Thursday, July 31, 2008

Simple Pleasures...

These "Simple Pleasures" posts are motivated by Aimee over at Living, Learning, and Loving Simply. Others are joining, too (like Shannon at Simpy Mangerchine). And my friend, Tonia, at Study in Brown. Kim at Not My Own... says she wants to join, too. (Hope I didn't put on the pressure, Kim!) Click on over to Aimee's and read comments to see who's participating. It's not too late to start!

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Just the tiniest bit of effort makes things more cheerful.

The other day I posted a photo of my table on the back deck, where I sat and enjoyed a pleasant, beautiful morning. When I saw the photo, the scene struck me as ugly, but I posted it anyway, in the name of reality. I hadn't paid much attention to the unattractiveness of my table area before I saw the picture. And when I did see it, at first I thought, "Who cares? I'm happy. I like my mornings outside. What does it matter?" It seemed trivial. But something about really not caring, because "it's just for me, after all," bothered me.

So the next day I did something like this...

The only things added to the regular morning scene at the table are a little tablecloth and the flowers (they were already in the house; I just brought them out with me). I've been doing this ever since. It's not particularly beautiful or artful. I'm not trying to create a magazine-worthy scene. It's simple and fairly plain, but a little bit more cheerful, more caring. And I was reminded that spiritually-minded women like Edith Schaeffer, Amy Carmichael, Biddy Chambers, and others took care in the little things like this. It matters.

Eventually I would like to have a charming, rustic (or "shabby"), old, wooden table for the deck (part of the deck is covered like a porch), with mismatched old wooden chairs. And I'll put a pretty pot of flowers in the middle, and I can sit out there in the morning, and we can eat meals on it...

But I don't have that table, and I may never have it. I have this table, and I need to make the best of what I have. Really, the point, for me, is about taking care and making effort. It's also about creating a pleasant space, even when it's just for me. Even when no one else will see it. And it's not a lot of bother since it takes less than 2 minutes to set up.

It's a simple thing, and it really is much nicer now. More pleasant.

God makes the flowers to grow even where no man ever walks. His beauty reaches into the hidden places that no man ever sees. He delights in His creation. He actively cares about the little things, the unseen things. He makes all things lovely. For the Lord, it's never "a pain to bother." I want to be like Him.