Several years ago, I hosted a wreath-making party in my home for some friends. Some of the ladies who came were new friends I didn’t know very well and one, specifically, had never been to my house before. After this guest had been in my home for a while, she said, “Your house makes me want to put my feet up and watch a Christmas movie!” That comment may have been spontaneous and unmemorable to her, but I have never forgotten it. To me it said that she felt at home, at ease, comfortable, welcomed, and cozy.
Cozy is a word frequently repeated in our home, and if our family had a one-word theme, this would be it. We love cozy. Even the word evokes thoughts of comforting quilts, glowing candles, time suspended while enjoying simple pleasures in life, a pot of soup, a loaf of homemade bread, soft instrumental music playing in the background, comfy slippers, the smell of cinnamon, and our beloved Beagle snuggled down in the covers.
Many of us know cozy when we see it or experience it and yet wonder how to multiply the beauty of coziness in our homes and lives. But I think even before we consider how to add coziness to our homes, we need to first look at our hearts.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ words to us in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” We are told that He is knocking at the door of our heart, and we must open the door and invite Him in.
COZY IS INVITING
We learn in this single verse about the necessity and beauty of a welcoming attitude. It requires initiative on our part to open that door when Christ is knocking and the same initiative to open the door and welcome others.
As believers, we want our homes and lives to be different. Anyone can have a Pinterest-worthy home or one that looks like a scene from a Hallmark Christmas movie. We want more. Our home should be a place that exudes the Light of the World; a place that is a haven where guests can encounter true peace. Please note: I did not say our homes must be perfect or company-worthy at all times.
As with many areas of life, we are looking at the heart—not just the external things. 1 Samuel 16:7 reminds us of what God looks at: “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.’”
This past year, home has taken on a whole new meaning for many families as it has become the hub for work, church, school, extra-curricular activities, as well as a place of shelter. Believers in the early church also gathered together in homes for a meal, prayer, and building relationships. This is a message we can take to heart even today, and one which can help us layer coziness into our homes.
This sense of welcome, along with an inviting spirit, applies to ourselves, to our families, to those who enter our homes, and even to those on the outside looking in.
One of my favorite ways to invite cozy in is to think about the senses. For example, what are the smells that your family loves? A lovingly prepared meal, a few drops of essential oils in the diffuser, freshly baked cinnamon rolls, or a bouquet of flowers are all smells that can create a cozy, comforting ambiance within the home.
I also like to think about incorporating textures that delight both touch and sight: worn wood with chippy paint reminding us of days gone by, quilts softened by use and time, layers of color, or fabrics which build beauty into our homes and cultivate a sense of calm and comfort. Touch could also relate to wearing something cozy and familiar like a favorite pair of socks, a slouchy sweatshirt, a scarf, or a favorite pair of pjs.
Finally, what are your family’s favorite sounds? I like to play praise music, seasonal songs, or instrumental music in the background to calm our energy and bring a soothing sense to the evening.
Creating beauty and special moments out of ordinary and mundane everyday things is also a way to create cozy in our lives. Having a tea party for no special reason, gathering as a family to read books in the living room, warming pjs in the dryer just because, cookies and milk by candlelight just for the sake of delight and love—these are all ways that we show welcome and invitation to the ones who live in our homes with us every day.
Our special moments should not be reserved merely for company or when others come to visit. Home is the most intimate place we have on earth with the families for which God has given us responsibility. Showing this love, care, and servant’s heart to those dearest to us is truly the place where welcome and invitation begin.
When we extend this kind of love and care to ourselves and our families, it will overflow to those around us. Others will notice the difference, and we may even see one of our children extending the characteristics of an inviting life and attitude.
We know that God values home because He is preparing an eternal one for those of us who have entered into a personal relationship with Him. We do not value home for the outward appearance or status it brings, but for the blessing it is to us in the midst of the difficult circumstances of life and the vision it brings for our future hope.
Cozy doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, I think the two key ingredients in adding cozy are time and love. When we do things with love it takes time, and the time we have invested shows love. These two together cultivate and grow a spirit of coziness in our homes. Serving our families in this way shows that we care and that those who are on the receiving end are valued and worthy of our investment. It is also a sweet and meaningful way through which we can also serve God.
Slowing down is a way to enjoy the simple things in life that give us that homey feel we are longing for when our schedules are too full and we don’t have time to read aloud a book before bed, sip a mug of tea, or suggest a candlelight bath to a weary child. We are all looking to belong, and home is the place we hope to belong most of all. Home is the place where we want to be able to be our true selves and still feel welcomed and wanted.
If you are looking to add this feeling of cozy and comfort to your home, consider ways that allow your family members to rest, take a deep breath and pause, be rejuvenated, be their truest selves, and be accepted. This is the gift of inviting cozy in.
How do you ‘invite cozy in’ to your home (and heart)? Share with us in the comments.
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