Who’s in charge of the beauty?

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
Psalm 27:4

naked window

Nobody told me.

I didn’t know when I got married that I was going to be responsible for this.

I knew to expect the routine: housekeeping; kids; meals.

But beauty?

I suppose intuitively I knew it, somewhere deep down, that women are often in charge of the “pretty things” in a home. Women are usually the ones who buy the knick-knacks, decorate for the holidays, pick out pictures for the wall.

And I guess I can, but beyond the minimal basics, well, I think I’m missing a gene. I still haven’t hung curtains (or even blinds) on my living room windows. All my shoes and all my clothes fit easily on my one side of the closet. And my favorite wall art is simple photos of my kids.

And I have no problem with that. I’m utilitarian. 

Hidden_Art_of_Homemaking_Edith_SchaefferBut to check if I was missing something, a few years back I bought The Hidden Art of Homemaking, a small paperback by Edith Schaeffer (Francis’ wife), published in 1985.

What did I discover?

I wasn’t missing anything after all. Sure, I could kick it up a notch (okay, SEVERAL notches) according to the “interior decoration” chapter, and maybe the “clothing” and even “food” chapters.

milking a cowBut, hey, artistic expression is as individual as we are, and even though my expression may not be as traditional as some, God did put it in me in his own unique way.

  • Isn’t knowledge a beautiful thing? I keep my home filled with books on whatever subject you need.
  • Memories are beautiful. I am a curator of times past through photos (and one day I’ll get them all scrapbooked—maybe?)
  • I make sure our Family Journal gets written in periodically by each member of the family.
  • I encourage beauty in my daughters through their artistic gifts of photography and ballet and drama and writing and cooking and flower-arranging and music, and a million other creative knacks they have.
  • There’s a certain beauty in loving a man well. Do I succeed? I can’t say. But I know I try.
  • While my daily prayers may not be visibly (or even audibly) beautiful, I like to think they’re beautiful to the Father, and maybe to those I’m interceding for.

Beauty isn’t necessarily about what can be seen. Or even what can be captured.

But when we do recognize beauty, each in our own way, we can praise the ultimate Designer. He is responsible for it all. 

And that is a beautiful thing.

* * *

Who is responsible for the pretty things in your home?


14 comments:

Dianna said...

A BEAUTIFUL post, Lisa. It isn't the outer things of beauty in our homes that count nearly as much as the attitudes of our heart and the way they surface in our relationships.

Thank you for mentioning about the book by Edith Schaffer, also. I'm headed to amazon now to see if it is still available.

Julie said...

Oh Lisa, that is a fantastic book. One of the ones I have held on to for over 2 decades of marriage. What a wise woman she is and look at the man she was married to! Wonder what that was like? You are so right...It's not the physical that even our family pays so much attention to as the mood and setting of our home..I hope that my family would feel the change when they walk over the threshold of our doorways from outside. All the intangibles that surround them and settle down around them like a soft blanket as they return "home". All the nicks and chinks that have been made in their spirit in the outside world would get filled in with love and acceptance and beauty and confidence of who they are....here...at home, and they relax, and sigh...knowing it is safe and a wonderful source of comfort...ahhh...I get it...just what you are talking about...what a woman really wants under the surface of all the pretties or meals or chores she has done...the one who holds the "home" together.
BEAUTIFUL post. Thanks for your words. Hugs to you! Have a wonderful Thursday.

Barbara H. said...

That book helped me a lot -- I used to wonder if it was wrong to want to decorate and beautify, but that book assured me that it's fine (when balanced with budget and time needed for other responsibilities), that God could have made the world just functional, but He made it beautiful as well. My husband has said that if he lived alone the walls would probably be bare, but he loves the homeyness the decorations provide.

I love the different types of beauty you mentioned, and agree that expressions of beauty are different for different people.

penguinsandladybugs said...

Beautiful post....I love the idea of a family journal! I'm going to check out the book now....

Lisa notes... said...

I didn’t know this book would be familiar to others. Cool! I can’t imagine handling the L’Abri lifestyle as gracefully as Edith did. I’m too much of an introvert. Ha.

I agree that I want my home to be a haven, too, a place of quiet rest, “knowing it is safe.” Sounds a little bit like heaven, huh?

Lisa notes... said...

PenguinsAndLadybugs:
The Homemaking book would definitely be considered old-fashioned today, so keep that in mind if you find a copy. ;-) But the principles remain the same; providing a place of beauty for our family in many different venues.

We started our family journal a few years ago just writing common, everyday things in it. We go through periods where we don’t write for months at a time, but somehow it always gets picked back up again (usually because I request it! Ha). It’s been really neat to see all the ways God works through the years.

elizabeth said...

Edith Schaeffer has been my book mentor since I was in college, more years ago than I want to admit. What a woman of beauty, inside and out! I have all of her books, and most of her husbands. They were world changers...

Trisha said...

Lisa,
This is one of my favorite books! What a great post. I enjoy reading how you tie everything together. Wonderful!!

Bonnie Gray said...

"There's a certain beauty in loving a man well." Girl, you gave me goosebumps. Isn't that the real beauty. Add this to your list of priceless gems for your girls. I am always happier reading your words. Incredible jam, Lisa.

Laura said...

Hmmm...that's a good question. When you live with 5 guys, the standard for beauty is markedly different. My beauty and yours are probably two different things. But I'm sure we can both agree on -- and extol -- the Source of beauty!

Lynn Severance said...

I, too ( among some other who posted here) read and appreciated that book by Edith Schaffer.

I am reminded of the different parts of the Body of Christ. We all blend into the whole that is Him - each part needed.

I, for one got a lot of the genes that love creating a visual haven in my home so that when others enter in they are at peace, ready for the deeper peace that can then be shared.

There are skills that I see in others - beauties I am not and do not have - that make me stand in awe in how wonderfully balanced God is and how He knew we needed one another to blend our beauties to manifest Him - to others and to the world.

Praises, friend for the beauty you are!
Lynn

Melissa said...

Love this post, Lisa. I'm not much of an interior decorator: we have few wall hangings, our windows are covered with blinds and no curtains, and we chose the most neutral carpet color we could find. But you're right that beauty is all around us, and it's not always visible.

And yes, everything good and everything beautiful comes from the Lord!

Brenda said...

Lisa, what a great message. So different from what the world tells us
I like this verse "The King is enthralled by your beauty, honor Him for He is your Lord." Ps 45:11

Sheryl said...

I'm responsible for everything at my house I love the message that I don't have to have a Better Homes and Gardens house for it to be beautiful. I'm not good at frou-frou, and if some of the windows didn't come with curtains, I'm not sure how long it would've taken me to get them.

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