Monday, February 25, 2008

Nice Enough

Mondays are supposed to be the day you get up and really get going on the week, right? When you have Girl Scouts on Monday mornings....that doesn't happen. Because then we get home right at lunch time. And then we want to rest a little. And then we still haven't done anything constructive (except morning chores) or learned much of anything and the day is way more than half over.

It's so frustrating. I think we will not be doing this next year. Now, moving on...

I love our house and I am enjoying trying to make it nice and comfortable for my family without spending $50,000. I have to say, I'm having trouble watching HGTV these days. After reading this post at Boomama's and seeing the pictures of the homes in Africa that she got to see....I have no patience for people who can spend $50,000 re-doing their KITCHEN!!!! If it's clean and organized...and working...isn't that enough? It really made me sick the other night because the "before" kitchen, in my opinion, was cute. And what could I do with $50,000? Better yet, what could other folks do with that money?

I don't's just perspective. Our house is 40 years old. It's not big by most American standards. But if my family is safe, things are clean and tidy, and I have tried to make it look nice--that's enough. I know that some people work hard for their money and deserve to spend it like they want...right? I'm just saying I couldn't spend my money that way. Things of this earth don't matter that much.

"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. Matt. 6:19-20

If your budget is like, $0, what can you do to make a nice home? Here are some ideas:

1. De-clutter. Simple looks nicer.

2. Clean. At least you can have a healthy home!

3. Light candles.

4. Put up pictures of your smiling children.

5. Put those flowers your children picked in a vase.

6. Have quilts and blankets available for cuddling up in.

7. Open the blinds/shades/windows. Let some sunlight and fresh air in.

8. Turn old sheets into curtains. Even I can sew straight lines.

9. Rearrange every now and then. A new look can be so refreshing.

I know that if I think I don't have the budget to "do" a room, I just won't do anything at all. But even a clean and picked up room with something pretty set out looks better than a room that is just "waiting." When I was a teacher, I went on a few home visits with our counselor. There were homes that had no furniture---but every "bed" on the floor was made with little decorative pillows on it or a teddy bear. There were curtains in the windows and a clean glass of water for the guest. I'm just saying, you can make your home nice if you try. As wife and mother of this family, I often ask myself, "could I make a nice home out of whatever I was handed?" I think about that when we go camping and I fuss with the sleeping bags inside the tent and keep the clothes put away neatly. If all we had was something very, very humble...what could I do to make it a nice home for my family? I recognize that when I stop watching HGTV and see pictures from the other side of the world, what we have been given is very nice and is a blessing. I will take care of it and make it nice for my family.

Now I'm off to go do just that!


  1. What a great post! I completely agree with you -if my family is safe, things are clean and tidy, and I have tried to make it look nice "it's enough". Great, practical ideas that I will try beginning tonight! :)

    Your posts are always so inspiring!

  2. This is keeping it real in its highest sense. I think your tips are just right for pointing out the essentials and turning from the tinsels. Sometimes just simply rearranging the knickknacks helps me feel like a lil' bit of decorating has occurred. Thanks for this post.

  3. Great post, Brenda, packed with wisdom and gratitude for the things we have. And reminding us to make the best of what we have been given.

  4. Mondays can be hard to feel accomplished in around here, too.

  5. Great ideas, Brenda. I was actually struggling about a year ago regarding what I *didn't* have. Looking back, I am sad I was so selfish, but relieved that I am delivered from that attitude.

    My mom always told me that no matter how poor someone is, they can always have a clean, tidy, presentable home. She spoke from experience, saying that she never knew she was poor growing up, although she was.

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog. I had to pop on oover and see who you were and I must say, this won't be the last time I'll be visiting. :)

  7. Great post, I can't watch HGTV. When I decided I'd rather do this (be at home) than that (keep up w/the neighbors) priorities changed. Have you ever noticed the ads for second mortages and credit cards during these shows? Most can't afford it, and we are smart enough to avoid these tricks. This really is a great post!

  8. Thanks for the encouragement! Cleaning- who would've thought! Maybe I should put that on my list of things to do.

    Kidding! I clean. Sometimes. :0)

  9. Thanks for reminding me to be thankful for what I've been blessed with and doing my best with what I have now rather than yearning for something I DON'T need.

    I loved the little list of ideas on how to "perk" things up by spending VERY LITTLE money :-)

    Mrs M

  10. I hear ya! Add a missions heart and possible fulltime deployment to the foreign field! I feel I wrestle how money is spent often. Even at our great church where they do extravagant outreaches, in the back of my mind I am calculating it all up and wondering what we could do with that in this country or that country, or how many indigenous leaders we could support. Then I am stuck somewhere between God being able to provide it all and our mandate to be good stewards.

    Our attitude is inexpensive (well, monetarily speaking) and nothing makes a warm home like a momma who sets the tone with a good and pleasant attitude. I know our children will remember that more than our curtains! But hey, if the curtains help us with our attitude, then break out the sowing machine! :)

    Blessings to you!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)