I recently viewed a 31-picture online presentation of Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Texas farmhouse, mostly because I had about 20 minutes between meetings and needed something low-key to rest my mind for a bit. Every picture of the farmhouse was stunning and immaculate, the layout was exceptional, and the decor was timeless and spot-on. No surprise there. They are masters of their craft.
As I moved through the pictures – from the kitchen to the master bedroom and on to the children’s bedrooms, I mentally took a journey through my own home as well. Not so much to compare the two homes. There is no comparison between our suburban cape cod on a quarter-of-an-acre and the Gaines’ remodeled farmhouse on 40 acres. No, my mental review of both homes was more of a personal litmus test of my contentment level. Here are a few things I noticed:
My porch decor: Though spring is just around the corner, a wooden snowman bearing a sign declaring “Let It Snow” is the greeter, next to a once-red and now-mostly-rusted “Welcome” sign that blows over in even the slightest breeze. A lonely bedraggled fake Christmas wreath hangs precariously on the arm of a porch chair, begging for mercy. Now all I need to add is an Easter bunny and a pumpkin and I can just leave it all out year-round!
My kitchen: Shiplap? No. Clean? Somewhat. Mail piled up on the counter. Dishes that need to be done. Dusty light fixtures. You get the idea.
My bedroom: A remodeling project that began almost three years – yep, three years – is almost done. We took the wall down between two rooms to make one large room a long time ago. New carpet was installed two weeks ago – yay! Still need to finish the crown molding and a few other details. Someday.
Could I list more? Yes. Does this bother me? No. We have lived in our home for 25 years. Our three children grew up here. I love our family Christmas traditions by the fireplace, the many birthday celebrations around the dining room table, the game nights in the family room. The worn carpet and the well-loved kitchen remind me of the many times our home has been filled with groups of people that mean so much to us: extended family, youth group activities, birthday parties, church friends and more. Imperfect people living in a not-so-perfect home works perfectly.
I discovered one thing I do have in common with the Gaines family – I think we both desire to live in a place of simplicity. My visual tour through their home revealed they have just enough bedrooms for their needs, just enough furniture for their family to be together, just enough kitchen space and porch space for family life. And I have learned this is exactly what we have also – enough. My front porch? It is just right. My kitchen that may be a little messy, my bedroom remodel that needs to be completed? It is still enough.
I do not know Chip and Joanna Gaines, but I think it is safe to assume their home does not always look perfect either, but the simple laughter and love that fills the walls of their home are more valuable than having the perfect house. So whether you live in a bungalow, a city apartment, an old farmhouse or a sprawling mansion, choosing contentment – deciding that what you have is enough – can turn your imperfect house into the perfect not-so-perfect home for you.
Hello! I’m Debbie — Lover of Jesus, Pastor’s Wife, Mom, Encourager, Hobby Gardener and passionate about the simple pleasures of life.