Monday, April 12, 2010

What Are You Saving It For?

Today I'm going to get on my soapbox.

Ever go to somebody's house and think, "Wow, this house is beautiful...but it certainly isn't very welcoming!"?? They have beautiful furniture, but cover it up with a sheet or quilt so it won't get dirty. There's hardly any light in the room, but they won't turn on a lamp. The dinner table looks nice, but the candles sit there unused, and instead of using dishes for a dinner party, the paper plates come out. The house you are visiting is large enough for a separate guest room, but the hostess jokes that she can't remember the last time anyone actually used it.

Ever think some of those things?
Would anyone in your family say the same about your own home?


When you really think about it, does the truth hurt just a little?

Now, I'm not saying that using paper plates sometimes is bad, we all do it! But does there come a time when we just need to use, I mean REALLY USE, what we have?

What are we saving it for?!!

Are we so afraid to use our good china "in case" something gets broken? Are the flowers in your garden for looking and not for picking? Are the couple of dollars (or less) you spent on that candle so precious that you feel you can't burn it? Are you saving that perfume for a "special day"? Are those coveted white slipcovers too precious for your family to feel comfortable sitting on without another cover on top of the already slipcovered furniture?

What are you waiting for?

Your FAMILY and FRIENDS are worth it!


Because people are more important than "things".

And a lot of the time, Friends, in our own homes...
...we act as though the opposite were true.

So what if expensive dishes break? A newly painted wall gets splattered with food? A candle burns down till it's gone? Or, (the horror!) a white slipcover gets lived on & it shows?

It's just stuff.

It can all be fixed or cleaned or replaced. Even if it can't, didn't we buy these things to USE them? Aren't the relationships with the person who broke the item more important than the item itself?

If we keep waiting & waiting for that "Special Day" to come, think of all of the lovely times and experiences we would have missed by not blessing our loved ones with the use of these things in the meantime.

Think of the money wasted by having those items sitting unused and not being enjoyed.

You can't take these things with you when you leave this earth, so Why Wait?


What Are You Saving It For?

Enjoy some flowers in your home!
Pick them from your garden, or buy them at the store!
Put that pretty vase to use!

Have a little accent lamp?
Turn it on!
Create a warm, welcoming glow that will lift your spirits!!
You bought it with every good intention of creating a cozy atmosphere...What are you waiting for?

Have a guest room or spare room that you never use?
Invite family or friends you haven't seen in a while over & bless them with your gifts of hospitality!
Volunteer to host a missionary from church at your home for dinner and a night or two of rest and relaxation while they are visiting the area.

If you are blessed with a room to spare, then please bless others by having them there!

Got candles?
Light them up! Enjoy the pretty glow of the candlelight, or the soft scent wafting by!
Burn them every day until they are gone, then get a new one!

Use your china & silver at least once a month!
How about every Sunday for dinner?
Create a special tradition in your family that they will remember and pass down with their own families one day!
If things get broken, so what? Mixing & matching at the table is "in" now anyway! :)
Table linens get dirty? It's inevitable. Just wash!!

And, Oh, the white slipcovers!
If you have them, then enjoy them!

I've had them for several years, and yes, they have had children with runny noses and dusty shoes crawling and lounging on them. And yes, I've got a pet with dirty paws too. Food eaten on them...Yup!

They can be washed, and no, I don't have to wash them all of the time....hardly ever, actually.
Because I just don't care if a little mark is on them here or there.

We have white slipcovers because I love the beautiful overall look.... but more important than keeping them pristine white is having my kids and my friends know that they are welcome to sit and relax there anytime!!

(This was my old sunroom....I've got the couch in our new living room, and the chair with an ottoman in my craft room/office now!)

I guess my encouragement to you today from my little soapbox would be:

If you have it, use it and enjoy it! Because everyday can (and SHOULD!) be a "Special" day!
And you ARE worth it!


{If you still can't bring yourself to really use the items in your home often, then I'd encourage you to give them to a young couple who would truly love and use those things.}

That's all.
Stepping down now.

Love you guys!


Trish D said...

I couldn't agree more - my mom has a closet full of *good stuff* (including some things I gave her as gifts 20 years ago!!) and it drives me batty to see them use battered old stuff when I know there are better (and prettier) things "on standby." I know she thinks that I am wasteful when I burn candles or use soap that costs over $4 (hee hee) but I do love those little luxuries...

