Bless This Mess

When my husband and I made the decision to sell our first home and buy a bigger one, we knew we would have to sacrifice a lot. We had renovated our entire kitchen and floors in our first home. We had tirelessly struggled and lived in construction until it was, in our eyes, perfect. Once we had it the way we wanted it, even down to the bathroom fixtures, we sold it and bought an outdated fixer-upper.

We love a challenge, though, so we were glad to do it. We wanted our children to each have their own bedroom, but knew a house that big was out of our price range new. So, we found one perfectly sized to fit us. And fit us it has. Everyone has more than enough space, even if that space may still resemble 1993, which is the year it was built.

I’m not complaining even a little. But as the years have passed, things here have begun to fall apart. Like, literally cabinet doors come off the hinges and the maroon-colored fan makes funny noises. We find ourselves constantly making repairs left and right. Foundation cracks and AC leaks. It’s enough to drive you crazy.

One Sunday after church, we stopped at a friend’s almost-new house. A longtime family friend and his family have picked up and moved north, and are now only four miles away from our house! It is so exciting to have people you know close by. There’s no furniture yet, but they bought a home that is only two years old. Seeing the newness of their home only emphasized how old ours is. I can already see the modern furniture and beautiful things they will fill their home with. It made me very aware of how used my house and all the things in it are.

It actually made me quite jealous, if I’m honest. I wish my kitchen cabinets had doors. I wish my bathtub had a chandelier. I wish I wish I wish.

Then the resentment began to build up inside my heart. Not resentment towards our friends, but towards myself as a stay-at-home parent. I’ve had to sacrifice quite a bit, not just financially, but also emotionally. I find myself searching for purpose. Am I just meant to be a wife and mother? Is that enough? Am I enough? I hated that these thoughts even filled my head, but they did. It wasn’t my desire in life to be a professional parent. I had dreams once. Or did I? I can’t even recall what my younger self had envisioned for her life. It all began to eat away at me.

How is it that sharing in someone’s blessing can make you feel less-than, not enough?

When we came home, my husband made a snide comment about how seeing their new house only illuminated how old ours is. It made me mad to hear him speak of what we had that way. It made me even more mad that I shared that thought process. In searching for consolation, I went to a friend who gave me solace with kind words, and that helped for a moment. I read motivational quotes. I prayed. Then I Googled “bible verses about resentment.” Man, is Google smart. I read through the selected verses and this one stuck out the most to me:

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

1 Peter 5:10

My house was built in 1993 and it shows. But when I take a larger step back, the season of life I’m in right now isn’t really designed for brand new anything. I have TWIN TODDLERS! Everything is wet or smells or has some mysterious stains on it. And yet I hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me that it’s okay. To be patient. That when the time is right there will come restoration.

If you would have asked me four years ago, I would have sworn my first home was my forever home. I’m not sure if this one will be forever, but, for now, it fits the moment my life is in. The space may not be new and shiny, but when my kids draw on the 20-year-old walls, I’m not that angry about it. When the door knob falls off in my hand, it just makes the door easier to open. I’m trying to find peace in the process. I’ll get there, and one day, I’ll look back fondly on the mess that led to all the bless.

Be safe, be great, be you!

Reality Changing Observations:

1. When you feel jealous of what others have, how do you see past that?

2. What five things are you grateful for, big things or small things?

3. How can you find peace in the process?

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