Two weeks ago my family traveled to Florida in an RV with my parents. I shared our adventure with those who follow me on Instagram. We stopped and ate at a handful of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, caught up with family and friends, and visited a few theme parks; one of which was Disney's Magic Kingdom.
I was there many times, as a child, with my husband while we were dating, and also when my kids were younger. While being there was familiar, it felt as though I was experiencing it for the first time. Not only that, I was able to see through the eyes of my children, who were in awe of what surrounded them at every turn.
The little things were not lost on me.
From the moment we entered the park, until the time we left, the art around me stimulated my senses. The sounds lifted our spirits and put a spring in our step, the sights engaged our imagination, and the smells made our mouths water even though our tummies were full. I couldn’t help but stare the character and the beauty of the architecture around me.
The magic is in the details.
The first ride we went on was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. At the moment we stepped on the queue our experience began. The materials mimicked the timber and stones that you might find in a mine. When I looked down, I saw gems in the floor, hidden in plain site and when I looked up I saw lanterns and wood beams that “supported the structure.” I couldn’t help but notice the great care taken in its design.
The Disney creative teams designed and executed everything well.
It was like this everywhere. High and in the shadows, in places where people were not likely to look, design details were carried through. The story unfolded not just in front or above me, but behind me too.
As I floated on one of the magical rides I wondered, what am I not doing well because I think others won’t see or care?
Sometimes I do things half way just to get them done because when there are check marks on my to-do list I feel good. Knowing they’re necessary, I rush through the mundane chores with little joy, on a quest to be dubbed productive. I begrudge the cooking, cleaning, and organizing because I don’t think it matters to others… at least not to those outside of my home.
Many times, I forfeit opportunities to live creatively behind closed doors. I wait for work or a school committee to go the extra mile.
Pride and misplaced priorities are nasty things.
After reading Notes From a Blue Bike, The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World by Tsh Oxenreider I began to rethink the way I do life. I want to do the simple things in life well. I want to invest in the people in my life and create margin for relationships. I want to be FAITHFUL in the little things.
What if cleaning up after dinner was not just another chore but extra time for our family to finish our dinner conversation?
What if I didn’t send my kid’s friends home because it is time to make dinner? I could hand them an apron, invite them to help, and offer to feed them.
What if I completed DIY projects not just for work, but my home?
The details create magic.
Infusing the mundane with joy leads to grateful hearts. It’s the stuff I do when I think no one is looking that builds my home. The little things, done well, consistently over time, create a family culture that makes my husband and children feel nurtured and safe. This atmosphere makes others feel welcomed.
While I do not have a team of designers and engineers working full time to make my home as perfect as Disney, I do have what God has placed on the inside of me - creativity, a need for relationship, a willingness to slow down, and the desire to live life intentionally. It’s up to me to decide what to do with them.