Make Room For What You Love

My home is my sweet haven. I love to pour my heart into every space. Projects completed bring a smile to my face and a piece of joy to my bustling little family. But lately, I have really started to feel lost in my home.

Those of you who know me well from my YouTube channel, Sweet and Simple Home, know that I've had to set aside many a project due to my health. While I was sick, I felt like my house was sick along with me. Many spaces felt out of control. If I had any energy in the day, I would quickly lose it looking around at my disaster of a house.

I had no idea where to start. I am grateful for Melissa Michaels and her practical advice and encouragement in her new book, Make Room For What You Love. She is so relatable and real in sharing her own struggles with clutter; I felt reassured by her practical advice that I could tackle mine.

 

Here I am sharing a mess of a space I decluttered in our home. This spot was a complete mess! Our whole family is loving and enjoying being able to once again use this space in our home. I hope you enjoy the video!

 

I am blessed and humbled to be participating in the launch of Melissa Micheals wonderful book, Make Room For What You Love. Your heart and home will be blessed by reading this book! Find it here!

Linked below are many wonderful ladies I so admire sharing changes they've made in their homes inspired by Melissa's book. I hope you love seeing their projects and are inspired to Make Room For What You Love in your own home!

Thanks so much to Melissa Michaels for hosting this tour of inspiring ideas! You can find Melissa at The Inspired Room.

 

Blessings!

Rachel

 

My Home Gratitude Journal

I love my cute little house. There are so many sweet details and personal touches that we have added to this home in the past two years that make me love it even more than the day we first walked through it. Now it holds memories,  pictures of my sweet babies, and loads of my favorite thrift store and yard sale scores. This home screams "RACHEL!" when you walk in the door. But, sadly, there are days when I just don't give this house the appreciation I should.

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I can be a brat sometimes when it comes to my house. I can lean to the side of dissatisfaction with what I have far too easily. The thing is, I am driven to create, to do more, and I just can't stand still. So, I take this out on my house and whine at times that I don't like the flooring, the bland master bedroom, or the boob shaped light fixtures. (Why this design is in existence, I will never understand.)

The truth is, its far too easy to see the things I don't like, and forget about the things I do like. So today, I am going to share with you entries from my Home Gratitude Journal. I was inspired to write in a Home Gratitude Journal by one of my favorite authors and bloggers, Melissa Michaels. You can read all about her Love the Home You Have Challenge here.

 

My Home Gratitude Journal March 1-5, 2016:

March 1: I am so grateful to be located near the heart of our sweet little town. Now that the season is turning, so many people are out and about and we get to be at the center. I love that.

March 2: Today our neighbors had us over for a fun play date. I love our neighbors. They are so wonderful and make living here an absolute blessing.

March 3: We got sunshine today! I opened up all the curtains and shades and let the sun in! I am grateful for a house that gets so much natural light. On days like today, it was refreshing and encouraging to have my home full of sun light.

March 4: Today I am grateful for a new dishwasher! The timing of our old one dying was, in a way, well timed! We just received our tax return. We hadn't planned on spending our return this way, but it's nice all the same that we were able to purchase one without a fuss.

March 5: Today I came home so exhausted from a busy week to a messy house. It took me about one hour to get it whipped back into shape. I am so grateful that a smaller home means less to clean!

 

Having gratitude in my heart for my home changed my outlook. I actually started tackling some of the projects I'd been wanting to get to over the weekend because I finally felt motivated to do so. Being grateful for the home, no matter what state the home is in, uplifts and focuses your heart on what matters.

In this video, I share 20 things I love about my home. I hope you can be inspired to give your home a little love too!

The Beauty In Every Day

On my shelves in my home, I have items displayed that are common, simple, everyday items; a book, a box, a tiny photo album, an apron, a hymnal. To anyone else, they probably seem completely ordinary. But to me, they are incredibly precious and beautiful. These items belonged to my grandparents.

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When I look up at my shelves and see my decor full of these precious and sentimental items, my heart swells. My home feels more loving when I display things that have great meaning to me.

