Beauty Begins The Moment You Decide To Be Yourself

The Inspired Room Family Room - Fireplace

If you ask any interior designer or design enthusiast for ideas about how to decorate a home, you’ll likely find enough opinions to make your head spin. Some ideas you might like, some you won’t, some will leave you scratching your head. Everyone has their own style and way of approaching design, but not everyone will understand your preferences and how you want to live in your home. You have to seek out ideas that resonate with you and apply them in your own way.

As you might know, I see design as a process of discovering what you love and embracing what inspires you in whatever season you are in. Since I’ve studied design principles and my own home preferences for decades I feel like I have a good sense of the look I like and I know what has worked for me. But I’m still always evolving in being ME and learning how to embrace my own style.

Beauty Begins the Moment You Decide To Be Yourself - Coco Chanel - Hand Drawn Quote by The Inspired Room

There isn’t only one way to decorate a home. Even if you don’t feel like you have a strong opinion on design yet (or decorating just isn’t your thing) you still might have a sense of what you like when you see it. You know what will feel comfortable to you, you are drawn to colors and textures that appeal to you, and your heart might even perk up when you see a pattern or a style that inspires you. Your home should be personal and reflect the people who live there, so what you surround yourself with really matters!

I wasn’t sure if I should feel sad, or just laugh at the irony of her words but a recent Amazon reviewer of my coffee table book The Inspired Room shared that she didn’t like my color palette, didn’t like how we arranged our chairs in the kitchen, and basically said I decorated my house all wrong, in her opinion. She concluded her lengthy commentary by implying that bloggers shouldn’t share their homes or decorating ideas because that is like the blind leading the blind. 

Sadly, I think she misunderstood the point of the book (and blogging for that matter) and missed the whole philosophy behind it. 

The Inspired Room - Gathering Room

I don’t believe that the only acceptable way to decorate is to do it my way. Certainly not! I am willing to open my home not because it is a perfectly designed space (it isn’t!), but so I can share attainable ideas that have worked for me in my home. My hope is that you’ll feel inspired to embrace what YOU love and feel more confident and excited about using what you have.

I think when you are encouraged to be true to who you are, you’ll start to love where you live, too.

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” Coco Chanel

I’m well aware my imperfect home or decorating advice will never grace the cover of Architectural Digest. Amen and bless. I’m more than OK with that, though, because somehow in spite of my limitations and its imperfections, it still nurtures our family and is a place we love to come home to. And isn’t that what really matters? After nine years of sharing the significance of embracing authenticity at home, I am convinced we still need this message. Maybe now more than ever!

How do you try to embrace authenticity in your style?

**You can find The Inspired Room book here. Thank you to those of you who resonate with this message and have always encouraged me to keep on sharing it! You are my people. If you are new here, welcome! You can sign up to stay in the loop of blog posts via email, here.**

Create an Inspiration Board {Make Time & Space for You}

Creative Inspiration Board - The Inspired Room

Do you set aside time and space for YOU? Do you have even a small corner of your home set aside for your passions or hobbies, a place that inspires you to do what you love?

While this blog is a part of my business, really the home is one of my passions. THIS space, this blog, is where I share the things that I enjoy.

So while many bloggers need to treat their blog as their job, I would have to say that for myself, what I do is more of a passion than a job. It’s actually kind of hard to know where the passion ends and the job starts, except during tax season. :) Then it’s clear. Ha.

A home is like my playground, it’s a fun place to express my creativity and nurture myself and my family.  Even though my passion and purpose and job all intersect, I still find it important to remember that this is what I love apart from what I do for a business. My daughter Courtney and I laugh sometimes because when I try to take a night off for me, the next thing I know I’m refreshing a mantel or something because that’s truly what I would do for me, whether it was my job or not.

Finding time and space for you and what you love is important. It matters! I know for myself, while I do enjoy writing books and blog posts, writing isn’t my first love. Creating a home is my passion. I told my book editor the other day that I just needed to get away from my computer and DO the things I was writing about. I had to write from a place of authenticity and passion or I felt disjointed and exhausted. So, to recharge my energy and fill up my ME JAR, I shut down my computer and headed out of my office to do some puttering around the house! That’s where I shine and find joy!

