We all have the hobbies that we enjoy most. Some of us LOVE to go shopping, others are big into gardening, reading books, or even binge-watching TV shows! For me, it’s decorating my home, inside and out, especially at the holidays. I look forwardto the “ber” months all year (September, October, November, December); and, in large part, due to  the home décor that goes with each holiday. It is not a good thing for me to shop often at Hobby Lobby. Honestly, I don’t go there often because I want it ALL! There have been more than one full-cart trips to Hobby Lobby when I went there to get one item for my son’s science project. 😂

My favorite feature in my home, and probably the biggest reason I fell in love with this house 12 years ago, is the stone fireplace in the living room. I grew up with a wood-burning fireplace in my living room, and so many good memories of my childhood include the warmth of the fire and the smell of the wood. Each fall I take a picture of our “first fire of the year” in our fireplace. When we moved into this home, there was no mantle on the fireplace. For several years I prayed for a solid wood mantle. Eventually, my husband brought home the PERFECT wood mantle from another home he was remodeling for his work. Still, years later, having a mantle to decorate makes me smile every single day when I walk into the kitchen and see it.

I’m writing these details because I know you all understand. Our home and the memories we make there are important to us as women. We feel that creating traditions for our families are a way we show our love. It is not simply about buying things. It is creating a cozy place that our kids will remember long into adulthood.

So, let’s talk about my fall décor. Organization is not a strength of mine; therefore, having each set of seasonal décor stored away in totes and labeled was a huge victory for me. I even organized myself recently to the point of deciding which day I would change the décor on my mantle for each holiday/season, and I put that day on my Google calendar. I look forward to these days! When it was time to get down my fall décor (I have 2 totes labeled), my husband had my boys go out to the detached garage, set up the ladder, send the youngest through the door ofthe loft of the garage and climb in to look for the totes. I have many things stored up there because I live on a slab home with no basement or attic storage, and very few closets. It is the only place I am able to store the totes. I felt that I had come a long way in letting go of control because I just calmly waited in the house and did not follow them out there to be sure they did not drop the totes and break anything. I refused to be the “helicopter Mom,” and I was proud of myself for that!😀 Shortly thereafter,the boys came back in and announced “They aren’t up there. We looked and all we saw was the Christmas stuff.”

Now ladies, do you know how I felt in that moment? There is no way that 2 totes of holiday décor just vanishes into thin air. I was ready to fight for the totes! “You just don’t want to take the time to find them! Get back out there and get me those totes!” That is what I wanted to say, but thank God, I have grown some in my Christian life over the years, and I simply asked, “How can they have disappeared?” I looked at my husband, expecting him to take charge of this situation and get those teenagers back to their job! But instead, he looked at me and said, “Well, If they say they’re not there, they aren’t.”

Can you feel how I felt? The heat that rose on my neck? Guys don’t care about home décor the way we do, right Friends? I was livid. Of course the totes are out there. I have every confidence that, when the Christmas décor is brought in, they will see the totes they overlooked; but then it will be too late. I was angry. Everyone left for school and work, and I was upset for a good, long while. It is impossible for me to, by myself get the totes down. I don’t fit in the loft door for one thing (but that’s a discussion for another day😂).

I had a decision to make that day. My husband even said I could go to Hobby Lobby and buy new things. My first instinct was to head over there and spend a few hundred dollars, mostly to get revenge for being treated unfairly! I hope you ladies are as rotten as I am! I’m really telling on myself. But, I pulled myself together that day and thought about what I really wanted in my home. Is my top priority to have a beautifully decorated home, so I can post pictures on social media and get lots of “likes”? Or, the few times I have company this season, is the main point to decorate for my visitors? No. My desire is to make my home a welcoming place for my family. If I won’t let the issue of totes go, and I am always pouting and complaining about home décor, I destroy the whole reason I decorate. I needed to see the bigger picture. The Bible calls these issues “little foxes that spoil the vines.” (Song of Solomon 2:15)

This was a long illustration for a short point.  What “little” things are you hanging onto? Decorating for the fall seems big to me; but, in the whole of life and relationships, it’s not. Trusting my husband’s decision, and letting it go kept the tension from our home that day. Peace is a much better atmosphere than a beautifully decorated home no one wants to be in. I have chosen my own way so many times before, that I can testify— it’s not worth it. I would be staring at a fall mantle each morning, and it would be a reminder to me that I chose poorly. Instead, I look around, and I miss my fall décor (I can’t lie!) But I feel content, because the Lord has helped me grow in this area. It’s a much better feeling.

This holiday, don’t major on the minors. Try to always choose relationships over things. Ask the Lord to help you; He will. You will look back with no regrets if you put people first. The little things are what often blind-side us and cause us to bring tension into our homes. But not this holiday season! I believe letting go of these little things is a wonderful gift we can give the Lord this holiday. 

Here is the picture of my “late summer” mantle, minus any sign of fall😂 (I have a feeling those totes will be found eventually. I may decide to store them in the middle of the living room all year!😂😂)