I just finished reading The Nesting Place: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful by Myquillyn Smith.
Some of you might glance at a few photos in the book, and say, “That’s not my style.” But this book is not about style or taste. It’s much bigger. It’s about pushing past our fears, perfectionism, and other’s opinions to create a beautiful home. It’s about doing it on a shoestring. It’s about loving the home we’re in, not wishing for another one.
I can’t tell you how liberating The Nesting Place was.
She notes that fear and perfectionism are the biggest obstacles keeping us from creating the home we want. We’re afraid we won’t do it perfectly. I had to laugh when I read that you might be a perfectionist if you have a stack of art in a corner that’s waited to be hung for weeks.
I have some botanicals I found for a song at a church bazaar while vacationing. They’ve been sitting in the same spot in my bedroom for two months.
“It’s less about doing the ‘right’ thing and more about creating a home that works for your family right now, a home that fulfills its purpose in this season,” Smith writes.
“Wait,” you say. “What about that old saying, ‘if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right?”
I have to tell you that old saying has dogged me my entire life. Kept me from pushing forward because I might not do it right. I’m fairly sure that some folks think it’s in the Bible.
“But,” you say (Don’t you love how I think I can read your mind?), “what about Colossians 3:23?”
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.”
Well, yes. Work at making a lovely home with all your heart, but the pieces that make it lovely don’t all have to be perfect. I won’t go any further because as my mother used to say, I don’t want to “steal her thunder.” Myquillyn does a wonderful job helping us embrace the glorious imperfections.
For various reasons, Myquillyn has moved fourteen times in her eighteen years of married life. After buying or renting that many houses of varied descriptions, she writes, “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, and I don’t have to panic and attempt to make sense of it all. I’ve given up trying to control our circumstances and instead am determined to create a home wherever we are. And that’s made all the difference.”
Reading her book made me want to paint or move furniture or put branches in vases. I immediately gold leafed a carved picture frame, which wound up looking hideous, but I remembered what she said, “You can’t ruin something you hate.” I never liked that frame much anyway. I’ll do something else to it.
No matter what your resources are, whether you're raiding the Goodwill or you inherited museum quality antiques, this book will speak to you.
If you need inspiration for any creative pursuit, read The Nesting Place. Myquillyn Smith will help set you free to use your God-given creativity in a way that perhaps you never have before.
I love this writer.
Now, I’m off to arrange a gallery wall in my bedroom. I’ll share a picture later. I could even paint that carved picture frame, again, and use it.
You might also enjoy Myquillyn Smith’s blog, Nesting Place.