It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to jump into the second installment (catch Part 1 here) of The Home Stories, the current series here at mercy(INK). It’s all about how these awesome women create home for their families, no matter where they live or what their physical dwelling might look like.
Please welcome Allyson of A Heart for Home!
Tell us a little about yourself and your family.
First of all, I am blessed to be saved by grace and to be a child of God. My husband, Tim, and I have been married for seven years. We are so thankful to be walking through life together. So far, God has blessed us with four children. Our oldest turned five last month, so we have four preschoolers at home who keep us quite busy. Tim and I want to live all of our life for God’s glory and we long for simplicity, though most days find us falling flat on our faces and being reminded, yet again, how much we need to rely on God.
Where do you blog? What do you blog about?
I blog at A Heart for Home where I share our God and family centered life. I write about the joys of being a keeper of the home, organic gardening, homeschooling, making healthy food from scratch, my latest craft obsessions, free printables and much more.
Every Friday I share a project I’ve completed the previous week and invite my readers to link up their own projects at my Finished Friday blog party.
What does the word “Home” mean to you?
To me, “home” describes the place where I feel loved and accepted. It’s a place of comfort and encouragement…a place I can be myself without fear or rejection. This is what I want to give my family as well. I’ve found that the feeling of home is much more important than the look of the physical house.
Where do you call home now and for how long have you lived there?
My husband and I recently relocated our family back to the area where we both grew up. While we could easily find some places we’d rather live for a while, the majority of both of our families live here. In the long run we’d rather trade the mountains for our children growing up knowing their grandparents.
What are some things you do to create home for your family?
My husband is a self proclaimed neat freak. So, in a physical sense the biggest way I can make our home feel comfortable for him is by making sure everything has it’s place. This may sound simple, but for the closet messy that I am this is an almost daily struggle as I balance the duties of our physical home with the demands of the precious little ones instructed to my care.
Another big way that I make our house a home is by simply focusing on serving the people who live here. One of my top priorities is to look well to the ways of my household. The only way I can do this is be relying on God’s strength! My life is full, but I know he has not placed more on me than He can handle. So I strive to find joy as I serve my husband, train and teach our children, tidy our house, and climb out from under the mountain of laundry.
If walls could talk, yours would say….
Please, clean me :)
What (or who) inspires you?
As far as home decor goes, I am really inspired by clean, white spaces with an eclectic blend of natural and industrial elements. Of course, this is much easier to find on Pinterest than in our small, fairly crammed townhouse gratefully filled with post college hand-me-down furnishings. But I can still dream…
What is your favorite space in your home and why?
I’d have to say that my favorite space is our bed. Not our bedroom, but simply our bed. It’s really the only space in our home that matches and really feels put together. A couple of years ago, my parents came to visit while we were living in a different state while my husband finished up school. They brought us a new set of sheets and a matching bed set. I still love making my bed every day simply because I love how pretty and inviting our bed looks.
In fact, I’m tempted to make excuses that I would want to clean and tidy more if I liked the way my house looked, but I’m continually reminded that there are so many people in the world who would be thrilled with what I already have!
What are some of your favorite things in (or around!) your home?
I’m not really a fan of any of our bigger pieces, but I do have some favorite home accessories.
I love these faux stained glass pictures that the kids and I recently made (even though I can’t get them to hang straight) and a beautiful wooden bowl that I picked up at Goodwill for $1.
I also love my giant fork and spoon that hang above the small opening between our kitchen and dining area.
If money were no object, what one purchase would you make for your house?
Well, since we don’t own our own home yet, that would be on the top of my list. But a single item would probably be a really great built-in shelving/cabinet system for our living room. I really love the minimalist/sparse look, but we just don’t have very much space for everything we use in our 1000 square foot townhouse. In fact, I’m thinking another major purge is in order!
What do you value most about your home?
The people who live in it!
Even when it means the living room looks like this…
How would you describe your style (in regards to home decorating) (modern, country, comfortable, etc)?
Eclectic Simplicity. I’m definitely a form and function type of girl…my husband is a complete function type of guy, which is why there is a large box of live baby chicks behind our couch right now :)
Where do you go for home decorating inspiration? (certain magazines, stores, websites?)
Pinterest. Check out my home focused boards:
First Impressions…Front Door Fun
I saw on your blog that you homeschool. How does that affect how your home functions on a daily basis?
Organizing our materials for homeschooling has been one of the hardest things I’ve tried to do in our current home. I don’t really like that the only logical place to store all of our supplies and materials is in our living room. I’d love to be able to hide more of our homeschool items, but I don’t really want to spend anything to do it in our current home since we’re planning on buying land within the next couple of years. For now I think I’ll try to purge and reorganize my materials and search for ways to make them less of an eye sore. I’d love any suggestions!
Do you have any tips for moms on setting up effective work spaces for big fams?
As far as work spaces for big families, I’d encourage everyone to remember that often less really is more. While I love having lots of different options for teaching our kids I’ve discovered that we tend to use the same few things over and over while other materials simply take up space on a shelf. The same is true for kids’s books and toys, items in our kitchen and clothes in our closets.
What do you hope your children will remember from growing up at home? What kind of environment do you aim to create?
We want our kids to remember us living out an authentic relationship with God. Everything else is extra. So, while I’d love for them to remember making homemade bread and piling on the couch to read lots of stories together, those things can’t be my main focus. Instead I need to make sure I’m teaching them daily, with my actions and my words, how to love God and love others, even when it’s hard. In an eternal light my daily actions won’t make a positive impact unless they are motivated by love for and obedience to God.
Wowza. There’s a mama with a mission, right?! I’m so encouraged by Allyson and her views on life and faith and making home. Thank you, Allyson!!!
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