Carefully crafting spaces means intentionally considering who I am and what matters to me. It means reflecting on the messages I want to send and the reminders I want to receive. It means knowing what I want to celebrate. Around my home gratitude and inspiration for growth are key concepts that I try to capture.
Here are some of my favorite spaces from around my home:
When sitting in my living room, two main features are what I refer to as our sacrament wall and our family timeline that goes along the hallway. I had a draw towards celebrating the sacraments within our family, so I collected pictures from different sacraments and also included the creed and a couple of other statements. It also includes a wall hanging that my aunt (and godmother) gave me to commemorate my First Holy Communion, a cross we received as a wedding gift, and the definition of love from 1 Corinthians 13 in Spanish that I bought for my husband when we were engaged.
Each time someone celebrates a new sacrament in our family, I add another image to our wall. The only sacrament that we have experienced that is not featured is reconciliation. We also don’t have representation of my husband’s sacraments (other than marriage) because he only has limited childhood photos that did not include the sacraments. I want my girls to remember the beauty of the sacraments throughout their lives.
I got the idea for our family timeline from a scrapbooking online class. The concept was meant to be applied to a scrapbooking layout, but I decided to select, print and frame 8×8 images to stretch down our hallway, showing a quick glimpse into our marriage and family year by year. I love that each photo evokes a range of different memories – remembering where we lived, what was happening in our lives, the joys and trials. It shows how our family grew over time. Our timeline represents 15 years before running out of room. We might continue it on around the corner down the rest of the wall.
On the opposite wall in our living room, there is an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Inspired by Emily Jaminet’s Catholic Mom articles about the Sacred Heart, I gave my husband this image for Christmas a couple of years ago. It is coupled with an image of the Holy Family. I love to see these especially during quiet moments where I can sit and reflect, including glancing at the mountain from the window that is right next to these images.
In my bedroom, there is a canvas of L’Innocense that I bought when I had my fourth daughter. I placed it above her crib (since converted to a toddler bed) and then surrounded it with images of her baptism. Many nights I remember waking up with my daughter and seeing the image by moonlight as I nurtured her. Having completed 33 Days to Morning Glory the year prior, I had a deeper appreciation for Mary and her example has provided encouragement for growing in my vocation as a wife and by extension, as a mom.
I also have a rocking chair in my room where I have spent a lot of time rocking my girls and nursing them. From the chair, I can see a desk with a collection of items centering of faith and family.
Directly above, there is an image of Divine Mercy and a print that says “Faith, Family, Friends.” The more I learn about Divine Mercy, the more appreciation I have for the image and the growth in trust it has prompted. Proper prioritization of my life has also been a focus in recent years, and the print below the Divine Mercy image serves as a reminder to be intentional and to prompt reflection over time about choices I am making and whether or not I need to make some adjustments.
Next to that space is my 5th daughter’s crib. When I was pregnant with her, I went to a youth conference in which Fr. Rob Galea was there. He talked about and sang his song Angel. I loved it so much that eventually, I printed 8×8 images of my girls and husband with different lines from the song to form a collage on the wall. It celebrates their lives, the beauty of family, and the importance of intercessory prayer as a mom.
Life can be busy with 5 kids, and regular prayer and space for silence is necessary. I have a practice to start the day with scriptures and prayer prior to the rest of my family waking up. Over time the space in which I do this has changed. I have also realized that ideally I have some opportunities in the evenings as well. Earlier this year I watched Jason Evert’s Seek 2019 talk where he mentioned that his new house had his-and-hers walk-in closets, but since he did not have a need for that much space as a closet, he converted it to a space for prayer (find this at 20:31 in the video). Though I was not able to convert our whole closet as he did, I did shift some things to create a comfortable and quiet space for prayer. I have a simple desk, a chair and a couple of frames above on the wall. It has been so beneficial.
What are some of your favorite spaces (or spaces you would like to create) around your house? What do you hope to convey with these spaces?
Copyright 2019 Amanda Villagómez