Sometimes I wonder if we, as a society, were always concerned with the aesthetics of our homes. It certainly seems likely when looking back to antiquity: lavish castles, golden palaces, elaborate pools and gardens. Think of King Solomon and the places he called "home". "Home" was likley too humble of a word for his quarters. Today we have television programs and Instagram feeds like AirBnB telling us how our homes should look. And let's not forget about the wonderful world of Pinterest.
What happens if we step away from these feeds, the ones that feed us too much information, the ones the feed us trends and "supposed to" design tips, and breathe deep, clear our minds, and connect within?
I'm hopeful that without the media over-consumption we're better connected with the beauty that is within, and something both arbitrary and crucial, like the styling of our homes, would be rather effortless.
Contentment is a foundational starting point. Settling into a new home or one you've lived in for fifteen years doesn't guarantee contentment. If looking at what your home doesn't offer, you'll never be content anywhere. You'll either have a place with an abnormally small living area but with a beautiful view, or you'll have the perfect layout with the annoying neighbors. There is no perfect home, but there is home, and isn't that what we all want?
Sam and I honestly struggle with this. We spend our days creating. It's a pleasure to do what we do, it's a challenge to not want to update, change, and redesign EVERYTHING in our own home.
Finding contentment isn't easy, it takes practice, and resolve. If you know, 100%, that you won't be living where you are forever, it's hard to be content, you may find yourself focusing too much on what's next. Why invest? Why update? Why even try?
Remember, we're not promised tomorrow, and our homes are a gift, whether we're in a crummy apartment or a beautiful single family home. Choose contentment, be present, and concern the mind less with what is to come.
Once we're content, we've resolved that where we are now, is where we are, our sight improves. Not necessarily our tangible sight, but our internal sight, what we're able to see below the surface. It's kind of like returning to a place that you've not seen in years, visually, things have changed, but the way in which your see the place, your perspective, has also changed.
Have you ever had this type of experience? As a child you saw a place as incredibly beautiful, wonderful, even magical, but as an adult, upon returning, you were utterly disappointed. You almost wish you'd never gone back. This type of reaction is often a result of our malcontent nature as adults, life wears on us, and we've become critical. We're not able to see through our rose-colored childhood glasses any longer.
Almost always, when we're content with where we are in life, we're able to see what's beautiful most easily. We may begin to notice how charming one of the windows in our home is. This may inspire a purchase of a few more plants, or a rearrangement of furniture to better highlight this window in the home. When we're content, we're less busy thinking about how much we need to save for the future, and eager to visit the hardware store for a new can of paint. It may be time to paint that accent wall you've always wanted in your study.
When we're content, beauty arrives, and if we're quiet enough, we'll begin to see it.
Finding time is the most tangible part of a home beautifying process. It's less internal and more external. You're content, you see opportunity, and now you just need the time to transform your home. You may feel like the first thing to accomplish is a call to ABC Home & Commercial for pest control, or your gardener, because your former discontentment allowed weed apathy to settle in.
Finding time is easier than it seems, we all are able to rearrange our time, at least somewhat. Several of our neighbors that work traditional 8-5 jobs have dedicated their weekends over the past couple of months to working in their yards. Each Saturday morning they're out there, hauling rock, pulling weeks, laying sod, and planting. They've make the time to beautify their yards, sacrificing other adventures they'd likely otherwise pursue.
When our homes are beautiful, and we find them lovely, we rest better. When we rest better, we enjoy our moments away from home more deeply, more naturally, because we've practiced living.
Peace is what we all desire.
"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all." 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Peace is offered to us, but receiving peace is the challenge. It's like anything, in our society, we struggle to receive because we've been taught to work hard to receive. Peace comes differently, peace tells us to slow down, and receive the gift of peace, it's offered to us freely. Why is it we struggle so with receiving, when someone gives us something we feel obliged to give to them in return? Receiving humbly with a whole heart is a beautiful way to bless another person.
Peace in our homes is necessary, just as are contentment, beauty, and time.
Find Yourself in a Beautiful Home
Is there anything more lovely than a home filled with peace and beauty, where the inhabitants exude contentment and offer time to their guests?
A few ways to a more beautiful home:
- Light a couple of candles
- Rearrange the furniture to make things cozier
- Play your favorite album, on repeat
- Open the windows, let in the breeze
- Bake cookies, or muffins, or a lasagna
- Hang the family photos, the goofy ones, the sweet ones, the cheesy ones
- Arrange fresh flowers
- Live with togetherness in mind
*This is a collaborative post.