Thoughts on Going Beyond Ourselves In Spite of Ourselves

I have been under the weather for weeks as I recover from a GI thing (SIBO-C has yet to resolve) and ongoing autoimmune issues (I am *this close* to wearing a wig after losing half my hair!). My energy is often low so completing DIY projects around the house takes longer. I know many of you with chronic illness understand the pitfalls. But there is always perspective that comes from days colored by physical weakness. Spirit helps us see reality in clearer focus. Let’s chat more about that today as I share photos of serene moments I created before we moved.

Serene white Shaker kitchen with fireclay farm sink and vintage work cart. Viatera Minuet quartz on counters. #hellolovelystudio #kitchendesign #serenedecor #viatera #minuet #farmsink #reinhard

Thoughts on Going Beyond Ourselves

If you hadn’t noticed, I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Always have. As the eldest in my family, my parents allowed me to experiment with recipes and prepare meals from a very young age.

Serene white French country and European inspired kitchen with window seat and Belgian linen accents. #hellolovelystudio #kitchendesign #serenedecor #kitchens #frenchcountry #frenchnordic #whitekitchens #romanticdecor

My parents worked long hours, and my mom loved that I enjoyed cooking…I sort of fell in love with feeding people.

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio. COME SEE Timeless Kitchen Design Ideas and Decor to Freshen Your Traditional, Farmhouse, as well as French Country Kitchen.
Hello Lovely Studio…in case you are in the mood for kitchen decorating. 23 Timeless Kitchen Design Ideas & Traditional Decor.

I’m not a foodie in the sense that I live for exotic restaurants or sampling the latest fare. But I’ll never tire of reading cookbooks. Nor am I intimidated by complex recipes.

Serene white decor in breakfast nook with window seat and Belgian linen upholstery - Hello Lovely Studio. #kitchendecor #breakfastnook #windowseat #frenchfarmhouse #europeancountry #belgianlinen #frenchcountry #interiordesign

Creating delicious dishes to comfort and satisfy brings me joy, and I’m a cat who enjoys her own food.

Hello Lovely Studio white Christmas pitcher with roses, Lenox Holly bowl and candle. #holidaydecor #whitechristmas #hellolovelystudio
Find a Lenox Holly gold rimmed bowl HERE.

My friends and family know I have never NOT been hungry. (Apparently I missed the memo in childhood that it’s not sexy or cool to admit hunger.)

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio. COME SEE Timeless Kitchen Design Ideas and Decor to Freshen Your Traditional, Farmhouse, as well as French Country Kitchen.
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A curiously strong appetite served me especially well when my problems digesting food began at age 18.

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio. COME SEE Timeless Kitchen Design Ideas and Decor to Freshen Your Traditional, Farmhouse, as well as French Country Kitchen.
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In spite of painful flareups, a restricted diet, ongoing trouble with properly digesting food and difficulty absorbing nutrients, my passion for food endures.

White oak hardwood floors in a serene simple Shaker modern farmhouse kitchen by Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #whiteoak #hardwoodfloors #kitchendesign #shakerkitchen

Even though I must be disciplined about consuming fat (even good fat!), I enjoy cooking rich dishes for other people as much as ever.

Hello Lovely Studio's serene white kitchen with vintage steel cart repurposed as a work table. #hellolovelystudio #whitekitchens #modernfarmhouse #coastal #shakerkitchen #vintagecart #worktable

It’s what I mean about going beyond self in spite of the self.

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio. COME SEE Timeless Kitchen Design Ideas and Decor to Freshen Your Traditional, Farmhouse, as well as French Country Kitchen.

It’s true we must be mindful of our limitations and have healthy boundaries.

Vintage marmalade jars with greenery and gold bulbs in my Christmas home - Hello Lovely Studio. #christmasdecor #hellolovelystudio #vintagechristmas
Hello Lovely Studio…also find vintage crocks HERE.

