OK, let’s face it. Most of us are concerned about image in some way or another. We live in an image-driven society where our “looks” and “what we have” or “how we appear” seem to be so important. We’re often thinking about what kind of image we portray to others – “I wonder what they think?”
But how far do we take it?
Three years ago, when we bought our home as a “fixer-upper,” I was very excited to put paint on the walls, re-carpet the entire home, put on a new roof – and overall give this home a new look! Our kitchen and bathrooms were on the “to do” list (which to this day, remain on that list!), but the few things we did accomplish did make our home feel “new.”
Three years later, I am practicing what I preach on Reluctant Entertainer. Because one of my favorite rooms in the house (I love to cook and entertain) is in the most need of repair! My kitchen!! In the last three years, I’ve learned to let go of any concerns and put image behind me – and instead crank out the yummy meals and enjoy some incredible friends – all through entertaining.
Does the image of “Miz Suzie Homemaker,” in the perfect kitchen, seem so important – or is it the relationships that my family and I are building over home-cooked meals?
I’ve tried to be very honest about this subject on my blog. And I have tried to really encourage women to let that “image-seeking-desire” go, and to realize what hospitality is really about. It’s not about having the best or newest or most beautiful. It’s about sharing your heart of love with others (many times around food) and building relationships.
A recent reader emailed me with these thoughts:
I know that for me, while I enjoy the beautiful pictures on blogs and magazines and in coffee table books, a lot of who I am is that I am so visual about my surroundings. I then start finding myself getting covetous and longing for that "look" in my own home, when in reality I’m not focusing on the right thing.
I’m pretty confident that if I tallied up all the friends that we have had into our home for meals over the past 3 years, that these would be the results:
· Most would not even remember the meals served
· Most would not even remember how my kitchen needs a remodel
· Most would not remember the decorations in my home
· Most would not have ill feelings about things that went wrong
I still love the home that we purchased three years ago, but the things that were exciting and meaningful then – honestly, the thrill has worn off. Now at times I find myself looking around and thinking, “Mmm, maybe a new such-and-such would look good there.” Or as the reader above mentioned, seeing what other people have can also make you covetous. And I believe it’s because it all boils down to the image that we create for ourselves – and the importance that we place on what other people think about us.
You can only have so much stuff, and continually purchasing more and more of it can create clutter and be a big money-waster besides. This, I am still learning. But it’s sinking in and my “falling-apart kitchen” has been a true testing point for me.
What do you think, friends? Are we pursuing a reality for our families and ourselves, or are we overall pursuing an image?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
(Peonies in my backyard. The colors are stunning this year! Read "Are You Free in Your Kitchen" here!)