Last Monday, I introduced a series inspired by this question: What do you know for sure?

I tried to come up with a response to that question, but instead of a list of answers coming to mind, I kept seeing a list of people.

And so I bring you week 2 of Artists & Influencers.

For the next several weeks I will continue to share with you some people who are helping me uncover and affirm those things I know for sure about a variety of topics and challenge you to identify and celebrate who those people are in your own life.

Last week we talked about writing.

Today, let’s talk about home.

The other day I was watching The Brady Bunch with my kids. It was the one where Greg is a man now that he is a freshman in high school so he totally needs his own space.

After much sweet talking from Mrs. Brady, Mr. Brady reluctantly agrees to give up his den where he does all his architecting so that Greg can have his precious space.

“Now don’t go and do anything drastic,” Mr. Brady warns his man-child Greg, “No nail holes or paint on the wall.”

Oh Mr. Brady. How much you have to learn about home.

Tim Keller says this about home in his book, The Prodigal God.

“Home, then, is a powerful but elusive concept. The strong feelings that surround it reveal some deep longing within us for a place that absolutely fits and suits us, where we can be, or perhaps find, our true selves.”

Home is a powerful concept, one that is hard to define in a way. Is it a house? A family? God alone?

Still, here we are. Living fully on this earth, within these walls painted Sea Salt and Svelte Sage, among these people who look like us but who are also other than us. I’ve been thinking about home this week, about what it is an what it isn’t.

Here are some artists and influencers who are teaching me about home:

1. My sister.

I used to be like Mr. Brady, thinking drastic meant a tiny hole in the wall. I cried real tears once trying to hang a picture and realized it was crooked so I had to hammer a *shudder* nother nail in the wall so the picture would be straight.

Real tears, I tell you. For the love.

my sister’s living room

My sister has always influenced how I think about my home, but since she started her blog, her encouragement has become even more bold. Not only does she remind me that paint and nail holes are the least risky thing you could do in your life, but she also consistently reminds me that the imperfections in my home may actually serve a greater purpose.

“I’ve decided not to wait until my house is perfect to share it, use it and love it.  I regret those years where I spent my time wishing my home was something more and not enjoying what I had.” – The Nester

She is the home evangelist for real people and she’s teaching me about home – she’s teaching me that it’s okay to want to make your space beautiful, but it doesn’t have to be perfect to be so.

2. Shannan Martin.

I don’t know what it is about this girl. I read her blog for a long time and then I met her in real life and we hung out until the wee hours. And then when I read posts like this one, about The Golden Globes mixed in with words about poverty and about how she is embracing them both?

from Shannan’s house

I feel like I’m home. Every time I read her.

I can’t explain it, but aren’t some people just like that? Shannan is one of those people. She puts into words things I didn’t even know I needed to say.

She asks bold questions about home and family that she doesn’t always have the answers for. But she is brave enough to work on living the answers instead, no matter the cost.

I’m learning from Shannan about home because she has a lot to teach about it, though I’m not sure she knows.

3. Edie.

I still remember the day we found out Edie’s house had burned to the ground. It was December of 2010, right before Christmas.

Edie had already been such an encouragement to me (and so many others) through her blog, Life in Grace. We had all read about their adventure of buying this beautiful home on the lake and designing and decorating it to reflect the personality of their family.

So when that house burned down, it was hard to get my head around. I remember scrolling through her blog at old photos of her home thinking, those drapes burned. That kitchen sink, that owl on her bookshelf, all of her beloved books.

Edie’s house

But they rebuilt, both home and heart. Here is a peek, in her own words:

“While we worked hard to rebuild the bricks and mortar, He went to work on our stone hearts. The truth is, we don’t have to lose everything to feel our poverty.  We sense it in the depths of our souls.

It’s all just rubble.  And our card houses teeter on disaster. We’re all a mess, house fire or not. We know we need  someone—someone who knows us and loves us in spite of ourselves.

That is the hospitality of scripture.”

Don’t you want to read more from her? Me too. She has a new e-book that releases today: 31 Days to a Heart of Hospitality.

There is often a real struggle within me – a longing to fill my home with beautiful things mixed with a desire to live more simply. These three women are teaching me that those two desires don’t have to be mutually exclusive.


I have more I want to say on this topic, but it’s already Tuesday and seeing how this is a Monday series, I’m going to go ahead and post it. For now, I leave you with the obvious theme song for today’s post:

These are some of the artists and influencers who are helping me uncover what I know for sure about home. What about you? Who are the people in this season of life who are teaching you about home? What are they saying?

So far we’ve talked about writing and home. I have an idea where I’m headed next, but do you have any requests for the series? Is there a topic you would like to explore?