How to Really Make a Home

I used to think making a home required loads of money and an eye for style.

I was wrong.

(Good thing because my money tree is withered and I’m nearsighted).

It has so little to do with square footage and updated flooring and *stuff*.

Making a home has a lot to do with perspective and inspiration.

I’ve had a millionaire in my home with more money than I can imagine. I watched their eyes take in my small space and simple taste. I wanted to offer excuses.

I’ve had religious refugees in my home with less earthly possessions than I can imagine. I watched their eyes take in my wealth and excess. I wanted to offer excuses.

Perspective: My house is big to some, small to others, but it is more than enough. It may get smaller next year or it may get bigger in five years. Size doesn’t matter, decor isn’t important. It’s putting myself in the shoes of the people who walk through the door and realizing that there is no comparison. What I have is a gift.

I don’t have designer brands or well-known pieces, but I have inspiration on my table:

I have soul-stirring words at every glance:

I have reminders of perspective in my kitchen:

And words to live by on my walls:

Pieces of the globe perched in view, celebrated like memorials, so I will never forget:

Simple invitations to stop and give thanks for life’s simple gifts, bird and nest:

Inspiration: Making a home is really simple. It’s providing a safe, warm place for the inhabitants to grow closer to each other and God. A place that encourages them to love one another and Him….

How do you really make a home?

Where I got my inspiration:

*I’m not getting paid to link some of my favorite things, but there are a couple of affiliate links thrown in.


  1. 1


    it’s amazing how many post I read today about “making Home” (mine blog was have the same theme today, making home) I love your post and all those things make is welcoming and showing the Love of Christ :-)

  2. 4


    Beautiful post and I so agree. I think the most important that in making a welcoming and lovely home is to let Him shine through you in all you do and say, and welcome everyone great or not with true love. Money doesn’t make a home, love does. Hugs, Marty

  3. 5


    I’m so glad that money doesn’t make a home, because we have plumb run out. My love for my husband, kids and animals make our home. A warm home cooked meal makes our home. Even the life sized permanent marker drawing in my 5 year olds room makes our home. I was guilty of thinking my home was too small, too outdated, too messy, and too outdated to be a home. I used to cry leaving a friend’s house, because hers was bigger, warmer and nicer than mine. As I have matured, I have come to realize what really makes a home. Thank god.

  4. 9

    Larissa says

    I have been reading your blog for a while, but this is the first time I have ever posted a comment (on any blog!)…

    The subject of your post today really struck a chord in me. We have lived in our house for 8 years, but many days I just don’t feel peaceful and calm in my home. Some of that is because there’s frequently something that breaks (requiring money we don’t have), but just yesterday I realized it could be something else…

    I’ve always enjoyed watching “home” shows on HGTV and reading blogs about people who decorate their homes on a budget or make craft projects out of castaway items or write step-by-step details about their home remodel.

    I really love looking at all the beautiful projects the women have done, but I finally realized that all of this “outside noise” was affecting the way I was living in my home.

    Subconsciously it was making me feel like I should be decorating my rooms better…working on a weekend painting projects….looking for bargains in thrift stores and online.

    The problem with that is I don’t have time for any of that right now. I’m trying to raise two daughters, 10 and 12, and their needs/activities are time consuming. Also, I’m working on my own business to help provide for our family.

    All of those blogs and TV shows were diverting my time, energy and focus from more important things.

    AND, I think I was actually starting to live as if my house was for sale (even though we’ll be here for at least 8 more years). I had actually started looking at projects from a prospective buyer’s standpoint (“oh, those faucets will need to be replaced…etc”) That is no way to live! I never felt at peace in my own home.

    SO, I’ve taken “Nate Berkus” off my DVR. I’ve taken all the home and decor blogs off my RSS feed. And I’ll stay away from HGTV!

    Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll be able to focus on what really matters in my home–my husband and daughters–and NOT whether I refinished a table that I found on Craig’s List.

    Whew…I guess I needed to get that out! Thanks….

    • 9.1


      Ou should see this stool I have. It could stand a paint job and when I look at it I know those other bloggers would do it. I’m like you, just no time for it right now!

    • 9.2

      kristen says

      Larissa-oh girl, I’ve been there! I know exactly what you’re talking about. I think you’ve made some very wise decisions. I made a decision to get off that track in life-best thing I’ve ever done. Praying for you!!

