Happy Friday everyone! I thought today would be the perfect time to include another of my guest-author-and-friend Debby’s insights for you to ponder over the weekend. Thanks, Debby, for sharing!
“Gracious Coastal Living” the magazine cover says. Inside are photos of lovely, designer homes, with lush green and flowers, and close to an ocean. Of course, the home itself is perfect – gorgeous kitchens, bedrooms with an ocean view, a beautiful (and slightly mossy) brick patio where friends have gathered, fine art on the walls and a beautiful color palette that brings out all the best in everything.
I love reading these stories, and I like to think I can learn from paying attention to how these beautiful places are decorated. However the reality is that my home will never be featured in a magazine. So is this idea of gracious living reserved for those with “this month’s featured home”?
It seems to me that one basic element of gracious living is beauty. And perhaps we have too narrowly defined beauty. Not the magazine featured home, which is indeed beautiful, but also the beauty of simple things – things that even the best decorator can’t put into a home.
The beauty of a simple meal with old friends around the table, where the conversation is about good books we have read, or old family stories…
The beauty of a child standing on a chair to help cook dinner, with a patient mother looking on and teaching…
The beauty of a grandmother snuggled up in an old soft chair reading to a grandchild…
The beauty of a family supper where encouragement and love are dispensed after a rough day at school or work.
All are parts of gracious living. That is, living where the stuff of life is met with grace, patience, and love – where the prevalent aura of a home is peace and contentment, no matter the surroundings.
The most beautifully designed home can be made unattractive by an unkind presence, and the most simple and plain made beautiful by the kindness and gentleness of its inhabitants – and perhaps a few little tips picked up from a magazine article!