So, I want you all to know that I have really been looking forward to doing a house tour on the blog. Knowing that I can share my new place with you has motivated me to get lots done and to go the extra mile with the set up of the house. I’m liking the way things are going. I have a favorite room that I’m REALLY excited to share, and I’ve had so much fun getting it all decorated because for the first time ever, this shabby chic-loving mama has finally done an ENTIRE room filled with chipped paint, rusty stuff, and old dishes. A few of my favorite things!
While working on all of these things, I’ve been thinking about the why behind decorating. No, it’s not just so you can spend lots of money. It’s not so you can impress people or so you can put another jewel in your Perfect Wife crown. Decorating is about creating a place where your family can enjoy living. I’m trying to build an environment that is pleasant to hang out in, that is inviting, and that is a calming spot in the middle of a chaotic world. This all sounds very noble and philosophical, doesn’t it? I thought so, too.
And then I caught myself getting irritated with my kids for being “in the way” while I tried to create this wonderful environment for them. I wanted them to stop wanting snacks and to just go away and play in their room. I wanted the baby to quit climbing on everything. I wanted her to stop needing to be held. It was as if I was thinking, Dang, kids! Can you please just leave me alone so I can make your lives wonderful through my artful decorating?
See a problem here?
I was trying to make the house look like a wonderful mother lives here. Yet, I was not exactly in wonderful mother mode while deciding where to hang pictures. Even though I was doing a GOOD thing by trying to make our house comfortable and pleasant, I was letting it get in the way of my doing the BEST thing, which is enjoying my kids in all their kid-ness.
Everything goes slower when you have children. Except time. So, while my decorating may not happen as quickly as I want it to, time continues to speed past and my kids grow another too-many inches. They have their eyes opened to new realities of the world every day, and I should be here, not half-listening, but fully involved in what they are thinking and saying. I am their strongest link between what they see and hear every day and the God of the Universe. And I am a lot more concerned about showing them how He would have us respond to this world than showing them how old earrings really do decorate a picture frame nicely.
Last night at dinner, I sat and listened to my kids and heard their crazy stories and put Emerald in the high chair and then took her out and then put her back in. I looked my dear ones right in the eyes and I laughed over Sawyer’s stories about his mouse brother named Johnny Robinson and I watched Adelade demonstrate her new dance moves and I heard Emerald say “pizza” for the first time. (I’m surprised that wasn’t one of her first words. Edgington diet staple.) The point is, I didn’t miss it by being preoccupied by all the cute ideas on Pinterest. I was there, in the moment when they needed me to hear and see them. And the color of the living room curtains didn’t enter my mind a single time.
I’ve learned a lesson. Creating good things is good. Making home a nice place is important. But, just laughing with my kids is a much higher calling. So, I will continue to enjoy my decorating. But, when a sweet child of mine walks up and has a need or something to say or is outright begging for a turkey sandwich, I will stop. I will look her in the eyes and listen. I will pat his back and give lots of hugs. While I figure out the prettiness of our new place, I will not ignore the blue-eyed, loose-toothed, freckle-faced beauties right in front of me.
They make this place look good.