Blue and white vase - pretty coral tulips - The Inspired Room

Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to remember who you are and what you love! It’s easy to forget YOU in the hustle and bustle of life. I recently inspiration boards right above my desk to remind myself of things I love to do. That is my happy place. Yes, it’s in my office. Yes, I have to work there. Yes, I work really hard. But the honest truth is, I feel like I have more time for myself than ever before because now I am purposeful about setting aside the time and space to BE ME. My work is woven around what I’m passionate about and best of all, I get to share it with others in this community. Does it get any better than that?

Of course, just like everyone else, there times when I lose sight of things I love. It’s not all about the house for me, in fact, if I spend too much time thinking about my house or working on my house, I lose perspective on what really matters! Taking time for ourselves away from the house, the family, the responsibilities is important too. I sometimes forget to make time to get away from work or escape the day to day schedule. Making time to be a balanced person and just enjoy life and connect with others is so important too.

The Fringe Hours - Making Time for You by Jessica Turner

I’ve been reading a great new book written my friend Jessica Turner called The Fringe Hours, Making Time for You. If like many of us, you get to the end of the day and realize you haven’t done anything for yourself, this book will empower you to take back time in your day for you! It has some great insights and tips to inspire you!

If you struggle to find time and space for you, here’s a fun little project Jessica recommends in the book to help you reconnect with YOU. Make an inspiration board! No, don’t get on Pinterest. That’s fun, but we’re talking about the real deal. An inspiration board in the real world will remind you to take time to BE YOU. If you have an unused board you can use, pull it out. Or make a board. Or go find a new one. Or find a blank space on a wall that you could use as an inspiration board.

After you are done reading this post :), shut down the computer, turn off your phone, put some music on that you love. See if someone else can watch the kids (if you have them) so you have an hour or two of focused time. Now look around your house for things that you can use for your inspiration board. What do you love? What makes your heart sing? What brings you joy? Cut things out of a magazine. Look through drawers for mementos or treasures that might inspire you. Look through cards that people have given you. Gather pretty scrapbook paper that inspires you. Draw something. Paint a little scene. Find fabric swatches or yarn or ribbon. Look through old photos and awards.

Now pin up things to your board that inspire you to BE YOU. Be creative.

Step back and look at your board. Do you see YOU? You are precious. You are wonderful. You are unique and special. You need to make time for that girl to be who she was created to be.

The photo at the top is just a little peek at my in-process inspiration board! :)

The Best Yes {and a book update!}

Fall Cutting Garden Bouquet - The Inspired Room

This week I turned in the final chapter of my first book to my editor at my publishing company! The manuscript for Love the Home You Have is complete and has been sent off for edits! I can hardly believe it! It feels like forever ago that I (reluctantly!) wrote the book proposal, so it was very exciting to think about how far I’ve come in the process. I am really happy with how the manuscript came together and I cannot wait to share it with you all when it turns into a book!

Writing a book was hard. And crazy. And challenging. And so many more things. Every step of the way I had to make decisions about how to spend my time and how to maintain my life outside of book writing. It wasn’t easy. I had help at home from my family and help with the blog from my daughters and said no to more things than I wanted to. I was determined that my blog was not going to suffer any more than necessary because of the book and my blog readers would still know I was here and present on the blog. Even though I didn’t get it all right and I had to check out of life more often than I wanted to, I feel good about the fact that the blog is still going and the book was written without me having a total breakdown (the BOOKS, lest I forget to mention I was working on two other books at the same time!).

But even more than juggling my work (even though I love what I do and I love you all), I’m most relieved with the fact that my home and life is still intact! I’m not super woman by any means, but there are so many little choices every day that have to be made in order to keep priorities straight and continue to be productive in a season that requires an enormous amount of emotional and physical and mental energy.

Stumptown Coffee in Seattle - The Inspired Room

Every yes meant an automatic no somewhere else. I had to say no to many things I really wanted to do, but I also continued to say yes to my most important priorities and find a rhythm of productivity and rest that worked for me.

My husband and I still went on dates! I never missed a Sunday at church or serving in the church nursery. I still spent time with my family. But yet there were many things I didn’t do and things I had to say no to that bummed me out. But in order to write the book, I had to make tough decisions in order to stay on task and keep up with the deadlines.

