a home, simple and beautiful
Having weather delicious (as "Anne with an E" would say on my new favorite show) enough to leave open your windows all day is one of my favorite things. Clean surfaces gleam, walls become a frame for the green that surrounds my house. The clutter and the excess seem to jump out at me in these times, like the fresh air reminds me I don't need much. And it is true, I don't need as much as I believe.
I live with a lot less stuff than I used to, and I also live with a good deal less stress and busy-ness than I used to. I do like many of the concepts of minimalism, but I want to be clear that it is NOT going to suddenly give you a meaningful stress-free life. It's just a means to that end. A lasting, true peace can only come from walking with Jesus. Rather, I've come to realize the benefits of evaluating and changing my role as a consumer, which I am, and you are.
I used to drop hundreds of pointless dollars at HomeGoods over the years for items I wasn't even planning to buy. I shopped for sport, I overspent my budget, and I really had no intentionality behind how I was cultivating my own home. But buying lots of small stuff I could "afford" made me feel better about the popcorn ceilings or clunky sofa, so I kept doing it. It went like this: buy something I think I might like, get a high, bring it home, move it around for months, take it to Goodwill or give it to a friend who also doesn't need it.
So I ended up with a home that felt like exactly what it was...purposeless. It was a place I kept my impulses to show to people who don't care about them, and it created a good deal of stress every time I stopped to look around and realize I hated just about all of it. In my heart I wanted a peaceful, interesting, and welcoming space, but instead I had a shrine to a bunch of trendy crap.
I have been taking journey towards simpler living (it's ongoing) as I read and watch more about it, and I am convinced it has been a step in changing me for the rest of my life. I no longer have unloved decor items piled in my husband's office, in guest room closets, and stacked in the garage. I don't take forever to pick out an outfit anymore, yet I feel more put together and like myself. Cleaning doesn't give me an overwhelming feeling anymore, though I ain't gonna lie, I'm not singing along with the birds while sweeping. I wish I could say it's like a 1-2-3 step and then "ta-da!" I'll never be stressed by my home again, but it's not like that.
It's more like I am finally tuning in on what brings me joy, and what doesn't. I love vintage items, white, branches in vases, green, texture, simplicity. Even typing those things gives my heart a little pitter-patter. I don't really identify with the all white, modern, empty homes that seem to be the mainstream representation of minimalism. I like things that are interesting and meaningful to me. I am total fan of gallery walls and stacked blankets and layered rugs. But now home feels like rest to me because the things I'm surrounded by, I smile at. It has become a place for an overly talkative, dreaming person like me to feel calmed and most like myself. So when I come across a beautiful item, I evaluate whether or not it will bring more trouble than joy in my home; if it fits in with "me". Will I smile when I stop to look at it, or will I move it from surface to surface, unwilling to part with it because I "paid good money" for it?
At least once a day, I look around our house and say to Madison, "I love our house so much." Even though it isn't finished, it just feels like everything is going in the right direction. It's welcoming, warm, and simple. I don't know that I would have gotten such a clear vision for our home had I not been impacted by simpler living. If you are interested, below are a few resources I enjoyed:
Click on each picture to either buy or watch: