a few weeks ago i purchased a book that was all over instagram. with it’s pretty cover and glossy pages i figured it was just another ‘how to’ coffee table book. i had never once heard of ‘the nester’ or her blog, or even followed her on instagram.
and then i started reading the nesting place by Myquillyn Smith- better known as ‘the nester’, and slowly began to see just how quickly i misjudged this book. the mantra she lives by is ‘it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful’, and for someone who LOVES perfect this was strange. with two clicks of my tongue my husband can tell i’m content because whatever it may be (a clean kitchen, a made bed, a well staged mantle, fitting perfectly next to him in bed) its perfection steadies my heart. i thrive on perfect, when in reality i should thrive on grace.
grace is forgiving the imperfections and replacing discontent with love. grace is not apologizing for cracked terra cotta floors that i think are hideous, but putting a dashing new rug over them until they can be replaced. grace is allowing others to make life in their home meaningful to them, and allowing myself to do the same for my small family, without judgment.
as i read the pages the words slowly started to saturate my heart. in so many ways i was doing it all wrong. i was staging my home for other’s approval, or putting off using the best of my things because they were… well, i don’t know? they were meant for company only? surely, i am not that in love with my ‘things’ to think that i own items too good for use by my own family on a regular basis. so when i started this book i thought by the end i would have all the tricks to being happy in my home just the way i had been living in it. but in truth, by the end i was in awe of what i had been missing out on. we are blessed to have our home, imperfections and all. it’s the living that happened here before us that make this house the one we prayed for. it’s the worn floors that can’t be refinished because they aren’t strong enough to face the sander one more time. it’s my imperfections. it’s changes that need to happen within me.
so in time i will learn to ditch perfect and entertain imperfection. i will learn to use my good dishes more, and not be afraid to make mistakes. the beautiful words below make it easy to break my own rule of never rereading a book.
‘i don’t open my home because it’s finally done and presentable. i share it for the same reason i wear a bikini to the pool. it’s not because i think i look great in it. it’s because i’m finally okay that i don’t. it’s the same with our home. i don’t share it because it’s perfect; i share it because i’m finally okay that it’s not. i can accept the fact that my house and life and body aren’t perfect, because i trust there is a greater purpose. i trust that God knows what He’s doing…’ (pg. 21)
‘i’ve started calling dreadful circumstances lovely limitations. lovely limitations can come in many forms. a tiny budget can be a lovely limitation, but so is a tiny room without any windows.’ (pg.102)
‘we currently have nine stump tables in our home. yes, real stumps. yes, i am addicted. it started with a beloved fallen tree from the back yard, and now friends and neighbors bring me stumps.’ (pg. 139)
thank you, nester, for your honesty and grace. thank you for permission to ease up and for the reminder that home décor should speak loudly of those who live among it. thank you for being the inspiration for our stump tables, to which God so kindly gave me with a fallen tree in our back yard a few weeks ago. thank you for being an example of how sweet it is to love the life Christ has uniquely given to each of us.