Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Coming Home

We listed our house roughly five months ago with dreams of a big yard and a neighborhood overflowing with young families. We spent those five months in my parent's home and they spent those five months in ours. It was a crazy arrangement and yet, it taught us so much about ourselves and what really matters to us.

We left with fifteen or twenty boxes and a pile of clothes, put the rest in storage and figured we would be out of my parent's house within a month or two. But the weeks piled up, one right after another, as we waited for the perfect buyer. My parents advertised, had open houses, brought other agents and brokers and cleaned our house before each and every showing. They worked harder than I've ever seen them work to get us to our goal of a sold house. Each person that looked at our home would say, "It is so beautiful but..." The "buts" varied, however they were enough to deter a buyer.

We began to feel discouraged but tried to look for the silver lining. There must be something God is trying to teach us, we would say to each other. And so, every once in awhile, we would bring up something that might be the reason for this experience. "I think it's happening so that we can learn true patience for God's timing," one of us would say. Or, "I'm sure it's happening so that we can build relationships with all these great neighborhood kids." Later, my husband brought this small thing to my attention.

"Do you even remember what we have in storage?"
I giggled a little. "Not really. I just know my winter coats are in there. And my sewing machine. Those are the only two things I miss."
"Me either," he said, clearly deep in thought. "I can't say I miss a single thing. I can't believe we are paying $150 a month to store stuff we don't even need or want."

This conversation continued in various forms throughout our time at my parent's home and when it came time to move back home, we decided on a strategy. "Let's just move the stuff from mom and dad's and we'll see what we really need. We'll try it out," my husband suggested.

We have been home a month now and the only thing I have wanted out of storage is my sewing machine. My house is a thousand times easier to clean, my home feels calm and ordered and I don't miss having a houseful of stuff to take care of. We have realized that we can focus more time on each other and we're less apt to spend money on all the little things that grab our attention at Target or in our email inboxes. (Unless I find some amazing deal that is irresistible on shoes or something else I can't live without. Nobody's perfect, right?) What's more, we're at peace with what we have. We are learning to resist the temptation of buying "the next best thing". We're content. And to me, there is no better gift.

Are you struggling with wanting things you don't have? Do you feel that your life will be better if you just get that next best thing? Take stock of what you have. How can you foster a feeling of contentment?

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