Monday, March 21, 2011

Marriage Monday--Beauty in the Home

It's Marriage Monday! No, you haven't gone into a time warp and we have not fast forwarded to April. Instead, MM is becoming bimonthly. I'm looking forward to having more prompts to write about one of my favourite subjects.

The theme this week is open but Chrysalis did suggest we might want to talk around the topic of beauty.  I am currently involved in a cross-stitch project called the Bride's Tree.  It is based on a German tradition that newlyweds need to have twelve specific themed ornaments on their tree to bring certain blessings into the home. The ornaments I have been stitching this month represent "beauty in the home." I find it intriguing that having beauty in the home was considered a blessing. I've been contemplating what that means.


I am pretty sure that it is not talking about having a designer house with all new and perfect things. Where that would be nice, it can also be a burden. But I do think that it calls me to consider what brings 'beauty' into our living space.

German is not terribly concerned with decorating. We have been in this house for six months and I still have very little on the walls--because it is not a priority to hang them. But there are a few items that are important to him that they are displayed, and I make certain that they are lovingly placed in whatever house we are living.  But the beauty in our home is not about decoration.

Beauty in our home is more about a feeling of contentment and familiarity.  We are both, to a greater or lesser extent, packrats. Part of my bringing beauty into the home is to keep the clutter to a manageable level. I also must work at keeping totally clutter free zones where we can relax.  We both love having fresh cut flowers in the house, so part of creating that beauty is to make certain that happens.  When we first moved to Europe, I was told to make flowers a part of the budget. It was that important! I've always been happy to comply.

Beauty in the home should encompass the senses. It is the sights of what one sees as they move through the house. But it is also the smells of fresh flowers or of a favourite meal greeting German as he comes through the door at the end of his workday. It is the sounds of the girls enjoying life. (Just last night when German and I were talking on the phone he commented how joyful it was to hear the girls giggling in the background.)  Creating beauty is a means of creating a comfortable retreat. German works hard and encounters stress all day, part of my role is to ensure that when he comes home he finds a place of refuge not another hotspot.

I do believe that the old German tradition is right. Beauty in the Home is a blessing that should be wished upon newlyweds--and should be cultivated throughout one's marriage.

Please join us at ChrysalisCafe for more wonderful thoughts on marriage. Hope your day is blessed with beauty!

(PS....Happy Birthday German!)


A Stone Gatherer said...

I love this post! I need to work on adding beauty to my home! I cross stitch as well, just not very often. Do you show pictures of your work? My sister is an avid Cross stitcher and would love to see some of your work.

Tami Boesiger said...

Beauty in our home is more about a feeling of contentment and familiarity.

Amen, sister! I've always thought it important to make our home a sanctuary of sorts for my husband, a place he looks forward to coming. Since housecleaning is NOT one of my favorite things I probably fall short, but this year I've been working hard to de-hoard and organize.

Yet the beauty in a home is more about an attitude as you said. Home should be the place you sigh when you enter. I hope I create that kind of atmosphere for my family.

Christine said...

I don't have a home that would grace the pages of a catalogue, but I believe you are right in that a place where people feel loved and at peace, content within the walls, is truly beautiful! I want to make sure, above all, Jesus is found here and that my husband, and others, find it a place he wants to be.

Mac an Rothaich said...

Oh I really find your stitch project just lovely! The concept and the piece itself.

My heart was blessed to hear how the laughter in your home is a big part of the blessing! I completely agree a beautiful home is important, calming, soothing and warm... but I also want to work harder at letting it go enough to laugh more and be filled with joy so my kids can be and my man can come home to that. Too often I have been a perfectionistic house keeper in the physical sense and not the heart sense. Your post was a great encouragement to me:)

Bobbi said...

Oh, I so enjoyed your x-stitch. I somehow didn't do much this year...but you've inspired me to pick it up again. I have one of those HUGE projects on hold...ya know. Ugh! Maybe I should do something simple and pretty to get back in the swing, eh? Smiles and love to you today!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely beautiful!

I like to have fresh flowers in our home too, although the expense is sometimes hard to justify. I love that European attitude. I like to have orchids (which last a long time) and other tropical plants like bromeliads (in our bathroom). When I'm feeling pinched, I pull out the artificial versions that I have stored away (gasp) but I do try to set aside a little money each week for fresh. Currently, on our dining room table I have a live agave cactus... it's so dramatic!

I love the fact that German considers the sounds of the girls giggling as decor! Truly a blessing.

BTW, I used to do Danish counted cross-stitch. Your work is lovely, and adds such a homey touch.

Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today, MiPa, as always. ღ