But if you have struggled and overcome obstacles, then maybe you also know the sacredness and sweetness of freeing the self from self.

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio. COME SEE Timeless Kitchen Design Ideas and Decor to Freshen Your Traditional, Farmhouse, as well as French Country Kitchen.

When we surrender enough to allow ourselves to be animated by God or Spirit or Flow or the Divine Mystery (honestly I think there are a thousand names), everything around us changes…or it doesn’t change, yet we change.

My vintage Dundee marmalade jar with a simple berry branch on a Christmas tablescape. COME SEE Timeless Kitchen Design Ideas and Decor to Freshen Your Traditional, Farmhouse, as well as French Country Kitchen.

In either case, a beyond-ness is felt and is energetically at work.

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio.

There’s a sense of tapping into the eternal when we transcend self in that way.

Polished marble subway tile backsplash and Viatera Minuet quartz counter in Hello Lovely Studio's French Nordic style white Shaker kitchen. #nordicfrench #kitchendesign #viateraminuet #marblesubwaytile

There’s nothing like the reassurance that arrives with it.

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio. COME SEE Timeless Kitchen Design Ideas and Decor to Freshen Your Traditional, Farmhouse, as well as French Country Kitchen.

I can’t say I understand the mechanics; I only know how it feels when at long last I open fully…

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio.

and purely…

Scandinavian Christmas white kitchen with vintage book page wreath and winter tree on counter - Hello Lovely Studio. #holidaydecor #christmaskitchen #scandinavianchristmas

to the source of goodness and grace.

Minuet Viatera quartz countertop in our classic white kitchen with Shaker cabinets and stainless appliances. #hellolovelystudio #whitequartz #countertops #kitchendesign #minuet #viateraquartz #lgviatera

So what keeps me from this open posture with its readiness to receive?

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio.

Why does my normal auto-mode look like clenched fists, a judgmental attitude, and a burdened outlook?

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio.

I suppose it is a combination of ego, fear, and human frailty as I move through life’s challenges as a creature of habit and culture.

A mix of whites in my timelessly tranquil kitchen with European country decor, Viatera Minuet quartz, and Belgian linen - Hello Lovely Studio.

It’s also a matter of comfort!

My white kitchen with Viatera Minuet quartz and collection of vintage Dundee marmalade jars - Hello Lovely Studio.

Going beyond yourself in most cases means sacrificing comfort or security.

My white kitchen with Viatera Minuet quartz and collection of vintage Dundee marmalade jars - Hello Lovely Studio. #modernfarmhouse #kitchendecor

And most of us have a strong desire for safety.

Serene white decor in breakfast nook with window seat and Belgian linen upholstery - Hello Lovely Studio. #kitchendecor #breakfastnook #windowseat #frenchfarmhouse #europeancountry #belgianlinen #frenchcountry #interiordesign

Renovating homes over the years is a small way of practicing what I long to do energetically.

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes
Serene country style entry with French prayer chair and antique dropleaf table - Hello Lovely Studio. #falldecor #entry #serenedecor

The work always involves faith and vision.

Soft serene fall color palette decor from Cinderella pumpkins, pale pink ballet slippers, and natural fallen leaves upon my kitchen farm table - Hello Lovely Studio. #pastels #softcolors #autumn #decorating #fallcolor #shabbychic

It requires a letting go and a patience with the process.

Soft and wooly white pom pom Christmas wreaths and pink ballet slippers in a serene soft holiday vignette from Hello Lovely Studio. #simplechristmas #hellolovelystudio #pompomwreath #whitechristmasdecor
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Things often get worse before they improve, and a tolerance for those seasons is essential.

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes

I’m not sure there’s a way to move through the renovation process and stay comfortable.

Soft serene fall color palette decor from Cinderella pumpkins, pale pink ballet slippers, and natural fallen leaves upon my kitchen farm table - Hello Lovely Studio. #pastels #softcolors #autumn #decorating #fallcolor #shabbychic

If there is a way, I haven’t found it!

