How do we sustain any sense of home sanctuary right now? With all of us spending so much time loving and living from home right now, we are making our homes do all the work of the usual living, eating and sleeping space, but also office, school and, for some of us, even home base for grown kids moving back home. We are decorating interiors and exteriors with urgency. So, let's ask experts. Who better to weigh in on living with more meaning while letting go of stuff and typical schedules than those who know us best? This week, we share a personal style story from two women in our Royals community that gets to the heart of this question with advice on a true "home edit", a new meaningful minimalism, and a goal of peace at home, while trying to hang onto royalty.
The tall, slender woman with the ebony hair and eyes full of life surveyed her friend's living space and tsked softly in a Rwandan lilt too lovely to be captured by the written word, "Do you truly love everything you see here? Does it speak to you? Does it share of your heart?"
Her carefree friend with the smile as generous as her self laughed, sheepishly, but moved with emotion at the challenge, "Well, I don't know! I suppose I never thought of it that way before..."
The two had become fast friends on a trip to Africa led by the first woman that had changed the second woman's life. Wonder after wonder had awakened hearts in the presence of the pilgrimage leader, and so, even while the friend and her young family had never seen such poverty as on their trip, they also had never experienced such profound joy, and this led to the discovery of a special sisterly bond between them. Now, they could not get enough of each other's joys and sorrows, and were wont to spent long moments lost in phone conversations over topics of the heart, and much missionary giving flowed from them as a team.
"I love your home, my friend. Do you love everything here? I think, if you are prepared to do so, try a new approach." The first woman's luminous skin glowed in the light of their holy conversation, her past wounds now witnessing to a growing wisdom rewarded through much overcoming.
"Your taste is exquisite and your decor is impeccable," the first woman spoke up again, "You know I love it." And she grinned a girly grin with a strand of pearls for teeth and they both laughed together and the friend whose home it was blushed. "But, come with me..."
The friends began to wander around the luxurious home, well collected and curated over years of travels and marvels. The woman's dark eyes wandered over notable works of art, statues and photos.
"Do you love this piece?"
"Do you love this here?"
"Do you love this one? Does it speak to you of who you are and who you want to be? Who and what you cherish?"
As the first friend pointed out piece after piece, the second friend shook her head.
"No...some of these I don't even know why I have them. I think I picked that one up at a gallery on a trip. Those were all gifted. That one reminds me of the time...well...not a good memory even." She smiled ruefully. "That one, though..." She trailed off, picking up a precious photo of her family. "That one is from my sisters, whom I love."
"I think...I think you really need to edit," her friend said gently. "I think it's time to let go. Take out the things in it that don't speak to you of your loves: God, family, and moments of joy. Let them go into the storage of your memory or even be gone forever.
"And as for what you put in its place? Take your time to bless your home in new pieces that are life-giving. Everything, absolutely everything that surrounds you should speak to you of what you value most. Everything should exude grace. Everything should bless you. That is what your home needs, my friend."
A home edit...a new minimalism, for a time...even in the expansiveness of her current home...while she intentionally sought out and brought in new pieces that reflect her and her family's heart of hearts... There was no protest, for the insight had struck her to the heart. Some of the items that she had collected over the years had become burdens over her soul, and she was feeling freed by this wisdom. She embraced the wise woman...then she took a painting down off the wall. "Well, this will be the first to go," she said.
"And this will take its place," the first woman produced a Rwandan rosary of prayer beads, consecrated by worthy tribal craftsmanship and prayer. The friend gasped.
They both hugged again and went to pour themselves a glass of fine wine...with grace, and to talk royalty through transitional minimalist style.
Sometimes our lives are so full of special things, that we find we have to choose to prioritize that which is most meaningful. An even more attainable principle is, what kind of meaning do you want to be reminded of? Surround yourself in that every single day. Is it all the gifts you've ever received from everyone and every trip that's ever meant anything to you? Clutter? Or rather the existential meaning that defined all the relationships and pilgrimages in the first place? If you're looking for this latter type of meaning re-envisioned in modern, royal ways (yet still wholly sacred), try here...
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