coke {enjoyed on the sofa} at night while we watched a favorite show, board games played as a family, vacations near and far even though we had hardly any discretionary income, Christmas traditions, simple birthday celebrations, and countless dinners around the table. 

I’m the oldest of four kids. To this day we’ve got a lot of love for one another and move Heaven and earth to spend time together even though we’re scattered from Colorado to South Carolina. My husband is the oldest of three and we feel the same way about his family. We realize how blessed and undeserving we are in this way.

The common denominator in both of our family experiences is love. Lots of it. 

The atmosphere of home is not determined by its state of perfection and picked-up-ness. It’s determined by the love of its inhabitants for one another, the seemingly mundane rituals of the everyday, and the simple traditions celebrated year after year. 

I still care about my home of course. I long for a lovely haven that my family and I can enjoy. I want it to reflect us and to exhibit beauty. These things matter to me. 

But my home movies showed me that these things matter far less than I think they do. Often my time could be better spent just living and cherishing the everyday moments. 

I’m learning from the past how I want to live in the present.


{Click on the button for the list of all the days 
and topics thus far.}


  1. says

    This sets me free! I’m not the best at decorating or domestic stuff and I care less about it with each passing day, but sometimes I just need the reminder that I won’t care years from now how the house was decorated and I won’t remember what it looked like on October 21, 2011. Thank you so much!

    I grew up in a home with a mom like Martha Stewart, but now that you mention it, I don’t remember as much as I thought I would about all that stuff. I do remember the plastic on the carpet in the hallways and the hideous foil wallpaper of the 70s, but that’s about it. Oh, and we had naked Adam and Eves on the wallpaper in the hall bathroom. My friends ALWAYS wanted to use the potty when they came over. haha

  2. Anonymous says

    Whew…..just caught up on a week or so of your posts and am feeling quite encouraged! God seems to be working on my heart (for some time now) and revealing some similar things that you share here (true rest, letting go, etc). It can seem like unchartered territory for a type-a, organize loving, worker girl, but the hidden partial-introvert on the inside is longing to be set free. Must be why I enjoy this sweet blog, and getting to know you:)! Keep keeping it real AND rockin’ that cathedral on wheels (that was HILARIOUS to read……maybe some “faux stained glass” treatment on the windows would really bring it home!)-Jordan

  3. says

    No surprise: this one made me teary, and happy. The paragraph you have in bold is perhaps one of most beautiful, succinct “capturings” I have ever read of what a home/family should be.

    May your tribe increase!


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