Beautiful Between

living fully in the now & not yet

How to make your home your refuge (it’s not what you think)

He was baffled at my tears, but of course, that made sense. I was just as confused.

Stacks of boxes leaned precariously. Piles of linens flopped over the side of an armchair. Our kitchen table was half-covered in pots and pans. And we were trying to find our way through it all.

I’d moved into his condo in south Nashville when we’d married two months before. In the whirl of this busy season, we’ve barely had time or energy to unpack and make this space feel like home.

So we set aside a few hours to work through it. In negotiating the unpacking, unboxing, arranging, I was suddenly in tears. And neither of us could understand why.

All I could think was, I don’t belong here.

There isn’t space for me. This isn’t my home.

After so many years of moving over and over, of never fully unpacking, this move was the one I wanted for years. This was the move in with my husband. This was part of a long-awaited life-merger we’ll be navigating until forever. So why was I upset?

Fear squeezed my chest. I breathed deep, closed my eyes, sifted the tumbling thoughts like wheat.

It’s not the part of town; it’s not the best, but I kind of like it. It’s not that the building is old. Or the spider crickets that somehow invade the bathroom late at night. It’s not that we don’t love the paint color or we’re not sure about what to keep and get rid of, even though I love that blue secretary desk.

It hit me: my husband was there first, so the space felt like his, not ours.

It was the carryover of those years of constant moving. I’d spent so much time fitting my stuff into corners in apartments and houses. When that old anxiety surfaced this time, I knew it wasn’t my things I worried about – it was my soul.

I thought I needed to fit myself into the cracks of his life. I didn’t want to repeat the same cycle of diminishing myself to fit with another person.

Micah had seen it, too. He hated the way I didn’t fully relax into our space. I asked his opinion on so many minute details, afraid I would mess something up or disappoint him. I so deeply want to make him happy.

The thing is, he is happy. More than anyone in my life, he wants me to know I belong. We’ve chosen each other, so come hell or high water, we are bound together. We are making a home and a life together.

I know it’s so much more than the paint color or the antique secretary desk. It’s not really about cooking and cleaning and home economics. Making a home has so little to do with the externals. It’s inextricably tied to making a life together.

Our space simply reflects the state of our hearts, minds, and lives. This life and marriage we’re making shows up in the home we’re making. And sure, our ultimate home isn’t in this world. But in the meantime, we cultivate and tend the space we’re given until it reflects the heart of God.

Home isn’t about the decor, but creating space for one another in all our beauty and mess and imperfection. It’s about full acceptance, intentional care, deep respect. A place of grace and forgiveness, the proving ground of daily sacrificial love.

We want our marriage and our home to be a refuge from the inevitable storms.This is where we laugh and cry and let down our guards with one another.  It’s the haven and harbor we always return to. But we know that only happens with intentional work.

When those ugly old lies curl themselves around my heart, I know I need a reminder of the truth that this is where we belong. So we talked about our marriage vows and what we’re working to build. And I wrote a manifesto for our home, words to wash over our soul and remind us just what we want this space between us to be.

So this is it, the heartbeat of our home.

PS, single friends, I didn’t forget you! The PDF includes a version that says “my home” instead of “ours.” Your home is yours to create right now, and you deserve a peaceful harbor as much as anyone <3

I’d love to share 🙂 Can I give you a copy? Just enter your email in the box below!


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8 Replies

  1. sandy

    Thanks for making one for singles. People forget that we want “home” too, not just “house.” It’s important for people alone to make a sanctuary from the world. Thank You

  2. Wouldn’t want to make home with anyone else my love.
    I adore you

  3. Ellie Ficken

    As a newlywed myself… your words are really life-giving in this season Sarah. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Janet Robinson

    For the spider crickets – set out sticky traps.

  5. Mary K

    I am divorced, just moving into the first home away from my “broken” home, this week! You have ministered to me in a surreal way, Sarah! Please send me a copy of this in a “single version”. I met Micah at my daughter’s wedding and I’m so happy you have chosen a life with him…

  6. Debbie Phillips

    Sure loved reading!! Please include me!

    1. Hi Debbie! Thank you so much! Did you enter your email address to get the download?

      1. Anonymous

        Yes ???? Thank you!

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