filling my home with the unseen

I like to decorate my home. I enjoy filling it with things that represent me and my family. I spend the majority of everyday within these walls, so I think about what I want hanging on these walls. I was reading recently in Proverbs about how the ‘foolish’ man focuses on filling his home with expensive treasures and on acquiring things. It made me start thinking about what I truly want to fill my home.

When my kids and Chris (and myself) think about our home there are certain things that I want to come to mind. When my kids have homes of their own one day I want them to remember what filled our home….not just the crazy things that mom hot glued to the wall, but what I really hope fills my home. It is a lot easier to hang a cute picture on the wall or make a fun pillow for the couch than it is to be intentional about what is unseen in my home. It is easy to see when the laundry is piling up and the floors need sweeping. It is not so easy to recognize when the unseen is out of whack.

So I am thinking more about the unseen in my home and thinking more about what I want overflowing from my home. Here’s a few “things” I want my family to think of when they think of our home….starting with a pic of my oldest when he was 2.

3.11fillhome-04 3.11fillhome-09


Tad Carpenter quote found via Design*Sponge

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  • Erica - I’m so with you on this one!

  • Kathleen - Awesome post. Really. Thanks.

  • cheryl - I love this post.
    What beautiful photos . I love what they represent.
    My word for 2011 is “intentional”, so I, too, am trying to decorate my home with purpose.

  • becca~capturingsimplejoys - wow! just beautiful. one of my favorites posts you’ve ever done and something i totally agree with for my home and the desire and hopes and prayers i have for what my children will take away from the home of their childhood.

  • Minda - This is my first time commenting and I just had had to let you know that it’s posts like this that really jumpstart my day! It’s so inspiring to see a mom who has a desire to be intentional about raising her kids with an awareness that there is so much more to life than stuff. These are things that have been on my mind lately too! I hope it’s something I can look back on one day and be satisfied in the knowledge that I made the effort. That I fulfilled my calling as their mother. Thank you!

  • lisa - so beautiful. loved this. thanks πŸ™‚

  • Dacia - soo very cute! this is going to make me think about the same for our home now. πŸ™‚ it’s just my husband and i and our two little dogs- who act as our kids for now. it’s like practice!

  • Kathie M - Very amazing post! I love it! Your photos are great! What a wonderful way of thinking…

  • Jennifer - This was such a lovely post to read.

  • Kristin Guillory-Taylor - wow..what a beautiful post..I love this..

  • Nikki Glynn - I love this post!

  • Donna - The “forgiveness” picture kills me.

  • Susan - This is beautiful, thank you Ashley.

  • keely - Awesome post, and such great pictures! I especially love the “protection” pic. πŸ™‚

  • Angela - Thanks for sharing this Ash, loved it!

  • Sarah @ Handbags*N*Pigtails - Amen! This was a beautiful post!

  • Sheila - Ashley, this is just lovely. Your posts are such great reminders about being intentional. I saw someone else posted that their word for 2011 is “intentional” – mine too! Thanks to you πŸ™‚

  • RachelC - Absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t agree more.

  • Abby - This was so great. What a wonderful idea to focus not on the pillows and such, but instead the very values you want to live in your home. I loved the photos that you used to illustrate each word. Adorable!

  • Jill R - Great post with a wonderful message, but also hilarious at the same time. I can’t decide which is my favorite, protection or acceptance!

  • Jennifer - I love this. And that verse. Do you have the reference for it? I think it needs to be taped to my fridge. πŸ™‚

  • Kimberly - LOVE IT! Your captures are just perfect πŸ™‚

  • Kristin Eldridge - What a good “beginning of the week” post! Thank you! I’m reminded of this verse:

    God does not see the same way people see. People look at the outside of a person, but the Lord looks at the heart – 1 Samuel 16:7

  • Reidunn - Beautiful post! Both words, pictures and meaning.

  • kyle - i love this! your “faith” and “acceptance” photos were my favorite πŸ™‚

  • Cristina C - Such a beautiful family! Loved the pictures!

  • Kelly - I think this is my most favorite of all your posts. It’s perfect!

  • Stacy Jean - This might be my favorite post EVER! Thank you for sharing such a personal perspective.

  • Abigail - A good reminder with amazing pictures. Thank you πŸ™‚

  • Cat from Constant in Chaos - I loved this post! Thank you. and, the forgiveness picture was just too much. it made me go “awwww” and smile at the same time. πŸ™‚

  • amanda torres - Every single one of those pictures fits the caption perfectly. They could easily be reproduced like those inspirational posters. Thanks for the great reminders on what family and home should center around.