I love the idea of breaking out the good dishes weekly - may have to try to incorporate that into our routine (and find a better place to store them so they're easier to get in & out!)

Unknown said...

Wow...were you talking to me? I can really relate to this post...thanks for the kick in the hiney today!

Karen said...

I absolutely agree with you. I will admit I am one of those people -- trying to keep things nice.... I have done better recently. Our home is only a couple of years old and I didn't put drapery panels up for fear of my toddler doing something fun with them. Ha! I actually put up drop cloth panels and love them. I know they cannot get ruined and will wash up easy if needed. I also recently gave my oldest daughter the ring my Grandpa gave me when I got married (it was my Grandma's wedding band). It is true vintage and gorgeous. That was 27 years ago, and I stopped wearing it at some point to keep it nice. I was too young to appreciate it I guess. My daughter was married with that ring on her right hand, and recently inquired about it because she said she wanted to find something similar because she loved it so much. She knew I planned to leave it to her when I passed on. I thought about it, and I realized this could be another 40 or 50 years....I gave it to her to enjoy, and I love seeing it on her hand. Baby steps, right? I think I will start using my china once a month, why not? I have a beautiful dining room that is hardly ever used. Thanks for your post, and sorry for rambling on......

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

(Clapping hands) Well said! I never use my Christmas plates...I always feel like it's a hassle to dig them out and find a place to store them all December long. This year, I'll make more of an effort!! :)

Thanks for the visit today. :)

Melissa Miller said...

Stacey what a wonderfully thoughful post! You are so right. Life is short and we all need to live it to the fullest. The photos of your home are all beautiful. :)

House Queen said...

I must not be "saving" anything because at my and my guys...we LIVE in it all! I can promise you that you will find stains on the furniture and probably crumbs in the floor!

This is such a great post! I am so thankful I stumbled on your blog! I am now a follower and would love for you to stop my my blog as well! Have a great Monday!!!

~Kristen~ said...

So very well said!!! I try to live this way every day. "Stuff" does not matter in the long is people that matter!!! I have always felt like if I have something in my home that is "too nice" to actually use (or risk breaking it or staining it or what have you) then it is just "too nice" to have, period. I want to live in a home...not a museum!!! :-)

Jennifer said...

I totally agree! Certainly we want houses (nicely decorated houses!) that are a home and not a museum. I hope folks notice the atmosphere in my house before they notice all the things I do love to have about:)

Jill said...

Well said . . I couldn't agree more!
~ Jill

Gigi said...

I so agree! I love having a nice clean home, but I'm raising a family here and would much rather they feel like they can live in and enjoy it.

Sixty-Fifth Avenue said...

So true! When I get the chance to go to an estate sale here and there it always makes me a bit sad to see things that have never been used and enjoyed.

Jo said...

Thanks for visiting and your sweet comments.

Your post is oh so true ~ I love to "use it"!

I'll keep you posted on the seedlings ~ keeping my fingers crossed they'll grow.


Kirstin said...

What an awesome post and soooo true! I had read somewhere about how if only save the "good" or "special" stuff for company, what does that speak to our own family! Wow!!!

I need to put you on my sidebar so I check in daily, I'm loving everything I read.

Richella Parham said...

Ah, shoot, Stacey, why don't you just stay up there for a while longer? You have good things to say!

It blesses my heart to think of what a good model you are for those darling girls of yours. :)

I Love Pretty Little Things said...

Well said!

Nellie's Cozy place said...

I so agree with you! In fact, I had an experience when we first moved in our home here almost 30 years ago where I finally unpacked a beautiful lace tablecloth that I got as a wedding present, we got 2 just alike
and I had used one, but don't remember what happened to it, and as I reached in the china hutch to get it out and thought about putting it on my table, the thought came "you should save it cause what if it gets messed up",
and it was like the spirit of God said to me "save it for what, use it, and if it gets messed up you can get another one or at least you had the pleasure of using it."
I got it right out and put it on the table and used it for years, don't remember what happened to it
either, funny really!!
My Mom used to do that she saved everything for a better time, and she had so many nice things but would never use them and died never having the pleasure of enjoying all those nice gifts from others and things that she bought
herself, I think that is sad!!
but she is in Heaven now and I am sure understands the folly of that!!
I love to use candles and I love the aroma and ambiance of it all,
and the pretty dishes and whatever pretty things I have I so have decided to enjoy, and if it breaks it breaks!! So what???
Great post my dear,
Blessings, Nellie

