Sanctuary or Insanity????

Kate says . . .

On a bit of a lighter note, but just important, I want to talk to all the wives out there about your bedroom! Yes, your bedroom! How does your bedroom make you feel?

If your not sure, take a minute, venture to your room, step inside and look around! Do you see a sanctuary or do you see insanity?  How does what you see make you feel?  What kind of mood does it put you in?  Do you want to walk away and say “Ugh”? Does it make you shrug your shoulders and think, “doesn’t really do anything for me, but who cares anyway”?  Do you look at your room and want to pull your hair out because there are clothes everywhere, no color on the walls, no order in general?  OR do you see a place of peace, get a since of joy and longing to be together?

First, let me share with all of you wives out there, that our bedroom has most definitely NOT been a sanctuary for most of our marriage! To better understand that, you need to understand our personalities where clutter and mess are concerned. I have shared a room literally all my life, so keeping things neat was something I tried to do! Was not always successful, but I tried. Brad on the other hand was very comfortable with clutter and mess! So when we got married, with all respect to my amazing hubby, I was fighting a losing battle! So I too joined the “messy” camp and started to let things go in our bedroom! It was the best place for clutter and mess because we could just shut the door and who would care! Why make the bed if we were just going to get into it again later! Anybody out there have a similar bedroom? On the other hand, perhaps your bedroom is a shrine. One where nothing can ever be out of place and the bed is always made-even while in it! Either way, these spaces are not encouraging our one flesh intimacy and I’m not just talking about sex!
For us, as our priorities changed, we found ourselves retreating to our room every night just as soon as the kids were in bed. Instead of sitting in the living room, we would go up to our room! We found a great desire and need to have OUR OWN SPACE. We felt an overwhelming desire to make our bedroom special! Not only did we make it special, but we began to protect that space by setting boundaries. Our kids are still allowed in our room at different times, but there is knock first rule, they are only allowed in when we have invited them, and they (and their friends) are not to play in our room. If they are in our room, anything they bring in with them, must leave when they leave! I know that sounds crazy, but our kids LOVE to leave things in our room! Then our room begins to look like another play room! Not very romantic!
So is your room, AKA “your space” special, a place of comfort and retreat for you and your hubby? If, not it is a great project to undertake together! When Brad and I decided to revamp our room, we did not have a lot to “do” to it, but wanted to make some changes together! We had already painted it and loved the color! But we needed to drastically work on our keeping it neat, clean and organized. We bought two sets of new sheets and a new bedspread to compliment our walls. We created a little sitting area in our room with a sofa (we previously had the sofa in our room, but it really was just a catch-all for clothes and such). We also reconsidered all that we had hanging on our walls! For those of you who don’t know, I am a photographer so pictures adorn almost all of our walls in our home. Our room was no exception. Previously we had a lot of pictures of our kids in our room! We decided to keep the atmosphere in our room, “all about us” so took out all the kids pictures, except for one. Now all of the things on our walls in our room, are very intentional.
Some of the things we have on our walls are: wall words, favorite Bible verses in frames, a wedding picture, honeymoon pictures, getaway pictures, pictures we had taken to celebrate us! As you can see we have LOTS of photographs. That is simply our preference, but the room is very us and creates a space that encourages intimacy (in all areas) in our marriage.
Many people ask us if we have a TV in our bedroom or should there be a TV in the bedroom? We do have a TV in our bedroom. But we do not use it for TV, we only use it for movies. Brad and I have always enjoyed watching movies together, so it is nice to be able to do that in the privacy of our bedroom. We can be totally comfortable in our room, since it is our space, where the family room just does not have the openness. For us a TV is not a stumbling block. As we have shared, in the past the TV was something that created a divide between Brad and I. Now that we have taken almost all TV out of our lives, we are ok with having it in our room. If it was still a struggle in our marriage, then it would have to go. If the TV is something that often comes in between you and your hubby, then the TV really should go! Even if you both really enjoy TV together, it should not be something that is used frequently in your room. We watch movies maybe once a week, sometimes not for several weeks, so our TV gets very little use overall. So you and your hubby need to think about whether or not the TV will be used in a positive way to encourage an activity that you enjoy together, but is not in excess! If you are in doubt and unsure, take the TV out of the room! It cannot hurt to have the distraction of TV removed!
The last thing I would encourage is to make this a fun project together! Brad and I threw around ideas for many weeks before we started to change our room! We also went shopping together (without kids) for our sheets, bedspread, candles, etc. We spent time picking out pictures, frames and bible verses together at home together. It did not become, me as the wife redecorating our room. Let’s face it wives, we usually are the ones picking out things for our house and decorating. This project should be both of you! Brad and I have very similar tastes, so it was not hard for us to find things that we both liked to compliment our new space. But you may have a very different style of taste them your hubby. Try to find fun ways to compromise and compliment each other. If he hates flowers on the curtains and bedspread, then perhaps you change those things into a pattern that suits you both. Maybe you could go with colors you prefer, but in a style that he likes. I am not trying to pick on floral rooms and pink walls, but we have to remember this is not just our room anymore and though we loved those things in our rooms growing up and we are girls, our hubby’s are men. I am also not encouraging you to have a room decked out in camo! But that you create a space that is clean, classic, and eye pleasing to both you and your hubby.

How the room makes you both feel directly affects all of your activity in the bedroom! You know what I am talking about . . .intimacy and sex are definitely effected by how we feel about our bedroom. Not that you have to limit yourself to the bedroom by any means, but since it is where much of your intimacy takes place, it should be given special attention.

So wives (and hubby’s reading this), make plans with your hubby to redecorate/renovate your room. Don’t let money stop you-be resourceful. For things store-bought: watch for sales, use coupons, compare with prices on the internet. When we bought our bedspread, we found it in a store. We came home, found it on the internet for cheaper, as well as found an additional online coupon discount and free shipping. We spent a lot less then we thought we would and that made my hubby smile! Me too, there’s nothing like finding just what you want for a great bargain! Don’t think you always have to buy things new. Check out garage sales for great furniture and things for your walls. Go “shopping” in other rooms of your home. Are there things you could use from other parts of your house, or things that are sitting in your basement/attic that are unused? Create a space that speaks of who you are as one flesh. A place that is safe, warm, clean and inviting. A place where clothing can be optional (no need for flannel jammies and robes in the haven of your bedroom)! Where you are safe to just be you and your hubby has the freedom to be himself!

Create a place in your home that is just your own, a sanctuary.

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