Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Pretty Stuff Matters

{Sidenote: I wrote this post about a month and a half ago. And then I took a part-time job. So, here I am posting it six weeks later, thus the frequent references to summer...}
This summer was full, the good kind of full. Our little family swam at the pool, we went on day trips, we ate ice cream, we had friends over for dinner, we went to the circus, we went to the movies. You get the idea. Good times. And while I love reminiscing about all that fun we had and I'm so genuinely grateful for it, I'm also not complaining that school has started back and that I have an hour here or there to have complete thoughts. Alone. All by myself. Just me and a jar of Nutella. 

But, while all that carefree, summery fun was happening, there were a lot of things happening in the world that weighed pretty heavily on me and kept me up at night wondering what the heck was going on out there. I won't make a list of terrible world events for you, because I'm fairly sure your Facebook feed and email inbox was full, like mine was, of petitions and updates and news reports of all sorts of disheartening things.

In the midst of that influx of heaviness, I felt my heart being weighed down a little more each day. At one point, I even found myself wondering if it was okay to enjoy going to see a movie or eating out at a restaurant anymore. In light of all the suffering and grief bombarding my inbox and my mind, I subconsciously started to question if it was okay to even be happy. I felt guilty about how comfortable our home is or about the fact that I sometimes go shopping for things that aren't really necessary. Guilty for thinking about anything other than all that terrible suffering.

All this to say, I think I let my perspective get a little skewed. The fact is, I can't make the world's suffering go away by refusing to feel joy or ignoring the good and beautiful things about our life. 

{That isn't to say that I should pretend like suffering isn't happening or that I don't act whenever I can to relieve someone's suffering. Of course, we should all be intentionally pursuing ways to do that, because if those of us who know the Redeemer of All Things aren't offering actual hope and sharing real joy with the suffering, who will?}

Genesis 12:2 talks about God blessing Abraham so that others can be blessed through him. I think God is absolutely still doing that now, through us. SO, I think a conclusion I'm coming to is that, regardless of what's happening in the world around me, God's goodness in my life isn't something to feel guilty about, but rather something to enjoy, and perhaps more importantly, to share. 

The other conclusion I'm coming to is that beauty matters. Even if the world is falling apart, it is still important, even necessary, that we recognize and enjoy and create beauty. It's a vital part of our humanity and of the way we reflect our Creator. C.S. Lewis' classic chapter, "Learning In War Time," (Weight of Glory) speaks to this. Essentially, his argument is that learning and creating and appreciating beauty are always valuable, regardless of the volatile state of the world. Beauty transcends all of that turmoil and by appreciating it in all circumstances, we reaffirm our human-ness and our connection to a world that is completely other from this one. A kingdom, in fact.

And so, in light of this simple revelation I had and am still having, I thought I'd share a few pictures of the things that have brought a bit of happy, or I should say beauty, to my little beating heart recently: 

A cup of tea and pretty magazines. Le sighGetting to read a magazine cover to cover feels like the ultimate luxury now that I'm a mama to two. Add a chocolate-filled croissant and this situation is basically elevated to the equivalent of a mini-spiritual retreat in my house.

Here's our guest room after I added a fun "Hello" sign that my sweet (and crafty) friend Sarah May made. I still have some work to do on the bookshelf and I'm planning to actually hang the Swedish alphabet sign in the left corner as soon as I can figure out how to do that while someone small isn't also jumping on the bed.


A pretty party dress is always a good idea. This one has fancy(ish) gold threading, which you can't see in the picture, but it makes it sparkle. 

We went on a short vacation with our family recently and this was the day after the day that it rained buckets on us. There's almost nothing better than staring out at the ocean and dreaming about what's on the other side. 

I see these little collages of pretty things on Instagram all the time, so I thought I'd just make one of my own with some of my favorites. * The pillow is a little anniversary gift that we found at The French Market cafe and bakery in Pine Mountain, Georgia (site of my run-in with Kirk Cameron earlier this year. Ha.)  * The perfume is Marc Jacob's "Honey," straight from a T.J Maxx's shelf. * I finally found a planner that wasn't $500 and, obviously, it came from Tar-Jay. * Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist is one of the best food memoirs I've read and I highly recommend it to you if you love food, friendships, and Jesus (not necessarily in that order.) * The candle was a gift from my friend Alli and it smells as pretty as it looks. * Those candies are Chimes ginger chews and they're the perfect bit of sweet/spicy after dinner. * Lastly, the Handy-Tizer hand spray is from Rinse, a local store that offers handmade soaps, lotions, buttery lip balms, etc., all made in-store from natural ingredients and essential oils. Check them out at

There you go, friends. What makes your heart sing when you look at it, taste it, hold it? What lovely thing is good at reminding you that there is more to this world than Facebook and scheduling and fast food? I'd love to know. 

Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing. -Marcie Wieder

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