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes

But with experience, you learn to carry the ache because you understand a new season will come.

White pumpkins and gourds on my kitchen counter in fall for a pastel vignette that expresses the softer side of autumn. #falldecor #pumpkins #autumninspiration #fallkitchen

Renovation is a chance to birth something new and be changed in the process.

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes

But in the middle of the process, it can look a lot like madness.

serene fall color palette decor

There have been days lately where I have seriously wondered if we are crazy for taking on what we do as DIYers.

White pumpkins and gourds on my kitchen counter in fall for a pastel vignette that expresses the softer side of autumn. #falldecor #pumpkins #autumninspiration #fallkitchen

There are simpler paths of course.

And there’s something new I’m learning with this particular project.

serene fall color palette decor

Since we’re older this time around, we’re thinking about how others will enjoy this home someday.

serene fall color palette decor

For all the chatter about how your home should reflect YOU and YOUR NEEDS and YOUR IDENTITY, as I age, I am thinking about how little things done now may bring joy in the future.

serene fall color palette decor

Gardeners have this understanding without even thinking too much about it.

serene fall color palette decor
Serene Fall Color Palette Decor as well as Whispers From a Seeker of Timeless Tranquility.

But for others of us, it just takes time to evolve.

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes

This is getting long and rather random.

serene fall color palette decor

And I am thinking about you in this season where the wind is picking up.

French prayer chair with orange fall pumpkin my entry - Hello Lovely Studio.
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I wish you pockets of peace so that your heart might be free to muse and wander.

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes

I wish you moments of clarity where your blessings emerge in clearer focus.

serene fall color palette decor

I wish you tenderness to ease familiar aches and longstanding burdens.

serene fall color palette decor

I wish you childlike wonder–knowing you are the very same person you were when first you discovered pumpkins or reclined on a pile of colorful autumn leaves.

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes
Red haired child holding baby boo pumpkin. Hello Lovely Studio.
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I wish you strength to carry what is yours to carry.

Pale pink pointe shoes ballet slippers, boxwood, and pink glass African beads.

And courage to let go of what is yours to let go.

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes

But mostly I wish you eyes to see that the souls around you are trying their best.

serene fall color palette decor

No matter that this may be a simple, naive way to view your relationships and community.

Pink pointe shoes and a pink glass bead necklace I made.

If it is difficult for you to step into such innocence, I hope you will seek the grace to help.

serene fall color palette decor

You can always start small.

St. Bonaventure taught that to work up to loving God, start by loving the very humblest and simplest things, and then move up from there. Richard Rohr inspirational quote. #quotes #richardrohr #spirituality #christianity #faith

Starting small is hugely underrated!

My French inspired courtyard in fall with autumn fallen leaves and boxwood - Hello Lovely Studio.

I wish you a heart so vulnerable that it is bound to be broken.

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes

If your heart is already broken, I wish you love.

serene fall color palette decor

Oh so much love to stream in through the cracks.

serene fall color palette decor

And light…

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes

as well as wisdom.

Pale pink pointe shoes and glass bead necklace in a soft pastel fall vignette.

Thanks for listening, friends.

Autumn inspiration, Fall farmhouse style decor, vintage wares, and handmade treasures mingle at Main Street Market (Urban Farmgirl) in Belvidere, Illinois - Hello Lovely Studio. #fleamarket #farmhousestyle #vintage #junkin
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And thank you for your prayers and words of encouragement.

serene fall color palette decor

I have felt the power of those prayers in my daily life.

Autumn or Fall Quote to inspire and soothe - Hello Lovely Studio. #fallquotes #autumnquotes #inspirationalquotes

Surely prayers are a practice of going beyond ourselves in spite of ourselves.

