Tuesday, October 13, 2015

I Need New Lenses

I follow a blogger whose site is called Miss Mustard Seed. I stumbled across it by accident one morning, but instantly fell in love with the farmhouse style of her pictures. Marian is Miss Mustard Seed and she is crazy talented. This girl can do it all - she shows you how to make slip covers, how to design a room, how to paint reclaimed furniture, and in her spare time, runs her own retail business. What I love most about her, though, is her unique sense of whimsy and the "homey-ness" evident in all the projects she does. 


A few months ago, she was talking about a book she was reading called, Love The Home You Have by Melissa Michaels. I had seen this book mentioned on other blogs, so I looked it up on Amazon. The main intent of this book is to help guide and make clear to homeowners that ANY house can be your favorite house.  You don't have to be in the perfect neighborhood, with the perfect number of picture windows, or have tree lined streets to love the home you're in. It's all about perspective and intention on your part. 

I have to admit, I was intrigued as to why Marian was even reading a book like this. The pictures she posted on the blog of her house looked like something out of a magazine. But in a weird way, it made me a little relieved that someone as talented and creative as she was could also get stuck feeling "meh" about her home. That she could have that same sense of "I wish that was different" or "If only this room had more...". After months of working on our home here in New Jersey, I can sometimes laser focus on what still needs to be done and tune out what is amazing about this house. There's a chapter in the book where Ms. Michaels encourages you to go into each room of your home and look at it "through the lens of gratitude." This idea totally struck me as tailor made for where I am in my life right now, so I decided to take her advice.

Maybe it's because I spend so much of my day washing and folding clothes, but the laundry room was the first place I decided to check out. To my surprise, it did feel different when I looked at it through a lens of gratitude. Instead of noticing the uneven paint on the walls, what jumped out at me was this peaceful view. In every other house we've lived, the laundry room was always tucked away, back in some dark corner. It invariably felt like a place where clothes went to die and I was their funeral director. But not in this house. In this home, I have nature to keep me company while I fold socks and sheets. A definite bonus and something I had neglected to appreciate.

Next to check out? The living room. From the very first time I walked into this house, this room felt like a place where my whole crew could relax and hang out. But again, for most of the time since we've been here, I've been focused on what's left to fix instead of enjoying the room as it is now. Like how pretty the hardwood floors are. Or how my entire family can fit comfortably on that big green monster we call a couch. How the color blue on the walls is exactly what I was looking for, despite the fact I had to make a running stab at describing it for the paint guy at Lowes. 

And it has this- a real wood burning fireplace. Even when we lived in Denver, gas fireplaces were the only choice we had. What a gift to have my whole family piled on the green monster while we enjoy this view. Yes, there are still four patches on the ceiling that need to be painted, but this room isn't a "someday this will be great" kind of room . And the real kicker? It never was. With all it's knicks and scratches, this sweet home in Sha-Nowhere was already providing the comfort and warmth we needed. It was the home base we depended on in the midst of everything being new.  And for that, I can't help but be grateful.

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