  • Cory - LOVE LOVE LOVE. Those are probably some of the most precious things I’ve ever seen. Thanks for being such an encouragement & always reminding me to be intentional.

  • Lisa Johnson - Beautiful. In every way.

  • amy cornwell - I love it! The forgiveness and selflessness are my faves. I love how you put words to each picture. Beautiful!

  • Trish - beautifully written

  • Tricia - Oh.My.Gosh…..I love this post!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!

  • Megan - What a beautiful post!

  • Gailanne - One of the most beautiful posts I’ve seen in forever,
    stay blessed!

  • Erin - The Smallest Sparrow - So sweet and thought provoking. Great post! By the looks of the photos, you are quite successful at filling your home with all of those things.

  • Emily Brown - The ‘faith’ picture about did me in this morning–thank you so much for your daily pick-me-ups. Love this one, especially.

  • Dana Hay - Ashley, I read your blog every day and I always like it, but this is my “most favorite-est ever” post. The photography is gorgeous, but what is really brilliant is your choice of photo to represent each word. My favorite is the “faith” photo. Perfect.

  • Molly - Love this!! I love reading your blog…I enjoy all your crafts, projects and pictures…but what I love most is your Christ centered wisdom. You always tell me what I need to hear. You do not know it but you have impacted my life in many ways! Thanks! God is good!

  • mandi@herbanhomestead - this is beautiful!

  • Katherine - Both the photos and the sentiments are simply beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Sara - This is wonderful…lovely pictures and lovely words.

  • Juliana - Wonderful post! Now when do you find time to do it all in your life????
    Are you extremely organized??? Need help! lol

  • Nakia - My goodness! Such beautiful photos. This was the first thing I saw when I opened up my RSS reader this morning. Thank you for brightening my morning. πŸ™‚

  • Katie - such a great reminder!

  • Jenny Joy - I must have needed to see this today. It made me a little teary… in a good way. Thank you for the gentle reminder about what’s really important.

  • miss chris - so lovely! Thank you for this on monday morning. πŸ™‚ xo

  • Heather C. - Absolutely stunning and so touching!

  • amy - crying…

  • amy jupin - sweetest post ever.
    love it.
    (and that pic of firecracker with tears in her eyes about killed me.)

  • Jenny B. - So sweet. A great reminder. I needed to think about that today! Love how you matched up the photos with the words. Especially the ping pong one. πŸ™‚

  • KaraM - Best Post EVER!

  • Leasa - I love these pictures and of course I love the idea of purposefully filling our homes with things that aren’t seen but felt.

  • Krista Lund - this is a beautiful post!

  • Elizabeth Miner - Absolutely loved the the FAITH picture. I so enjoy your perspective and approach in life. Thank you very much for sharing.

  • Kerli - So nice of you to make me think about these things as well. Yes, I do not have a home to call my own, yet. I don’t have children, yet. But I do understand you so well. So nice, can’t wait to have a home and family!

  • sonal - i often feel that i’m disappointing either my kids, my husband, or my own expectations… in those moments it’s so important to think of what is most important… piling up laundry or cute walls or cute blog or being truly in the moment with those we love. such a difficult balance to juggle life’s demands.

    it’s a comfort to me to read your blog. thank you!

  • Dianna - I think my heart swelled, skipped a beat, and then went ahead and fell out. Beautiful.

  • Mirys from Brazil - LOVED this post!!!

    Just like the ones of the serie “what I wanna give” (Christimas time). See??? I really read you!!!

    Kisses and blessings.
    from Brazil

  • Katrina - Aw, tears. This is a beautiful and inspiring post.

  • Lori - wow! i love that…so true. i want my home filled with intangibles that go into eternity. love those pics…it’s the little daily things that make up the big things that at the end you wish you would have done more of the little things. :0)

  • Kara @ Kara Paslay Designs - Ashley, I love visiting your home. I love visiting because your creativity inspires me immensely but I think I also love your home because it is such a representation of you and I am a big fan of you! πŸ™‚ Hope your having a great day friend!

  • Natalie - Favorites: Protection (HA!) and Faith. Beautiful post Ashley.

  • Kim - so true, so true. thank you so much for sharing and inspiring.

  • Katie P. - This is possibly my favorite post you have done. Thank you for making me smile and causing my heart to puff up a little! It has also allowed me to appreciate my “haves” more today.

  • Rhonda Steed - love it all. And I need to remember this too! Thanks for the GREAT post!

