5 ways to spruce up a room and score some reward too

There are days when I walk into my living room and say, ughh I need to go shopping. I land at a local store, snatch a pretty lil’ must-have, when it hits me. This horrid feeling that I’m about to spend money on something I probably (okay definitely) don’t need.

That same pocket change could probably help a family of four in a ravaged country across the globe. Dramatically I set the item down and walk out leaving slightly proud of myself. That’s straight-in-the-face Jihad i.e. struggle (total 1st world problem, of course).

But hey, as a Muslim we’re given a profound message from The Almighty. Individuals will be handed burdens that only they can bear. And currently materialism is a burden all of western civilization assumes, myself included.

So, often when that feeling creeps back in and I’m imagining a brand-smacking new set of arm chairs; I kick it to the curb and focus on a few alternatives that, with good intention, can land me some points with Allah too.

  1. Adding or growing a plant. It’s natural, it’s the gift of new life, and it’s a health booster. Tending to plants and/or animals, a form of respecting creation, douses a chock full of points on your rewards-board. The added bonus: color and freshness to a home.
  2. Cleaning a room. This doesn’t insinuate a light feather duster clean. It’s more like a getting into those long lost crevices and vacuuming under the cushions kind of spiffy. Purify surroundings and fulfill one of Allah’s favorite acts of worship, its pure genius.
  3. Getting rid of stuff. Every couple of months I pick a closet or a drawer and sort out things to donate. But recently I piggybacked the idea by targeting home accessories. Yes, it’s nice to have five vases that I can use interchangeably. But if I’m honest, I’ll survive separating from at least 4 ofIMG_20151231_082552~2 them, God willing.
  4. Creating a purposeful nook. I, begrudgingly, spend an enormous chunk of the day on the main floor of our house, tending to house chores and my kids. In desperate need of a breather from the everyday, I incorporated a little study area in my living room. In my spare 5 seconds here and there, I study Qur’an, read or work.
  5. Framing faith-based reminders. Especially true for my kids, little prayers or commands are often forgotten in the blur of a busy day.  So, playing off current trendy scripted wall art, I printed large scale written gestures to place in distinct areas of the house. Inexpensive décor and visual reminders – with one stone? Total score.

If nothing else, I take a look around the home or room and replenish my thankfulness bucket. At least I have a place to admire, by the grace of Allah. The warmth, security and intimacy my home offers is a privilege and blessing. Because, someone in a crumbling corner of the world likely has half of what I do and that has to count for something.

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