I have an abundance of opportunities to invest my time, energy, and money. We all do, right?
If you read any type of financial or investment book, the author will always tell you that the home you own and live in is not a true investment. And the reason given is that there is always an output of money (utilities, repairs, etc.) and there is never any cash flow (rent, etc.) coming in!
I used to really struggle because I viewed everything in my life from a productivity perspective. Finally I reframed my thinking and got a grasp on looking at my house from a different investing angle…this is the place where I invest in my people. I am using this piece of land and space, these beams and bricks, to infuse into my people a sense of love, peace, hope, and encouragement. So as I look at my home from that standpoint, here are some ways I invest:
—WORDS I like to hang words of encouragement and truth in every room of my house. These words might be a famous quote, a Bible verse, a rhyme (think Dr. Seuss), a single word (like DREAM), a phrase, or anything else that conveys a message I want to inspire my people with. Here are a couple of different ways that I send out these words:
- Using printable art (there are lots of free printables on Pinterest, or paid printables on Etsy) that I can quickly print out on my home printer and pop into a frame
- With a letter board, and these are great because you can change your message as often as clever words come to you
- A painted wooden sign (click here to see some examples)
- Watercolor art that is beautifully painted with encouraging words (I personally love GraceLaced)
- A chalkboard–we used plywood and painted it with chalk paint (from Home Depot) for ours
- A whiteboard–used in our office, and easy to change on a daily or weekly basis
—READING I love a good story, and what I love even more is sharing a good story, so I invest in books (library or Amazon, they are both great) and I set a goal of about 20 minutes a day to sit down and read with my kids. A lot of times Ryan is hanging out listening too. It usually works out best to do it at night right before the kids go to bed because their little minds are worn down from the day and ready to listen, they are in a snuggly mood, and it preps them for bedtime.
—QUIET PAUSE You know that phrase, “If momma aint’ happy, ain’t nobody happy?” Well, it’s truer than true. So I get up every morning before the other people are awake in my house, and I sit down and read, pray, and reflect…all of this I do alone! Investing a little time in myself and my relationship with Jesus turns out to be a great investment for everybody.
—NOTES As mentioned above, I love words. So besides the words plastered all over the house (tastefully of course), I love to write a good handwritten note and place them in my children’s rooms (the ones who can read). This only takes about five minutes, and I’ve found it goes a really long way in encouraging my kids and framing their minds with the truths that are important about themselves. They always save these notes, and have them as a reminder and boost of confidence when they need it.
—ORDER This is really simple, but not always obvious. We have a lot of happening in our family, and it often feels chaotic. By keeping our house about 80% picked up the majority of the time, it creates an environment that feels safe and orderly…a place to come to, not a place to escape from.
—FOOD The desire to cook has not always been present for me. It’s easy for me to skip a meal or snack and keep on going. But alas I’ve found that my people are hungry ALL.OF.THE.TIME. And I’ve figured out that home cooked meals show these people that I am committed to them…it’s a love language of theirs…but honestly who doesn’t love to be cooked for?! If I need a recipe win, I always go with the Pioneer Woman. My family loves homestyle food, lots of butter (duh), plus her recipe books give step-by-step instructions and pictures, so it really is a no-fail way to love on your people!
—TIME It really doesn’t matter how I do it…through reading, playing sports, cooking, games, gardening, or any other family activity…there just needs to be a bit of time everyday to spend together to show my family how important they really are to me.
And I believe…there is a pretty big return on investment when I invest in my home!
I’d like go into a bit more detail of each of these areas in a later post (and share some pictures of my little investments), but tell me what do you do to invest in your home? And how do you fight the struggle to invest in other people/things/activities instead?