  • Mindy Harris - what a beautiful post. all of yours are.
    it compels me to make my home all those things for shawn, wilder, and story. they are my everything.

  • Andrea - The best ever!!! THANKS!!

  • Jess - I always look forward to reading your posts in the morning. This one was a fun way to greet the morning and drink my coffee – I loved it! The ‘forgiveness’ one melted me a little…being a mom is too much fun!

  • Christie - BEAUTIFUL pictures. I so enjoy your blog. I just recently found it and can’t believe I’ve been missing out!!! I made your Stunt Man shirt for my son’s birthday, as well:).

    Thanks for the inspiration, and the great reminder that life should be full of all those great things you mentioned, especially in our homes!

  • Courtney Henson - Ashley I think this is your most beautiful post yet and definitely my favorite! Each and every photo was gorgeous in it’s own right but they represented each word so perfectly. Really, really lovely and true. And a good reminder for so many of us that have the -can I say- affliction of wanting our homes to be oh so pretty all the time. Thank you for sharing this post!

  • cailan - This is such a beautiful post. Every picture is so priceless – I can’t believe you captured all of those absolutely precious moments. How do you do it?! These pictures with captions would make a great coffee table book. Thank you for reminding me about what’s important this morning. Thanks, Cailan

  • Allison - I love this post. I love the pictures and the message!

  • LeAnne W - My favorites…protection and faith! Beautiful post, as usual!

  • Katelyn - my favorite is FAITH! love it! this is so inspiring!

  • Allie - Aw now I’ve gone all misty and snuffley. Thanks. I’m going to go look at that protection picture again, what a crackup that firecracker is πŸ™‚

  • Anna - what a beautiful post! you brought a tear to my eye while i’m in my typography class! πŸ™‚

  • Georgia - Thanks Ashley, this is just what I needed to hear today. I was asking the Lord how to spend my day this morning. I was thinking, ‘run errands or stay home and clean house.’ His answer was to fill my day with ‘compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness…patience, forgiveness..and love’ taken from Col 3:12-14. Then I read your post and it is the same theme except you defined it. The unseen is more important than the things that are seen. Thanks for giving me a list for my home as well as for my “to do” list.

  • Destri - Wow. Am so glad I happened upon your ever inspirational blog. Really.

  • paige rodriguez - That was awesome. Faith is the best one!!!

  • Melissa Lewis-Midwest Magnolia - I LOVE this. So inspiring too.

  • Priscilla - Dear Ashley,
    Thank you for sharing πŸ™‚ I’ve been feeling a little “empty” lately…and your post has reminded me what I need to fill my heart and my home with.

  • Trista - Great post. Thanks for the reminder. Love the Protection picture, and acceptance.

  • Stina - been following your blog for some time now- this is my alltime fav post!

  • Mariah - Ashley… it’s so good to have friends to help remind us why we’re doing this. πŸ™‚ thanks.

  • Melissa W. - Such sweet photos. As mothers, we are all so blessed. πŸ™‚

  • Shannon - Thank you so much for this post…LOVE it!!! What a great way to start my day. πŸ™‚

  • Valerie - Beautiful! Thanks for this today!

  • Shonna - Beautiful post. Melted my heart. Thank you.

  • andy - beautiful

  • Kate - Such truth spoken. I love the pairings of the pictures with each quality. Fantastic representation of these things that are filling your home.

  • gina - i love this post!

  • Becky - Ashley,
    I have 3 boys – now grown and away at school- but no little Firecracker. I love your posts, I share them with my oldest because he always wanted a little sister πŸ™‚ There was always so much chaos in our home but it was the place the boys and their friends came – to watch movies, play videos, sit around with us, eat our food (always eating the food!) – it gave me great joy to know that our house was always open no matter the condition. You are giving your children (and us) such amazing gifts, never doubt it. Keep placing those little ones first because they will be grown in a blink. Thank you for sharing your wonderful glimpses of your life with us.

  • Lesley - LOVE this post. Your pictures are perfect.

  • Faith - Perfect! I was “kicked out” of my home last week for a floor repair project. And I clean ALL the dust out of every nook today and begin to put things back in their places I’m thinking about this very topic! Great post.

    And I never said “thank you” for the shout out last Monday. That was awesome!! My Google Analytics almost blew up. πŸ™‚

  • Moriah - Oh I love this post so much! Thank you for the thoughtfulness.

  • Jessica - Wow…this is so true. The unseen “things” are nearly always the most important. Thanks for the very timely reminder!