In my efforts to apply one of Melissa Michaels' decorating principals, "Everyday On Display," from her book The Inspired Room, I started wondering what my kids will one day find value in. I have a feeling it won't be in the fancy necklace I've only worn twice, or in the platters I only use on special occasions. I like to think that they will love to have the things I use everyday. The items they have memories of me holding, wearing, and using in our daily life. Perhaps my Bible, my apron, or my favorite tea cups.

In thinking about what my children may one day value, I've come to see even greater value in making what we use and love everyday a part of our home decor. It's amazing how a small grouping of my favorite vases looks so incredibly lovely on a shelf. Or how my vintage butter dish looks so sweet set out next to the chalkboard in the kitchen.

These little things, these little items we use and love, make our house feel like our Home. It's comforting to be surrounded by the familiar. All of a sudden, what is ordinary is beautiful. What is simple is stunning to the eye. What could be seen as just a display of stuff is actually a display of love, family, connection, and comfort.

I have been sharing an entire video series on my YouTube channel from Melissa Michaels' book, The Inspired Room: Simple Ideas To Love the Home You Have. This episode in the series focuses in on this very idea- "Everyday On Display". I hope you enjoy seeing how the ordinary, everyday has become beautiful in our home.

Melissa's book is available through the link below

The Inspired Room: Simple Ideas to Love the Home You Have
The Inspired Room: Simple Ideas To Love the Home You Have

The Inspired Room: Simple Ideas To Love the Home You Have

The link included in this post is my affiliate link. I share what I love! Thanks for the support.

New Life For A Tired Ottoman

Four years ago, I was shopping at Target and wanted one of everything as I usually do when I'm there. My shopping came to a halt when I saw this adorable stool. I heard the chorus of decorating angels sing as I saw it's perfect size for my tiny living room, its lack of sharp edges for my clumsy toddler, its sweet little wooden stubby legs, and above all-- the perfect neutral plaid I so adored.

The angels kept singing until I saw the price tag--on sale for $50. I hit the mute button on those angels pretty quick because friends, it was November and I was on a tight pre-holiday budget!

Fast forward to early January the following year, and I was after Christmas shopping with my family. I had been given a Target gift card for Christmas and was now faced with the very difficult task of narrowing down my one-of-everything list to a couple things that I loved.

I'm sure you can imagine my overwhelming delight and surprise when I saw that same ottoman/stool-- now 50% off! And I had a gift card! That little piece of perfection flew into my cart faster than my husband could say "Are you sure that's what you want to get honey?" And I ran to the register before anyone else could see my treasure and want it for themselves!

Fast forward even further down the road-- like four years or so, and you will be all caught up to where I am today in this video. My joy was immense over being able to save this ottoman from being replaced thanks to this delightful little tool! I can now keep this stool as long as I love it! (Which right now, feels like a forever type of love.)

I hope you enjoy seeing how I brought new life back to this piece. You can find the same tool I used on Amazon and its so completely worth the money to save pieces you love!

If you are interested in this tool for yourself, the link is below for you. Enjoy my video!

Much Love,

Rachel

(Note: The link above is my affiliate link. I share what I love and am grateful for the support!)

Understanding Home

As a little girl, my parents were involved in an 80's Christian Rock band with a synthesizer, big hair, mullets, and even one of those new-spangled drum machines. They were pretty hip.

My parents' band traveled to other churches,  jails, and prisons performing and preaching the hope of Christ to those who needed it most. It was not unusual for me to hear my parents rehearsing in our living room or to tag along to their practice nights at our home-town church.

One song I loved that they sang for weddings and events back in those days was called, "Love Will Be Our Home" by Steven Curtis Chapman. My mom and dad were adorable singing together in harmony with big hair and mullets flying, "Love will! Love will be our Home!" Even when the hair shrunk to a decent size and the mullet was trimmed off, I still loved to hear them sing that song-- because it was true. Love was their Home-- our Home.

I was blessed beyond measure to be raised by two people who loved God, loved each other like crazy, and were brave enough to fill their tiny house with four crazy kids. I am so grateful that I was blessed enough to have experienced "Home" in its truest sense-- family, love, safety, comfort.

Now that it's my turn to create Home for my family, I have learned that I can't just decorate the four walls and expect it to magically be Home. I discovered something as all my house projects came up empty for me. Home is way more than a cute house. Home is way more than Pinterest-perfect organized closets, mudrooms, and burlap wreaths. 

