my house and my heart.

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yes! that is a basketball hoop in our house. the kids got it from their grandparent's for Christmas and since it's winter we just left it inside for now. you should try it.
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Sage in her glory, picking away.
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i think this is the first time ever, i've posted pictures of our home. these were taken yesterday, hunter was running a 103 degree fever, i was potty training Sage and everything was far from perfect, for the record.

in less than one month i have a VIP coming to visit. this is someone i kind of have a girl crush on and am almost certain i'll be speechless the moment she knocks on my door. then it will be really awkward because i won't know what to say and she will be staying with me for four days. in the meantime, i look around my house all panicky and think, um, i need to get this place up to speed... i.e. lets repaint the entire house so it looks less like an earth-toned cave, and i certainly should remove the bright blue beach towel we have stapled to a gate that keeps our dog from peeing all over our couch. oh, the mantle - that thing hasn't been updated in seven years - along with most every other room, i should really make it my business to update. i want the best for my guests!

all this, so i can appear to have my life in order in a pretty package.

let's get to the heart, the root of it: honestly, this thinking is completely self-seeking. i'm hiding behind a guise of wanting the best for my visitors when really i want them to think the best of me.

this is when i can choose to believe truth or believe a lie.

the lie says i can't be a good hostess unless i have the best and the prettiest and the nicest. the lie says i have to act like something i'm not in order to impress, in order to win approval. (meanwhile, i'm certain my VIP is like, girl, take a chill pill. i'm not the President. plus, i'm not here for your home!)

also, as a side: hello! i have so much. even though it's not new or the nicest, it's much newer and nicer than most places in the world. REALITY CHECK!

truth comes in and dismantles my aspirations for my mantle. seriously. this is a heart matter and not a house matter. (i am not saying that having nice decor is bad, or getting new things for your home is wrong. but it would be wrong for me to do so, because one, we don't have the money for it, and two, my reasons for doing so.)

speaking of hospitality anyway,
what we have to offer is from God, and should be offered in faith as an act of worship, not for our gain but for the good of others (Romans 12:1-8). -page 51, Journey to the Cross
once again, as most things go, it's not all about me. having people into my home isn't about upholding an image, or making myself look better than i am.
the Truth is, it's not about me. it's all about Him. The Truth may not change my circumstances [or change the color of paint on my walls]-- but it will change me. the Truth will set me free. -Nancy Leigh DeMoss, page 235, Lies Women Believe
maybe your house looks different than mine, maybe you don't desire new paint on your walls, maybe it's something else, but i'm certain we have this in common: we want approval. and if we aren't rooted in Christ's finished work on the cross as our approval, we will look elsewhere until we find it - whether it's from our calling, our careers, our family, our friends. our hearts can only be settled, our approval can only be resting in an unchanging God who loves unconditionally because of His Son's sacrifice.


  1. First of all, a big THANK YOU for your honesty :) I think we can all relate with your initial reaction to guests. I loved seeing your house, thanks for posting the pics. I think it is made even more lovely because it looks like REAL people actually LIVE there! The colors are so warm and welcoming.

    I know your guest will enjoy staying with you, they will enjoy your house but love your heart the most!

  2. Oh, Carissa, your home is just what I imagined, so lovely and so YOU! And, what truth, it isn't about us, what we have or don't have, it's all about HIM. I've been so reminded of that lately and I'm trying hard to "rest in our unchanging God" because that's is when we experience the peace that only HE can give. Blessings my dear and I can't wait to hear about this VIP! Hugs!

  3. I struggle with the same feelings, and have at times even held back from hosting. Until I finally was hit with the truth - our home is ours. Its beautiful, far from perfect but a happy loving home and withholding that from others would be well, sinful. Thanks for sharing your home (and heart)! You have a beautiful home and a beautiful family and you'll have lots of fun showing that to you friend!

  4. This has been a running theme for me lately in discovering and being firm in my identity in Christ and not other things. Thanks so much for sharing, and to be honest, I really love that your photos show a house that's lived in. :)

  5. So well said Carissa! I too easily get caught and tangled up in all those lies. I've been struggling with finding my worth and joy in other things lately- thank you for sharing your heart on this and blessing me with yet another reminder that my identity in in Christ ALONE!

    Now will you send me hourly emails to remind me of this . . . just kidding.

    Have so much fun with your friend! How fun!!!!

