Finding Thanks in Bugs

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It plagues me regularly: the feeling that our home is not enough.

It’s certainly large enough for us. Four bedrooms with our current set-up. Adequate living room, two bathrooms, one even graced with a jacuzzi bathtub. OK, so the jacuzzis don’t work, but it IS big.

Right now the bathroom is being invaded by ants, our stove is approximately 80 years old and the burners are uneven, our bedroom carpet is hideous, and there is no door between Libbie and David’s rooms so I am not sure how I will ever move him in there. Teddy-bear border is scraped off Libbie’s walls; it appears to have been stuck back on with hot glue when it was falling down. Her walls await green paint which has yet to have been procured in the appropriate color.

Not to mention this is not even the house that we own.

I saw my parents’ new house for the first time Saturday evening. I immediately got the tingly jealous feelings. Gorgeous kitchen. Amazing floorplan. Beautiful tiled shower. Space. Lack of insects. Not 61 years old.

Right away, I do a double-check of feelings. Because? My parents have been married 32 years and are in their (EARLY and do not act it at all) 50s.

One of my biggest annoyances is that people my age and younger think they “deserve” everything RIGHT NOW that their parents have spent many years working toward. When my parents were my age (also with two small children), they lived in the same sort of older ranch house that we do now. They had the same financial struggles.

It’s a constant cloak, the want for what I don’t have. How do I shrug it off? Joy and thankfulness for the much I have. Clinging to the robe that I have in Christ.

Today, I am thankful for:

– the sweet curl-framed face of a toddler whose enthusiasm for life makes me crave a childlike faith
– the first laughs of my baby boy
– a home that is more than adequate for our needs and wants
– a stove that simmers soups and an oven that bakes fresh bread
– a safe and uneventful car trip from Chattanooga to Pennsylvania
– parents who adore me and my children and play on the floor and shower all of us with affection
– singing songs from 1998 in the car with my sister and trying to teach them to Libbie
– sweet sleep with an electric blanket

What are you thankful for today?

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15 thoughts on “Finding Thanks in Bugs

  1. I hope that others of your age group "get" what you've said here. Life has its passages, and one of them is to live in a less than desirable house for at least some part of your married life. I've had five houses and none of them has been perfect. We're working on the fifth one, but it isn't in the right location, and we will never be able to afford the high rise condo in downtown Chicago that I crave.Keep loving your family and do your best to make it a happy home.

  2. You are one of surprisingly few our age who recognizes that we haven't really earned that sparkling house that is all new and awesome.

    I think about our home back in Memphis. Yes, the one we still own. Twice the size of where we live now. Admittedly not quite as shiny (our rental here was updated a few years ago), but still…lots of space. More space than we had earned. And oh, how we pay every single month for that decision now. I wish we had been more wise about that decision, and been more humble with our purchase. Actually, I wish we hadn't purchased at all, and had been wise enough to realize that we hadn't saved enough. I'm super duper committed to not buying another house until I have at least 20% down for it…maybe even more.

    Loved your list of the things you are thankful for. You are so right…those things are priceless!

  3. Our society encourages materialism and it is a difficult battle to fight. Kudos to you for noticing and acknowledging the problem….God will help you cultivate a spirit of contentment and counting thanks is a great first step!

  4. loved your list. i, too, have struggled with "house envy" and have had to pray for contentment with the things God has blessed us with. just this last year we had some major financial struggles that precipitated a huge move and leap of faith. but God has continued to bless us in many tangible ways for our choices to put our family first and let go of the "wants" and "needs" of our generation. may God continue to bless you for the choices you have made.

    praising God with you as we count our gifts 🙂

  5. For my home? I'm grateful that it DOESN'T LEAK! The past two apartments we've lived in have leaked badly.
    I'm also very very pleased with out nice deep bathtub. 😀

    – Molly

  6. Thank you! I've often felt the same way and spend an unhealthy amount of time shouting at "House Hunters" on TV as 20-something first time homebuyers sniff at every starter home as "beneath" them.

    Looking forward to following you for more!

  7. We are 26 and 28, married almost 3 years. We purchased this house last year, and its a repo.The roof, furnace and windows were all new, but the rest was a disaster. Last summer was spent ripping nearly everything out and rebuilding from the ground up. It still has projects to complete and its definitely not a showcase home. But its ours, and is coming together piece by piece.

    I too feel the twinge of envy when I see friends homes that are brand new, not split level, and are immaculately decorated. But then I remember that they are up to their eyeballs in credit card debt, and we have none. So I'll keep shopping the yard sales and hunting for bargains 🙂

  8. I just loved your comments today and I'm cheering from the grandstands!!!! There are very, very few who have your wisdom and insight, and add to that that you are wearing a robe of the King. . . .! But still, the devil tries to make our eyesight blurry and out of focus, doesn't he? Your post today made me realize I have even more than ever to be thankful for — an old stove that still works, an old fridge, old carpet and old paint. I'm right there with you, girl!!!!

  9. This is so true! It's hard- we're in our late 20s & my husband is about to quit his job to finish his (first of many) degree. We're in our 4th apartment in 5 years, and have to wait to have babies until he finishes this first degree at least. It's frustrating, but at the same time, we're not tied down to a house like many others our age and if we want to move somewhere else for school we can(with some planning, but still). There are pros AND cons, but I'm trying to look at the positive side. (and shop garage sales, too!)

  10. It's such a struggle, the bigger, the better, but Jesus is better and as we learn contentment we'll have more peace. But the temptation always seems to be there, doesn't it?

    Thankful you're giving gifts with us…

  11. My hubby & I are in our mid-20s and with both of the homes we've purchased, we've said that we don't need a home that is "nicer" & bigger than our parents homes (who both live in modest 1,500 square foot homes even though they could afford a larger, "nicer" home!) So many people our age get married and buy a home that is bigger than they need and much more than they can afford and then they have to make sacrifices (like not being able to stay home with their kids) to pay a huge mortgage! We'd rather live in a teeny, tiny, rundown little house and me be able to stay home with our babies than live in a big and beautiful home that I have to work full time to afford (and then nobody is home to enjoy it!) Even though it's a struggle to be content (especially with the bugs, we had them bad in our first apartment!) I'm sure you won't have any regrets about your choices!

  12. Yes, yes, and yes! Oh, how I understand, Jessie.

    I have never been as painfully aware of what I don't have as when one of my very best friends shared the link to the house she and her husband are buying. She's my age and a SAHM, and this house is eeenormous, more than twice the size of my own shabby, cluttered mess (in which my Allie doesn't have a bedroom). I was green with envy for longer than I should have been.

    God is good, and he gives us what we need. We are so fortunate, both of us, because we have enough and we are so blessed in other (much more important) ways.

    Thank you for a beautiful post.

  13. It is so frustrating, that feeling of always wanting what we don't have. We've just been talking about how to teach our children to be happy with what they have, so they aren't always feeling like they "need" more. It sure would be nice to have that 32 years of marriage home now that we have small children and need the space though!!

  14. I'm coming to this post a little late in the game, but I wanted to thank you for it. I have really been struggling this past week as two of my best friends (with no kids!) just bought beautiful new houses…and we are still in our tiny duplex with two kids while my husband is in grad school. Even when he starts his new job in the fall, I am faced with the fact that we will not be able to afford an updated home with all of the amenities that I want. BUT, I know that I don't NEED that kind of house and that I wouldn't trade being home with my kids for anything. We are so happy and amazingly blessed, but it is very easy to become discontent and jealous and forget about God's wonderful provision for our lives. Thanks for the reminder and for being honest about your struggles!

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