I went to my first home show this past spring. A friend told me that she doesn’t like to go look at other people’s homes because she already struggles with contentment and it only makes her more envious when she sees all the beautiful homes.

Before I walked into these wonderful old homes I prepared my heart. told myself not to envy. told myself to just absorb beauty. told myself to gain wisdom, tips, ideas and not compare.

The result was wonderful. I realized that what made so many of these homes beautiful was that the owners decorated with things that brought them joy. Each item seemed chosen. Not just placed haphazardly to fill space…but placed purposefully to inspire.

Home is the haven  of inspiration, where the art of life is expressed and taught.Color is strewn into every corner, delectable food is tasted, art, books, beauty, crafted throughout the scenery of it’s rooms and walls.” Sally Clarkson at www.itakejoy.com

After the home show, instead of being discontent with my home, I had fresh eyes for beauty. I gained appreciation for those special things in my home that we have placed with purpose. They inspire us. They remind us of past travels, of future adventures, of memories, of hopes. Here are the top ten pieces of beauty that surround me in my home:


I have a series of 3 of these gorgeous creations of butterfly wings. But what I love most about these is that each was made by a different African woman who made it to support her family. hope.


We also purchased these in Africa. My favorite trip we took was to Cape Town, South Africa. These are ceremonial masks for New Years Eve. I’m intrigued by who wore these masks…the celebration of a new year. joy.


Isn’t this sculpture awesome? My husband bought it for me before we married from a trip he took to Bali, Indonesia. Love the absence. the balance


This plate was a gift from our real estate agent when we bought our first home (that we still live in). It sits on the mantel where he left it for us.  new beginnings


Purchased from a market in Rio de Janeiro. We met the artist and brought it home to be framed and placed in the dining room…our first piece of “real art”. The vivid colors directed how we painted the rest of the house. It’s actually a painting of the shanty town outside of downtown Rio, but he paints the sadness with such beauty. beauty in suffering.


This represents my past. The hours sitting before black & white. The beauty that reaches deep to your soul through your ears. This sits in our playroom. I want the boys to explore it. I want them to be exposed to art in all forms. Now if I could only get them to let me play while they play with toys. heartsong.


Shelves of books. Pages of stories & knowledge. We are readers. We love to share the joy of reading with our children and to fill our home with literature. word art.


This hangs in the baby’s room (ok he’s two, but he’s still my baby). His name comes from a hymn writer. When trying to make this recycled room his own a friend made this wreath out of pages from an old hymnal. recycled history.


I purchased this print at silent auction for an adoption agency good friends of ours used to adopt their 2nd son. The other connection to this print is that it was created by another friend’s mom.  It is placed in our hallway, a position I can see from the kitchen sink. As a reminder to deal gently with my children as my Father handles me gently…like a shepherd cares for his sheep. inspiration.


This is my spot. This is where I meet with God. This is where I pray to be filled with His Spirit. This is where I get ready for my day…ready to meet my children and guide them.  It was when I created this space of beauty that I became more consistent in meeting with Him. Lasting True Beauty.

Look through your home with fresh eyes. What brings you joy? What was purposefully placed? What draws you close to True Beauty?