    • 9.4


      I’m a craft/ idea blogger and I even face the same challenges of trying to keep up with all the ideas that the big bloggers are coming up with / doing. In the end I decided that I’m going to set my own pace, do my own thing and be happy with it. If I want to do some home project than I will but if I just don’t have time with for it or a passion for it, I’m going to be happy to put up a blog post that has nothing to do with crafts or home decor. We all have to do what is before for our lives and keeping up with others is not best for mine. Thanks for you comment, it was great to read.

  5. 10


    Hello! I am here from Ann’s blog and I had to stop and say thank you– thanks for this post and for the heart behind it. You are just transmitting peace.

    And Larissa’s comment above it great— we can totally be thieves of our own contentment by the input we have set up. I’ll be pursuing some of her choices.

    Thanks everyone!

  6. 13

    Mollianne says

    Kristen, you are so right. I lived in a lovely house that was an unhappy home for some time. I now live in a house that is in great need of TLC but the home is happy. I overheard one of my stepdaughters say once, ‘Dad and Molli would take that. You know them…The crappier the happier!’ It stung at first, but now we laugh and say it is our family motto. We fix broken things rather than buying new ones. We live well within or below our means. We drive older, reliable but paid for automobiles. In doing that, we find that we are able to give with joy from our bounty. Do I occasionally dream of a BH&G bedroom. Sure. Does it really matter? Nope! Well said, dear. Well said.

  7. 14

    Crystal says

    I have that Compassion calendar up, too! I love your “I’ve had a millionaire in my home…” paragraphs. So worth re-quoting!

  8. 15

    Kysia says

    Thanks for the post. Funny how we, as women, are always comparing ourselves to others. With an Interior Design background I used to get asked a lot how to make “this room” or “that room” prettier. I was always stumped with the same struggle because design is so relative to time, location and even trends. I had a wise woman once tell me, “a house doesn’t make a family.” As a mom, I’ve often had to close the magazines and turn off the design T.V. in order to redirect my thoughts where they need to be. God has blessed my family with wonderful memories in all the homes we have lived in reguardless of size, reguardless of design. In many areas I now decorate with scripture verses, quotes, treasures collected (from my kids drawings to sea shells found) and photos that remind me of where we’ve been, the stuggles we’ve conquerred, and the dreams we have yet to fulfill.

  9. 16


    THAT is it! You are my “soul stirrer”. This morning I kept thinking, God is using Kristen to help (really I thought FORCE hahahahaahh) me grow in uncomfortable ways. And then I just read this! Soul stirrer, that’s you!!!

    Oh wait, that has nothing to do with making a home. Well, I’m near-sighted too. And I got tired of the feeling of gluttony. At some point, it is just gluttonous to spend our money/time/talent/effort on material things in my opinion. I decided I’d continue to work and make a difference in the Kingdom of God (because here’s the deal: I love my job but again, it can get to a point where it just feel gluttonous).

  10. 18


    Beautiful. Thanks for the reminder of what is important. I feel encouraged that what we have is enough, and inspired to be creative again about making our home a place of inspiration and warmth. I spent some time last year in the slums of Cambodia, and vowed then to be thankful for the space in which we live.. because, really, there is so very much to be thankful for.

  11. 20


    Having been in your home, I can definitely say that it is a warm and thoughtful place. I noticed almost all of those “decorations” and their messages sunk right into my heart.

    Thanks again for having us!

  12. 21


    I’m not a decorator. I don’t have an eye for it at all. I’m good at copying something, but I’ll take a magazine picture into a store, balk at the price and leave.

    The thing is, I could afford it. I just refuse to pour money into my environment. I donate money instead of buying an expensive centerpiece. I meet someone in the soup kitchen who needs help and take them grocery shopping instead of buying a wall hanging.

    I love to entertain. I wonder sometimes what people think the first time they come into my home. I’m “Hallee the Homemaker” – I’m sure they’re expecting a Martha Stewart layout. Instead they get us. A clean home overrun with books about God and Bible studies, books about Scientific Creationism, movies and movies and family games and family games spilling off of the built in bookshelves that line one whole wall. I love to have a clean home. I dust stacks of books and I move nic nacs out of the way to put more books. Shift books aside to make room for an hors de vours tray. And really hope that no one minds sharing the dining room with the homeschool supplies.

    My only prayer about my home is that my husband and children love their home and consider it a sanctuary. That’s my only goal.


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