When I announced that this would be A Year of Dwelling Well, I had no idea what this year would bring our way. But it is still exactly how I want to live. Dwelling Well isn’t about living life under perfect circumstances. It’s about doing the best we can with the circumstances we find ourselves in. It’s about creating greater peace, comfort and belonging. It gives me chills to even think about how this unexpected turn of events in our world is transforming how we live. The message of Dwelling and the companion journal Dwelling Well take on a deeper meaning right now as we navigate these uncertain times.
Friends, these are difficult days. We are all fighting fears and battles. It’s hard to know how to even process what is happening around us, isn’t it? I am right there with you. I’m trying to show up and just do the next thing.
Dwelling and the Dwelling Well Journal were written from my heart, to be of encouragement to others as we persevere in all of life’s ups and downs. Right now, we’re walking this journey together.
Here is an excerpt from the “Loveliness” chapter of Dwelling:
As I was writing this chapter, I received two phone calls, each with heartbreaking news. One young lady nearly lost her life; one young man will have his life taken from him too soon. Both situations and circumstances are tough news to process and almost impossibly hard to face.
Life is so fragile. I literally felt the wind taken from me, and all I could do was be still and cry. I felt too numb to just carry on with my writing as if everything was the same. Everything was different, and the truth was sinking in that nothing would ever be the same again.
All of the emotions I was feeling were trying to sort themselves out, mingling between extreme sadness, utter disbelief, deep pain, and nearly paralyzing fear. I couldn’t even think of any words to write. I felt as if I were in a fog. There were no answers to be found. Only questions. I tried to go back to writing, but what-ifs and whys stared back at me.
Would I ever again think that something as seemingly trivial as infusing loveliness in the day could help anyone? Where is the loveliness to be found when all you feel is fear and heartache? I started to doubt.
But with my questions came a wave of reassurance and gentle reminders that loveliness isn’t to be appreciated only when life is going my way.
I love these Bible verses: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance” (James 1:2-3).
I wasn’t in control of the outcomes in either of these precious lives, so leaning into and holding on to what I knew to do brought peace and comfort. I could pray and find strength in my faith and find ways to grow through it.
Difficult circumstances are always reminders to me that all we ever have is right now. How we react, respond, and grow is always our choice. We can’t necessarily change circumstances, and we may not always be happy with the situation, but we can use all opportunities to develop our character. We choose who we become despite and because of our circumstances. That is the challenge of life—to learn how to cultivate beauty even when it feels as if we’re on barren ground.
If everything was always wonderful and the beauty we looked for offered no meaning, we’d become quite shallow people. Heartache can help us care more deeply for others and even live more meaningful lives.
Those moments that rock us to our core offer the opportunity to refocus on what is truly important. Faith is what carries us as we persevere. Life is precious, and moments are fleeting, so why not make the ordinary days at home as beautiful as we can to honor the full spectrum of life?
Soak in beauty around you as a gift when you aren’t inspired to create it. If you look out your window, you’ll see that life is beautiful. Notice colors in the sunsets, the magnificent light in the sunrise, the shapes of the petals on every type of flower, the black and yellow stripes on a bumble bee, the unique design and scent of every plant and tree outside your door.
• Go on a mental scavenger hunt for a little loveliness in a place you don’t expect to find any. Your dreaded morning commute? Your hamper full of dirty laundry? Try to find at least three lovely things!
• Consider how a difficulty in your life expanded your ability to be compassionate or gave you a deeper sense of gratitude for all that is lovely.
What do you appreciate about life now that you might not have appreciated before your walk through a harder time?
Sometimes having something you just know to do and look for in every situation is exactly what you need to get through everything. Focusing on living with loveliness day to day gives us the strength and perseverance to find it again in all of the ups and downs and seasons of life.
Beauty can be a balm that soothes the rough edges of life.
What is something of beauty that gave you joy during your childhood? Do you still enjoy it? Write about the elements of loveliness you enjoyed during different seasons of your life. What from the early years might you bring back into your days now? It doesn’t take much.
Beauty can be a spark that motivates us to create more of it. Daily life can always be made lovelier, even when some parts are not so lovely. We may create beauty to celebrate all the good in our life, and other times we need it because it’s all we can do to get our feet to the floor in the morning. Nurturing a beauty-seeking, joy-filled mind-set is so important in all seasons.
Where do you find beauty right now?
-this excerpt adapted from Dwelling, by NYT Bestselling Author Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room
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A Year of Dwelling Well is more than a year long blog series. It is an opportunity for all of us to focus on how we want to live, even in these uncertain times. It’s about taking intentional baby steps towards dwelling well throughout the year. It’s a mindset shift that will impact our daily life in positive ways. It will help us to refresh our home and make it the nourishing, comforting sanctuary we need to thrive. It’s a chance to reset our health and well-being, and to savor more meaningful moments and connections in life.
Want to be surrounded by positive people and find the inspiration and motivation to feel your best? You are invited to be a part of our communities. Learn about them here.
Read Dwelling as you are spending more time in your home. I hope it will encourage you with practical ways to take care of yourself and those around you, especially in these uncertain times.
To journal through your own Year of Dwelling Well, grab your Dwelling Well Journal. The guided pages are simple to use (even if you aren’t a “journal person.”). The journal is designed to help you to stay focused and balanced in your intentions throughout the year with realistic action steps in creating an intentional, meaningful, healthy home and life.
To see videos of the Dwelling Well journal and learn how to use it, watch the “Journal” highlight on my Instagram stories!!