You don’t have to go to the woods to live deliberately.
Traveling the world or living off-grid à la Thoreau have a certain glamorous appeal, but how you show up for the mundane is the real test of intentional living.
Hopefully, life will afford you many opportunities to experience adventures outside your door, but I believe that the rhythms of an intentional life are mastered day in and day out in your commonplace surroundings. As George Washington Carver said, “Live at home.”
Our recent move to a new house has made me extra thoughtful. I revisit in my mind all the homes we’ve lived in the past five years since our marriage. We’ve lived in spacious apartments and dinky ones, a tiny cabin and a slightly larger basement. This is our first full-sized house.
I can sense the extra responsibility.
There’s the responsibility of upkeep, and of choosing furniture to fill the house, but there’s also the realisation that we’ll likely be in this place longer than any of the previous ones. This is the home where Little Dude will have many of his earliest memories. It’s where we’ll establish traditions not just as a couple, but as a growing family. Where we’ll practice the Green Gables way of life and sink our roots down deep, even if it isn’t Michigan or Oxford or one of those other places we’re in love with.
Each place I’ve lived has taught me so much, and on the brink of this longer chapter of residence, I’ve decided to record and share my Resolutions for this home. Right now I know that what we have here is a wonderful gift, and making these Resolutions will, I hope, remind me to cherish it and live deeply in the every day.
Here’s how I’m resolving to live deliberately in this house:
1. I will live with permanence, treating this home as if we intend to live here for decades to come.
2. I will not wait for future family milestones to begin creating traditions; we’ll dive right in and embrace each season in this space.
3. I will live with generosity, letting this home be a blessing to others and making hospitality a way of life.
4. I will facilitate rich memories for everyone who lives under this roof.
5. I will take pride in this home’s appearance and keep it reasonably tidy and clean.
6. I will not cram this home with clutter and excess stuff.
7. I will let this home engage all the senses, filling it with music, light, good smells from the kitchen, cozy things to eat, and comfortable beds and chairs and floors.
8. I will not grow complacent in this home, but rather maintain it and look for ways that will help our home’s look and feel to align better with our vision.
9. I will know this home’s geography by spending time outdoors and learning the names of plants, animals, and roads that surround us.
10. I will make this a “dream home” for my family–a place where it’s safe and natural to dream and to experience life.
11. I will let this house be enough, and when I’m tempted to wish for better or different I’ll walk its rooms and remember why I love it.
I don’t actually know how long we’ll live here. It could be for years and years or there could be an unexpected bend in the road. But I want to begin the art and work of flourishing right away.
What do you resolve for your home? Make your resolutions and remind yourself of them often. Learn what this season and this home has to teach you, and you will not, when it comes time to move, discover that you have not lived.
P.S. Another great post from a family who’s embracing an intentional home and lifestyle. I feel exactly the same way!