Encouraging the Perfectionist – Opening Your Heart and Home
Today’s post, encouraging the perfectionist – opening your heart and home, is one that I hope will help you as much as it did me!
Today I’m sharing a guest post written by my beautiful mother, Charisse on encouraging the perfectionist – opening your heart and home.
Every week I make it my goal to publish two blog posts, but this week my husband and I decided to take the kids up to the family cabin and spend some time away together.
When I’m home, it’s hard for me to relax. Even when I purpose in my heart to take a break from projects and chores, the next thing I know there’s a paint brush in my hand or I’m out in the garden pulling weeds!
Can anyone else relate?! My husband is very similar, and we love going “up north” as we say in Michigan to unplug and focus on each other.
So, rather than doing a second post this week, I asked my Mom if she would like to share a guest post instead. If you’re new here, my Mom has a blog called Holding Hope, where she’s passionate about encouraging and uplifting women. She had already written out these thoughts before I ever thought to message her…isn’t that amazing? When she sent me her post, I couldn’t believe how fitting it was for my blog!
We are both perfectionists and introverts – which I know might sound crazy since she is a pastor’s wife and I have a blog and YouTube channel lol! It’s the truth though, and if you’re anything like us I hope her words below encourage you!
Do you ever see people and try to picture what type of home they live in or the way they might decorate that home? Do you ever drive through your neighborhood and look at house after house and wonder what it looks like inside?
Maybe I’m a little weird, but I do.
When I listen to audiobooks, when I watch work out videos, when I read devotionals or even meet random people, I find myself picturing what type of home they might live in.
I’m really not sure why, haha.
Maybe it makes me feel that if I knew, I would know that person on a more personal level. I guess I want to know them deeper than just a face on a screen or a voice on a podcast.
Recently I’ve done something way out of my comfort zone.
I’ve invited people in at the spur of the moment.
Into my home, my introvert safe place.
I was fine inviting people in on social media, hiding behind a screen. It’s so easy to stage your house~just shove all the stuff you don’t want people to see out of the camera’s view. Even better, you don’t have to actually see people’s reactions to your pictures after they’re posted.
I was okay with having people over, as long as I knew way in advance so that I could prepare. Even then I would stress.
I’m such a Martha. (Luke 10:41-42)
None of this spur of the moment thing.
As little as a year ago this was something I never would have done, because of fear.
Fear that my house wasn’t clean enough, but mostly just fear over what people would think.
I believed the lies I told myself~ if I invite people in they might think I’m bragging about my home, they don’t care about how I decorate. They don’t care about antiques. This is not Pinterest worthy. They might think I’m nuts for decorating this way… and on and on.
The lies were my escape route.
But God was nudging my heart.
Let them in Charisse. Just let them in.
And I realized it wasn’t just about my home. It was about me, and the fear I had over the perception I thought people would have of me. My dumb pride always getting in the way.
If you’ve followed along on my blog journey you know this “introvert thing”, and my worry over what people think is not something new to me. I’m continually sweeping that “hospitality thing” Christ talks about under the rug. (1 Peter 4:9, Romans12:13, Titus 1:8) It’s something God has really been getting on me about for a while now.
I’m a mess in progress with a hope in heaven and a God of great grace.
And so, I took the plunge and at the spur of the moment with no tidying, with no cleaning, with no worry that my floors were covered with grass clippings or beach sand or that dirty dishes were in the sink, with no worry that maybe I had left my sports bra hanging on the bathroom doorknob or that one of my grandkids did not flush the toilet,
I let them in.
And then something funny happened, again and again and again opportunities came up and again and again I let them in. And every single time I was amazed at the gratitude, the smiles, the appreciation, the kind words. I felt a freedom, I felt a happiness, I felt a joy in the fact that my home was lived in and traces of my grandchildren were everywhere I looked, because my home was filled with love.
Just yesterday, on a whim I invited a sweet acquaintance in to see my home. I’ve known who she was for years and always thought “she seems to be the kind of person I’d like to get to know”. But that’s where it ended. I admired from afar. Introvert Charisse never got to know her.
And so I invited her in. I’m so glad I did.
She completely surprised me with her kind words~ “Who knew! It’s beautiful! Do your neighbors know this is what your home looks like inside?”
Her last comment is what got me.
No, no they probably don’t. Because I’ve always convinced myself that they wouldn’t care.
After she left I really thought about it. Why had I convinced myself that others wouldn’t care to be invited in when I readily admit that I would LOVE to peek inside the homes of others?