Come explore Adorable Fall Finds, Sacred in the Everyday, Inspirational Quotes as well as Autumn Decor's Cozy Warmth. Farmhouse style interiors with rustic decor, shiplap, and inspiring home decor. Come visit these Modern Farmhouse Interior Design Ideas! #modernfarmhouse #interiordesignideas #decoratingideas #farmhousedecor #farmhousefurniture #joannagaines #fixerupperstyle
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What a blessing you are.

God comes disguised as your own life - inspirational quote from Paula D'Arcy. #inspirational #quote #spiritual #christianity #faith #encouragement
Paula D’Arcy wrote these words after experiencing the unthinkable. She was three months pregnant when a drunk driver killed her husband and their one-year-old child. Find her books here.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
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White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
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10 Comments

  1. Suzi Wollman
    October 11, 2022 / 6:20 am

    Thank you for sharing your heart, Michele. This is by far my favorite post of all those I have read (and there are many). As someone who deals with similar issues, I understand your deep need for the prayers and encouragement of others. I, too, am praying for you!

    • Michele
      Author
      October 11, 2022 / 11:34 am

      Thank you for the prayers, friend. It can be lonely so what a blessing to be joined. šŸ™‚

  2. Samina
    October 11, 2022 / 9:29 am

    Thank you for such a lovely post…wishing you good health!

    • Michele
      Author
      October 11, 2022 / 11:33 am

      Thank you for reading and for the wishes. I never know what is next for my health, and my prayer is to keep deepening and resist bitterness. xox

  3. Lauralee Boling
    October 11, 2022 / 9:30 am

    Sweet Michelle, you have written a beautiful poem here. I always LOVE getting your thoughtful insights. I love our little “visits”. You are always a blessing! I mentioned a short book to a friend this morning called (I think) “Why Not Me?”. I found it packing up a daughter’s things for a move. The premise is that why should I not suffer like so-and-so? Through my suffering I can manifest the grace of God in my life and how to trust Him as I go through the suffering. You are suffering graciously. I wish you were healed. But you are a blessing as you go through this difficult time. We have gone through very difficult times in the past. My goal was to be counted faithful! I also wanted to successfully navigate the “course” so I would “pass the test”. I didn’t want to have to repeat the “course”. But I wasn’t thinking about the next “course”! After _____ 101 comes ______202! Praying for you.

    • Michele
      Author
      October 11, 2022 / 11:32 am

      “Through my suffering I can manifest the grace of God in my life” is a beautiful sentiment that enriches the journey. Thank you for reading with tenderness and for adding to the beauty of my day. Always another course! And it’s so interesting that you share this perspective since it reminds me of my deep desire to learn and grow. Can’t do that without plenty of courses! xox

  4. Judy Mearing
    October 11, 2022 / 7:50 pm

    Praying for you and me, I have been told I have cancer now. As I sit here, Iā€™m praising our almighty savior, for the new trials He has giving to me. Now I can tell others, how He is healing me and loving me . Using me to tell them of Jesus loves for them. You are a blessing to many with your bolg. You inspire me ā€¦

    • Michele
      Author
      October 12, 2022 / 2:03 pm

      Thank you for letting us know so we can lift you in prayer. Clearly you are already becoming the healing you seek. xox

  5. October 14, 2022 / 2:26 pm

    When we transform our homes, we transform ourselves. Bringing beauty where chronic physical challenge resides paradoxically heals, doesn’t it? Pray you find comfort amidst it, Michele.

    • Michele
      Author
      October 14, 2022 / 4:06 pm

      Thank you so much for the kindness and beauty.

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Stripe Seagrass Basket Set
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
White Matelasse Quilt on MY BED
THE BEST Energy Bars!
Trees White Wallpaper Mural
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcovered Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Parisian Style Iron Table Lamp  33.5″
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
White Cotton Crochet Bed Skirt
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Rattan Basket With Lid
White Ruffle Bedding
Seagrass Basket Set
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Slipcovered Sofa
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
Tree Mural Wallpaper
Faux Potted French Lavender
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slipcovered Linen Chair
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Laurel Wreath Mirror
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Tray Side Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing