Tag Archives | Contentment

Thoughts Lately

Hey guys, its been a while.  I’ve had some posts brewing in my mind lately but how to push past the months long hiatus without some kind of explanation?  I was a bit burned-out.  Feeling dry.    I realized I had let some things slide in my own household while I worked on other homes.  I grew discontent with my own home while I perused Pinterest in search of what would make certain rooms just “perfect.”  I over stuffed our closets and drawers, looked with angry eyes at our comfy old couch, and just plain forgot about my love of lighting candles and playing music in the house.  Its like I just forgot about the whole beauty and purpose thing.  It was weird and it wasn’t me.

The truth is I took a break this summer from most things “work” related.  I took on a few projects that were simple and enjoyable to me, like a precious miracle-baby’s gallery wall here…

baby-nursery

baby-nurserya

And I took on a few projects around our house that I had neglected that I do want to show you.  I pondered ideas about minimalism and how we stuff our lives with stuff that we don’t truly care about in order to fill some kind of hole within us and that this practice actually has a much wider negative impact than we ever imagined (here’s a simple explanation of the idea behind minimalism that I love from a blogger I love as well).

But in the meantime I rediscovered what got me started in this whole thing in the first place- my love of beauty and my love of home.  One of the things that really helped in my thought process was this article by Emily from Jones Design Company.  She had just returned from a months long road trip around the country, and after living in an airstream trailer with her family of five she was wondering how she’d feel about returning to all of their stuff.  Would she despise it and long for the simpler life on the road?  Would she give it all away?  Would stuff even matter anymore or would absolute minimalism be the way for her? Here are my favorite quotes from the article:

Our homes are here to serve us. They are meant to be a place of comfort, protection and joy. They are where we do life, where we invite others in, where we gather and grow. They are the backdrop of our lives and important ones at that.

The idea of minimalism has its benefits; there is much to be appreciated and adopted about a life free from excess…

But there is also nothing wrong with surrounding ourselves with the things we love and intentionally filling our homes with beauty…

The goal of our homes is to be comfortable, safe places where we want to spend time and invite others in. Is my house serving me in this way? Is yours?

That’s the important question.

Are our homes doing their job?

I know that everyone is different and after a life changing trip like that, many people will come to different conclusions.  But as a fellow lover of home as well as beautiful things (yes, things), I started looking around my home and wondering how I’d feel after a trip like that.  Would this place feel like home to me?  What were the things driving me crazy here and did I have control over them?  Just a few examples:  my crazy over-stuffed disorganized closets & drawers; my master bedroom that had become a holding place for junk; my living room rug that needed to be replaced; my eleven year old couch that’s a little frumpy and bursting at the seams, but seems to be like that comfy old pair of jeans.  What were the things I could accept and make better not by replacing but by changing my attitude about?  What would make sense to actually replace? What could I roll up my sleeves and do something about without necessarily spending money on but just putting in some old fashioned elbow grease?  What needed to be purged and how could I think even more intentionally about what I bring into our home?

I know I’ve talked about this before and maybe I talk about this a lot.  I guess its just something God is continuing to teach me: contentment is the theme here.  The last thing I need more and more of is stuff.  What I do need more and more of is gratitude, contentment, love, and joy.  These are what make home feel like home.

Thanks so much for reading.  I hope to be back here more and sooner this time. 🙂

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The Struggle for Contentment

Last Saturday, Paul was working and the kids and I took a long drive to visit family for an Easter celebration.  We were winding through country roads, looking out the window for cows and horses, you know, anything to keep the kids entertained.  Spotting an old farmhouse nestled in some trees on acres of beautiful land, I pointed it out to the kids.  “Check out that house, guys!”  It was a harmless gesture.  I love houses.  I love looking at houses.  I appreciate beautiful houses.  I didn’t mean anything by it.

Joanna Gaines' Farmhouse

Joanna Gaines’ Farmhouse (not the actual one we saw!)

The first words out of my oldest son’s mouth were, “No fair!”  Then my almost six year old daughter started repeating it too, “No fair, no fair, no fair!”

Whoa.

As a parent I try my hardest to hide my shock in any given distressing situation.  Overreaction, I’ve found, is a fail-safe way to ensure a behavior will repeat itself, having the exact opposite effect you’d like. So I choked back my surprise and slowly constructed my response.

These ungrateful children!  How could they?  We give them everything they could possibly need!!  And they think its not fair they don’t have an amazing huge farmhouse on twenty acres of land?  The last time I asked them to come play outside with me they were so glued to the xbox I don’t even think they heard what I said.  We just went to Disneyworld for crying out loud!!!!  How about a little gratitude for what they have instead of wishing they had something else or someone else’s life??

Oh.

Flashback to a day last week when what I didn’t have was all I could think about.  When comparing my home to someone else’s left me ungrateful and dissatisfied.  As you can imagine I was grumpy that day.  It wasn’t anyone’s fault but my own.

Here I am, the believer, mother, and wife, the decorator & stylist, sharing with others on how to make the most of what they have, how to live a life of beauty and purpose; and yet I can fall prey to the trap of comparison.  The poison of discontent works quickly.  One minute I think I’m doing fine, the next minute I’m steeped in Instagram and Pinterest images, feeling like I don’t quite measure up.

I silently wondered as we drove on if they had learned it from me.  If they had watched their mom huff and puff in discontent with her stuff, comparing it with someone else’s.  If they had overheard the conversations about somedays and savings; about new bathrooms and new couches.  About all those things that never truly satisfy.  That are like chasing after the wind.

contentment

Don’t you love when those little children you’re raising become mirrors into your own soul?

We did have a little talk in the car that day about contentment and gratitude of course, but I was talking to myself, too.  Praying for eyes that see what’s right in front of me.

“It is better to be content with what the eyes can see than for one’s heart always to crave more.  This continual longing is futile- like chasing the wind.” Ecclesiastes 6:9 NET

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