Our homes are an extension of our hearts. Our safe place. Our comfort. That’s why I don’t necessarily think that the gratitude and smiles really had so much to do with opening my front door and showing people how I decorate, but more so with opening my heart and sharing that comfort with them.
Maybe you are the very opposite of me. Maybe you aren’t an introvert and thoroughly enjoy having people over all the time. Maybe it’s not hard for you at all. But sometimes I think it’s a little hard for all of us to truly open up our hearts. To be vulnerable with others and allow them to see that vulnerability~ sports bra, unflushed toilet and all.
And so I encourage all you introverts today~ open your home to others.
And to you extroverts~ good for you!! I strive to get to that place.
But for both~ open your hearts. Let others in. If we never open our hearts to others, we can never truly care for each other, pray for each other (Ephesians 3:14-21) or lean on each other.(Galatians 6:2) If we never open our hearts to others they will never see the goodness of God inside of us. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12) They won’t ever get to meet our Jesus Who lives there. (Revelation 3:20)
They won’t get to see His light and glory and love. (2 Corinthians 4:6, Matthew 5:13-16)
They will just see us.
The outside of a house. (Psalm 127:1)
Always wondering what it looks like on the inside.
Today I invite you. Come on in and let me show you around… 😊🥰
Now, if you head to my Mom’s blog you’ll see her step WAY out of her comfort zone. She created her very first video and actually shared a little tour of her home! If you’re interested, stop by and give her some encouragement!
I’ve shared a few of my Mom’s articles on my blog before here and here if you’d like to read them. I don’t why God had me reach out to her this week, but I’m sure it’s because someone out there needed to read her words. And if not, maybe it was just for me. A reminder to open up and stop believing the lies that I tell myself daily.
One day I would love to do a full home tour and show you my Mom’s 17th century decor here on my blog…I just know you guys would love it! Even though our homes and styles are so different, my love for antiques and old things totally comes from her. She has taught me so much and I want to give you a sneak peek of her home today!
Here are a few shots of her home –
Amazing, right?! Again, head to her blog for more hope and encouragement!
Thank you for stopping by friends![mailerlite_form form_id=2]
It was me. I needed to read her words but not on this post… on her post I Wish I Could Go Back. I tried to comment there but it wouldn’t let me. And I just wanted her to know that I so resonated with her words having lost my mom this past November and with most of my kids out of the house. Thank her for me for sharing that.
Aw, I will be sure to share this with her, so sorry to hear about your mom, praying for you!
What a beautiful post; it resonates with how I feel about my home and myself. I was always fearful about what people would think of my home and if I had company, would furiously clean over and over again and then I wouldn’t enjoy the visit because I was looking for imperfections in my surroundings, fearing that the imperfections would be a reflection of myself.I have slowly started to let go a little but it’s so hard, my home is no longer as ‘perfect’ as it was but I still apologise for it.
Yes, we can be so hard on ourselves sometimes. I hope this was an encouragement to you, I know it really helped me and my persepective!
I can fully relate to your mother’s blog. Why do we women put so much pressure on ourselves? Whether it’s having a clean house; how we dress, or how our hair and makeup look, sadly, many of us question if we meet others’ expectations. I love my friends and family, and don’t care what their homes look like, or if they’ve been working in the garden and have dirt on their clothes. I love them for who they are. We each have different tastes in decorating, and appreciate those differences. You and your mother have beautiful homes and hearts. Thank you for sharing!
I agree completely, I am so happy she was able to be an encouragement to you, thank you for your kind words!
Andrea and Charisse thank you so much for sharing your hearts. I cried all the way through this post because you were describing me. I am an introvert, a perfectionist, and love to decorate. I can throw lovely church ladies teas and get togethers if I plan every detail beforehand but struggle inviting women or couples over because of the lack of confidence I feel and fear that my home isn’t good enough for others to see without the preparation beforehand. You have reminded me that God created me in a wonderful and unique way and that I am worthy to share that with other women. Thank you for that reminder. You are both gifts to those of us that read your blogs and view you beautiful videos. Thank you!
I am so encouraged reading this comment and will be sure to share it with my mother as well. I am praying you are able to open up more!
Aww this is so amazing!! I never comment on blogs. But I had to for this. I had just talked to my husband about this very issue. I love having friends over but I’m just like your mom was. Always worrying. This has help me so much!!!! Thanks so much for having her on your blog! I love to read your post and watch your videos. You both are amazing and a gift to follow!
I am so so happy to hear that this was an encouragement to you, it was to me as well. Thank you for taking the time to share your sweet words!
