With spring already here in Florida, I wanted to refresh the decor around my house. So I started with my guest room. Although I have two guest rooms, I can really only make changes to one of them since my niece Devon thinks she owns the other one. She doesn’t like anything moved or changed or added, so that leaves me just one room to rejuvenate and revive.
I decided to do some rearranging. I swapped out the rose floral bedspread with a little-used silver and white one I had in the closet. I replaced the red and white pillows with soft gray pillow shams. I added a cranberry blanket to the foot of the bed. I moved a pillow from my couch to the guest bed since it has similar colors as the bedding. (The pillow is actually a towel I bought at a museum in Paris that my mother refashioned for me.)
The bedspread, the pillow shams, the blanket, the Paris-towel-pillow. These little restyling changes perk up the room. It feels fresher and I didn’t even have to paint or rearrange the furniture to give the room a lighter, brighter atmosphere.
Even though I know that small changes can make a world of difference in decorating my house, I sometimes think I should do significant reconstructive work in my life to make a big impact. These projects I fabricate in my head tend to be more on the scale of attempting to totally remodel my disposition or transform my temperament. But these major renovations seem so daunting that I don't know where to begin. And maybe that's a good thing.
Because I'm also realizing that making huge changes is quite pointless. Because I'm not here in this place, at this time, to be someone else. There's no one else exactly like me. And God meant it that way. So instead of a total redesign of myself, maybe I could start smaller. Lean in when I want to turn away. Press on when I want to hide out. Stand up when I want to shrink back. And I find opportunities every day to give these tiny efforts a chance to blossom, when I start looking for them.
I start to say something unflattering about a friend to another friend. But I pause. She asks me what I'm thinking. I tell her I think I’d better keep it to myself. She nods understandingly and we move on to the next subject. I realize I’ve just captured an unkind word before it made its way into my conversation.
I am deliberate about writing posts as I co-lead a small group with some Facebook-savvy women. I carefully type in my post to schedule it and automatically hit a hard return. Just like that, my post is live to the group. It says “Happy Friday ladies!” Except that it’s only Wednesday.
I frantically think how ridiculous it will look if anyone sees it. But then I calmly delete it. And I realize that this means I just made a simple mistake, not that I’m a social media flop.
I like to drive a clean car but I don’t like car washes because I'm not always sure exactly how they work. The attendant tells me to wait in line, then motions me forward. He opens the door for me and I get out but the car keeps going. “Put it in park!” he yells at me.
I start to wonder how I could have done that, but then I decide to laugh. I tell the attendant I just wanted to give him some excitement for his day. He laughs too and tells me he’ll take it from here. (Whew.) And I realize that I've just shrugged off an embarrassing moment.
It feels refreshing not to regret stray words and have to clean them up with apologies afterward. It feels like progress not to critique myself for a trivial mistake. I think not taking myself so seriously is good growth. And my niece Devon has even decided she wants to perk up her room for spring too.
As she walks into my house I'm surprised as she pulls a pink Eiffel Tower hook out of her bag. She says she needs a place in her room to hang her robe. She admits that she rarely brings a robe but still, she'd like a hook for it anyway.
I'm realizing that it doesn't take major alterations to see refreshing transformations springing to life. And I especially love it when that small change seems as big as the Eiffel Tower.
I'm linking up with Holley Gerth today with coffee for your heart. Click here to read their stories of small things that make a big difference!