The Beautiful Life

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.

  • Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God

    I do believe that God gives us glimpses of what our Heavenly home will be like if we just take the time to take in all the glorious creativity around us.

    • Melissa Michaels

      Yes, we do need to take the time to really notice what God has provided for us! It is so easy to be so busy or tired or stressed that we miss the beauty right in front of us. Blessings back to you, Bev!

  • Kelly

    From a fellow pastor’s wife, I am grateful for this post. I have learned to see chaos as evidence of life and beauty and love in my home, but I’ve been resenting the noise lately. Thank you for helping me see it as part of the same package of gifts God has given.

    • Melissa Michaels

      Hi Kelly, yes the noise is the hardest part for me too. Right now my dog is barking and I’m just trying to remind myself he is a blessing hahah. :-)

  • Kimberly

    My husband and oldest daughter traveled all week, and while I crave a clean and clutter free home more than anything, I missed the dirty socks and books they leave laying around. A little bit of a mess is truly proof of a full life:)

    • Melissa Michaels

      So true, we can get so worked up about “stuff” and how it bothers us that we forget what a little bit of mess actually means. :-) We are blessed.

  • Rachael @ Mommy, LCSW

    God is the inventor of Beauty, and he placed within us a desire and ability to see Beauty around us. I am with you that the beauty I see around my home isn’t necessarily outward beauty, but the sentiment I have attached to that object. My father’s lunch bucket, that he carried every day for 30 years. A toy that lived on my sons carseat for his first year. Drawings my daughter made. Art prints my husband and I collected when we were trying to make a home. It’s the memories that make them beautiful!

    • Melissa Michaels

      Hi Rachael, Absolutely, I agree there is so much beauty in being surrounded by memories we cherish!

  • Rachel Lundy

    “I want to embrace a beautiful life, whatever that might look like in this season of life, as a gift from God.”

    Yes! This post really resonated with me. Just this week my husband and I sat down in our living room, which was mostly clean, but there were a few stray toys left on the coffee table. It was a sweet reminder to me of this season of life, a time with young children at home. A happy, vibrant family. The children were tucked in bed, resting peacefully. I know that one day I will miss the little toys that get scattered around the house. For now I will cherish these tangible reminders that love, children, and a family live here! This season is a gift from God.

  • Marcy

    A good reminder for this weekend. I’ve been hiding from my list today. You’ve encouraged me to check off some tasks, and then put the list in the drawer for Monday!

    Thank you!!!

  • http://facebook barbra

    your message is so timely. after having a serious surgery 6 wks ago( no cancer thank you, Lord), i am now overwhelmed with a need to clean up, declutter, give away. we have lived in our home 27 yrs; and our children are all grown with children of their own. so i ask myself, why do i have this?, or what is the purpose of that?. once an antique dealer, i grew accustomed to snatching up every yard sale/ what’s it worth?? item. and now they all are here( well whatever didn’t sell when i close shop) i am always inspired with pictures that show a nice collection or rememberence but sparsly spaced . things becomes more meaningful after the threat of a bad disease, we focus on the same…less is more, and what really counts in this life? simplicity, in decor, life and most of all my relationship with my Lord, simple and real, not cluttered up with extra “stuff”
    Lord bless you for sharing this today!!
    because of His Great Love,

    • Melissa Michaels

      Bless you Barbra! I’m so glad you commented today.

  • Denise

    Thank you, Melissa– this resonated with me in so many ways. I felt like you’d been given a glimpse into my life, right down to the past struggles with anxiety. Our home is simple and often crowded and noisy, but there is so much beauty and joy in the living of the life God has given us. Thank you again for this sweet reminder!

  • Elise Daly Parker

    Just love this Melissa. And so agree (and wish I had agreed sooner in my years of raising my kids and stressed less about the mess). Signs of life are a beautiful thing. I remember envying my friends who had picture perfect homes. My house was certainly lived in looking! And now, as I face a lot less mess, I do indeed sometimes yearn for the days filled with noise and chaos…they were also filled with the blessings and love of a home bursting with the gift of family. I’m on the other side of much of this. You might appreciate… Blessings!

