Discovering the Inspired You

By on February 14, 2013

By Marian Parsons –

Perhaps you’re in that place, that same wallowing-in-self-pity place I was in a few years ago, or you’re just churning through the daily routine of your life. You might be able to concede that you could have untapped creative talents or possibly some mad furniture refinishing skills, but you’re too drained and uninspired at the end of the day to test them out. You go to bed feeling like it’s a victory that your house doesn’t look like it belongs on an episode of Hoarders. Well, it’s time to get out of survival mode and start thriving.

Working on your home is a great way to unearth hidden abilities or rediscover ones that have gotten a little dusty while you raised your family or worked long hours in an office. God has given you talents for a reason—so you can feel fulfilled using them and then share them with others. Putting your gifts to good use will bring so much joy to your life, and that joy will be evident to your family and friends. It’s hard to hide the immense satisfaction you can experience when you make a slipcover for the lumpy, faded recliner you inherited from you bachelor uncle. You’ll ooze excitement over a headboard you made with big-girl tools all by yourself. (Oh yes.) And while you’re experiencing that creative spark, the reward of a job well done, and the intense joy of a tidy space, you’ll also be creating a beautiful and inviting space for you, your family, and all who enter your home as a big bonus. As God breathes new life into your heart, it will spill over into you home. And that’s so much better than the instant gratification you’d get with a TV makeover.

I Want That!

When Marshall was almost five, I felt he was old enough to look through a toy catalog and tell me what he wanted for Christmas. We sprawled out on the floor together, and I explained to him that Christmas was coming soon, so he could look through this magazine and show me things he liked. I opened the colorful catalog, and his eyes lit up. “Oh, Mommy! I want this!” Score! I was so happy that right off the bat he found something he was excited about. I made a mental note of the choice as he kept looking over the page. “And I want this, this, this, this, and that. Oh, and that too.” He pointed to everything on the page. I started to think, This kid is going to be very disappointed on Christmas morning if we continue. So I closed the catalog and went about my Christmas shopping another way.

Isn’t that how we all are, though? We’ll go through life pointing at everything, saying, “I want that!”—and there’s a lot of stuff to point to. We live in a society where we are bombarded with the message that we need to have more and be more. It’s in our faces, it’s in subliminal messages, and it’s available 24/7 in the palms of our hands and at the touch of a button. The truth is, I was probably much more content with my home before I started writing my blog and browsing Pinterest. When I began looking constantly at the clever ideas and beautiful rooms shared on other blogs, I felt compelled to make everything in my home better and better. I thought I had to compete with all of the perfectly stages, Photoshopped pictures of beautiful homes in magazines and on other blogs. I would seriously say things like, “We would have a great kitchen if I could repaint the cabinets, replace the counters, build a cool range hood, install new flooring, get new hardware, paint the walls, replace the sink and faucet, and get all new appliances. Then it would be perfect. Then it would be magazine-worthy.” How ridiculous (and expensive) is that list?

It’s our nature to see things and desire them. People have been struggling with it since God created the world. If we continue to crave the next best thing, though, we’ll never find contentment. If we find ourselves constantly wishing for and wanting more, perhaps we need to close the catalog and focus on all the things we have to be thankful for. There’s no better way to readjust our perspective and move to a place where “I want that!” is referring to kindness, love, humility, and contentment.

 

 

Marian Parsons (Miss Mustard Seed) is the author of the upcoming book, Inspired You, as well as a business owner, blogger and artist who has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens and on The Nate Berkus Show. A regular contributor to HGTV.com and Cottages and Bungalows magazine, Marian lives in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with her husband, two young sons and a constant parade of painted furniture. Follow her on Twitter at @MissMustardSeed or on Facebook at facebook.com/MissMustardSeedBlog.

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Discovering the Inspired You