My life is always a little crazy, but it is beautiful just the same.
I have three kids and a dog. My husband and I both work at home all day. We volunteer full time as leaders of a church plant while working full time on the side to pay the bills. My husband loves the background noise of music and TV shows. Our dog barks at everything that goes down the street and frequently runs through the house from window to window chasing people as they walk. While my girls are now college graduates and living mostly on their own, they still come home every weekend to work with us in our family businesses. My son is just entering his teen years. Our house is alive and loud with living.
My ears crave quiet, but my heart loves the sometimes chaotic evidence of God’s goodness and blessing in our home.
I wouldn’t trade the “noise” in my house for anything.
Remember when we talked about finding the right balance of “stuff”?
I am able to embrace a little happy clutter and noise because to me it means that the people I love are here, living a full and meaningful life and are serving God alongside me.
When I see stuff or things we love in our home, I see reminders of my family, their joy, their memories, their sweet presence in our life. Those things are beautiful to me! I love living surrounded by things I love.
I might appear to be a contradiction when I talk about the importance of living with “stuff” we love. I don’t love junk, or excessive clutter, but I love the every day reminders of God’s gifts and the evidence that life happens here. Those “things” are a part of the beautiful life God enables me to enjoy.
There is a balance between enjoying and living with what we love and having so much stuff that we can’t care for or appreciate what we already have.
Too much stuff and we lose focus or become consumed by “things.” We can begin to be overwhelmed or distracted by what we have rather than delighting in how God has provided.
My family is never really comfortable when our home is untidy, filled with clutter or actually dirty and in need of a good cleaning. Keeping up our home and eliminating excess and sharing what we have with others is part of our gratitude for what God has provided. While our housekeeping isn’t perfect, we enjoy the daily ritual of cleaning and tidying up where we live. We feel better and more at peace when our home is somewhat in order.
As followers of Christ, our hope and treasure is in Heaven.
But God provides wonderful things in life for our enjoyment and we can find delight in living with His gifts and reminders of His own creative example.
I can imagine the joy on God’s face when He created the beautiful peacock feathers, or the black and white graphic stripes of a zebra or the kaleidoscope of colors in the garden! He delighted in the variety and beauty of many things He created for our enjoyment!
Perhaps it seems contrary to my mostly quiet craving self, but I do love vibrant color and pattern and being surrounded by things I love. Color and pattern, composition and art just thrills my creative side! A few years ago my sister and I had the privilege of visiting the Musee D’orsay in Paris. I was in TEARS looking at the beauty of a Monet painting in that famous museum.
God is the author of creativity and I’m grateful for His gifts.
If it sounds like my life is filled with beauty, it is. But that is mostly because of how I choose to see it, not because my home or life is perfect or without mess or trials. We’ve had stress and losses and hurts and sickness and long periods of waiting on God’s timing. But God is still good and worthy of praise, even when difficult things happen.
I remember a season when I was suffering from an anxiety disorder brought on by an extremely stressful situation. One of the lessons I learned through that dark season was that it was important to stop and smell the roses, to remember and appreciate the beautiful things God put in our life for our enjoyment, no matter what stinky things are going on around us! And even now when I can’t smell the roses I pause to inhale deeply when I brew my morning coffee. Even the smell of good coffee is clear evidence of God’s goodness, isn’t it?
I want to embrace a beautiful life, whatever that might look like in this season of life, as a gift from God.
Amidst the trials or struggles we have faced or will undoubtedly face down the road, it is the beautiful things that should remind us that He is good, all the time.
And best of all, beautiful things we find around us now can be a glimpse of the even more beautiful life in store for us when we place our hope in Him.
1 Tim 6:17: Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.