I've been "away" again...between babysitting and my girl on summer vacation from school it seems I just haven't had the time or energy to sit down and write. In fact, I haven't much felt like writing and figured that if I did it'd probably be whiny and nobody would want to hear it. (To be honest, at times I get sick of listening to myself!)
Although the temperatures have been warm, the sun
has done quite a bit of shining and I've had some fun times with the family, I
just haven't quite felt 100%. I think I'm in my mid-winter slump in the middle
of August! NOT good.
Lately, I have been having a little trouble counting
my blessings, remaining thankful and refraining from the earthly longings for
something more or something better. Especially when it comes to my house. 14
years ago this month, we moved into this house with great expectations. It was
our OWN house, it was cheaper than rent and it needed our love and TLC: a lot of
TLC! Our plans were to enjoy home ownership, fix it up and move on to a bigger, better house in the
country. (Remember my dream of my multiple children playing behind the picket
fence with the dog in our large, lush yard?!?) Fast forward to 2012...we're
still here...the list of projects to accomplish is still here and longer than
ever...we still share a driveway with the apartment house... Apparently, plans change but wishes and
dreams don't always.
Last evening proved to be a bit of a breaking point
and I had a little meltdown. There was no major disasters or tragedies but it
just hadn't been the best day ever. As I climbed on the lawn chair to reach and
put our market umbrella down (the joys of being short!), under the pressure of my weight
(which isn't a great topic right now, either) the cushion gave way and went
through the slats. So did my leg! I'm happy to report there was no injury other
than to my ego and my mood. But, yet, I burst into tears.
the break in the ceiling light panel in the kitchen. Leaving the room, my eyes
fixed on the crack in the hardwood dining room floor. I approached the living
room where my girl was sitting in her makeshift fort she had built out of
sheets, yarn, clothespins and furniture. Again, the longing...why couldn't we
just have a family room so she wouldn't be making it difficult to maneuver
through the house?
The chipping paint, the lack of closet space,
the knotty pine kitchen, the cracks in the floor...I've really been struggling
lately to be thankful for this old house of mine (a blessing so many are
Tears still streaming from my tired eyes, my girl asked me to
come sit with her. I guess I haven't been discreet enough about my longings. As
I climbed under the fort, I heard her little voice ask, "Do you wish we had a
bigger, nicer house?"
"Every day," I replied without thinking. "I don't!"
she said. "We've made so many memories here. You carried me through that door as
a baby and when I grow up and leave, THAT is the door I want to walk out and
return through. This is my home. Our home. We've made memories, we make memories
and we'll make more. HERE."
The tears multiplied and ran ever faster
down my cheeks.
She gets it. She sees past it. It's her home: flaws and
If only I could quit seeing it as the fixer-upper house that'll
never be enough and instead work on my fixer-upper attitude to see it as the
home that it is: overflowing with love.
Having struggled for so many
years (since I was a little girl) with comparisons that have threatened to steal
my joy (and perhaps been successful at times), I desire nothing more than to see
it as my precious daughter does. To stop wishing for more. To stop comparing
myself and my possessions to those around me. To stop being afraid to let people
in to my life and my home for fear that they will think less of me if they saw
the flaws in my house and even worse yet, in me.
So now that I've showed
you what's in my head, maybe someday I'll invite you into my messy, fixer-upper
house to share my love-filled home, my imperfections and a pot of coffee with
you. Remember...please ring the new doorbell that finally got purchased and
installed and ignore the dog hair on the rug, the mismatched mugs and the fact
that most likely I've burnt the cookies!
P.S. My girl read over my
shoulder as I wrote this post and gave me a lecture about friendship:
friend doesn't care how you or your house looks or what you own. They want to be
your friend because you are YOU, not because you act like someone else. They
come to have fun with you NOT criticize you."
Do you struggle with comparison, insecurity and longing for more? Have you ever been struck by the wisdom of your child(ren)? Feel free to share your own thoughts, struggles, etc. in the comments.