This weekend, I was able to spend some time at my sister’s house with some friends, including Stephanie from (in)courage. This would be an appropriate place to put a picture of us, but I only took one and it was super blurry. Besides, when you are at The Nester’s house, it’s hard to take photos of people.

the nester's house

I tend to take photos of stuff like this. Because, hello? How cute. While chatting with Stephanie, she asked me if I am ever intimidated by the fact that my sister is The Nester, and whether or not that makes it hard for me to measure up in my own house.

People actually ask me this question a lot, so I thought it might be helpful to answer it here. As you know, my sister hasn’t always been The Nester. But she has always, always nested. And she’s always been creative, brave and free when it comes to crafting house into home. When I got married nearly nine years ago, I thought those instincts might kick in with me as well. They did not. In fact, the exact opposite happened with me. I became a ball of insecurity, not necessarily in comparison with my sister, more because I lacked confidence in my own taste or ability. I didn’t have that same sense of freedom.

Where my sister would paint a wall, hate it, repaint it, hate it, repaint it, and change her mind, I would leave it white and worry. Afraid to try. Afraid to fail. Afraid. Over the years, she has helped me to know how to think about my house, to not let fear be a motivator, and to give myself permission to fail.

“Is your home a place to be or a place to be careful. If you can’t make a mistake at home then where can you try out something new? If you are determined to worry about something, worry about cancer or a meteorite hitting the earth or the end of the world. DO NOT worry about paint colors.”

~The Nester

You have to admit, she makes a great point. Because the truth is, there is an uncanny parallel between how we approach our home and how we approach our life. The heavy, hovering cloud of fear does not discriminate. If we let it, it will overwhelm all areas of our life, from cancer to curtains. So to answer Stephanie’s question: No, I am not intimidated by the fact that my sister is The Nester. If you have met her, you will I’m sure agree that she is simply not an intimidating person. But there have been times where I was envious of her freedom. I wondered why I couldn’t just let go and live in my home and feel free to make it rather than letting it undo me.

I sincerely hope this doesn’t sound too cheesy or dramatic but I’m going to say it anyway. I credit my sister for ushering me into a place of healing and freedom when it comes to expressing myself in my home. I now feel fairly confident in my own taste and style, and it isn’t because she told me what to like or because I copy her. It is because she has encouraged me to try, play, mess up, have fun and try again. I would do well to apply that same philosophy to the way I live my life.