Tag Archives: home

minimalism v. sentimentality

sitting room

As I write this post, I’m sitting at Nannie and Dida’s (my paternal grandparents) dining room table, sitting in one of their dining room chairs. From where I sit, I can see a beautiful round dining table-turned-coffee-table in my sitting room, given to me by Scott’s mom. Flanking the love seat there is a table with a beautiful white marble lamp and a drop leaf side table, both from my maternal grandparents. On the table rests a silver footed candy dish. Above the couch is a gorgeous oil painting of a woman we call “Aunt Jenny”- which used to hang in the dining room at Nannie and Dida’s.

You can see the pattern here. My home is filled with pieces that come from our family, each with a little story of their own. That drop leaf table has had the finish stripped because my Mimi always had to have a glass of ice water near by, and she ruined all her tables with water rings. “Aunt Jenny” was resting herself behind a dresser at my parents house, and I invited her to live with us. The marble lamp traveled from Mimi and Papa’s house in Rome, Georgia, to Papa’s retirement home, and then to my house. Every morning when I turn that lamp on to read my bible and drink my coffee, I think of them.

I love the clean lines of a minimalist home. My friend Shawna calls it  “buttoned up” style. There is something so soothing about a house that is completely uncluttered, almost stark. But I could never live that way. I want to be surrounded by stories and things that carry a story of the people I love.

That’s where minimalism loses in my life. Sentimentality wins. I would rather air on the side of too much stuff than get rid of something that tells a story. It might not be very valuable in the world’s eyes, but it’s priceless to me.



31 Days of Mindful Minimalism: Day 23

on organizing.

capri fetish

closet clean out round one. apparently i have a problem with capri pants. there are nine pair in that pile. i have no words for this.

This post last year stopped me in my tracks and I haven’t forgotten it since.

what it said: organizing is often well planned hoarding.

When you think about it, it’s really true. The source for that post went on to say that organizers are more covert and systematic about their accumulation of stuff. It’s all neat and tidy so you don’t realize how much excess there really is.

“No matter how organized we are, we must continue to care for the stuff we organize, cleaning and sorting our methodically structured belongings. When we get rid of the superfluous stuff, however, we can focus on life’s more important aspects. Said another way: We can spend the day focusing on our health, on our relationships, on pursuing what we’re passionate about. Or we could, of course, reorganize our basement again.”
The Minimalists,  Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus

I’d rather pursue what I’m passionate about than sort through a closet full of capri pants. (Nine pair. Seriously?)



This post is day 21 in a series called 31 Days of Mindful Minimalism, my personal journey to observe my habits in daily living, and live with more thought and intention.

where the heart is

kitchen sink

the tears came unexpectedly as I stood at the sink last thursday night doing dishes. I was reflecting on the thoughts that had filled my head and simmered daily as I stood there, washing in the hot soapy water. the next day we’d give the house to someone else. and a not-so-little piece of my heart would go with it.

Grace Cottage. Six years ago, God gave us this place. After months on the market, our house hadn’t sold. We’d decided to stay put and make it work. Jack was three, Molly was one, and Ginny was on the way.

Then one day, a friend of a friend came along and bought it. The very next day, we found grace cottage. God made a way. He said go.

We poured blood, sweat and tears into this place, literally. {Scott- blood and sweat; Me- tears}. Weeks of long days and late nights handcrafted these cozy walls, nooks and memories. there have been memories too many to count, but the hand of God has shaped them all.

Two cribs in the girls room with lime  painted panel walls lined up and taped by Shawna. Big blue stripes for my big boy. A long-awaited ‘grown up bedroom’ with peaceful walls and beautiful bed linens. Sparkly gem appliances and big kitchen drawers. Big family room filled with people we love, sharing life.

Red dining room turned believable buff schoolroom, I will miss you. You have greeted me every morning with the light of my mother’s day lamp for my Bible and coffee time. I cherish your quietness and the richness of all you represent.

Grace Cottage brought change in unexpected ways. New jobs. Public school. Seminary. Home school. New church. Joys and sorrows, all bundled through each step. God faithfully leading and directing along the way.

My heart is here, wrapped up in the sweetness of this place. Truly a haven of rest from the world, battleground for sanctification, His hand of goodness hidden on every shelf.

Once again, God has said go. He has made a way. After months on the market and not selling, a friend of a friend has come along and bought it.

While I know I cannot grasp this place too tightly, I will tuck these precious memories into the corners of my mind and heart. There will be another quiet place to sit and sip and read. More memories. More joy and sorrow. More sanctification. 

It may not be another cottage, but it will be filled with Grace.