Creating Environments instead of Decorating

Studying the Creation one day,  I was quite overcome by the realization that the Lord spent FIVE of the SIX creative periods just making the earth beautiful.  He didn’t have to create beauty.  We could have come to a drab, gray, virtually lifeless world to work out our salvation.  Plants and trees and animals are not essential to our salvation; but they are here.  The way things are constructed, we do need the plants and the animals to survive physically;  but He didn’t have to make them beautiful or interesting.  The Lord spent a lot of creative energy just making things lovely for us. That’s a powerful statement about Him as a Creator.  God loves beauty.    AND I believe that He was indirectly telling us that our environment matters tremendously.  He wanted us to LOVE the earth…to enjoy being here.  He wanted us to be comfortable and happy.   He wanted us to feel peaceful here and to have sacred places to go to-places that feed us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I can’t help but quote my good friend, John Denver , right here…”you fill up my senses.”  I believe that the earth is supposed to be a feast for our senses (after all, when all is said and done this earth is the Celestial Kingdom!)  Perhaps other songs that might be appropriate here would be, “How Great Thou Art” or “All Creatures of Our God and King”  -both  anthems to God’s creative genius.

Well, this got me thinking about my own home and how I feel about it. I have long felt that the environment in my home matters tremendously.  The furniture, the art work, the paint colors, the organization…it all creates a feeling that becomes a huge part of our family identity and culture.    I think using our creative energies to make our homes lovely, comfortable, clean and useful are all Godly pursuits.   I want to love my home.   I want my husband and kids to love it.  I want them to be comfortable here.   I want it to be peaceful and sacred.  I want to create an environment that feels homey-not earthly homey-but heavenly homey. A place where  those ‘trailing clouds of glory’ that Mr. Wordsworth talked about can be preserved and felt.

Now with that being said, I am not advocating that it is appropriate to spend inadvertent amounts of time obsessing over our homes. Nor am I suggesting that we run over to Tai Pan (sorry, Tail Pan) and start ‘decorating’ just for the sake of decorating.  What I am suggesting is  very different than decorating.  In my mind, decorating  can be a very a superficial pursuit whose primary aim is to simply get it done or too convey a certain look.   What I am suggesting is that there is great satisfaction in deliberately ( favorite word) creating an environment in our homes.  And I think that the Lord would smile upon our efforts as we use our creative gifts to physically extend who we truly are  into our home environment. In other words,  if we are improving our homes to make them more comfortable, more peaceful, more organized, more joyful or to simply better reflect us (and we can afford it and avoid debt!!) then we should go for it!  But if we are improving our homes to ensure our position among our friends or families, to vaunt ourselves, or to satisfy a natural man urge to appear polished or perfect, then we might want to refine our purposes before we tackle the job! I will say that there are few things more satisfying to me than to create something of beauty whether it be in my home, my garden, in my sewing room or on my computer.  Creating truly fulfills part of the measure of our creation…and what better thing to create than the environment in which we live, move, breathe, receive inspiration, learn to forgive and give and receive life’s most profound kinds of love.

A warning:  This kind of creating can actually take years…a favorite piece of art after visiting an art exhibit,  a favorite bed frame from a yard sale, a favorite nativity from a visit to another country, a rock collection from your rock hounding expeditions,  a favorite tapestry from a friend…it’s ok!  Plan it out.  Take your time.  Let it evolve.  Sit back and enjoy.  That’s what God did.

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