About the Author

Melissa Michaels is the NY Times Bestselling author of Love The Home You Have andΒ The Inspired Room book. Her blog, The Inspired Room,Β was voted Better Homes & Gardens Readers' Favorite decorating blog in 2014 and 2015. Melissa is a church planter's wife and a mom to three human kids and...

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  1. “creative contentment” – you should trademark that term! πŸ™‚

    Sometimes when I’m feeling like I need something “new” to freshen things up, I just give the house a really good clean…. works (almost) every time!

  2. This was such a blessing to read. I find that the green-eyed monster comes out when it comes to my home, my hair being done, my clothes, etc. etc. I always come back to the same truth. That I can’t always be striving for more. That our Lord wants us to be content where we are. But I just love how you have made such a great solution for these feelings which are inevitable from time to time. So so wonderful!! Thanks for blessing us with this piece and with this site!!!

    • Thank you, you are so right. I think this is a lesson that can be applied to so many areas of our life. Our marriages, our homes, our clothes….when we make them an obsession, when we are always seeking out more, desiring perfection we can’t achieve, or always on the hunt for something we don’t have, we can get into trouble. But when we find joy and contentment right where we are, with what we have and are blessed with, we can enjoy the creativity God blessed us with in healthy, more meaningful ways.

  3. Over the years I have found that “not having” is such a blessing because it forces me to get creative and come up with creative solutions that I wouldn’t have thought of earlier because there was NO NEED.

    It also puts me in a place of trust with my creator, that I wouldn’t have otherwise.

  4. Thank you for this post! It’s a subject that is rarely talked about on home decor and decorating blogs yet desperately needed I think. The unchecked desire for material things of any kind eventually becomes a negative force in our lives. And I’m sure it manifests itself differently to different people, but as always, awareness is the first step to recovery! πŸ™‚ Juggling my love of decor (and decor blogs) with contentment (with what I have) and stillness (in the midst of 50 unfinished projects) is a weekly if not daily struggle.

    Ultimately, I’ve found (and it’s no real epiphany) that what I focus on minute by minute and day by day takes priority in my life. And when I give that place of priority to the Lord, everything else falls into place.

    • Katie, I have found that if my first thought of the morning is “what is going on on twitter today?” or “I wonder what amazing things are happening in blogland” or if every little thing I do seems centered around “what I like to do” rather than what God would have me do each day, I have let myself become obsessed.

      While I of course write my own blog and enjoy the creativity of others, it has to be a conscious effort to NOT make home decor (or fashion or creating or business or whatever the case may be) my idol each day. I agree, putting God first has to be a conscious choice day by day! Thank you for your comment!

  5. The only key to contentment and even joy, that I need IS gratitude. The more I focus on that which I have to be grateful for, the more other ways of thinking about said things (events, people, etc) fade into insignificance! The more I focus on gratitude and feeling thankful, the more I have to be thankful for… it’s a principle taught over and over in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and basically any other text (ancient or modern) that encourages right thinking! Like attracts like! ^_^ Can’t beat it. Just gotta learn it! πŸ˜‰

  6. everything I own is a hand me down, and I’m lucky that most of it started to match. πŸ™‚ there was definitely a time when I thought “when I get that good job and save up I will have (insert what everyone else had). but as my life turned eclectic (nice term for insane) πŸ™‚ I started to embrace the eclectic in my home.

    you’re right. it’s perspective. and if we put our heart into what we have, and our hearts into the people who enter our home, the surroundings will feel welcoming and inviting. I now pay more attention to the feel of my home than the expense of it.

  7. I noticed myself getting more and more discontented with the things in my home the more I read (and obsessed over) blogs. “Why can’t I have a beautiful house like theirs?” was my mentality. I still struggle with it, but now I know it’s just about being thankful for what God has blessed me with. I mean, even if my furniture is mismatched and most are hand-me-downs, each piece has a story! : )

    • Hi Heathalee!! There is so something beautiful about having things that tell a story in our homes. Sometimes we can erase the beauty and story of our pieces, in our effort to be “current” — that is sad to me! Enjoy what you have, and the stories they tell!

  8. I used to struggle with perfectionism but the older I get the less I struggle, I have come to see what is truly valuable in life. Time with my precious family is so much more valualbe to me now than a perfect house.