I kept waiting for that moment when our house would start feeling like it was our Home. Day in and day out-- it just didn't! I was incredibly dissatisfied with our orange-carpet-in-the-kitchen house.  I kept watching HGTV and hoping they would come rescue me from the little fixer-upper we bought and make it pretty and make it our Home!

This isn't the best quality-- but this is a picture of the kitchen in our first home the day we moved in. Yes, that is orange CARPET in the kitchen!

This isn't the best quality-- but this is a picture of the kitchen in our first home the day we moved in. Yes, that is orange CARPET in the kitchen!

Our first house! A 1950's fixer-upper.

Our first house! A 1950's fixer-upper.

The truth is, there is nothing HGTV could have done for me in those days to make my house my Home. Even if they got all Trading Spaces on me-- I would still have had a house, but lack a Home. I kept hoping for someone else to do this important job of Home for me!

Something happened in my heart around the time my sweet little girl turned one.

I realized something HUGE-- it starts with me. Home starts with me. I needed to put my love in this Home. This Home with the scary basement, sad insulation, and horrifying back yard. Projects, decor, and organization weren't going to save me from the chaos I felt in that house.

How many times had I expected and demanded my husband's help during his little moments of needed downtime to get projects done so that our little house would be our Home? At least 2.5 million times. I wish I was exaggerating, but I'm not! How many times had I put my sweet baby down to organize or paint something instead of rejoicing in her mind-blowing cuteness?

Little Molly, Winter 2011

Little Molly, Winter 2011

Refinishing the floors and taking done faux wood paneling. Some of the many projects my husband and many of our friends killed themselves doing!

Refinishing the floors and taking done faux wood paneling. Some of the many projects my husband and many of our friends killed themselves doing!

To me, a finished house meant instant Home. Friends-- I am here to tell you, it does not work this way.

First off, there is no such thing as a finished house. "Finished House" is a serious myth. Get over it. It doesn't exist! There will always be something to do, something to decorate, fix, update, paint, organize, or clean!

There will not always be babies there though. Or little voices singing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Or tiny hands to curl up in yours.

My attitude, my perspective, my joy would set the tone for the stress level or lack thereof in my Home. My love for this amazing man who gives so much of his life and time to others every day needs my love. When I started focusing in on how I could make our Home a place my husband felt loved- peace, rest, and comfort happened for him at Home instead of stress and exhaustion. My sweet and precious little girl needed my heart, not my decorating and organizing skills.

Home starts with me. With having my heart where it matters. People matter more than projects. My prayer in those days became, "Lord, bring peace to my heart as You bring peace to my home." This prayer rang from my heart all day long. I started asking God how He wanted to use my Home and use me instead of only thinking of what I wanted to check off of my projects list.

To be clear, I still have a projects lists. I still love to decorate and organize. Making my house pretty is my favorite hobby. House is my hobby. But Home? Home is my calling.

My ultimate goal is no longer to achieve the myth of "Finished House." My goal is to make this place where we live a Home where people I care for most feel LOVED. To glorify God in how I keep this Home and share this Home with others in the world. Love is truly what makes a house a Home.

"Where ever there is laughter ringing, someone smiling, someone dreaming, we can live together there. Love will be our home!"

-Excerpt from the song, Love Will Be Our Home, Steven Curtis Chapman

 

 

 

Welcome to the Sweet and Simple Home!

Hi Everyone! I'm Rachel from Sweet and Simple Home! Many of you may know me from my channel on YouTube-- Sweet and Simple Home.

I've had it on my heart for some time now to have a blog as an extension of what I share on my YouTube channel. A place to share my heart, create resource lists for you all, write out recipes for you guys, and break down projects in to smaller tasks and steps for those of you who love to DIY and organize right along with me!

So welcome, welcome! I'm so incredibly happy you are here! My journey on YouTube has been a blessing and a blast and I'm looking forward to having another avenue to share and connect with all of you wonderful people. :)

I share more of my heart for this blog on the About Page. I hope you all will read it and stay connected!

Love you all!

Blessings!

Rachel