A discontent heart


Recently I had a conversation with a friend who is an amazing interior designer and has a beautiful home. She also has a very popular blog and often writes about things she's changing around, a wall she's painting, or a re-do project she's taking on. She is very creative and has a gift for making something ordinary look beautiful.

(Let me preface that her blog is her business. It's her 'job' to create within her home and then tell the rest of us how she did it.)

About a year ago I discovered the world of DIY (I know, I'm a little behind) and started following many blogs of women who wrote about their homes. It inspired me to do a few DIY projects and to be a little more creative when I thought about what I wanted my home to represent. But for me, it got a little out of hand. And more out of hand in my mind than it did physically. I didn't run out and spend hundreds of dollars on throw pillows, lamps, or wall paintings. I know better than that and my husband would've killed me. But suddenly I had become discontent with my home. I saw pictures of other women's homes and how pretty and inviting they were, and then I would look away from the computer screen to see my blank, boring walls and stained carpets. I wanted to fill every wall with a pretty picture and every corner with a cute accessory. I didn't like our couch pillows or our tacky, gold factory light fixtures. The list goes on and on. I just wasn't happy with my home.

So back to the conversation I had with my interior designer, blogging friend. It seems people decorate their homes for two types of reasons...

1) Because they really enjoy it. It's a creative outlet. They are gifted at it.

2) They don't like the way their home looks. They are discontent. They won't be happy until it's "perfect".

I would put myself in the second category. At times I do enjoy decorating and creating but I wouldn't say I have a specific knack for it. I was constantly looking for more "things" for my home because the way it was just wasn't good enough. I suppose it's ok to be discontent sometimes if something needs to change but  the reality for me was that we didn't have the money for me to be unhappy with our home. Our financial envelope system does not include a 'home decor' category. Unfortunately.

So what did I do? I stopped. I stopped buying things for my house every week. I stopped thinking about what I "needed" next. I stopped spending hours looking at blog posts of beautiful homes and comparing theirs to mine. I stopped thinking about all the things I didn't like about my home and started being content with what it was.

It's a place of safety. It's a place of comfort. It's a place for laughing and for tears. It's a place for building memories. It's a place for growing. It's a place for friendship. And my hope is that it's a place where there is an abundance of love and forgiveness.

I do believe having a warm and welcoming home is an important thing but it is not THE most important thing.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself if you relate to this at all...

  • Does the question "what do I need to buy next" consume your thoughts?
  • Do you spend more money on buying things for your home then you do on other people?
  • Does your desire to decorate come from passion or discontentment?
I am not in love with our current home but I am happy with it and I choose to be content with it. 

How do you feel about your home?



10 comments:

  1. When we bought our house almost 2 years ago, I did so under the express agreement that it WOULD be updated out of the 60's immediately. Orange shag carpet in the living room (the room that is otherwise quite awesome) wasn't exactly what I had in mind. Nor was my very oddly-laid-out kitchen. Oh yeah, and my "vintage" 60's bathrooms of pepto bismal pink. Anyway, we closed and - lo and behold - the extra money just wasn't there. And three months later, I had to quit my job because I hated it, and it was making my health problems worse. And so began the financial crunch of a lifetime. And we're not out of it. My carpet is still orange. I've barely painted. My kitchen appliances are literally from the 60's.

    And what has happened is that I have watched person after person after person around me spend inordinate amounts of time making their houses "just so" and very well caught up with the Joneses while simultaneously realizing how it's really not all that bad to have a house that doesn't belong in a magazine. I've stopped apologizing (with a false-humility laugh) for my orange carpet and begun to realize the very thing you have here. My home is a HOME. Maybe one day I will have the extra money to put some nice floors in and make my kitchen more functional and the rooms more cozy, but right now, I love these walls and I love this place of safety and this place of belonging. Brown linoleum and all. :)

    I lost a home once - and I also lost one of the people who lived in it with me. A thousand times over I said that I quickly recovered from losing those walls and floors and the place that carried the address... it was what was IN that home with me that was such an atrocious loss.

    Great post. :)

    heather c

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    1. Heather, so cool that you can embrace your house, even if it's not what you've always dreamed of. I've stopped apologizing for my home too:) It really doesn't matter. It is what it is and whatever it "is" is good enough. It's definitely fun to re-do things and be creative with our homes but it sounds like for now you've found contentment and that's awesome. Thanks for your words:)

      ps. when are you going to start blogging? ;)

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  2. I love this post! You are an amazing writer. Thank u for sharing!
    Lots of love
    Angela

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    1. Thanks Angela:) That means a lot. Lots of love to you too!

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  3. Great thoughts, Courtney. Rod and I spent some time looking at model homes for new construction a few years back - just for fun. Finally, I informed him that we had to stop because it made me discontent with what we have now. It's so easy to go there. Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for all God has given us. I'm so glad you've joined the blog world. I like getting into your head! (Hopefully we can find time to do this more outside of the world wide web as well.)

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    1. It's that the truth? Sometimes you just have to stop looking because it only makes your discontentment worse. I just had to stop shopping because it was only feeding my "need" for more stuff. Thanks for your words. Love reading your blog too:)

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  4. Thanks, Courtney! So sad that we want others/things to fill us. When we bought our house I was so excited it was perfect and I didn't need to do anything to it. Look now, I've painted practically every room because it was cold and uninviting. What I couldn't see was that it wasn't the house, it was me. Depression and discontent can go hand in hand. Thanks for the reminder to appreciate who we have in our lives, not the whats!!!

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    1. So true. If we are feeling purposeless then it seems that we find someway to fill that void. I agree, let's fill it with people rather than stuff. :) Good words.

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  5. Spoken as one who's probably old enough to be your mother... you are fortunate to be learning this when you're young! So many people waste time -- and end up hurting relationships -- because they aren't content. It's so true that the things we focus on are the things that (hmmm) we FOCUS on. Keep focused on the One and the ones who matter! You will never regret it. :-)

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  6. Hi!! I found you through the (in)courage link up and I'm your newest follower! Thanks for sharing your heart and wisdom! If only we could be content in what the Lord has so graciously given us....

    Christie
    http://satisfactionthroughchrist.blogspot.com

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