If the corner of a room can look tired, mine did.
An empty porcelain mug and wrinkled, tea stained napkin sat atop the pale gray desk, recently re-purposed and painted for a cozy creative nook I worked hard to transform.
Behind the desk, a soft down pillow sagged, flat and lopsided against the slightly crooked chair, setting the backdrop for a stack of books, laptop, and open notebook that added to the disarray, along with a power cord snaking through the mess.
Taking it in, I surveyed the new white rug below, now more shag than fluff, and disappointment whispered through my thought process at the lackluster appearance.
Gone was the fresh, bright look of weeks earlier. And in its place, worn and disheveled greeted the eye.
How had it happened so fast? The same cute spot that took hours to clean, clear, organize and paint now held the tone of a well used space.
A long exhale escaped parted lips as thoughts of glossy Pinterest images and home decor sites played peek-a-boo in my mind, the subtle current of discontent stirring inside.
Until realization dawned.
The room hadn’t changed. It was my own mindset, tilting into a gradual drift of complacency. The slight shift in value toward a project I recently held in esteem gave me pause, bringing to mind thoughts of life in general.
Whether at home or at work, in lifestyle or relationships, a lack of contentment can take on many forms, slowly slipping into an unguarded heart.
On an ordinary Saturday morning, sunlight piercing pale window sheers, I pondered the root of the problem. And while powering up the vacuum cleaner, pieces of the puzzle began to fall in place.
Not long ago, I read a quote that really resonated with me, and perhaps it will hit home with you as well.
“In life, it’s not about what we have, but what we do with what we have.”
Though simple, the statement holds great wisdom. Whether channeled toward people we love or possessions in our care, when we cease to feed the energy of appreciation in any area of life, you and I tread a slippery slope toward the pit of discontent.
Appreciation and contentment go hand in hand. And when the sparkle of our reality fades, more often than not, it can be traced back to a lack of care and attention to what we once held dear.
At some point, new and shiny will always disappoint, but a thankful heart can fuel the fire that illuminates beauty in what we already have.
Although life isn’t always pretty, I’m learning that contentment grows with seeds of gratitude, and the mindset we nurture is the one that will flourish.
Sometimes it’s good to press pause, remembering that we are stewards. Through routines and responsibilities of life, sparkle doesn’t just happen. It takes conscience effort to bring beauty to light, over and over again.
On this week of giving thanks, what do you say we gently steer our hearts from the longing of what we don’t have toward a focused determination of caring for what we do have?
Maybe it’s time to fluff the pillows, shake the rugs, clear the clutter, and most of all, lift eyes of gratitude to the One from whom all blessings flow.
It might be just the special blend of ingredients we need to see renewed sparkle come alive again.