This morning, I stepped over no fewer than five stinky, balled-up socks en route to the bathroom. After breakfast, I scrubbed congealed oatmeal off the kitchen table where the 4-year-old sat. I asked for happy hearts to reign during this busy day, and was returned with blank stares. And of course, there was a dirty diaper.
I’m not complaining. This is the stuff of life, and it’s all sign of living with humans, among those I’m rearing and guiding towards maturity. Hugely thankful for that.
And I’d argue there’s even a certain beauty to it all—the snot-encrusted face that grins with devotion as he hands me his paci to give it a try. (“No thank you. No… I’m good. Really. Please stop,” I say as he crams that sucker against my mouth.)
But this dirty, daily grind can honestly overwhelm me if I don’t add a splash of genuine beauty in to my everyday. It’s true… I’m a girl. I thrive on beauty.
In all my homes and in all my travels, I’ve learned that I’m wired to highly value aesthetically-pleasing things. I used to feel guilty about that, as though it meant I was shallow or ungrateful for the less-than-perfect in my life.
I now know it’s symptomatic of my being made by a creative Creator. God, more than any other human that ever existed, loves and values beauty. He’s the Ultimate Artist. The Master Sculptor. The Genius who thought up color.
Why else would He paint delicate stripes and patterns on deep-sea fish that no human would ever likely see? What is His purpose behind every single blossom on every single tree? Any specific reason snowflakes are all completely unique?
He places a high, high value on beauty. On creativity. I figure it’s more than okay that I do, too.
So I like to add a dash of that into my everyday, and I have to say—it helps my attitude. It causes me pause when I’m up to my elbows in dirty dishes. Here are a few ways I do that:
1. I play Pandora or Spotify almost all day long.
My stations change per the family’s mood, but music can subtly, drastically, add beauty to the humdrum of home life. Plato once said, “Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul.”
2. I often light a candle.
Traditionally-scented candles give me headaches, but naturally-scented soy candles quietly bring order and awaken my creativity. It’s surprising how easily a scent transforms mood. I can still remember the sweet cinnamon smell of a childhood friend’s house… I want my kids to one day say the same about our home.
3. I open the blinds—and the windows—when it’s nice outside.
Natural light is good for your mind, your heart, and your health. I’m prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I can testify to the power behind good lighting. Go out of your way to throw open the sashes of your home and see if you’re more energetic. (And I’d love to see an actual sash on a home.)
4. I fill my mind with beautiful words.
Even if it’s for five minutes, I aim to read or listen to poetry (or poetic words) each day. Be it a morning in the Psalms, a good word through a podcast while I fold laundry, or a well-written novel before bedtime, words are powerful. And they don’t always need be utilitarian, though some of the most beautifully-crafted words and phrases often find meaning in my life anyhow. I just love to inhale, fully digest lovely words for its own sake. For my own sake.
These little things are beautiful, and beauty is essential to my mood. They help me lift my head to the heavens. I like to go out of my way to find it at home.
What speaks beauty into your daily grind?
By Tsh of Simple Mom