darting back and forth between the bathroom to wash my hair, and the kitchen to fry the bacon.
At one point when I ran out to throw something away I began looking around at the yard.
Since the snow has melted, we're discovering the many treasures that have been buried underneath it for all these months.
toys. balls. headless polly pockets. tim horton's cups. and rolled up soiled diapers.
As I headed back inside it struck me that Kate's friend and her mom, who we knew from church, had never seen our house before...
and suddenly, seeing the garbage peppered yard bothered me.
Before I knew it there I was, wet hair in towel, still in my pajamas, burning bacon inside..
while I cleaned up. raked up. picked up. and swept up the driveway and porch.
Standing for several minutes looking up at the house wondering if there was any way to make the whole thing seem nicer. more attractive.
Leaning on my broom handle, with my lips pursed and a slight wince on my face,
the words a friend once said to me came ringing back as they often have through the years ..."Is your home to bless or impress?"
And though I still wished I could have climbed up on the balcony of the second floor bedroom to rip down the way ugly cobalt blue tarp the landlord had put all around it to keep the squirrels out.. that I don't think has worked since we hear them up there nearly every morning.. I sighed and shook my head.
I knew she was right. Her words were right. There was truth there.
And not that there's anything wrong with cleaning and keeping what we have looking nice...
or that somehow you're going to be blessed to pull in my driveway and see balled up soiled diapers laying around. :)
I will probably forever be a recovering slightly ocd perfectionist neat freak..
who once upon a time would follow her first born around picking up the toys behind her.
Well, maybe not quite. but nearly. and maybe I've relaxed a bit too with old age.
Though I do keep looking over at the door where Ben left his shoes in the middle of the rug,
and not nice and neat in the shoe basket around the corner. ;)
But, living in a furnished rental has taught
is teaching me some valuable lessons in contentment.
About working with what you have.
Realizing how much
you do have.
And what it is at the end of the day that truly makes a house a home.
discovering simple blankets can make nice slipcovers for that unsightly fabric or pattern. and some decor can't be remedied no matter how many blankets you'd use
...some of the decor i liked that was here.. this old kneeling bench w/ hope & pillows added :)
and this sewing machine...
using christmas decor as a cover up... working w/ what you have, right.
pictures found tucked away among some towels. and lamps that made it here but somehow their shades did not...
not exactly the width i would hang these, or what i would hang.. but it's where the nail holes were and what i had...
It's been a funny revelation to me.
One Shayne and I have laughed about more than once...
when I talk about how much I miss our home in the states,
because we both know all the issues I had with that place through the years.
We called it the insect house, because everything imaginable was found there.
Even snakes in the kitchen at one point !
to which I threatened to move out and never return.
to which God taught me that no matter what you fear and think you can't handle... you can.
His grace even covers snakes~
Though I might have doubted that a few times as I would see their heads peeking out from under the baseboards at me as I ran the vacuum..
finding myself finishing my vacuuming from up on a chair.
What do they say about what doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger...
hmm.. well, something like that. or atleast just makes you a really quick jumper upper on chairs! ;)
That house had one bathroom. No dishwasher. Rickety. Drafty. and 250 years old.
I dreamed of no more hand washed dishes.
knocks at the bathroom door met with, "go to the OTHER bathroom!"
Something newer. bigger. not so moldy. and of course.. snake free!
Now. here we are. with many of those.
and not just two bathrooms, but THREE!
even a dishwasher...
But. having some of those things that I used to say, "If only I had..."
has not made my heart stop longing for other, "if only I had's..."
Because contentment isn't about being okay with what we don't have,
it's coming to a place of being okay with what we do.
Living here, in a place with someone else's stuff, has been interesting. and challenging. and..
really I've hated it. ;)
How I've wanted my own stuff around me. and look forward to having it again one of these days.
as God tills up the discontentment in my heart I'm realizing how little stuff I actually need
Oh, the excess we have compared to most the world and yet, it's never enough!
And though I'm not going to lie and say I'm ready to sell it all and move into a hut with just a wood stove.
I've had my eyes opened in a fresh way that it's not with all this STUFF that my home is built.
Or in the ability to make it look nice and impressive.
Those times of discontentment and frustration, which usually result in quick temper and snappy tongue, do more to make my home unattractive than any number of garbage across my yard or lack of pretty decorations inside...
When my spirit hangs like a heavy cloud and my attitude makes others uneasy to come around me..
does it matter what is hanging on the wall, or how well I put it there.
A wise woman builds her home. But the foolish pulls it down with her own hands... prov. 14:1
We know this. But do we KNOW this?
It's is not in the stuff
we have that makes our house a home.
It is the stuff that's found in our spirits. In our hearts.
how I desire for my home to be one of peace.
a place my kids feel safe and welcomed. free and accepted.
Sure I'm going to teach them to care for what God's given. To be responsible and tidy.
And maybe how to hang a picture straight on a wall or make a room brighter with new pillows..
but most of all I hope they learn what the spirit of a true home feels
like. even if it doesn't always look
And when I think about my friend's words.. "blessing or impressing?"
I can't help but to feel that contentment is at the very foundation of a home and life that blesses~
I think contentment is one of those lessons that I'll never fully learn.
Just when one area settles it seems another surfaces...
Like, okay.. sure my hips don't bother me anymore because now I'm consumed with the wrinkles on my face! ;)
And I can't say I'll ever not want to have a home that is pretty and filled with nice things
That's part of who we are as women. Who God has made us to be. Embracing beauty and creativity..
and nothing wrong with those things.
there's no need to apologize or feel less spiritual because we like to paint and sew and bake and decorate and arrange.
Those are all expressions of our design.
But God keeps bringing me back to where my real contentment is found.
What I'm grasping for and looking to fulfill and give me self worth.
At the end of the day does it matter if a few were impressed here and there.
Or. if those who crossed my path. walked through my door..
and most importantly lived in my home were blessed, in some way, by my life,
and pointed to something far more eternal than my manicured lawn and lacy curtains~
and about homes.. :)
would you please pray with us that God would provide one?
We originally had to be out of here by the end of the month -
and we've been looking since the first of the year but so far, nothing.
Our landlords have now given us until the end of May...
but I still find my heart a bit anxious.
Learning to wait. to trust. to believe He provides in His perfect timing...
and yes. to be content with what He gives.
hopefully not a hut with a wood stove. ;)