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Thursday, March 22, 2012

a simple life

Things from generations before me have always drawn me to them like a magnet.   There is something comforting about them.   They carry with them the sentiments of a simpler time when things moved slower.  They drew you into relationship with others instead of distracting and drawing you out into the world. Manners were important, grace and appreciation were found in easy abundance.  Pride in ones work and respect for an other's wasn't hard to come by.  Doing something well, instead of fast, was not something to think twice about.

Mr teases my Donna Reed dream sometimes (though even she might be more modern than the lifestyle I'm drawn to).  Not with malice but with love.  I take it as a sign of success.  What I'm trying to accomplish in our home is working and it helps me to keep going.

A simple life.  One where convenience isn't a priority.  Food is made from scratch, things are used and taken care of so they can be reused instead of disposed of.  Home is a place where people matter more than the things, a bowl can be broken - forgiveness served with a smile - and help with the mess received.  A life where attitude and character count more than money or grades.   Effort is applauded in successes so the focus is on the person and not the object of accomplishment.

We live in a world where a fancy phone is so impressive people covet whatever the new model is but a beautiful sunset is shrugged off.   They are one of a kind, never repeated, never seen again.  I hope, with enough time, to teach my family that a spectacular sunset is worth stopping for.....worth attracting their attention.  Gadgets come and go but the deep and true things in life are what is worth paying attention to.  

This life of simplicity that I slowly try to weave into our normal existence goes so far beyond the antique "outdated" is the substance that flows underneath.  Quality over quantity not just with things but with relationships.   Building an atmosphere to nurture the spirit as well as the body....a place so stable and unwavering it embraces and accepts all who enter, touching them so deeply they are changed when they leave.   Home is so much more than a structure.   Home is a safe haven, a recharging station, a place where we grow, contemplate who we are, what we have learned and where we discover our innermost identity.

A home that is clean and tidy can be welcoming and inviting, to the mind as well as the body, but there is a line that can be crossed.  When the focus moves too intently on the things in the home or some image that must be portrayed.  When people feel they cannot sit anywhere or that they are too low to be in the space, that line has been crossed.  Making a home is an art, an act of love and learning that takes trying and failing.  You need to make a mess of some things before you can learn to make them truly beautiful.

Simplifying life leaves more room to experience it, to love those who are in it.  Our homes, like our souls, need to be purged now and again to get rid of the useless things we hang on to.   Clutter is so much more than visual chaos.   Often it represents something deeper.....things from our past that we've not addressed.  Hurt we cling to so we can use it as a weapon when we feel threatened.  Or a mark of having become complacent...too easily overlooking things that need attention......being blind to the obvious or simple laziness.

Personally I find that my home often represents where I am internally.   When my home is in chaos, often, so am I.  When our home is cluttered, so is my mind.  I think many people are that way, in that their space is reflective of where they are inside, but not everyone identifies the connection.  

I can identify several areas where I've been slipping in my home.  I struggle to maintain a schedule that I know keeps me efficient.   It's a process after all.   Not a perfect one and it doesn't look or feel the same for any two people but we must make the effort.  It is worth the effort.   They are worth the effort.

The wise woman builds her house but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
Prov. 14:1

Blessings to you for all the richness of a simple, un-distracted life.
the Mrs.

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