  • darcy - another great blog post ashley! thank you for the reminder!

  • Leanne - this is sweet. thanks for sharing!

  • Liz R. - I never leave comments on blogs that I “stalk”…but this is so deserving–(Not of a comment from me..but the time to type) Does that make sense? πŸ™‚ Loved this so much!! I think the Darth Vador/Yoda picture is my favorite. Thank you–what a great thing for us all to think about.

  • Alice H - That “forgiveness” picture made me cry. And I LOVE the “protection” picture…a baby and a sword! haha!

  • shanalea - good to remember…it is easy to get lost in the mundane or the effort of getting a house in the right order.

  • Emily B - Oh my! I love your visual representation of all these words, especially FAITH, that little hand with the ping-pong paddle might be forever linked in my mind now with faith. How great!

  • giozi - I think that this is your best post!!!. well I said that before once …

  • LindaJ - This was beautiful. I think it may be one of the best post I have seen anywhere. Thank you for reminding me what is really important.

  • Erin - I haven’t posted here before.. but I just have to for this post. Beautiful photos.. I love it! Especially the ‘acceptance’ one. Cute!!

  • Kate @ another donkey design - What beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing

  • Aubrey - BEAUTIFUL!

  • sarah j - i love this idea of working on the “unseen!” i think it can be applied to any relationship, not just a home–the idea of digging deeper, past the surface-level things that get presented to the world, and looking at how a relationship is truly functioning. God tells us over and over how he looks at the heart. what a great reminder, ashley!

  • sarah k - this is beautiful and inspiring!

  • Rachel - So sweet! Thanks for sharing!

  • Amnah - Absolutely beautiful. This is so incredibly true. Such wonderful pictures for each “thing”.

  • Stefanie - This might be my favorite post to date and I have been a follower for a long time!

  • Melissa - Thank you for the inspiration. It’s so easy to forget that life is all about the people in it, the ones you can “take with you”! Beautiful reminder:)

  • Amy - so beautiful and so true. <3

  • Lynnette - I don’t usually leave a comment but I loved this! This is awesome!!!

  • Michelle - i love it that you have all of these things captured in pictures. the moments of those memories are priceless! it’s so true that what is unseen is so much more important, but how cool it is when you can actually see those things coming out in the lives of your kids and family!

  • stefanie arnold - Loved this post. I’m feeling so thankful for God, my home and my family today. This post was perfect.

  • katee - love this! thank for the gentle reminder of the things that are so very important to us.

  • Alicia Meyers - What sweet thoughts! Your blog is a beautiful and inspirational place.

  • irene - nice words and great picture πŸ™‚

  • Ashley Smith - Great post, loved it!!

  • Christal - I’ve never commented on here..(althought I’m an avid follower;P)..but this post is just A.W.E.S.O.M.E. love it:)

  • ranee - beautiful photos and words..what a great reminder to focus on what really matters! And that quote…I think it will need to find a place somewhere on my walls! LOVE it.

  • Haylee - beautiful! The photos are gorgeous, your home enivronment is lovely, and the foundation for your home is my aspiration as well. Thanks for sharing! I just found your blog this week and love it!

  • Jenny - This makes me want to do a photo wall in my family room with pictures and these words!

  • Danielle @ The Sunshine Girl - The first picture of your oldest boy is absolutely precious. They all are but especially that one!

  • Marcie - I love, love, love this post. I think “Faith” is my favorite. πŸ™‚

  • jdzjane - I just found your blog a few days ago. I LOVE to look at the pictures of your kiddos. The little one and her brother remind me of my littlest girl and her older(youngest of the boys) brother. They look like they have the same special bond. And the boys that are close in age – just remind me of my boys (14 months apart). I love how you let them be kids and go crazy in your pics. I guess I need to let them have more fun. You inspire me to be a better momma to my kiddos. Thank you so much.


  • Renee - Awesome post! I love how each picture represents each word perfectly!

  • Bron - What a beautiful beautiful post.

  • Susan Caing - amazing! i’m teary-eyed…

  • hearttypat - those are really great representations! I can’t pick one out that I even remotely dislike! Gosh i wish these were mine! Did u shed a tear of pride when u were doing this post?

  • daisy - I don’t speak English but I wanted to tell you that I found this wonderful post!
    it helps me a lot …
    thank you

  • Michelle D. - That is so absolutely, perfectly right! Sometimes we get so caught up in what we want to put in our homes we forget about what is most important. Thx for reminding me!

