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“Happiness is not having what you want …. but wanting what you have…”

Those words were on a card sent to me by my step-sister several years ago. Since my Mother died, I haven’t spoken to my step-sister. Not that I don’t want to, we just don’t have anything in common now I guess.  But the card was pretty and I’ve kept it all these years because it rang true.

I try to live my life according the the Word of God, the Bible. But sometimes there are wise words from others that I want to try to live by. This phrase is like that and it reflects the spirit of God’s Word in 1 Timothy 6:8.

I want to want what I have and not go searching for more of this and more of that. I despise nicnacs and geegaws in my house. They are just more dust catchers that I don’t need.

Some years ago I read another quote that I don’t remember exactly but it was something like, “Have only things that you find useful or beautiful in your home.”

And that stuck with me as well.  Having things in my home that are neither useful or beautiful makes me feel cross and crowded.   I don’t buy things because they are cute, though I may well think something is cute. I don’t bring anything into my home that I don’t feel is absolutely beautiful and will add to my life in some way.  I have found that if I stick with this saying, I often choose only utilitarian items that have great beauty to me.  Some examples would be my big white porcelain soup tureen, my lavender-water bottles, my quilts and my big copper kettle.

I like all those things very much and they are used often. they bring enjoyment and are useful to me.  There are other things that are not perhaps as useful but that I really like because they are beautiful to me; the three china dishes hanging on the wall, my Great-Grandmother’s bell, the cookie molds.

It has really freed me up somehow to only own things that I find beautiful and useful. It frees me in my purchases and in the way my home looks. Most importantly,  this philosophy has helped me to slow down and enjoy the blessings God has given me instead of always searching for something more.

So you love the things you have in your home?  Do you surround yourself with only the things you find beautiful, not just ‘cute’ or ‘OK’?   Do you want what you have or are you always finding yourself trying to have what you want?


  1. Sylvia

    Oh, and I would add this to my thoughts about not buying anything unless it is both practical and beautiful …. it frees up more of my disposable income. I have more funds to purchase better quality items which are usually more aesthetically pleasing to me!

  2. Sylvia

    You know, I have a feeling that if I did come to help you, we’d find other more interesting things to occupy our time!

    But if I decorated it would look more like “Me” than “You” and pretty soon, you’d look around and realize that your home didn’t reflect who you are.

    I think you can start by getting rid of things that don’t reflect who you are right now. For example, a few years ago I started getting rid of all aluminum and plastic kitchen utensils and ware. I did that because of health reasons, but with the idea in my mind that I am no longer a plastic tub and spatula gal. I want my kitchen to reflect that.

    In my living room, I don’t want tons of things that just sit and collect dust. I made sure that the decor is pleasing to me and not stuff for the sake of stuff.

    I think you could delegate a room to your girls and give them a plan and see what they could do….

    Here is a book that can give you a lot of perspective and ideas on decorating. Its been an inspiration to me and I think it would be right up your alley. Your library probably has it …. Pure Style Living by Jane Cumberbatch…. http://www.amazon.com/Jane-Cumberbatchs-Pure-Style-Living/dp/0789480158/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1307488857&sr=8-2

  3. Wardee

    Sylvia, well said! I have trouble discerning what is truly beautiful versus what is just cute. Right now my house is full of things I wish I could beautify, but I lack the energy to go through it and I don’t really know how to make it pretty. Decorating is not my gift! 😉 I wish you could come and help me!
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