This past month, I have felt a little lost, even in my own home.  I blame it on two things: no routine and no furniture.  My days have been scattered, insignificant, exhausting. So, I called a truce and it went a little something like this:

Dear Mrs. Daily Busy-Busy, I am kind of done with you and your annoying ways.  I am going to surrender to the “enemy” of slowing down.  My white flag’s a-waving. I am going to stop creating errands to run, people to see, projects to get done.  I am going to spend more time reading and writing and running and rolling around on the floor with my little darling. I am going to stop worrying about looking like a mom who can do-it-all and just start relaxing into my role.  As I said to Cory the other night, I am “so over” all this image promotion that is taking over—impress, impress, impress.  Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and the blog world are so dominated by everyone’s perfect life.  
Yes, I am smart enough to realize that people are putting their best selves out there, and I am glad they don’t air their grimy undies, but in the same respect, are we becoming more concerned with our kiddos looking like Gap models than we are that they model our behavior? Are we more concerned with the perfect house that we are forgetting to create a home? Are we so into cooking gourmet meals that we are not nourishing our souls?

I can be tempted to feel not-enough very quickly by looking at these things.  While I am not someone who believes Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, or blogs are inherently evil–I immensely enjoy them actually (although I do love this post by Honest Toddler about Pinterest)–I think I need to be more careful with the  how often I look at these things, what I am looking at, and what it is doing in my mind and heart. If it is inspiring me to be a better wife and mother, through the sharing of great ideas and thoughts and encouragement, than yes, absolutely, inspire on. However, if it is creating a dissonance and discouragement because I don’t do, do, do, then I need to cut it out and carry on. 

I hope that I am honest and vulnerable enough with those who look at me that they can see I am far from perfection, but I do want to promote a whole life that is honest and real, and beautiful because of it.  I want to operate on the framework of grace, not perfection, of growing, not achieving.  I pray that God will continue to use and humble me in this area.  Sometimes I can become consumed by what “everyone else” seems to be doing.  This played out a month ago when I got this enlightened idea that we should sell most of our furniture and re-do our living space. I’m sure it had to do with me being surrounded by inspired interiors at all of my lady friend’s houses and feeling like my hodge-podge-inherited furniture and arrangements were not-enough.

Since then, I have experienced remorse.  I just want our old furniture back, our old arrangement, our old space.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was worn-in, and memory-laden and cozy. It was ours.  More than the couch and chairs from the living room, I miss our dining room table.  I miss the moments we shared around it and what it represented: dinner together every night, family time, day debriefing.  Sure, we will probably look back on these recent days of sitting on the floor for dinner, propped on pillows against the wall, we will probably remember fondly my parents coming over and somehow fitting four full dinner plates on our small coffee table as we knelt around it and ate.  Those were the days, we’ll say. But, really, I miss having a table.

I think it is the most sacred piece of furniture in our home,  not because of the gourmet meals that will be served (they won’t) but because it is place where we can come from all our activities of the day and land, if only for a few moments, a place that provides relief and nutrition and nourishment, soul and body. I want it to be a safe place where Cory can discuss his tribulations or accomplishments at work and where our children can share theirs as well.  And this sacred space will be lacking in only one thing: technology—no phones, no computers, no TVs. Just family–well, family, and preferably some furniture too.

Here’s the thing, when you are always looking to improve, looking for more/more/more, you find that every spare minute becomes occupied with how to get there.  Cory and I have spent too many weekends this summer doing home projects and too few weekends just having family time.  Last weekend, Cory decided to kidnap us in the middle (like, WET PAINT middle) of an incredibly frustrating project to do this:

It was the best decision.

I don’t think I will ever look back and regret afternoons like that or things like reading too many books, having too many cuddles, going on too many walks, saying too many prayers, spending too many Friday evenings in with my husband.  I will look back and regret trying too hard, rushing around, buying stuff stuff stuff, trying to impress and in turn inspiring the same discontent in others.  I want to live a life that inspires health — mind, body, soul.  What does this mean for you? What useless activities do you need to cut out in order to breathe, enjoying the exact place you are at this exact moment? For me that list is evolving, and challenging and changing my perspective. And, to tell you the truth, I kind of like the view from here, with a sleeping toddler across my lap, reminding me of what really matters.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
 — Matthew 6:21

3 thoughts on “TRUCE

  1. You are truly an inspiration Hilary. Your words are strong and so true. I want to live a life that inspires health — mind, body, soul. It's true that we need to slow down and stop busying ourselves with uselessness. I always look forward to your next post, but more so our next visit!


  2. What great writing and an even greater message. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement to do the things that really mean something to us and to not waste the precious time we have. Love reading about your life, Hil!


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