Growth Spurts: Nesting
I am in full nesting mode. Mamas, you know what that is. There is something inside of us that naturally longs to prepare the home for the newest person coming along to join the family. In this case, I am preparing our home for the two boys we are in the process of adopting into our family. And it is quite fitting to call it “nesting,” since our last name is Partridge.
I can recall having this same urge as the time came closer for Callie, my eldest child, to be born. My husband and I were lying in bed one night, and I just couldn’t sleep because the nursery was nowhere close to being ready. Being the wonderful husband that he is, Kevin suggested that we get up and go get some work done in that room. It was such a good feeling to make progress in having the space prepared for our baby.
A home is created. It is more than just a place; it is an environment that should cultivate feelings of love, acceptance, comfort, unity, and peace. It should be warm and welcoming. And it should be a reflection of the people who live there–an expression of the personalities and values of each member of the family.
When you come to my house, you will see that we are very informal [Read: relaxed and somewhat messy]. We use every inch of our home; no rooms or furniture are off limits. Family photographs are a big part of our decorating. Our kids hang posters and pictures of their favorite things on their bedroom walls, and their artwork is on display throughout the house. The kitchen counters are never clear, and the stairwell may as well be a shelving unit. Books, board games (or, at least, pieces of them), electronic devices, and paper piles–OH, the paper piles!–are strewn about the house. And pretty much every room contains a heap of laundry. (But I am very thankful that my kids do their own laundry.)
I’ve heard it said that trying to keep a clean house while you have kids at home is like trying to shovel the sidewalk during a blizzard or like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos. Not to say that we should give up all efforts of cleanliness, but I think we can all agree that it is more important to have a comfortable, functional home where fun is had and life is lived, than to have a perfect-looking house.
Take a look around your house right now. What do you see? What stands out to you (besides your son’s dirty socks)? As you look, you’ll notice the objects that are most used, the possessions you hold most dear, the things that are important to you and each member of your family. These are all a reflection of what you value most in life. Like what you see?
At this moment, I am looking at the things lying on my kitchen table. I see fresh flowers from my daughter’s birthday party, candles in a bowl that says “Love” all over it, a bunch of seed packets for my husband’s garden, a coffee cup, my phone, my daughter’s application to get her driver’s permit (eek!), a bag containing about a hundred bottles of nail polish, and a big stack of adoption paperwork. And as I gaze across the rest of the kitchen, I see LOTS of dirty dishes; a countdown to a family trip to Disney World (eek!); photos of my five children…two of whom I have not yet met in person; and a refrigerator covered in photos, artwork, schoolwork, and a printed page that contains a daily reminder for us: “Your home is the single most powerful arena onearth to change a life for God!”
Home. It is so important. Well-worth the nesting time.
Carrie Bevell Partridge and the rest of the Partridges make their nest in Ridgeland, Mississippi. And though they have a lovely pear tree in their yard, they choose to live inside the house…which they call “The Peartree.”