You guys are in for a treat today!
I really, really love this blog. It's basically my whole heart in HTML code. The concept of "building a beautiful home" with our lives is very near and dear to me.
But I already know what it means to me. What I'd LOVE to know is what it means to all of YOU! So I asked a bunch of my favorite bloggers this question:
How do you build a beautiful home?
And a bunch of them were kind enough to answer!
On the last Monday of every month, we'll get to hear from one of them.
Starting us off on the right foot today is Kelly of Philadelphia Filly. I had the chance to get to know Kelly a little in college, but just recently found out that we're both hard core blog stalkers, as well as daily life bloggers! I love Kelly's honesty and authenticity in her blog, and this post is no different. Be sure to leave her lots of love in the comments section and stop by Philadelphia Filly to say hello there, too!
Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, Kelly!
Last week I admitted to my husband Joel that having our house look like a magazine is one of my idols.
I wasn’t proud to say that fact aloud and I’m not proud to type it out here, in Beka’s space, where I’m honored to be a guest blogger. But it’s a reality, my reality, and it’s something I’m prayerfully trying to change.
At the same time I’m asking God to heal my heart and replace this idol of a magazine-esque house with more of him, I’m seeking to create in my heart, and in this 1,300 square foot twin I own with my husband, a beautiful home.
The most significant way I’ve found to make my home beautiful is by loving my neighbors. Since getting married almost two years ago, my husband and I joined a small group that challenges us to pursue and befriend our neighbors. We’ve invited them over for a BBQ and a New Years’ party. We try to stop and chat when we’re washing our cars or working in our yard. We invite them over for pizza and beer. We drop off invitations for church events. We ask them to water our plants when we’re on vacation and volunteer to water theirs in return. We chat with their kids and wave to their in-laws.
Pursuing our neighbors is a slow and somewhat painful process. Days pass without crossing paths. We’re often too busy to spend quality time together and nobody wants to linger outside if it’s a scorching 100 degrees or a snowy 25 degrees. But finally this summer God blessed us with some fruit of our prayers and efforts.
It came in the form of multicolored eggs, orange tomatoes, a raised garden bed, and a fixed sink.
Our neighbors across the street dropped off almost three dozen multicolored eggs from their new chickens [though why they’re raising chickens in suburban Philadelphia could be a blog post in itself!], then stopped me two days later to offer some orange tomatoes they’d grown. The man who lives two doors down fixed our sink for less than one third of the estimated cost. The lady who used to live next door gave us her hand-made raised bed for our garden next summer.
Needless to say, my husband and I have been blown away by the blessings of knowing our neighbors and living in community with them. Our time and conversations have connected with them in a way we never imagined… they’ve provided for us!
Some things I’ve found helpful recently as I struggle with my selfishness, pride, and fear and seek to build a beautiful home where my neighbors feel loved are:
1. Being in a community group at our church. Our emphasis is reaching others with the love of Jesus; we meet regularly to pray for each other and seek to get involved in each others’ lives.
2. Reading Counterfeit Gods, by Tim Keller. This was my Joel’s summer reading requirement for work and we read it aloud together. It was so helpful to read the book, then to process and pray through it.
3. Praying. This is a tough one for me, but so integral when it comes to building into people’s lives.
So what about you? Do you know your neighbors? How do you build a community in your neighborhood? What does “community” mean to you? I’d love to hear!
[P.S. Come visit me at http://philadelphia-filly.blogspot.com. I’d love to have you!]
Interested in sharing your perspective as a guest blogger? I'd love to hear from you! Use the contact form on the last page to send in your guest post idea and we'll be in touch!