  9. I find it isn’t so much wanting and not having and envying, but the inability to get myself up and doing one of the many thiings I have wanted to do or long for. bjc

  10. This was an amazing post! As was the additional on your blog. I need to read this everyday! I continue to tell myself to be content and then finding myself wanting more. It requires us to keep our eyes on Him! “Creative Contentment” what a great book you could write.
    Sweet Blessings

  11. What a great reminder and unexpected gift! Thank you so much for sharing your heart and creativity.

  12. I love the canvas drop cloth idea so much that I immediately called my mom and asked if her sewing machine could handle it. I don’t think either of mine could. We’re going to give it a try and then, I just might have the PB look sooner than I thought. I hope to cover a sofa and love seat. If it works, I’ll post on my blog, which I just started today. Any and all tips in that regard are much appreciated too.

    • Wendy, I”m so glad to hear that you are going to try the drop cloth slipcovers! Have fun with your mom (my mom made mine!) and do tell me when you try the slipcovers! I’d love to see! Congratulations on your new blog!! I’m coming by to leave a comment πŸ˜‰

  13. You put this so well, Melissa. It is so important to keep a grateful heart to the Lord for all He has given me. I find that when I’m discontent, and then pendulum swing the other direction (“so fine, I’ll just live with an empty house”) that’s not any different at the heart level than active coveting. When I’m truly living in gratitude, my heart is singing to the Lord, and glad that there are SO MANY things I can DO to make my surroundings beautiful. The fist is smile. And #2 is probably cleaning like Becky said! And then the fun of Treasure Hunting at garage sales, Craigslist, my own attic and bins, or just moving stuff around!
    Thanks for keeping it real, and keeping the focus in the right place!
    BTW, your post on white slipcovers convinced me to give it a try; and then I scored the white IKEA loveseat for $25 and the sofa for $43 (2 different sellers…and clean, don’t worry). I love that I can wash off the grime that inevitable is left by my 4 children!

  14. Ha! I DON’T struggle with perfectionism….but I do struggle with reaching for excellence. I love how you give “permission” to have a passion for creating beauty and manage to also help shape perspective about how that can be done without creating idols.

    I like how you think, Melissa….and I kinda wish I DID struggle w/perfectionism sometimes!! πŸ™‚

    • Ha, Robin! It is great to find a balance!! My husband probably wishes I struggled a little more with it in some areas, I’m sure, especially when it comes to cooking. πŸ˜‰ That is an area I need to grow in my perfection expectations.

  15. Through your words I am reminded of something someone gave to me this week (excerpted from Choosing God’s Best, copyright 1998 by Don Rauniker.)…
    “God speaks in all sorts of ways. Sometimes He reveals His will to us by an impression. Sometimes He speaks by an inner voice. Sometimes we can hear Him speaking through the voice of a stranger, a friend, the words of a song, a thought from a book, a verse of Scripture.
    Rushed urgings are usually of the enemy. God’s Spirit may “hound” you by softly and repeatedly bringing something to mind, but be suspicious of anything that makes you feel driven or in any way obsessed. The voice of the Good Shepherd is gentle, familiar sounding and loving. It leaves you with a sense of spiritual uplift and rejoicing, never fright (John 10:3-5, 14-16, 27-28).”
    Thank you for sharing your wisdom!!!

  16. Thank you so much for your article and the others you reference. I am my own worst enemy in everything I do. I have never had a perfect life and as a child I was poor and abused. As an adult I’ve always strived for perfectionishm in everything causing myself a great deal of stress and sometimes too much money. I feel like iI’m always striving to be what others will accept and I’m sure that comes from my childhood where I was invisible as a person.

    Your articles help me realize I’m striving for the impossible and need to trust my instincts to do what I kow is right for me.

    I wake every morning and go to sleep every night thanking God for all his wonderful gifts and guidance.

    Thank you again for your inspiration, talent and kind heart.

    • Hi Patsy. Thank you for sharing your heartache from the past and your sweet message here. You are dearly loved by God! He gives us beautiful gifts found in imperfection — I pray you’ll find peace in His love and those gifts. {hugs}

  17. We have moved several times. My husband is in the Army and we have almost always lived on Post. I feel like I have done a pretty good job of making our house a home and a place we can enjoy while we are there. And doing it as inexpensively as possible. We recently bought a house because this will be our last assignment and we hope to atay here afterwards. All that to say, I feel stuck and overwhelmed. in making my home beautiful and ours. We have repainted most of the inside of the house. I would love for someone to help me use what I have to decorate and then shop for what I need to fill in. I need some good ideas.

  18. I happened upon your blog today.. the name of my blog is creative contentment and I so enjoyed your thoughts on contentment. I live in Turkey and have chosen to embrace where I am and what I have and my theme for this season is ‘use what I have”. I have found how fun and inspired and creative I can be. Thank you for your blog. It was a treat to me.