Updated: Oct 22
October 9, 2023
Every day we are surrounded by beauty. Oh, I do not mean the crystal chandelier kind of beauty or the “perfectly-manicured-yard” kind of perfection. I do not mean the “house-of-my-dreams” kind of beauty or domestic perfection with no misplaced toys or dust bunnies.
No, in the everyday tussle and tumble of life, beauty surrounds us. We just have to look to see the beauty. Some days we have to look a little harder to see the beauty that envelops our lives, but it’s always there.
Often seeing the beauty that fills our lives is a matter of perception and focus. Goodness may be within my line of sight, but the dingy glasses of ungratefulness blur my vision. Beauty may surround me, but the insignificant imperfections and the eternal undone chores distract my focus from the blessings within my touch.
Seeing beauty in the ordinary takes practice, a spiritual focus that emphasizes gratitude for the good and an open-handedness that accepts the not-so-good as the will of God. Seeing beauty in the ordinary means letting go of perfection and looking to God as the only source of true perfection. Seeing beauty in the ordinary means training myself to praise God for the blessings in my life instead of grumbling about all the things that annoy me.
Seeing beauty in the ordinary does require effort on my part, a daily commitment to nurturing my home. In order for beauty to exist on the ordinary days of life, I need to do a little on my end to create beauty in my home.
Just as a beautiful flower may happen to pop up in a garden plot, more often than not, a thoughtful gardener tended the soil and coaxed some seeds to life through gentle care. My home is like a garden, ready and willing to receive my creative touches, but I must plant seeds for beauty to grow.
Stopping to add a touch of beauty is not a waste of time. I used to think, “Well, someday when I have more time, I will add touches of beauty to my home.” Years have passed since those initial thoughts, and I have never had more time, in fact the time seems to fly faster.
Taking time to add beauty is not selfish or unwise. In fact, following a flight of whimsy to add a touch of beauty to my home fills my heart with joy and helps me revel in what I have been given. Taking a moment to clip flowers or add a new piece to a shelf or rearrange a few items for a fresh look are all the work of a wise and creative homemaker.
One way that has helped me to see and perceive the beauty in my home is taking pictures. Pictures help me to focus on all the blessings that God has given me. Pictures help me to look back and see all the progress that has happened in my home! Pictures remind me of how hard my husband and I have worked to make our house a home (despite the insensitive comments of one that “we have not done much to our home”--I'm learning not to let people's thoughtless comments and disapproval of my home bother me).
Day in and day out, I often see the lack in my home. I see the ever-present dust and dirt (despite my best efforts to rid my home of those pests). In my mind I can see the finished décor project, but what lies in front of me is an untouched wall. Lack of energy or time frustrate me as I wish certain projects were already done.
But pictures lift my view from off of the ever-dirty floor and off of the unfinished projects and help me to see what has been accomplished and what continually blesses my family. I have looked back at pictures and been surprised at how beautiful my home is, not a credit to myself but a credit to God and His kindness to me. Pictures chronicle my home’s journey and all the steps required to get to where it is today.
Photographing my home has also shown me what does need work and attention. Sometimes through the angle of a camera’s lens, I am able to see my home in a new light. Even though the subject of the camera might disappoint me, the dawn of creative ideas and solutions rises within my mind, and hope for something different excites my creative energy.
Friend, if you seek perfection in your home, you will never find it. If you seek perfection in your home, you will run over the home dwellers in the process. If you seek perfection in your home, you will hurt hearts. If you seek “social media” perfection, your heart will brew an ugly concoction of discontentment.
Your home beauty is unique, unlike anyone else’s home beauty. While social media can get the creative juices flowing, I have found I am most creative and happy puttering around my own home thinking of ideas with what I have and can easily source. Spending too much time perusing social media actually hampers my own creativity if I’m not careful, and copying someone else’s style steals my home’s unique originality.
Even if you are not inclined to take pictures, may I encourage you to grab your phone or camera and snap a few photos of your home? Taking pictures isn’t just for bloggers or YouTube creators; pictures will bless anyone’s heart! I think you may be surprised with what you already have, and you will enjoy chronicling your home’s journey of beauty.
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