Pockets of Beauty

Something that has often saved my sanity is the concept of “seasons”. When I understand the whole of my life as being made up of different seasons, it frees me from the pressure to have everything perfect, all the time. It frees me from desires I have that conflict with each other.

Often these will be all good desires, but they can’t all work at the same time. So I hold onto some things and I let others go, because it won’t work for me in this season.

One way I apply this is acknowledging that in this season, it doesn’t work for me to have the whole house clean at the same time.

So I try to stay on top of the basics and I focus on different areas as I can. One day the bathroom might be looking (and smelling!) great, but the kids’ bedrooms are a mess. Another day, the kitchen might be clean and tidy, but the bathroom has clothes and dirty hand prints every where.

My house might not have the decorative finesse of an instagram feed, but there are corners of the house where I have used my creativity.

I like to think of these as “pockets of beauty” – little spaces that just look nice and bring a smile to my face as I pass them, even when there is mess all around.

Since I spend quite a bit of time in the home at this stage, I find that having beauty in my surroundings helps motivate me in my work.

Of course, with little kids and toddlers around, it’s always a challenge to find the right balance between “functional” and “beautiful”. But generally speaking, I find it works best to keep “functional” stuff down low, and “beautiful” stuff up high. 😉

 

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When I bought this from the shop, it was silver letters on a plain white canvas background. I coloured in the canvas with fabric markers to give it a bit more contrast.

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This is a nice little shelf just outside the hallway to our bedroom. I keep my CDs here, my wedding bouquet (it’s made from foam roses) and my Bible and prayer journal.

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This is the window ledge in the bathroom – I recently cleared away all the bottles, toothbrushes and products to make room for this little display. Fun fact, this twine-wrapped vase was the first ever MOPS craft I made!

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Probably my most frequently changing display area, this is the top of my microwave. At the moment, it has a jar of olives from our back yard, a lovely ceramic Christmas tree, some candles and a fake flower display (another MOPS craft!).

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Happily Married?

You know that clichéd movie scene (that I can’t find any examples of on Youtube…), where there is a woman sitting at a bar. A man comes over and offers to buy her a drink.

She smiles and answers, “I’m married.”

He asks, “Happily?”

The implication being, that if someone is happily married, then you shouldn’t bother hitting on them. But if someone is unhappily married, then they are ripe for flirting and pursuing a sexual relationship with.

And this kind of scene (with it’s implication) has always irked me. Because being unhappily married shouldn’t give someone a free pass to hit on you, and it shouldn’t be used as a justification to cheat.

I have no idea if this kind of thing happens in real life – movie dialogue tends to be somewhat stilted and is there for it’s ability to further the plot, not for it’s accuracy.

But I have certainly heard of adulterous relationships starting because one spouse shares with a “friend” that things are difficult in their marriage. This then builds emotional intimacy and paves the way for sexual intimacy with someone who is not their spouse.

The Bible also tells us that spouses who are not sexually satisfied will be more tempted to go outside the marriage – “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:5). And yet, this is by no means providing a justification for people to commit adultery if their needs are not met.

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What is important is not that we are happily married, but that we are faithfully married. That we keep our vows even through seasons of unhappiness and dissatisfaction.

And on the flip side of that, if you feel unhappy in your marriage – or if you start to notice yourself being more receptive to attention from people outside the marriage – DO something about it!

Sure, one person cannot be responsible for the whole marriage on their own, but one person committed to doing good for their husband or wife (no matter what) can certainly make a big difference!

As the saying goes, the grass is greener where you water it.