I think from time to time it's good to just stop and be real. This can definitely be a little intimidating because it requires vulnerability, but here goes. Today, I'm going to veer from my usual home decor post just to share my heart with you a little. I've been thinking a lot about simplicity lately. It's something I'm longing for more of. Less stuff. Less noise. Less stress. More time to breathe. When a friend asks me "How's life?" I don't want my response to always be something like, "crazy" or "busy" or "stressful." How amazing would it be to be able to respond with something like "peaceful" or "quiet" or even "simple?" When I think about what it would truly look like and what it would take to bring more simplicity into my life ideas like getting rid of things I don't need, spending less time on my phone, cutting back on activities, not over-committing myself, those are the types of things that come to mind. When I dig deeper, however, the real issue, at least for me, is contentedness. I think that is the first step to achieving simplicity. How much of our lives do we waste running after things we don't really care about in order to impress other people? How much money do we spend buying things we don't really need or even want? How much time do we spend involved in things we don't really care about? I don't know about you, but If I'm really being honest with myself, I do a lot of these things because I'm feeling some level of discontentment with who I am, where I am, or what I have.
I know for a lot of us who follow home decor blogs or are part of the decor community on Instagram, it's SO easy to see the photos of other people's homes and to feel like we don't measure up or to wish we had what someone else has. It's easy to think things like, "My house is too small." "My house is too big." "My kitchen isn't white enough." "My walls aren't gray enough." "My style isn't farmhouse enough." I would encourage you, even challenge you, to step back, stop comparing yourself, and look at the beauty around you, in your own home and in your own life. Do you really need those things to be happy? If you had those things would you really be happy? I'm sure you've heard it said that comparison is the thief of joy, and I couldn't agree more. So take those beautiful ideas you find on Instagram, and screen shot them, Pin them, file them away in your mind, whatever you want to do, but think of them as that, just ideas, not meters by which you should compare yourself.
I definitely don't have it all figured out, but this is what I am discovering, and this is what I want to leave with you. If you're wondering how to go about finding contentedness, I would suggest starting with gratitude. I think the first step to being happy with where you are and what you have is to cultivate gratitude. A great way to start is with a journal. Every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed, write down five things you're grateful for. It really forces you to take a look at who and what you already have, and when you're mindful of those things it really is hard NOT to be grateful. When we're grateful for what we have, we're more content with what we have, and when we're more content with what we have, we're not wasting so much time, energy, and money running after THINGS, and before we know it we have already taken the first step in achieving simplicity. So, to start you off, here are five things I'm grateful for today; the sunshine outside my window, my wonderful husband and my beautiful daughter, coffee with cream, my quiet neighborhood, my home, just the way it is, dust, smudges, and unfinished rooms included. If your heart is longing for the same thing as mine, I hope this spoke to you and peppered a little encouragement into your day! Thank you for reading!
"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." ~Ephesians 5:20
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever." ~Psalm 136:1