Welcome to the Party!

I enjoy my small little home on the web.  And I love welcoming each of you into it.  It’s tiny, but nice.  The 10 or maybe 15 views I get each day make me feel loved, because you cared to read what I wrote, or enjoyed taking a glance at the photos I enjoy.  I adore getting comments on each post.  It’s like a cup of hot tea with a friend.

But, yesterday wasn’t tiny.  It was a party!!  And the party was big!!  And it was fun!  I know most of you, my day-by-day visitors had no clue, but instead of getting the typical “18 Views” in my stat report, I received a whopping report of 924 views!  That’s right – the few little pages I’ve written on in this little tiny corner of the web were viewed over 900 times!

I have to wonder at that point:  what did these people like so much?  Maybe it was my idea of the suitcase-bookshelf…

Doesn’t the torn handle on top just look so very chic?!  :::wink, wink:::  (Yikes – did I just use the word ‘chic’??)

Well, it took a few hours, but I finally discovered who our visitors were!  Welcome!  🙂

These visitors were kind enough to, ahem, enlighten me (as if I didn’t already know) that my home decorating is not as fashionable as they would like to see it.  “The ‘bookshelves’ are really suitcases, didn’t you know?  They don’t belong in the living room, and they especially don’t belong with those books in them!  And, those couch sectionals really need a cover on them.  The fabric showing through is ugly!   Oh yeah, and your child’s name, Nethaneel?  Woah!  Who would name a child ‘that’???”  Yeah… actual comments.  🙂  Didn’t I tell you it was a fun party??

It’s tough hearing stuff about your home that you’ve worked hard to beautify, but I’m tough, and I can handle it.

So the first thing I did was laugh.  You, my friends and family, know that we moved 6 people on a train across country less than 5 months ago, taking only 24 suitcases of luggage with us.  All of our other belongings were sold or given away.  You know that we holed up in a ‘summer house’ (that’s saying it nicely) for 3 months while waiting for our home to become available.  You know that this little bit of living room ‘decorating’ is about the best conditions we’ve lived in for the last 6 months.  When someone who doesn’t know you criticizes you, please take just a moment to laugh.

The next thing I did was learned again to be content.  Now, I’ll be absolutely honest with you.  This was the hardest step for me.  I know my living room isn’t up to mine, or anyone else’s beauty standard.  There were a lot of ‘wish lists’ that went through my brain all of a sudden!  Tons of humiliation that the world saw my bit of humble home, and many thoughts of just deleting that embarrassing post!  But then I remembered (Caleb helped a lot with this!), my home is beautiful because I love the people who enter here.  The stains are ugly, but stains of neglect on my little children’s hearts would be worse.  I’m so thankful for a husband who willingly goes to work so that I can stay home and nurture our little children.  After a few lot more thanksgivings, I could truly say that I am content with what I have.

Finally, I chose to learn a few things from my visitors.  They have some really neat ideas, and I don’t want to miss out!  So for starters, here’s what I liked about their suggestions:

“I could see nice old leather suitcases with interesting buckles, that’s a huge decorator thing.”  Awesome!  I’m gonna be looking for some old leather suitcases!

“It’s nick-knacks, not nick-nacks”  oops… okay, so next time I’ll remember to do the spell check.  🙂

All in all, I’m happy with my little home, even if it does take a while to ‘get up to the party’s standard’  🙂



17 thoughts on “Welcome to the Party!

  1. Hey, nice attitude! What a blessing to have a man who is like-minded to encourage and support you in the things that matter!
    I just had to laugh at this, though: I saw the “nick-nack” part but wasn’t going to say anything cause I know you almost never misspell things or use improper grammar. What’s hilarious to me though is that whoever corrected you didn’t even know how to spell it correctly! Check it out – it’s still wrong!
    Way to take criticism, make it constructive even if it was not intended that way, and then move onward and upward!

  2. I’m not a Christian but I know stability when I see it online. You have beautiful, happy kids, a strong marriage and firm beliefs while the women of FJ are, for the most part, disenfranchised, lost and angry.

    They try to disguise this anger by calling it “snark” but we know better. The anger still shines through.

    Sadly, they all could learn a LOT from you but they are too blinded by anger to grasp this reality. Instead, they cling to their “special snowflake” status so tightly that they are unable to improve their lives in any significant fashion.

    I’m glad you were able to consider the source and dismiss the stupidity. Your kids are truly blessed to have such a role model.

    • Thank you for your kind comments toward me. 🙂
      I’m sure there are some women who are angry, passing it off as ‘snark’. (There’s some of those women in every group!) But, I’d say from my experience most of them are just trying to have a little fun on the side. I’ve seen many of them be very kind! I might disagree with their version of fun, but that doesn’t mean they are angry. I actually appreciate the tips I’ve been given by them, and it’s excellent to think of different ways I could add a little more personality to my home. 🙂

  3. I’m glad you have seen the light side of it.

    I’ve been there, done that, with the bare house to furnish from scratch and zero money to do it with, so I know what it is like. It’s good you see the funny side.

    If I wasn’t so far away from you, I’d send you some things we’ve recently cleared out.