Victoria Hayden said... well said!! :) I agree a 100% with you! I use all my good dishes for dinner parties and my family. Sometimes we just have really nice dinners for no reason and I pull all the best out...the kids love it and feel special too. I light all my candles throughout my house and when they burn down...I make sure to stock up on more or change them. Nothing bugs me more than when I go to someones home and the candle wicks haven't even been burned. One thing I do when I design for others...burn the new wicks even if it is for a few seconds. Lived in...that is what a home is for and what I strive so hard to make for my family. I want my home to say "welcome, sit, eat and enjoy". :) I loved this you can see, I had a lot to write! lol

Hugs to you,

Musings Of A Gem said...

Heehee I couldn't agree more! Live every day like it is your last..every day IS SPECIAL!

Anonymous said...

GUILTY!!! I'm going home tonight and using the pretty blue water goblets instead of the McDonalds coke float glasses...
1st time visitor...I'll be back :D

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I learned a lesson when my mother in law died in the 1990s.

She had gorgeous linens we had to throw away because they literally fell apart at the point they were folded.

She had so many pretty things that never saw the light of day when she was alive.

I decided then to use the beautiful "stuff" each day. :)

Olga said...

I agree! Enjoy what you have, burn that beautifully scented candle. Use those "good towels". Life is too short :)

Whitney said...

I could not agree more. My mom has china cabinets full of beautiful items, but she will not put them to use. I picked a few of my favorites (with her permission, of course) and took them to my home. She walked in and noticed they were actually in reach, not behind a glass, and being used. Her first words? Something about them getting broken. I explained that I wanted to use the gorgeous items. I use one as a sugar dish beside our coffee maker, another sits in the window above my sink and holds my clean dish rags. I love seeing these things every day and knowing they are being used AND loved.

Andrea said...

Amen, Amen!!!! My mom has a saying that I've heard all my life and try to live by now that I have my own family...she says: "The only thing that is irreplaceable in life, is life itself!" The few times that my girls or I have broken something 'special' her little saying always pops in my head! I love that perspective!

Unknown said...

So very well said! Thank you! Our home is simple and lived in, but I try to make it as special as possible for our family and friends. Nothing too precious but so many special things we use and enjoy. I have often admired beautiful complete china sets in others' homes and wished my late mother had a set to pass down to me. I recently realized instead that I much preferred the memories of all the large family dinners, often on just a regular Sunday, we enjoyed using her 'good set'. Only a handful of pieces remain intact but we will always have the memories. Thanks also for the mention of living with white slipcovers. For us, it is possible and not at all painful.

Jeanne said...

What a terrific post! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it! Mostly my house looks {very} lived in and I hope comfortable, but some of your ideas I hadn't thought of.

I'm new to reading your blog and really enjoy it!

MemeGRL said...

Thanks for this! I was decluttering and found some boxes of "things for later"--and was delighted I could get some out now! I put away some precious, delicate, sentimental things (a jade statue from my 80+ world traveler aunt, etc.) when my kids were toddlers. Now that they are older and we have fewer balls in the house, I'm pulling some of them out again. But the dishes--that's a leap of faith! My kids are excellent at clearing the table but clatter the melamine in the sink...I figure "to everything a season" and this is not the china's "season." But soon! Thanks for the inspiration!

Lori @ Stoney's Crew said...

My kid's friends always thought it was "weird" to eat dinner at our house for the first time because milk was served in wine goblets and "real" napkins (cloth) were used even tho we only ever dine in the kitchen (and even when we had pizza take out!). Those same kids always seemed to want to come back for lunch or dinner tho! Apparently even mac & cheese from a box tastes better on china! Note taken on the seldom used dining room (now my office)tho...I have now lit the tapers sitting on the buffet and it looks more welcoming all ready!

Anonymous said...

How true - A few years ago from Thanksgiving until new years I started taking my reg dishes out of my kitchen and put my christmas ones in and used them daily