Creating beauty at home is important. It matters. But why? Why is beauty important, especially at home? Because beauty nourishes our heart, mind, and soul.
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Why is beauty important? Why do we work so hard to make our home, yard, and a little corner of the world beautiful? Does it matter that we paint our walls, hang pretty pictures, set a special table, or create a pretty vignette? Is all this effort meaningful?
In a word, yes.
When the Reason Became Clear
I’ve always known that beauty is important. I strive for order, flow, attractive placement of objects and colors in my home. Goodness knows I’m not a decorator, but I think I do okay. In October 2018, Kristi at French Creek Farmhouse invited me over Instagram to join a tablescape blog hop. I wondered if she got me confused with another blogger. My initial reply was, “Do you know I’m not a decor blogger?”
Yes, she knew, and through the experience, I found a new friend and learned that yes, I can create a pretty tablescape!
I’d always just used my set of china, the crystal stemware and special set of flatware that is a gift from my husband to set the table for special occasions. The white cloth napkins get ironed and the table is pretty. But by accepting the challenge to create a blog-worthy tablescape, I learned to really think through creating something beautiful and meaningful for my family.
We were home for Christmas. The kids returned from Germany on Christmas evening. Having not just a nice table (the usual china etc), but a beautiful table set to greet them for Christmas dinner on their return home made them feel so very loved. That table made my family feel valued. It lifted them up and blessed them.
Creating Beauty at Home Reveals Value and Love
But it’s just a tablescape. How can a tablescape uplift and bless someone? The beauty that uplifts and blesses is the result of loving effort. It’s the love that comes through in the beauty of the final creation.
Beauty reflects love.
When something is painstakingly made beautiful, it is an act of love. A person’s soul is revealed in their reaction to the thing of beauty. Do they want to embrace it, enjoy it, appreciate it, and drink it in? Or do they want to deface, mock, and destroy it? There is almost no neutrality where beauty is concerned.
In our homes, beauty uplifts and blesses those who live there and visit it. When our homes are cared for, decorated with pretty and meaningful things arranged well, and photos of wonderful memories and loved ones, there is beauty.
Functionality without beauty is sterile. Lifeless. Beauty breathes life into all of creation – natural and man-made.
Beauty Touches Something Deep Within Us
One of my very favorite books is The Lord of the Rings. The movie series is great, but the book… oh the book! The author J.R.R. Tolkien was friends with C.S. Lewis, who wrote of The Lord of the Rings “It has a beauty that burns like cold iron.”
Beauty that takes our breath away does kind of burn, doesn’t it? It’s almost a visitor from another dimension. I think one of the qualities of beauty is that it stirs something with us that makes us want to be better.
I have to shake my head at George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones, being called a “modern-day Tolkien.”
Not. Even Close.
Tolkien wrote heroic characters fighting for something larger than themselves. The beauty he creates in ethereal Rivendell and Lothlorien, the simple country Shire, the fortitude of the Rohirrim and Gondor, possesses a nobility completely foreign to the inhabitants of Westeros.
Tolkien’s characters strive to be strong and brave. Martin’s characters are nihilists. There’s no beauty in nihilism.
Beauty is Worth Striving For
Beauty isn’t easy. That’s why there are countless resources dedicated to helping us attain it. I admire a good interior decorator. She can really help pull a home together and bring out the beauty of the hearts and souls of the people living in it. Creating beauty that is approachable, meaningful, comfortable, and makes people feel valued I think is a good thing to work toward in our homes.
But it isn’t easy to achieve, is it? We are constantly seeking inspiration and ideas from others, and that’s okay. Because it’s out of love we strive and seek that inspiration. And sometimes all that striving for beauty makes a big mess! Like when we remodel and renovate a home. We endure the mess because we know what comes after is worth it.
“Your Yard Gives Me a Hug…”
I’m visiting with a friend one evening at dinner and the subject turns to gardening. She tells me of this lady she knows in her community who works very hard on her garden and landscaping in her front lawn. According to my friend, this lady’s lawn is filled with all kinds of bright, beautiful flowers and interesting shrubs and trees. She works very hard to maintain it.
And one morning the lady my friend is telling me about is outside working in her garden when a car pulls into her driveway. This woman gets out of her car and approaches the lady working in her garden. She says to her, “I saw you out here this morning, and I just had to stop and tell you how much I appreciate your hard work in creating all this. Your yard gives me a hug every morning as I drive to work.”
I’m sure the heart of the lady who created that garden just soared upon hearing those words. All that hard work is worth it when given such kind words.
Beauty created a little bond between those women.
Different Kinds of Beauty, One Objective Definition
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” it is said. And that’s true, to a point. Consider nature. The ocean and the mountains are completely different but are beautiful in their own way. They draw us in, awe us a little or a lot, and inspire us to experience the transcendental.
So in our homes, one person may be moved by a clean, minimalist, modern style in her home while another finds beauty in the rusted, chippy, and shabby chic. What makes them both beautiful is that they uplift, express that the home and its occupants and visitors are valued and loved, and inspire a desire to imitate and achieve it in some way.
I hope I’m making sense here.
Love and Endurance
When we strive for beauty, love comes through in the final creation. Now consider nature. Our Creator could’ve made the world function just fine with only one version of everything. But he strove for extravagant variety and almost outlandish, over-the-top beauty that sometimes takes our breath away. That beauty reminds us that there is more. Something higher than ourselves and beyond us. That beauty is a visitor from another world, in a manner of speaking. We see it out of the corner of our eye.
This world is beautiful because it is made in love.
Sometimes that process of creation is a mess. But we endure the mess because we know what comes after the mess is worth it. We endure this messy, fallen version of the universe because what comes after is worth it. It’s a mess because someone filled with darkness tried to deface and destroy it. But he didn’t succeed.
So even if the pinnacle of beauty for which we are reaching in our homes and in our lives is never fully achieved here, it will be eventually. It’s worth the effort. Beauty offers hope, reflects love, and it’s worth the sacrifice of time, money, and energy. By making the effort to create beauty in our homes and lives, we work alongside the Lord as He is working to make all things new.
Thank you for reading my thoughts. They are shared with loving intention.