I didn't want a new house.
My husband and I built a beautiful life for ourselves in Oklahoma. We had a beautiful three-bedroom house in Oklahoma City, OK with a large yard, on a cul-de-sac, and amazing neighbors. We made so many memories in that home. It was the first home we bought as a married couple, where we hosted events for our church family, and where we brought home two babies. It was our place of safety, of peace. It was our little piece of heaven.
But God had other plans.
When we felt led to move to Charleston, SC in 2019, we had to say goodbye to our beautiful life and set out on a journey to forge our own path into an unknown place. We had to find a house that could be a home for our children. We needed a vision as to what we felt we needed for our family's well-being, to be able to raise our children in the way they should go and a home that would meet our needs. Finding shelter is an essential need for souls. Thankfully God had a plan.
God knows our needs.
I worried about where our family would live when we moved to Charleston. What if we can only get an apartment? How much stuff do I need to get rid of? How am I going to entertain people? Will the kids have a yard to play in?
I would bombard God with these questions and I knew he must have been chuckling at my prayers. He had this beautiful home up his sleeve during the entire process and I can't wait to share my favorite parts about it with you!
The Living Spaces: Intentionality
Our new home is located just outside of Charleston, in close proximity to the beach and historic downtown. The Lord helped us purchase a three bedroom, two-and-a-half bath with a backyard and lots of natural light!
The Living Room
Peace and Personality.
We craved a home with personality. And though personality typically means an old house, it was worth it to be able to feel like this home had a story to tell. We believed that this home, though it had a rough past, could be redeemed and we could leave it better than we found it. We went with a bold navy blue as accent walls in our living area and in our sun room. We love the navy, gold, white and wood grain palette and you will see it throughout our entire home.
The blue represents the peace we want to maintain in our home. The white represents the purity of heart and righteousness of how we want to live our lives. The gold represents the glory of God in our lives and how our trials have strengthened us. the woodgrain is a reminder to stay authentic, real and natural. You will also see hints of greenery around the home to remind us of life, newness, and prosperity.
We want to ensure that when people come into our home, it feels like a place they can relax, be at peace and feel at home.
The Kitchen & Office
Our house had SIX skylight when we purchased it. We loved the natural light in our home and it's airy design. The natural wood banisters and features made it feel more homey and down to earth. We love that our upstairs overlooks our kitchen! It makes you feel like you're outside. The cabinets don't hold as much space as our home in Oklahoma, but we have found creative ways to make it work.
We love entertaining in our new home and it was our heart's desire to find a home where we could invite our community into to share life with. We have already had countless couples and families over for dinner from our neighborhood and church- not to mention hosting family and friends from out of state! Estas en su casa <3
Having three children so close together, running a business, working in ministry and establishing our family rhythms requires structure and organization. One of my goals for the year (including moving in and unpacking) was to establish our family life. This meant a schedule, meal plans, goals, budgeting, creating and following a grocery list, and anything else that could make our days more efficient, consistent, and peaceful. When you don't have these structures in place, your home can become a place of unhealthy chaos that can trigger more tantrums from momma and babies!
My Favorite Place: The Dining Room
Our Tables Are Our Churches.
In our Oklahoma house, we didn't have a dining room where we could host big groups or eat across from one another and socialize eye to eye. I craved a place where my family could sit at the dinner table, pray together, tell about our day, and feel like a family. I have learned that the most powerful tool of discipleship is the dinner table. This is our meeting place with one another. This is where we share our hearts. This is where my children will build family identity.
A Space to Disciple Our Children.
Raising children to know the heart of God and become disciples doesn't happen the two hours a week you go to church.
It also doesn't happen in the 30 minutes we spend with our children before bed.
Ultimate Christian discipleship happens in our homes and in the interactions we have with our children daily.
Discipleship happens around the dinner table or as they watch how we respond to someone on the phone who is rude to us or the look on our face when they spill their water on the ground for the eighth time that day.
Every piece of their personhood is individually built by the interactions they experience in their childhood. If we don't have an intentional plan for developing them, someone else does. If you don't raise them, someone else will.
Raising our children to know Christ requires us to invite our children into our every day lives as we ourselves, as adults, follow Christ. Kids watch everything we do. We, along with partnership of Holy Spirit) build every single piece of who they are while they are at home with us.
We are building a training ground, a place of safety, of peace- a place of heaven's culture so that we can raise them to bring the culture of the Kingdom of God to the rest of this world and to our family's future generations.
Our Morning Huddle
Every morning (most of the time), during breakfast we have a "morning huddle" at the dining room table. Since I have full attention of my children during breakfast at the dining room table, I am able to give them an interactive routine that not only teaches them academics, but also is an opportunity to pray and read the word with them. This gives us a chance to also discuss our plans for the day so they know what to expect. The kids love to do it and they learn too!
We also try to take this time to learn a bible verse, pray, and read a bible story. Even at their young ages, they understand who Jesus is, that he loves them, and is with them every day.
We do our best to stick to our schedule but we are not afraid to change it up. Though structure is good, it is important for resilience to make sure the children are not dependent on the routine to maintain peace and discipline. More than anything, the daily schedule and the activity lists give me ideas of what to do when I want to pull my hair out because the kids feel stir crazy or is having a rough day.
I also use the dining room table when working as the CEO of my home. Any to do lists, admin work, paying bills ect. I try to do at the kitchen table (not during meal times so the family can have my full attention) so I can seem like I am still part of my children's world while working. Working at the kitchen table also allows me to keep an eye on them while they are in the living room and our playroom.
Eat & Play Together.
A very special area for our home is the playroom! We are fortunate to have an add-on bonus room off of our living room on the first level of our home. When we bought our home, the bonus room was poorly built. It had water damage from a leak in a skylight, single glass windows, no ventilation and no A/C (which in Charleston summers, you absolutely need!). With much perseverance, we remodeled it and turned it into a playroom!
Using my history in child-development, I did my best to create centers for the kids that they might find in a pre-school setting such as a role-play dress up area, a kitchen, baby care area, and an area where they can build and play pretend through toy animals, people, cars trains, blocks etc.
The kids love to play in their playroom and it's nice to have a designated place to put their toys so they don't take over the living area (can I get an Amen! from all the parents? Haha). I'm thankful to have this area so my children can make memories with each other and their friends.
Making a home is not an easy task. Home is safety, home is familiarity, home is rhythm in the chaos of life.
My dream is to make a home my children reminisce on as they are adults. I dream of making a home where my children carry it's culture with them wherever they go and as they raise the next generation. It is more than a house, more than decorations, and more than an address of a physical location- it is a sense of belonging.