The other day we pulled up to the front of the house we’re building to walk around the framed walls, and live in the spaces before we move in.
We do this a lot. Most every weekend, Jeremy and I unload the two littlest and wander around like we haven’t done it thirty times before.
This day, I happened to find a good pencil in my car as I stepped out the door, so I took it with me into the house and decided to wing the thoughts I’d write on the lumber that will become the bones of our house.
Normally this process is more planned out. I do this with every house we build. I sit down before I write anything and search for Bible verses or quotes for each room and write them down into categories (kids room, dining room, etc) to write again on the wood later.
But this day I wondered what would happen if, instead of just using someone else’s words, I stepped into each room and and asked myself “what are my hopes and prayers for this space?” and then wrote that down instead—mini prayers, my prayers, etched in the walls. So that’s what I did. I also googled Bible verses that correspond to my prayers and wrote those in as well.
This process is sort of like setting an intention I guess, so even if you didn’t want to use scripture, you could still write your hopes, along with a few quotes through history of people you admire. This is the very first step I take in making my house a home.
In Ellie Hope’s room, amid the prayers and verses, I plan to add Emily Dickinson’s words:
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune
Without the words
And never stops—
In our master bedroom, I will add lyrics from some of our songs:
Wise men say, only fools rush in
But I can’t help falling in love with you
Someday, when I’m awfully low
And the world is cold
I will feel a glow
Just thinking of you
And the way you look tonight
It’s delightful, It’s delicious, it’s de-lovely
I feel like if I infuse thoughtful, meaningful words into the very foundation of where my family eats, sleeps and lives, that somehow, it matters. It makes a difference.
In the kitchen, my hopes were to entertain, and nourish people. I hoped it would be a gathering place. So that is the sort of thing I wrote.
In Isabella’s bedroom I wrote hopes, reminders, and thoughts specific to her. I did the same in Jeremiah and Ellie’s room.
Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway
A wise man changes his mind. A fool, never
In Olivia’s room I specifically asked for deep sleep in that space, since she has sleeping issues.
In the room that is our guest cottage but doubles as my writing room, I hoped it would a space where deep joy and rejuvenation would occur, and creativity would flow freely. I asked for the gift of words to be plenty.
The thing about this beautiful practice is, I never actually want to do it. In theory I very much do, but in actuality, it takes a lot of concentration and consideration, and it’s hard to pause long enough to form thoughts on something that is not reality yet. It’s a discipline for me to follow through with.