    • Thank you! Life just wouldn’t be enjoyable if we couldn’t laugh at what comes our way! I appreciate those of you who have done this before, using nothing to make a welcoming home. There’s so much I can learn!

  4. You’re so funny! Is it bad that I almost wish for a little more snark just so I can read your inspiring and funny responses?

  5. Hi, Deliberate Doodles–I found you through the link at FJ. I really admire your post here, I’m really sorry your feelings were hurt (you had every right to be). Usually when someone’s blog is mentioned, the person “breaks up” the link, so the blog owner can’t tell that the referring traffic is coming from us. That didn’t happen in your case, I don’t know why. (I don’t know if that makes you feel any better, but at least you couldn’t read any of the comments).

    Most of the people (including me) on FJ were very deeply hurt by fundamentalism in our past, and that pain continues into the present. For me, FJ is a place to vent and a support group and not feel alone. But I also know that people who get talked about on FJ do see comments about themselves and get really hurt as well.

    Just so you know, your blog was picked up because so many people grew up in extreme poverty–their church taught that only men should work while women should have as many kids as possible (that was the underlying reason). When I read your post here I see that you moved cross-country on a train with only 24 suitcases–that is incredible! And no wonder you are starting over with decorating! You said you had picked up some thrifty decorating ideas from the FJ thread so I have a couple more for you.


    I have a really hard time throwing things away (a little bit of a hoarder) so I think you’re a bit lucky actually, having only the necessities!

    • Hey! Thanks for those ideas! You are SO right that I need window coverings. It’s been bugging me for a while now, but I couldn’t find fabric big enough to cover these huge windows. It helps that we usually have this room shut off from the rest of the house, so I don’t really mind people looking in, but still…

      After reading over the suggestions on that link, I think I like this idea the best: http://theletteredcottage.net/dropcloth-drapes/ But we definitely don’t have the money to do it yet, so while I save my pennies, I’m going to do this: http://www.budget101.com/recipes/id82.htm

      Thank you for your openness about fundamentalism. I know several people who have been hurt by Christians who simply try to push their own agenda. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that at some point I’ve unknowingly participated in some of that. :-/ It’s a trap that can easily be fallen into. All I can say is that my LORD, Jesus Christ, is better than me. Thank goodness God takes the rotten sinner that I am, and looks at me through His Son, Jesus Christ.

  6. You certainly have an admirable sense of humor – and, really, nothing beautifies a house quite like good cheer: “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith.” — Proverbs 15:17

  7. I found you at FJ as well. I lurk there and enjoy reading “both” sides of the issues. Sometimes both are ridiculous! They can be cruel at times and raise the hackles, but they can also be kind and caring- just a nice cross-section of life!

    As for the curtains, have you thought about using tissue paper? You can fold it and make it interesting. It’s cheap and requires no tools except scissors and tape- and velcro if you want to get fancy! If you want light, just fold it down. Don’t feel the urge to have strangers look in your home? Just fold it back up and fasten it!

    My favorite quote is, “I have done so much with so long with so little, now I can do everything with nothing.”

    Your family looks happy and that is more important than material possessions. I’d rather have a room full of happy people than fancy furniture any day!

  8. I think you have done quite well with your decorating. Most of us decorate with free or hand-me-downs. You have been a good steward with what you have been given. You have a beautiful family. I also agree with you that you have much to be thankful for. I hope you keep posting on your blog. And yes, even your decorating ideas. You never know who you might be helping. Hang in there sweetie. I’m proud of you and you have a great sense of humor.

  9. Hey, DD, I’ve been a dedicated FJian for almost 2-1/2 years, and it dismayed me that so many over there snarked on your LITERALLY no-cost decor. OTOH I disagree with your fan who calls many FJians “for the most part, disenfranchised, lost and angry.” Although I am going to suggest that “for the most part, disenfranchised, lost and angry” be added as one of our number-of-posts status bars!
    8-D I haven’t had to decorate for free in many years, but I keep my hand in because it’s just so nice to know (a) I can do it and (b) when I get tired of it, I can donate it back or (c) if it breaks or is ruined, it’s not a lot of $$ down the drain.

    I am intrigued that you sold everything but your clothes and started afresh in a new place. That, my girl, is gutsy and I applaud you for it!

    I’m going to lurk some at your blog, just to see how things go. Oh, btw — one of my favorite shabby chic moments was stacking suitcases flat atop each other to make end tables. You could do that with some suitcases that are full of clothes. Voila’ — a place to set your coffee cup *and* more room wherever your suitcases normally would be stored.

    Keep laughin’. It’s truly God’s gift toward sanity!
    MamaJunebug (for the record, quite enfranchised, not lost and very merry 😉 )

    • 🙂 I agree – stacking suitcases is totally shabby, but I just might have to try it out if I can’t find end tables really soon! (I’ll try to find something to cover it with, though…) 🙂 I must admit that these 24 suitcases hanging around my house are driving me a bit batty… creative uses for them are few and far between!
      Feel free to lurk as long as you wish. Leave a comment every now and again so I can say hi. 🙂
      And by the way…. stay enfranchised, not lost, and merry! It does the world a whole lot of good. 🙂

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