Bringing Pieces of Ireland Home


We are upon our last days of Ireland.  Neil slips into the Irish accent when he’s feeling spunky and our hearts have found such rest here.  We keep talking about what we want to bring back from Ireland to implement into our home in America.  And in our most dreamy moments, we have spent a few hours on Zillow researching farm houses in Michigan.  The beautiful, quaint Irish towns have stolen our hearts and I’m not sure we will ever be the same.

Honestly, even admitting that I’m tired of city living feels wrong.  So much of who I am has been wrapped up in intentional city living.  And partly, that’s the problem.  My identity has been in where I live, who I help, and what I do.  Not in the One who created it all.  If my identity were in Him, as His daughter, it wouldn’t hurt to admit that I’m tired of concrete and seeing into all the backyards on my street.  That I’m craving privacy and a slower pace of life.

For various reasons, we can’t move right now.  But that doesn’t have to stop me from bringing parts of the country into my small lot in the city.

Here’s what I hope to add to our home when we get back to our street-side parking and concrete forest.

The flowers in Ireland are incredible.  Granted, it rains every day and never reaches 80 degrees, so it’s the perfect climate for gorgeous blooms, but I’m making it my aim to continue efforts in my gardening hobby. Hanging flowers on the porch, flower boxes on my railings, more potted flowers in every corner of my yard. Perennials, annuals, bicentennials.  Ok that last one doesn’t exist.  But, just all the flowers.  More.  And then even more.

This one is really hard to accomplish in the city.  Especially considering we don’t have a fence between our neighbors on either side.  We do love this aspect in that it expands our lot size for our children to run around in.  But I want to figure out some ways to create more privacy.  I think I should act as if I’m going to live in this house for decades, and planting a few more trees and bushes might be the way to go.  I’ve also played around in my mind with building a pergola and getting some vines to grow up on either side during the summer.

Country Living:
The easiest way to get the country living vibe is to hang my clothes on a clothesline during the Spring, Summer, and Fall.  Which means I need to find a clothesline.  And to send my kids out to play in the backyard every chance I can.  Baking also seems to be in line with country living, as well as continuing to create an urban farmhouse feel for the inside of my house.  When I’m sitting on my couch, I want it to feel as if I already am in our dream house in the country.  So that means more trips to antique shops and thrift stores.  Darn.

One of the best parts of Ireland has been the natural playgrounds it provides for my kids.  Fallen trees, rock gardens, stone walls, and open fields have all provided an amusement park of exploration.  When we get back to Michigan, we plan to put away the devices more and get out into the beautiful parks and nature centers that our state has to offer.  Even in the heat.

It can be tempting to feel unsatisfied with the place we are heading back to after being in such a picturesque country.  I don’t want travel to leave me in a state of discontentment.  Instead, I want travel to enrich my home life in the city.  I truly love the house that we live in.  Its white exterior, slanted grey roof with dormers on each side, and large windows makes it appear to be a farmhouse in the middle of the city, and if I could someday uproot it and move it to a spot with more land, I would in a heartbeat.

I am bringing pieces of Ireland home with us – including a flag that we plan to wave alongside the American one on our porch.  See you soon, America.


{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Kristin S August 13, 2016, 5:52 pm

    Rebecca, beautiful post.

    I’m reading an early copy of Shannan Martin’s book and I keep thinking of you. You all are my heroes – intentional city living.

    • Rebecca August 20, 2016, 1:27 pm

      I can’t WAIT to get my hands on that book!

  • Maggie August 15, 2016, 7:58 am

    Yes! Ireland changes you, it’s so amazing. We live in small town/ country in Michigan and did mostly small town stuff in Ireland. But driving around the country in Michigan reminds us of the Irish country side, you get hints of it here and there. We also got coffee cups like we used in Ireland cafes. I love your ideas and I’m totally stealing them! 3 years later and I’m still dreaming of Ireland. And I need to paint my front door, did you see all the colorful front doors?

    • Rebecca August 20, 2016, 1:25 pm

      I did! Last year, we painted our front door at home a fun Teal color. And we have our eyes on some homes in the country for a “Someday” move. I think I’ll be dreaming of Ireland for years, as well. Hope to go back soon!

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