  • Liene - Beautiful post. I love the way you create “traditions”, “moments”, “feelings”, or “….” (I can not find the word) for your family to remember. Funny, yesterday I posted the same illustration on my blog πŸ˜‰

  • Sara - Thank you for sharing this! I am encouraged to refocus a little!
    You bring such refreshment to my days!

  • Kari - I’ve been reading your blog for nearly a year but this is my first time commenting. Although I enjoy every post you do, this one really tugged at my heart. Thank you.

  • Faith Pray - This photo story is amazing. I love how you’ve captured these moments. I love the depth and meaning you’ve brought to them. They could almost be a mini book.

  • Analia - Thank you. I needed a reminder today. LOVE your blog.

  • Ashley Greeno - This is really beautiful. I’m not usually a big commenter but I wanted to thank you for sharing. I’m about to become a mama for the first time and these are things that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I love the way you captured exactly what I’ve been praying for πŸ™‚

  • Dani - I love the photo under faith. that one really inspired me.

  • meagan - the most amazing post. ever. really!
    this is one of those that will never get old to go back and read, and re-read, and read again. it would be a good one to put into photo-book form; each quality as a page. something your family and children can use as a visual reminder of what families and homes are about! (hey, I kinda really like that idea- think I might do it myself!)

  • eileen - what a great reminder of what is important in life!

  • Jill E. - wow! this is simply amazing.

  • Kelly Cameron -The Wilder Side of Life - I never, ever cry at blogs -but this post wrapped me around it’s finger and overwhelmed my heart. Just. LOVED.
    Thank you so much, girl, for blessing so many. And me.
    Hugs and high fives,

  • angie - oh how i love this post. beautiful in every way! and oh, how i want the same for our home…to fill it with the unseen…what an amazing way with words you have, my dear!

  • Erika - I love your blog! These pics capture your aspirations for your family perfectly, and they made me smile. I hope to have a family as beautiful as yours someday. Thank you for sharing!

  • able mabel - This post is very touching! You nailed it!

  • Kelly - What a beautiful post!
    The photos that accompany your wishes are incredible. I could just pick up that little firecracker and squeeze her with hugs. That girl is so darned cute – and expressive – see the Forgiveness pout!
    Speaking of which… I was surprised you didn’t have creativity as one of your headings! You are gifted girl!

  • Carissa - Love this post. And is it psycho if that first picture of biggest brother hugging the teddy bear made me tear up. Something about it…something about how much he’s grown and how much that reminds me my oldest has grown. Anyways, thanks for sharing!

  • Pamela - Love the photos and the captions. I am sure that is exactly how your kids will remember your home. They look really happy.

  • The Motherload » Amy’s Notebook 03.23.11 - […] am loving this reminder to fill your home with the unseen (@ Under the […]

  • Courtney K. - This is so beautiful! I love the sweet, funny, poignant ways in which each picture captures the meaning of the word! This is beautiful blog, I am so glad I happened upon it today, and
    I can’t wait to read more! God bless your sweet family.

  • Charlotte - What an awesome post! BTW, I have been following your blog for a little while and I really love how your photos capture your family so well. It’s very inspiring. I hope I can someday learn to take photos like you!

  • Betsy - Amen. Beautifully “illustrated”!

  • From Outside the Frame | A Dusty Frame - […] loved this! Filling my home with the unseen–great thoughts and great […]

  • Brett Paesel - Wow. I loved these images — especially “Faith”. I’ve been thinking a lot about “stuff” lately and about how having children has changed my attitude about it. I know that’s not exactly what you’re talking about here. But it’s still seems to reflect a more “anti-stuff” frame of mind — an exploration of what’s truly important. Thank you.

  • Lisa - Way Sweet! I hope other bloggers will do one of these. It’s so sweet to see families thru the eyes of love.

  • Somebody Else's Project » { List of Awesome } – 3.26.2011 - […] Filling our Homes with the Unseen Ashley Ann has the most beautiful photos and entries on her blog. As I am compulsively nesting in our home preparing for this baby I was drawn to this entry. While my nesting has mostly to do with organizing, cleaning and fixing the visual in our home, this entry talks about true nesting. It really got me thinking about what is unseen in our home no matter what house that is in. […]

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  • Love and Lollipops - Hi there!

    I have just found your blog and am struggling to leave…he he! Love your posts…what you have to say and your awesome pics…but really LOVE this one!!!

    Take care,

  • Rita - I love it! Photos that make us dream, laugh, cry … travel on deep feelings! I love your blog! =)

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