when you’re looking for Grateful Contentment where You Are — when it’d be easier to be somewhere else

You know that moment when you meet someone and you just know? You just know that they are as introverted and wanting to be a wallflower as much you — and you love their every word, their every story, the way their lovely mind works through every little thing, and you know you’ve met a truly extraordinary soul? That’s Melissa Michaels. I’m sorta smitten with this woman and every morning for a year, a little chime went off, and I prayed Melissa through the scratching down of her words — because, oh, did I want more of her wisdom! And she cheered me through decluttering and minimizing our home, painting a kitchen (the same dark grey as hers!), tearing out a rotten floor, and quietly loving the little home we have. A pastor’s wife, and founder of the Inspired Room, voted both 2014 & 2015’s Readers’ Favorite Decorating Blog by Better Homes & Garden’s magazine, Melissa knows about limitations when it comes to a big budget for flashy decorations and custom-built homes, and she shares how to be content and happy in our home, inspiring our homes with the things we love and the people we cherishes. I can’t begin to express how thrilled I am to welcome the crazy grace of the friend who is  Melissa Michaels to the farm’s front porch today…

guest post by Melissa Michaels

t is sometimes hard to hear the doorbell over the commotion in the front room of our house, but it is even harder to see past that commotion unless you know what to look for.

Our two rambunctious pups, Jack and Lily, are always perched across the back of our sofa, permanently smashing the cushions down in order to be alert for funny business through the window.

Their daily ritual also explains the fits of barking, the dog nose slime that is forever smeared across the glass and those doggie footprints and dirt on the windowsills.

Apparently we have a lot of funny business in our neighborhood, necessitating the extra dose of puppy crazy to go along with the commotion at the sound of the doorbell.

We would welcome you inside, anyway, hoping that you can see past the smudged dog noses on our windows.

Melissa Michaels

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Melissa Michaels

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Melissa Michaels

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photo by Melissa Michaels

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Melissa Michaels

At our annual Thanksgiving feast this year, we will pull up the traditional discount store card table to make a little more room at our old wobbly painted pine table in the dining room.

We’ll scatter big pinecones gathered from the yard around wax-dripped white candles to visually tie these uneven tables together with a thread of humble festivity.

We are fancy like that.

Our plates will not match and we will have to borrow assorted chairs from other parts of the house to have enough places to sit.

In my dreams I used to picture that someday we would have a grown up dining set with matching chairs and twelve place settings, but somehow we’ve still made the best memories around that less than perfect table.

The kitchen in our new house isn’t new or remodeled at all.

In fact, it is a compact and cozy 1950s style galley still featuring its original state-of-the-art in its day double oven with a pull-out burner drawer.

But we’ll roast our turkey and mash the potatoes with just as much love and laughter as we did at our old house, in that pretty new kitchen we remodeled and loved so much.

Creating ambience in my home is one of my love languages. It is fun to delight in the decorating possibilities, add favorite colors, textures and patterns, and to consider new things you can add to the mix that you have collected along the way, isn’t it?

And the journey of designing that space is worthy and wonderful. We want to end up with a home that reflects who we are and what matters most to us.

But if there’s one thing I have learned in all our adventures and mishaps of creating a home, it is this:

Living fully with grace shouldn’t wait until you have perfect gifts lined up and polished so you can be more thankful.

Living with grace in the imperfect is how we find gratitude.

  • That wobbly table where we gather with our people is a gift, a holy place to break bread
  • The old kitchen where we prepare the meals in a stove older than we are is still a gift that will nourish and bless our family
  • Those dog nose smudges (oh those wet and slimey noses!) have joyfully wagging tails waiting on the other side, a gift to remind us to be joyful in all things
  • The smashed sofa cushions that don’t seem to improve with fluffing are evidence that this place, this home is a gift because it is lived in and loved on.

Grace grows gratitude so we can see the beauty of what we already have —

a home that is a sanctuary, not a showplace.

 

This book! Is one of the most Beautiful Books I have ever held! Melissa Michaels has written one of The Books to encourage every homemaker in making a home. How to take simple things — and create rooms of welcoming grace and beauty. This is a book to curl up, that you won’t want to put down, that will give you fresh ideas and fresh vision to make right where you are into a sanctuary… and make beauty with what you already have.  
After spending years searching for her dream house, Melissa found contentment and love for her home despite her circumstances, and became motivated to help other women love their homes as well. She is the author of the New York Times Bestseller Love the Home You Have and the GORGEOUS  coffee table book The Inspired Room: Simple Ideas to Love the Home You Have.

Highly recommending for every homemaker — and a gift for every homemaker: The Inspired Room: Simple Ideas to Love the Home You HaveI love the way this woman thinks — and inspires us to live!

[ Our humbles thanks to Harvest House for their partnership in today’s devotion ]

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