Okay, so I should rephrase… I don’t consider myself an official “interior decorator”. But, I do consider myself a decor enthusiast.
Whatever that means.
And with the title of a decor enthusiast comes a lot of self-inflicted responsibility and sometimes strife. I mean, I have caught myself agonizing for hours for a blank wall in our home! A wall. It sounds ridiculous just saying it! But I do. Everything in my home is strategically placed with much thought and consideration — breakables 5ft or higher and non breakable decor 5ft or lower (protecting those toddler hands).
So, I must tell you something I have learned as I continue pursing interior design schooling while also being a full-time mom (as if there’s any other type of mom!).
I’m sure if you spent at least 10 minutes on this blog it would be clear to you how much my family has positively influenced me and shaped me into who I am today. I am thankful for the many lessons my mom has taught me but there is one in particular that has been weighing quite heavily on me recently.
The valuable lesson my mom taught me VERY early on is the fact that stuff is just stuff. It can be fixed, replaced, easily forgotten, and interchangeable. What can’t be replaced is our time, memories, and how we choose to live out our lives.
Thank you, mom!
Every six months (give or take) my mom would get us all together to have a family purging day. During that day we would go through our toys and toss whatever is broken or donate whatever we don’t play with anymore. Each time we brought in a new toy we were asked to replace it with an old one to prevent further clutter.
At the time I would pitch MANY fits when I had to participate in these
extremely boring wonderful purge days. I did not like throwing away my toys that sat in the back corner on my closet shelf for three years that collected dust.
>>> Quick insight here: I am a person who likes to find a use for everything. I would say it’s one of my biggest advantages as a decorator but also one of my biggest faults. Yes, I am the person that collects wrapping paper scraps and broken pieces for projects I may do. However you’ll be happy to hear that I am anti-clutter so you won’t see these ridiculous items out in the open.
Anyways, my mom would strike a deal with each of us children. She would go through our rooms to purge without us and when she was done IF we could name whatever she took out we could have back. Let me tell you what, during the many years she did this I was only able to name one item she grabbed. ONE. That quickly taught me that stuff is just stuff, it’s the idea of tossing what is mine that cause the issue.
With that lesson and also growing up in a large family my mom was always quick to show me that stuff will break, tear, and stain but life always moves forward. Instead of getting mad at us children when we broke something she would insist we help with the clean-up process and afterwards tell us to go back to our games.
We were not punished, chastised, or in trouble when we accidentally broke something but instead my mom used it as a great time to minister to us children that God blesses us with material items BUT they do not last for forever. This is why we should not put so much merit into items and put more emphasis in building meaningful relationships which is one of our greatest purposes as God’s children.
Everything materialistic has a life span; if little fingers don’t shatter it, time surely will.
Of course there must always be a balance. Being a woman who fears the Lord I truly do believe that the money we acquire throughout the years is always a gift from God — we choose how to spend it and hopefully we make wise choices. So, I would like to say that we should always value our “stuff” but also keep in mind that it can always be replaced while relationships don’t quite have the same fortune.
Holes can be mended in only a couple of minutes but friendships take much longer and broken items can be put back together but this is not always the case for broken hearts.
The moral of this story?
Mama, next time your child runs a little too carelessly or plays a little too hard and breaks what was once precious to you, just remember that their little hearts are precious and delicate. I’m so guilty of this too! Watch your words carefully and keep your anger in check because items are always replaceable but our children’s hearts are not. Our decorations are beautiful but sometimes the imperfections in our homes caused from our children living in them is so much more beautiful! >>> To see an example of this go look at the art I created on my newly refurbished farmhouse table with my daughter’s naughty scribbles!
This is the biggest lesson I have learned as a “decor enthusiast” while also being a mom.