Thank you Charlotte!
Thank you for trusting us enough to invite us inside. The door opens from the inside you know.
Your mother’s home is stunning. I’m grateful my wifi decided to load the photos. I’m fairly certain she is as unique as her home style. It reveals her romantic side…as one who gets lost in history or poetry.
Her house truly is stunning, I am so happy she was willing to share it as well!
That was amazing! That is totally me, as well. Why are we so self conscious and critical of ourselves? I had a friend once say to me “be nice to yourself today”. That post reminded me that maybe I should do that more often. Your momma appears to be a very smart, and amazing woman. No wonder we all adore you, you learned from the best. God Bless.
That is so incredibly kind of you to say, thank you and I am so glad this post was an encouragement to you!
Hi Andrea, I wanted to share my comment with your Mom on her blog. However, I was unable to post it on her blog, so I am posting it here in hopes that she will be able to see it here.
Hi Ms. Charisse, thank you So Much for sharing your beautiful words here and on Andrea’s Blog. The words that you shared are such an encouragement. Thank you also for opening up your heart and your home. I Love how you have Lovingly used pieces that beautifully show your love for the time period that you have encompassed within your home. I can tell that your home is filled with So Much Love because of the care that you put into your decor, the love that your husband has for you as he built or installed different items for you, and how you described how your home has “traces of your grandchildren” throughout your home. 🙂 If I can feel that love through your words and through your video, I know that those who you invite inside are grateful to feel that love first hand. Just Beautiful. Thank you again, and thank you for sharing. In Christ, Paula
very inspirational blog
Such beautiful words ..(.If we never open our hearts to others they will never see the goodness of God inside of us)..😭Wow those words were deep.they cut like a two edged sword into my heart . i’m also an introvert and when I was reading every word I smiled and said .I understand exactly what you’re saying..because I feel the same way. Especially at this time in my life. I’m going through a very dark time right now I lost my new Born baby couple months ago.. And I seem to find myself closing myself from others but deep inside I would wish I could have a full house with people I love but have the same problem that I never think my house and I feel like it’s not good enough,clean enough and nice enough I always stress out when someone comes so I completely understand.I just want to say thank you for the encouragement words they were food to my soul God bless you.💕
I am so happy this was encouraging to you, and I am so so very sorry for your loss. I will pray for you to find peace and comfort at this time and I hope that you are able to let others in to help you as well.
Thank you God bless:)
So happy you found it encouraging!
Andrea, So moving! Please let your mom know it definitely touched a lot of hearts. I am an introverted perfectionistic type, too. I “over decorated” during the pandemic, over buying and in trying to be “perfect” and “fully decorated”, missed the mark for how pretty this home can be. I learned from my mistakes and lightened things up, getting the house back to its identity and heart. 😁 Cozy simplicity is the best look here. I have little collections (not adding to these now) of milk glass, wood soda trays, antique teacups, vintage toy vehicles , old books. The house doesn’t “need” the new or trendy stuff. It needs the peace of Christ, so I pray it always welcomes him. 😁
I feel more comfortable now that I have the home reflecting the heart and not cluttered with “extras.” I have imperfect things now, not bright and shiny. I removed rather than added things and donated the disposable kinds of items. I love the kind of items that look old and familiar, not brand new (even if it IS new). I am thinking about a tile backsplash and the only one that looked right was very subtle white that both my fiance and I want in this kitchen we will share in marriage. I liked the IDEA of colors and mixing it up, but the heart needs to stay simple here.
It will look better sticking to my instincts to go cozy and simple.
The best looking things are the most subtle or simple here. If a wreath, the “plain” one, not the elaborate one with huge florals. If a mixing bowl, the white simple one. My dining table looks better with a subtle look, not a big centerpiece. You get the idea.
I felt like how could imperfect and simple be pretty and be special. It is better here, though!
I was so hung up on perfect and the pandemic purchases and lost my way a bit on decorating. Now I feel like I am getting it how it is meant to be. I just found an old desk with storage drawers yesterday for the guest room , which is also the area for my books and keepsakes. I know with patience God brings just the right things.
Andrea, my style is close to yours. You often choose decor pieces I just love. ❤ I have one of your videos playing now. Yoir home is so pretty.
Oh my goodness Tracie, thank you for sharing this all with me! I know each and every person handled the pandemic differently, but I am so happy you were able to truly find your perfect style through it and learn from the experience as well! Your home sounds beautiful and if it is perfect for you, it is truly perfect. I will be sure to pass your sweet comments to my mother as well. Thank you again!