  • Angie in Guernsey

    So interesting to read this – I could respond in so many ways but…

  • mel

    This is a great reminder. Thank you. Beauty can be found, we just need to see it, even in the smallest most mundane detail.

  • Beth Williams

    I see beauty all around me. I enjoy our fish tank with 8 little fish in it swimming, beautiful wall hangings given to us by friends, but mostly I look out our windows and see the beauty that God put there for all to enjoy!

  • Amber

    Thank you for helping me appreciate the books strewn all over my living room! I realize now that it’s an indicator of learning . Proof of growing spiritual and theological wisdom. Evidence of my husband preparing for ministry and proof of my own digging for gems.

    Thanks also for this: “But God is still good and worthy of praise, even when difficult things happen.” While things are relatively sunny right now, I’m grateful for this clear reminder that no matter what disrupts my idea of good, God is absolutely good and utterly deserving of my worship, regardless.

  • Lesley

    I absolutely love that you say beauty is in how we choose to see things. Its as if over time I’ve come to see more and more things through God’s perspective rather than the worlds perspective, and so much beauty has opened up to me in ways I never imagined. While it takes more time, finding the beauty in God’s creation that we are not always aware of is a fun adventure.

  • Rebecca McMaster

    Yes! the smell of good coffee is definitely evidence of God’s goodness!
    Great post , thank you!

  • Darlene

    I am a bit older than you “girls” ;-) and it does my heart good to read your posts., especially about the seasons of life! I no longer have the mess and/or clutter strew about ( except for my husbands socks) OR the noise., unless my children & grandchildren are visiting. There are days when I am so lonely for that season once again! Other days I catch myself and say “listen to this, Darlene….this is what quiet sounds like…remember when you longed for this day!” Then I bask in what has become familiar peace rather than unfamiliar.
    Gods grace is all around us. He gave us seasons of life for a reason.
    I am here to tell you grab the craziness, mess & noise for all it’s worth, …sometimes we need reminders of how blessed we are, at this very moment…no matter what season we are in!! A blessed Sunday to all of you!

  • Angela

    What a wonderful article. It reminded me of what my father said about us girls while growing up. He preferred neatness and quiet, but he tolerated messiness and noise because of his love for us and his love for God who gave us to him.

  • Betty

    Thank you for the words of encouragement and reminder of God’s gifts to us. I too am in a later season~~~no more children under foot and clutter of toys. For all of you in the early season with young ones still with you, enjoy every minute of the time you have. It goes by far too quickly. God is faithful and He will see you through all the difficult times and bring you to the season of peace and quiet to enjoy memories made during the chaotic years. God’s blessings to you all!

  • http://none Captain Gerald Thompson

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, this reminds me of my life sort of when I was younger, being one of six children in a home full of love and our worship at our local Baptist Church. Life was so different then and I think in some respects better. I’m a terminally ill cardiac patient and have just received information that my life will end from now until 2 years, 4 months. I thank God everyday that I am still here. You never realize how precious life is until you receive news like this.

    • Esther

      Thank God for you Melissa. This is a wonderful article. It has blessed my life and taught me to look and take things God’s ways and learn to praise Him regardless.
      To you, Captain Gerald, I just want to encourage you to keep up the faith that is in you through Christ Jesus! Believe on the report of the Lord rather than that of the doctor’s. His report says you are healed in the Powerful Name of Jesus. He will sure do it because He is faithful and watches over His Word to fulfill it. Well dear brother in Christ I am sure you are well versed with these Biblical truths, l too, and it shall come to pass in your life in Jesus Name.

  • habitat sheko

    Love the stories, family, noise is all a gift from God!

  • Carollouise

    Just wanted to say God Bless you and your husband as you go forward in your church plant. Also, I hear what you say about clutter. I have been trying to recycle/donate/throw out some of the items in my home that have accumulated in the 35 years my husband and I have lived here (and it’s just been the two of us) partly because I don’t want to leave that task to someone else when my time in life is over and when I donate items I hope that the person who gets them will get use out of them, especially clothing and shoes.

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