  6. i always feel that way when i know new people are coming over. i look around and feel like everything needs a facelift, to make us look better. like we have a better home than what we do. and you're right, they're all lies. my hospitality doesn't rely on the mantle that also hasn't been updated in YEARS, but on my heart. and not to deviate from the conversation at hand, but i'm in love with the wall color of your living room. :)

  7. whew, girl.
    amen. i sure love you, and your beautiful, imperfect home :)

  8. i love your imperfect home. its beautiful. as are you.

  9. sister. just last week i had a blog reader come for a short visit. i spent more effort fretting over my home that i almost missed the opportunity to to enjoy her company. i had to stop myself several times from jumping up to go and "fix" something while she was there. sad, but true. of course, she didn't care at all. such a waste of my energy.

    your home is beautiful!


  10. i suffer from that imperfect home...hello 6 kids and a dog. i can't throw hubs in the mix b/c he was born to 2 neat ocd freaks and i was born to the opposite. i fall in the middle. i bust my booty everyday to keep the house how i know my husband would prefer...but i fail and fail often. it hurts my heart b/c i know keeping house honors him....thankfully he works from home and has spent time with the kids sees how difficult it really is right now....

  11. "all this, so i can appear to have my life in order in a pretty package.

    let's get to the heart, the root of it: honestly, this thinking is completely self-seeking. i'm hiding behind a guise of wanting the best for my visitors when really i want them to think the best of me."

    love this! TRUTH.

  12. Aww what a vulnerable sweet post. I totally get this because YES we all do this in some area of life. BTW I love your house. It's so cute to see a peek into your surroundings! And it's CUTE! I love the happy paint colors and everything looks so comfortable. Like a place I would totally hang out while kids run wild in the yard and we chat about life and stuff. Just saying.

    Also.. side note here. I am laughing... but not at you. I'm sure you know this... but I want to reassure you that of anyone in the world SHE will be absolutely at home ANY where and will not care one single bit about anything you feel need updating or whatever. As soon as you meet her in real life you won't even think about any of that stuff. You'll see. ;) I promise.

  13. this is hard to read since i know its true for myself too! such a great reminder on so many levels. thanks for sharing your heart and encouraging me!

  14. Right on! I think your house is really nice, I was getting a little green with envy looking at your pictures! I struggle with this lie weekly!! Great post!

  15. I love this post because I think all women can relate, or at least all of us with small children, who are tripping over toys each and every day! Ha! I love the flashcards hanging in Hunter's room! Where did you find them? Also, for the record, my 4-year-old has been roller skating and riding a scooter around our house because it's too cold to play outside!

  16. Your house is lovely! It's very 'you'!!

  17. i can relate friend. if kelle hampton came knocking on my door i think i would pee myself. literally. and if i knew she was coming i'd probably want to buy an entirely new wardrobe...cause that girl is always put together and i'm SO NOT!

    btw i adore your house. can't believe how clean it is and smudge free for having two littles;) i'm so glad you finally showed it. i've always wondered.

    we are all the same you know. wait til you meet me. you'll be like, uh i was nervous for her? ;)

  18. Your house is lovely! I love all the kid touches throughout it!

  19. First I must say....THAT IS THE CLEANEST KITCHEN I HAVE EVER SEEN! Tell me your secrets! ;0)

    Secondly, thank you for this lovely post.
    I'm in a heart overhaul lately, trying to shed 1 gazillion pounds of my people pleasing, desperate to be liked by all ways!

    Posts like this inspire my heart and affirm my convictions.

  20. it's beautiful. your home and your sweet fam!

  21. It's funny...I was thinking how bright and clean and fresh your house seems. :) It's good to take a look at our hearts. I know you are going to have such a great time with your guest (and I am excited to hear about it...how fun to meet someone that means so much!)!!

  22. Beautifully said! So so SO true! Wrote about something similar on my blog today too:)

  23. becky told me she was visiting you next month..and she's so excited to be with YOU.

    we ALL do this...it's so easy to focus on the outer stuff, right?

    your inner stuff is beautiful, and I know she'll love every second of being with you....

  24. So I'm not sure how your house is so clean?? Teach me! Haha!! I love the sneak peak and your kids have the coolest toys!!!

  25. carissa, you totally hit the nail on the head...again!
    your house is just lovely and your heart?
    well that's even lovlier.
    you two are going to have so much fun together!
    i'm excited already to see pics of you two beauties.
    i struggle with this, too.
    my pride is pretty ugly and God has been showing me that holding a mirror up to my heart.
    hard, but so needed.
    so thankful that He cares about me enough to teach me these things.

  26. Sweet home, sweet heart...so much to be thankful for!

  27. your house looks beautiful!


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