Homing instincts

music room

She used to nag me — demand from me — order. Neatness. Respect for surroundings. Unfortunately, it took many battles to prove her points. I just couldn’t shake that teenage urge to stuff dirty clothes in a corner or under the bed. Out of sight, out of mind, right? She found ways to ensure I made my bed every morning. She was visibly upset when the house was a mess or the sink was full of dishes. And don’t get me started on learning how to cook. Baking cookies was messy work for the 9-10-11 crowd and my mother has always had immense pride for the cleanliness of her abode.

And for good reason.

Somehow motherhood is all wrapped up in feeding and tending and clothing people. There’s an immense comfort factor that revolves around fresh laundry, clean sheets and an aromatic kitchen. Tell me you don’t get a great sense of accomplishment and peace when your rooms are neat and orderly, supper is bubbling away and you’re standing over a basket of fresh-from-the-line laundry.

music room gallery wall

I think we are wired for beautification projects. And beauty is relative and taste is personal. Some people would not scrounge around at the local Goodwill for discarded artwork and seating options. Some folks would never hang their daughter’s first guitar — sporting a hot pink pony — on the wall of their dining music room, and that is perfectly ok in every way. How many of you have painted the same ol’ dresser multiple shades depending upon your mood and time of year? Yes. Because we’re all different and we all crave a little bit of change, a fresh perspective, something that makes us feel … beauty. (Feeling beautiful is an entirely different ball of wax. We’ll talk about that another day!)


What is it that causes us to rise before our families, make the coffee and stare out the window at birds in spring? It’s a yearning for beauty. And beauty comes from God and blesses us with peace. It’s something I believe wholeheartedly. The birds of the air and flowers underfoot — those are love notes from our creator. And I think it’s my job, as a mother, to write multiple, daily love notes to my family. It’s not difficult. You don’t even need a pen.


I make them breakfast and serve it on a pretty platter sometimes. And I make muffins to go with scrambled eggs. But it’s never simple and honesty is in the eye of the beholder. We’re out of milk you see, and they can’t eat cereal and I used French vanilla coffee creamer in the muffin mix because it needed the milk, too.

It doesn’t matter how or what … it’s the why and when that matter. Caring for someone, loving them hard so they can go out into the big bad world every day, means ensuring that HOME is where their hearts are. I don’t care if you live in a shack or a cardboard box or a tent or a treehouse. Mothers are lovers … of people, of beauty, of peace that passes all understanding. No matter how much or how little, we set the tone of our homes. We influence — heavily — the moods of the people who walk in and out of our door everyday.

It’s the burden my mother taught me to carry.

She was diligent and determined. I’m also sure she was infuriated and exasperated, too. She didn’t give up. She never will. That’s the kind of mother I strive to be. Whether we’re talking about keeping house or raising strong-willed, truth-seeking children, or protecting ourselves and those who share our hearts from the world on the other side of this door — we MUST live


I’m linking up to the Home. On Purpose post at life{in}grace. Click over and see the heart-sharing going on. And I guess this turned into a bit of a Mother’s Day post. So happy [early] Mother’s Day, mom. Thanks for sticking to your guns (and not shooting me or yourself).


Go exploring! You may enjoy these previous posts.


  • comment-avatar
    rebekah April 30, 2013 (7:24 am)

    I love your nesting and home loving skills sister!

    PS – I think you forgot to mention that pile of dirty clothes being thrown out the window to prove her point! :+)

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer April 30, 2013 (7:30 am)

      Aaahahahahahaha!!! How could I forget.

  • comment-avatar
    Sally April 30, 2013 (7:33 am)

    She did that, too? Did she charge you to get those clothes back? She should have!
    I appreciate those loving to keep the nest clean! Love the green dresser as well!

  • comment-avatar
    MAC April 30, 2013 (7:40 am)

    I wish someone would come clean my nest!! Tell me it gets easier!!

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko April 30, 2013 (9:52 am)

      Mothers of new babies get a free pass for at least 12 months.

  • comment-avatar
    beki April 30, 2013 (11:02 am)

    Oh, I love this!

    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko May 1, 2013 (7:01 pm)

      I’m so glad, Beki. Thanks for visiting!

  • comment-avatar
    Monte - Farm Real Estate April 30, 2013 (11:09 am)

    Sometimes people come from the messiest places and when they are on their own, everything has it’s place. Taking pride in your home is something every person should have and you can tell when someone does because people tend to want to stay longer.

  • comment-avatar
    laura April 30, 2013 (10:21 pm)

    So beautifully said, Jennifer.
    I love visiting here.
    You inspire and nourish me.

    For the record: I did buy my clothes pile back several times during my teen years. Hmmm – wondering if I should tap into the power of that technique?


    • comment-avatar
      Jennifer Kiko May 1, 2013 (7:03 pm)

      Funny how our mothers’ ideas come back to us at the most opportune moments, isn’t it? Thanks so much for your kind words, Laura. And now … off to calculate how much money I could make in a year if I charge every time I find a stray sock! 😉

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