On Dust Bunnies and Decorating Blogs

On Dust Bunnies and Decorating Blogs

I’ve always dreamed of hav­ing a blog that show­cases my beau­ti­ful, per­fectly staged home. I so love look­ing at those stun­ning pic­tures with every­thing per­fectly in place. They are so serene, so gor­geous. They inspire me.

But then I look around and laugh.

The thing is, I love that sort of thing. I love dec­o­rat­ing, inte­rior design, mak­ing things beau­ti­ful. It’s just that my house is not the show­case I feel it would need to be in order to pull off some­thing like that.

How do you get a house­ful of chil­dren {Or their toys. Or laun­dry. Or what­ever else they are drag­ging around.} out of the camera’s eye long enough to take those stun­ning pictures?

I can get dis­cour­aged. I remem­ber a day when my house was spot­less. We even had a maid back then.

That was before chil­dren. We don’t have a maid any­more. I think I did the maid thing backwards.

I love to dream and imag­ine my house with just the right paint color, the coor­di­nat­ing fur­ni­ture in per­fect condition.

I have a beau­ti­ful leather sofa. With a flower gar­den painted on the back of it with a black Sharpie marker. It’s quite striking.

I really don’t see it any­more, but I know every­one else does. It’s actu­ally the first thing you see when you walk in my house. It’s right there after the entry­way, into the liv­ing room. All its glory star­ing right at you.

Faith did that when she was about 2. She wanted to make it pretty for me. I never got angry at her for it. I thought it was pre­cious. She drew that for me? Aw. I mean, I was shocked at first, but never upset. But it won’t make the gor­geous pho­tos I see in the blogosphere.

I have a mish­mash of things col­lected from around the world. Our home is warm and invit­ing, or so I like to think. But we live here. ALL of us. So that doesn’t make for gor­geous inte­rior design photos.

I think my strug­gle is more about being con­tent than it is with hav­ing a per­fect home.  I find that I can become dis­con­tent because I never seem to have time to get to those things. I long for sum­mer break so that I have at least a few hours freed up in my day. Not that those hours aren’t taken by some­thing else. In so many ways we have such beauty and delight. We have been blessed abun­dantly. Yet, we get bogged down with the stuff, the dust bun­nies, just the keep­ing up with the basics, sel­dom get­ting to the Martha Stew­art (or who­ever is the go-to per­son for design today…I’ve lost track) in us.

I decided years ago, after many tears and frus­tra­tions, that I needed to let the things give a bit in order to prop­erly take care of the more impor­tant things in my life: my fam­ily. I decided that lov­ing my chil­dren, bear­ing patiently with them, pour­ing out my life for them was way more impor­tant than per­fec­tion in my home. I’d rather have them under­stand the per­fec­tion of Christ in the imper­fec­tion of life. I want them to know that I value them way above hav­ing things just look that way.

I know some peo­ple seem to pull it off. I admire them. I don’t really know how things go in their home, if the chil­dren feel val­ued and loved. They seem to, so I don’t have rea­son to doubt that. These moms must be way more on top of their game than I ever will be.

Yes, we still like it tidy around here. It’s just that we don’t always achieve the “photo ready” stan­dard. Okay, not just always, often. I look at those pho­tos and can’t find a sin­gle dust bunny or cob­web. How do they do that? How do they find time to make every­thing always look so good? Maybe we are only get­ting a shot at the one room that they poured into for that photo. Maybe just on the other side of the cam­era is chaos.

But maybe not.

I feel like Mrs. Tit­tle­mouse. You know. From Beat­rix Potter’s book. She’s a tidy lit­tle mouse who has all these insects pop­ping by unex­pect­edly leav­ing lit­tle dirty foot­prints every­where. She’s con­stantly clean­ing up behind them. She’s adorable.

Mrs Tittlemouse 2

I feel her pain.

But the crea­tures mak­ing the dirty lit­tle foot­prints in her home are not her beloved chil­dren. They are unin­vited guests. Surely that makes a dif­fer­ence. Or maybe not. I sup­pose our hearts should be wel­com­ing of whomever the Lord puts into our homes to min­is­ter to, chil­dren or strangers. Some­times we are incon­ve­nienced by peo­ple we don’t actu­ally love.

But I sup­pose that’s another post for another day.

For now, I will con­tinue to move along in my life, min­is­ter­ing to my chil­dren {and beloved hus­band, of course}, enjoy­ing other peo­ples’ gor­geous dec­o­rat­ing blogs. Try­ing not to envy. But being refreshed by view­ing their beau­ti­ful photos.

And gig­gling at my leather sofa graced with the gift from Faith.

Mrs Tittlemouse

I sup­pose the tidi­ness will come again one day. Unfor­tu­nately, that will most likely come with a house empty of chil­dren with dirty feet. I’d rather fight the dust bun­nies than think of the days with­out them.

I linked over at Joy­ous Notions.

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  1. 1Ti 5:10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up chil­dren, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have dili­gently fol­lowed every good work.

    I don’t see a pic­ture per­fect house listed here but I have seen you and your fam­ily extend these things that God calls impor­tant to me and my fam­ily and I have seen your guest book with MANY tes­ti­monies from oth­ers you have blessed. PS — I never noticed the flower gar­den on the sofa. I was too busy being over­whelmed by your hospitality!

  2. This post made me smile. Just this morn­ing I was look­ing at a BH&G photo arti­cle and one of the floor lamps looked dusty. I was so excited — because I, too, have always won­dered how “they” (the elu­sive & exclu­sive) do it.

    We always say we dec­o­rate in Mod­ern Amer­i­can Child. It’s a good style and works for the mom in me — most of the time. :)

    I do remem­ber the avo­cado in your kitchen — and that one was my fault!
    I enjoy read­ing your work. Thanks for the motivations!

  3. I’ve never longed for that photo per­fect home, but I very often feel weary over just try­ing to keep up. I glance around the house at those lovely “art draw­ings” on my walls, or the scratches on my table, or the stuff on the floor just min­utes after we’ve cleaned, and I’m tempted to get frus­trated, and some­times do. But then I think ahead 10, 15, 20 years, and imag­ine life with­out all these sweet ones under­foot, and then I real­ize that I will deeply miss these lit­tle years. The cud­dles, the cute sounds of their tiny voices, their depen­dence upon me, and the inno­cent joy­ful­ness they bring everyday.

    I also real­ize that the days I *think* I will have a per­fectly neat and tidy home, will be the days of grand­chil­dren. My old­est, mar­ried daugh­ter just recently announced her preg­nancy! YAY! So, I will prob­a­bly never see a day of a per­fect home. And that’s okay!

    Great post!

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