Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Finding Contentment in the Home You Have

Good morning, friends! Grab some coffee and let's chat for a while about our homes. I shared a little on Instagram the other day, but, today I want to talk more in depth about finding contentment in our homes. And at the end I'm sharing some of my favorite budget friendly ways to create a beautiful and unique to you, home. Hint- It's mostly about perspective, patience and elbow grease.

“A true home is one of the most sacred of places. It is a sanctuary into which men flee from the world’s perils and alarms. It is a resting-place to which at close of day the weary retire to gather new strength for the battle and toils of tomorrow. It is the place where love learns its lessons, where life is schooled into discipline and strength, where character is molded.⁣
Few things we can do in this world are so well worth doing as the making of a beautiful and happy home. He who does this builds a sanctuary for God and opens a fountain of blessing for men.⁣
Far more than we know, do the strength and beauty of our lives depend upon the home in which we dwell. He who goes forth in the morning from a happy, loving, prayerful home, into the world’s strife, temptation, struggle, and duty, is strong—inspired for noble and victorious living. The children who are brought up in a true home go out trained and equipped for life’s battles and tasks, carrying in their hearts a secret of strength which will make them brave and loyal to God, and will keep them pure in the world’s severest temptations.” —J.R. Miller

Our homes don't have to be magazine worthy to be life-giving.

It’s ok if your home isn’t your dream home. But spending all your time wishing for something else is only going to breed jealousy, greed and unhappiness. It will literally steal your joy. Making you and everyone around you miserable. So while you have this special image in your head of the home you want one day, how can you be content in the home you have now? There’s two steps.

The first is to practice gratitude. Remember this saying; “There is always someone out there who wishes that they had what you have.” Another way to practice gratitude is to remind yourself of all the ways your current home protects and serves your family.

The second step is: to lovingly care for it. I know it can be hard to feel motivated or inspired to do this sometimes, especially when you have a mile long list of projects you'd love to do. But I promise, when we spend the time to care for our homes, we bond with them. 

Simple free or cheap ways to care for our homes -

1. Clean it! Vacuum, mop, wipe down kitchen and bathroom, dust, get rid of clutter, make those windows shine, put.away.the.laundry. (preaching to myself on that one). Clean your carpets! Look, if you have carpet, I can promise you that investing in a carpet cleaner is A LOT cheaper than the wood floors you’d rather have. Don’t not do it bc “one day we’re getting rid of this carpet”. Especially if one day could be years away. I have a carpet cleaner I got for under $100 and I love it! New furniture not in the budget? Clean, repair, freshen up what you have. Rearrange it! 

2. Refresh your paint. Paint is one of those things that isn’t a huge expense and makes a WORLD of difference. Even just going around and touching up the existing paint will make your home feel new.

3. Add flowers or plants. $5 dollar grocery store flowers can really go a long way. Houseplants are also relatively cheap and I’ve had some of mine for over 6 years now.

4. Personalize. I refuse to spend a lot of money on decorating our home. There are so many budget friendly ways to do it. So this is where I love to challenge myself to either use what I have, or make it myself, or find bargains/wait for sales. We live in a trendy, more more more, culture and it is breaking our bank accounts and creating homes that all look the same. So here are some of my favorite ways around that.

-Our little town has flea markets one weekend a month during the Summer and I have found some really inexpensive treasures there. Goodwill. If there's something specific I'm looking for, I prefer to visit the stores in bigger or fancier towns because they will likely have a larger selection and nicer things. We have a vintage oil painting gallery wall in our living room and all of the paintings were either scores from family, flea markets, yard sales, goodwill or FB marketplace. 

-We also have a collection of items passed down from family that we love to display. You'll see really gorgeous ceramic and wooden ducks all over our house that belonged to my husbands grandpa. I have several treasures that belonged to my grandparents as well. I framed an old document from my Papas Navy days that is a huge conversation starter! I'm a big fan of displaying heirlooms and other things that honor a special person or accomplishment. 

-CRAFT! Hang your kids artwork! Find ways to display the cool projects they make. If you walked in my house right now you'd see a few dozen drawings my kids made just taped to the walls. They take a lot of pride in their work and love that I let them hang it wherever they want. Occasionally I go around and take them all down and let them start over. 

-Probably my favorite hack is using bed sheets as curtains. Curtains add soooo much texture to a room but they can be very expensive, especially if you have large windows. You can buy twin size flat sheets, use a seam ripper to open up the area at the top of the sheet (open at the edges) and slide the curtain rod through. Use a steamer or wrinkle release spray to get the creases out and make them look custom.

These next two photos are from our old house. We had massive windows and custom curtains weren't in the budget, that's where the idea of using sheets was born.

-Print your photos!! I use Walmart one hour printing service. They're cheap but quality. They also have really nice inexpensive frames. 

-Make your space feel new. Like I suggested before, rearrange your furniture! I often rotate/move my kids toys around and every time I do this it's like they just got all new toys. You can also take everything off the walls and hang things somewhere different. Basically trick your brain by making a space look completely different, without spending a dime.

“I believe that a godly home is a foretaste of heaven. Our homes, imperfect as they are, must be a haven from the chaos outside. They should be a reflection of our eternal home, where troubled souls find peace, weary hearts find rest, hungry bodies find refreshment, lonely pilgrims find communion, and wounded spirits find compassion.”- Jani Ortlund

If you have any ideas that I didn't mention, I'd love to hear them!

Thanks for hanging out, I hope this gives you some inspiration. ❤ 

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