In the year preceding starting The Inspired Room, eight years ago, I read a book that inspired me. It was called When Women Say Yes to God, by Lysa Terkeurst. I was in a season of wanting to do more with my life and her book gave me the encouragement to step out of my comfort zone, seek out my purpose in life and say YES to opportunities that came my way.

In the years that followed, whenever I was tempted to be afraid of challenges or stay safe and comfortable, I remembered Lysa’s words and gave my biggest, bravest YES even when I wanted to shout, NO THANKS and run to hide under the covers!

So I guess you could say Lysa is at least in part responsible for the fact that I’ve run this blog for the past seven years and now I’m writing EIGHT BOOKS. That is a lot of YESSES! But I don’t regret a single one of them. Honestly, those yesses changed everything in a million good ways.

The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst

Recently I received a copy of  Lysa’s newest book, The Best Yes. You better believe I was going to read it (nervously though, I mean, if her other “yes” book was responsible for all of the hard work I’ve done and lessons I’ve subsequently learned in the past seven years, then this yes book could be risky, heheh). But not only did I read it, I was once again inspired by how much her words spoke to me.

While I had already nearly finished my first book writing season by the time I read her book, I so appreciated her wisdom and encouragement to know the difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to the things you feel God has called you to do. I feel like so many people are in a season right now of feeling the desperate desire to say no. People are tired and burned out from doing so many things. Too many things.

Lysa says this about her book, “I wrote this message because I need this message. I wrote it because I’m tired of rushing and stressing and missing out on the sweet parts of life. When I set my life to the rhythm of rush, I just quite honestly don’t like who I am. Rushing robs me of the parts of life that feed my soul. When a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”

Yes. That.

The Best Yes - Lysa Terkeurst - The Inspired Room Blog

To be honest, when you are in ministry (as we are, our family started a church five years ago, I’ll be sharing an update for our 5th anniversary in September!) hearing a YES from someone who wants to serve or do brave things in the world is a pretty rare but beautiful thing these days. Everyone is busy, stressed out or not able to juggle life. And  yet, at the same time, so many people are in search of their purpose and want to make a difference in the world. They just don’t know how to get there.

Knowing what to say YES to and what to say a small no to is a life-changer in so many ways! There is so much to learn in the journey.

“It’s not the activities or accomplishments we string together that make lives well lived as much as it is the hearts of wisdom we gain and use along the way.” –Lysa Terkeurst

Fall Cutting Garden Bouquet

I know first hand that those big brave YESSES change everything in amazing ways. YESSES change lives. YESSES do amazing things in the world. But you have to be pretty brave to say YES to the right things, because those YESSES will not only change your life and the lives of others around you, but they will give you the courage to do even more things you might never have been brave enough to do.

I know when I said my first YES in starting The Inspired Room and then the blog, each subsequent YES required me to be more and more brave and step way outside my comfort zone. I often tell my husband to not talk to me about what I might have to do next year because agreeing to write eight books was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I can’t imagine what my next yes might look like and honestly, I don’t even want to know right now! Heheh. Sometimes my philosophy is just to say yes to scary things and take the rest a day at a time.

Saying yes to the right things and no to the rest makes all the difference in my ability to stay sane, to be so happy with what I do, and my ability to feel like I’m not just spinning my wheels. I still get tired. I sometimes say yes to the wrong things and regret saying no to other things and when I do, I really make a mess of things. Distinguishing where to say YES and when to say NO is sometimes difficult, but Lysa’s advice is insightful, empowering and inspiring.

My scary season of book writing isn’t done yet. While my first manuscript is in, I’m working on several other books so the learning process continues. But I can say for certain that one scared-out-of-your-mind YES in the right direction can set you off on a life and soul adventure you might never have dreamed of!

What are some yesses you are afraid of and nos you should offer more often?

  • This post is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s “The Best Yes” Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other bloggers.  To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE. (http://goo.gl/bQVJW0)

Read more about my book writing adventure and 7th blogging anniversary here.
See this post about my blogging journey and tips for bloggers here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
css.php