Not All Pictures Are Created Equally Part 1 :: Letting Your Home Tell Your Story

_JLD1066 As I was hanging some frames of our wedding pictures, I was thankful that I knew my “style” when I got married.  Our wedding and engagement photos are perfect shades of blues, greens, and natural browns and grays.  I did not realize how important this would be as the photos compliment my home decor so perfectly.  It is as if they were made for each other.  _JLD0982 I am reading Donald Miller’s (author of “Blue Like Jazz”) book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.” I am not finished yet (I am not super into reading) but the book is about him figuring out “his story.”  There is a part in the story where he realizes his character (him) in his story (his life) has been so consumed by writing that he has not lived a real life.  He states:
“My home felt like a stage on which props had been set for a fake story rather than a place where a person lived an actual human narrative.” 
He goes on to say he does not have framed photos of a wife or of children…and that those people had not become a part of his story…a story with a character that has not been fully living.  _JLD1068 A stay at home mom friend of mine was sharing her struggle with looking to the future…when her children get older.  Would she work again.  What was her purpose?  Was she meant to do more?  As I sat there listening to her…I was fine with what she was saying but it caused me to reflect on my own life.  I have no children.  I work very part time.  And I don’t want more (children will come later).  Is there something wrong with me and my lack of wanting to do more?_JLD1379 With all these different fragmented thoughts I came to this conclusion.  I am living out my story.  I do have filled picture frames of a life being lived.  Though there are days I feel pressured to work more or feel overwhelmed with the amount of things I have on my plate…when I really sit down and think about it…I am content. 
I am living my life as a wife…as a friend…as a daughter…  I do not feel like the walls of my home are empty.  They are telling a story.  A story of love…a story of life…a story of joy…a story worth living…_JLD1141 After I graduated college, I quit my job (because I was feeling limited to being able to do more with it), I got into blogging, and I dreamed of a life of being a wife and taking care of a home.  I felt lost.  People thought I was being lazy.  But I think during this time I was developing a new part of my life story.  I don’t want to say anything like “marriage saved my life.”  But rather I was meant to be where I am now.  I get to take care of a loving husband.  I have this gift of time…to create, to make our house a home, to share my story in blog form.  I love that Donald Miller’s book is subtitled “What I learned while editing my life.”  I am thankful that blogging has helped me to be more reflective...it allows me to be who I really am.  Even as I hang framed photos on the wall…I am learning about myself…and I am being reminded about the story I am living at this very moment.  _JLD1237How is your home telling the story of your life?
More on matching your family photos with your home decor tomorrow.  I was too reflective today to tie in decorating advice!
Photos courtesy of Daly Focus Photography.

16 comments:

  1. Donald Miller spoke at the MOPS International conference last summer, and not only was his talk on finding your story relevant, but he is FUNNY! A great speaker...probably my fave out two years of conferences. :)

    I just love the photo of you guys with your reflection in the water. That would be gorgeous on canvas!

    I'm doing a little "Bliss-at-home" thing on the blog today for those of us who couldn't go to Blissdom this year. Hope you might stop by. :)

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  2. Your post today made me cry (not a bad cry). Thank you for this. Some days I feel like I should be/have the ability to be so much more than I am but, I'm living my story and you never know when it can take a turn :)

    Love- an often lost 20 something stay at home mom of 2 with no college degree and 6 years of following her husbands Marine Corps dreams under her belt.

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  3. Thanks for the thought provoking post. I have to stop and take a good look around my house to see what it says about my life.

    My house has gone through many changes just as my life has. I'm now at the other end of the spectrum - working full time and loving it (this time around)and with grown children that are feeling too comfortable at home. :)

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  4. I love these pictures!
    My favorite is the first one! Amazing :)
    I don't take enough pics...

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  5. Stopping by from Serenity Now's "Bliss at home" post.

    Wow. These pictures are the perfect compliment to your thoughts.
    It's ok to be content with where you are... in today's world of 'have to be this, have that' I wish more of us could be content with what we have.

    You have beautiful photos - they alone tell a lovely story! (BTW - all of them are gorgeous, I can't decide on one!)

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  6. Why is it that people that want to create a home, instead of working, are perceived as lazy?
    I'm so happy being at home and I find it strange when all my siblings keep referring to "when you go back to work". Why? so I can pay more money for daycare than what I pay for rent?
    Creating a home that reflects our life takes GREAT work.

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  7. Hi, again, Ashley!! I just wanted to stop in again and say thank you for joining in my little "Bliss-at-Home" project today. I guess that kind of fits in with your whole theme for today's post, huh? ;) I sometimes wonder what would have happened had I stayed at home when we were first married. We graduated from college and I stayed with the same awful job I'd been working at for a year or so. Stayed with it until Natalie was born and even continued to do some work for another year or so. And hated every minute of it. Sometimes the extra money is just not worth it.

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  8. Hi Ashley,
    What a beautiful blog post. I feel like so many women I know work just because they feel they are supposed to, and they are in positions where they don't need to. Most of them are also unhappy with their job. I have been taking the time to pursue my passions - at the cost of not having a "job" , but in the hopes of growing as a person and making opportunities for myself.
    What you said was very well spoken, that you are exactly where you are supposed to be and doing what you are supposed to do. A life with PURPOSE is a fruitful life.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog via Amanda's blissdom post. I'm a new follower :-)

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  9. I thank you for your beautiful words and pics today! Thanks for sharing! ~C

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  10. Beautiful pictures. Wonderful post. I am soon-to-be-married and very happy/busy in my career ~ but it's my choice and one day I am very aware that my priorities may or may not change, and that's okay. It's great actually!

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

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  11. "A story worth living." I love that line. I'm using that for my theme this year. Thanks Ashley.

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  12. Gorgeous pix! I have been working on this very thing...even after 18 something years of marriage, I am *still* refining my home to better express the story of *our* life....because the seasons change as does my life...maybe you've inspired a post for me...

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  13. Beautiful pics and a wonderful and thoughtful post! Thank you for giving voice to those of us who are fortunate enough to stay at home. :)

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  14. That was such a beautiful post. I feel mostly as you do...there are times when I feel I have too much on my plate and I need to slow down...but for the most part...this is the first time in my life I can say I am content! I'm truly happy and feel that I am right where God wants me to be! There are things I want to achieve in my life, yes...but I try to make the daily effort to be grateful at where I am RIGHT NOW.

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  15. We live in a world where we are constantly pushed to want to do more, more, more. It's like you can't just be content, you have to strive to be MORE. I'm constantly being asked at work if I'm ever going to work full time (I work 32 hours a week), if I'm going to go to school, and what my "goals" are. I'm perfectly fine where I am right now. It's the perfect balance of work and family for me. I'm afraid if I stick anything else in there I'm not going to be able to do it. Sometimes it's hard for people to understand that.

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