The Joy Of Learning Contentment

In lieu of my usual Saturday 6 post, I’m participating in a blog tour called “Hearts at Home.” It’s a chance for me (along with 13 other bloggers) to share why my heart is at home. This is actually something that’s been on my mind lately, anyway.

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I’ll admit that when you’re actually in your home for most of your waking hours, it doesn’t always feel like that’s where your heart is. Sometimes, a trip to Wal-Mart by myself feels like a retreat. (You know it’s bad when that happens.) Sometimes, it feels like there’s not one. single. thing. in this house that belongs to just me. Not my closet, not my food, not even my bathroom.

That’s why this blog has been so good for me over the last 4 1/2 years. When people have said to me they don’t know how I blog and raise five kids, I always think I don’t know how I wouldn’t blog. The writing, the projects, my interactions with you all have often been my (mental) saving grace during days when I don’t leave the house except to sit in car line.

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The job of blogging can also bring some great opportunities. I see them as blessings and don’t take them for granted. But, there also seems to be this (unspoken) pressure to do something above and beyond blogging itself. Like I should want to do and be more. Everywhere you look, bloggers are writing books, launching their own shops, their own fabric lines, going here, and going there. I think it’s a natural reaction to see all of this and feel a little envy—especially when you’re reading about all of these endeavors while sitting at home, in old t-shirts covered with snot, dried applesauce or worse. . .

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But for me, it’s about learning contentment. In my home. In this season of my life. This sometimes means weighing the opportunities that come along against where God wants me to be.  For example, about a year ago, I got a call from a (well-known) publishing company about writing a book, and I was giddy—for about two weeks. I even started outlining my book proposal. And, then reality hit. I started adding up the hours and the months that I would have to commit to this project and realized the time I’d be giving to that would be time I would be taking away from my family. Those minute and hours have to come from somewhere.  And, what’s it worth in the long run?

I also started thinking about the best and worst case scenarios. (My mind can travel 1,943,434 miles in two seconds flat.)  Best case? I write a hugely successful book (remember, this is me dreaming big here!), go on a book tour and fly around the country for weeks at a time. Worst case? I write a hugely successful book, go on a book tour and fly around the country for weeks at a time. Same scenario, either way.

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Because my heart really is at home. In fact, all of my hearts are at home—for now. For just a few sweet years that everyone tells me will go by faster than I can blink. While there will always be fun to be had and an opportunity of some kind, I have to believe that God has put me in this house with these five hearts for this season of my life, for a reason.  And, I realized at the end of the day, I just want to be home to pick up my kids from school, to argue with them about why they can’t play soccer in the house, to complain about the messes they don’t pick up, to tuck them in at night. Sometimes, it’s good to stop and evaluate the situation so we can see that bigger and better may not always be best. We might be our ultimate happy right where we are.

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With all of that said, I do believe that it’s important for us to make our homes a beautiful place to live—especially if we’re the ones there 24/7. I  believe those projects that will make us feel better about where we spend our time shouldn’t always be put on the back burner. And, I believe some fresh flowers,  a pretty pair of pillows on the sofa and finally framing some favorite photos and actually hanging them on the wall can be a good investment in one’s mental health. (Well, mine, at least.)

 

Want to read more “hearts at home” stories, projects, recipes and ideas?

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Here are the links to the other bloggers who have participated this week:

Shabby Art Boutique 

At The Picket Fence

My Soulful Home

Thurs. 1/30

Town & Country Living

Bright Bold & Beautiful

Vintage Farmhouse

White Lace Cottage 

Fri. 1/31

Stone Gable

On Sutton Place

Lilacs & Longhorns

Sat. 2/1

French Country Cottage

Eat In My Kitchen

Top This Top That

Emily A. Clark

Our Latest Family Pictures

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I wanted to share the results of our last photo session with the talented Lindsay Hart.  To say that this shoot was a challenge would be an understatement.  I’ll spare you all the details but it happened on the most humid day in August when I’m pretty sure the temperature was around 150 degrees.  There were lots of mosquitos, ant hills, and sweaty, unhappy people involved (including one nine-year-old who was appalled his mother made him wear skinny jeans).  Oh, and did I mention that we locked the keys in our car and had to wait until after dark for a locksmith to find us?  Fun times, for sure.  I’m crossing my fingers that Lindsay will ever say yes to taking our family pictures again. . .

 

Somehow, she was still able to work her magic without ever getting flustered. Here are some of my favorites:

 

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A HUGE thanks to Lindsay and her assistant Kelly for sweating with us to get these pictures!  If you’re in the Charlotte area, you can contact Lindsay and see more of her work here:

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