12.15.2014

Christmas Tour of Homes 2014 with @thenester


Last week I wrote about finding a simple balance in our newly remodeled home and our ever changing life. Our goal of simplifying extends to the Christmas season as well, the desire to store less and focus more on why we are celebrating.

Because we're now 200+ days into this home renovation project (and still not done), the only Christmas spirit being shown to the outside world is our Christmas tree through the window, and fresh pine wreaths on the front and back doors. And this year, that is enough.



After living in chaos for the past 8 months, I've realized that figuring out what is enough for you and your family from year to year is what makes your house into a home. In past years, the front of the house has been picture perfect and Christmas decor has crept into almost every corner of our home, from kitchen to bathroom to spaces that guests will never see.

This year, I'm living with tools and wood scraps, bags of insulation and cans of paint. Instead of walking in to a twinkle light wonderland by the backdoor, we have the evidence of home construction and life.

 

I could stage the pictures to show you what I want you to see, or I can share what our house really looks like as we turn it into a home. It's still Christmas, it's just not as neat - similar to the very first Christmas, when our Savior was born in a barn. Hardly neat or picture worthy, but part of the perfect story that God authored.


At first glance, our bedroom looks beautiful. But turn the camera to show the real truth and you will discover that it's also my home office - home to piles, boxes, and a big metal filing cabinet. It's not Pottery Barn, it's not a minimalists dream, but it's practical for the work I need to do. And during the month of December, it becomes a warm and inviting location to spend my days in front of a computer. One swivel in my chair and I am faced with a patchwork Christmas quilt on our bed - not really my style, but because it was lovingly handmade by my mother it is cherished and on display.



The hallway just outside our bedroom is waiting to be painted, and pictures lean against the wall as they wait to be hung. The guest bathroom has no toilet nor sink, the front bedroom has no trim or furniture, but we're getting there - one step at a time. In many ways, it's a parallel to my life as a Christian. I may look like I have it all together on the outside, but inside, I have piles and areas in need of repair. Like my house, I am a work in progress.


As I walk around our home, I pray for those unknown folks who will use this new space in the future, and that the house God has entrusted to our care will be a blessing to others. May the result of our labors be a warm and welcoming space, playing a role in the story that God is writing for us.





Merry Christmas! 

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; 
Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
[...]
For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called 
Wonderful Counselor, 
Mighty God,
Eternal Father, 
Prince of Peace.

{Isaiah 7:14 & 9:6}

Find more links at the Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes

14 comments:

  1. Good for you for being at peace with where you are in your journey right now. Your house is doing its job for your family and you are smart to be grateful! Also, your full, fat Christmas tree is so happy and jolly; LOVE it! Merry Christmas!

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    1. Welcome, and thanks, Shelley! Appreciate the kind words. Merry Christmas!

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  2. It's already beautiful even as a work in progress

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  3. I love this!! Especially how you say that your unfinished (but already beautiful, may I point out) house is like you. Amen from a fellow work in progress! Merry Christmas! : )

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    1. Thanks, fellow work in progress! :) Merry Christmas to you and the family!

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  4. Visiting from The Nester's Christmas Tour of Homes... Your decorations are beautiful! Some years you just have to come to grips with the fact that you can only do what you can do. I'm feeling that big time this year! God bless you, Carrie -- & have a beautiful Christ-filled Christmas! ~Sally

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    1. Welcome, and thanks, Sally! It's really not about the decor or the gifts or the house, is it? It's about Christ. This year, that has been made clear to me - I'm a slow learner, but a work in progress! :) Merry Christmas!

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  5. Simple is elegant! I also had to find contentment in our simple decorations this year. I also love how honest you are about picture angles and 'turning on the lights', so to speak for reality to be seen. Love the Scripture passage at the end of your post! Merry Christmas!

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    1. Merry Christmas, Kay! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

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  6. I'm visiting also from The Nester's Christmas home tour. Thanks for being real. Thanks for showing the renovations. I have had a busy fall season with my business and just today set up and decorated the tree. It is not about all this, it is about Jesus. thanks for being real.

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    1. Yes, Sandi, it IS (or absolutely SHOULD BE) about Jesus. How often have I lost Him in the background of the Christmas noise, but this year, He is front and center in my line of sight. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Merry Christmas!

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  7. I love your real Christmas tour and I also LOVE your Nativity scene. I bought a similar one on a smaller scale at our Fair Trade Market at church. I hope to find a larger one someday. :)

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    1. My mom gave us that Nativity set a few years ago - it's been set up all over this house. :) The wisemen are in the next kitchen window (still traveling!), and the shepherd and his sheep are in the window the right of the stable. One big scene. :) Merry Christmas to you and the family, Karen!

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