lessons in contentment

On a rare, free Sunday evening, I found myself watching a popular home makeover show, poring over all the fantastic decor ideas and beautiful touches.

After that of course, I made my way over to Pinterest where I began scouring for trendy ideas for a dream house.

Except, we won’t have one. At least not anytime soon.

For a while there was hope that we might be able to get a house of our own, but we’ve learned this week that, even with a deposit, the only mortgage we’d get is for three times my husband’s charity-sector salary. Just to offer further clarification here, it wouldn’t even get us a shed!

It’s been a bitter pill to swallow at times, I’ll admit. We’ve seen my husband’s brother move into a new family home with lots of space to make it their own. Facebook is full
of pictures of people’s showroom-worthy rooms. Then my brother is also moving into his first house, the one which belonged to my Grandmother, a blank canvas for his partner to be let loose on.

louise bioThis is right, and I’m happy he has the house, but then I see us in our extortionately priced one-bed, rental flat, with peeling walls, no cupboards or space to do much and wish we had more room so I could store all my teaching material, have space to bake and room for friends to stay and mostly, somewhere to decorate and make look
pretty.

Like everyone else seems to have … why not us?

I’d do it on a modest budget of course, with a goal of making it welcoming for others. Pinterest is awash with lots of little DIY ideas; you can up-cycle old things, re-purpose others, turn pretty much anything you’d throw away into something of immeasurable beauty. Where people get the time to do all these things, I don’t know, but I desire to be one of them! I want to have a pretty house. Like half the people I know do. I’ll even put scripture artwork on the walls! Then I realize that terrible sense of entitlement is beginning to rear again. Thoughts of what I don’t have are completely outnumbering thoughts of what I do have.

So I start reading through the Psalms and these verses hit me and stop me in my tracks:

“… Do not be over-awed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
Though while they live they count themselves blessed —
and people praise you when you prosper —
they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life…” Psalm 49:16-19

Right there, that simple word is there to remind me my thoughts have been in the wrong place, that I’ve allowed myself to become too impressed by what others have and
diverted from what truly matters.

Sure, I could have my magazine-worthy home full with gorgeous shabby-chic touches, but I haven’t built anything eternal. I want to build things that last. Having these things isn’t wrong and I’m not condemning others who are able to have their own homes, but it’s a reminder, especially to myself, not make it a focus, that it’s very much in the temporary. We should think very carefully about what we invest into this tent life as none of the possessions, accolades of our peers or success will count for anything in the next. It’s an area where we really need to check our hearts.

So while it’s frustrating not to have the prospect of our own home right now, if I seek first the kingdom I’ll have everything I need. Our circumstances could well change but
getting a house and decorating should in no way become a driving force of my life, or the first thing in my thoughts. I’m about Kingdom building, about clinging to Him to find my soul anchored even in painful storms, I’m about recklessly following, saying ‘here I am, send me’ and looking away from myself, turning away from ‘what I don’t have’ and trusting wholeheartedly that I can have nothing and yet, conversely, still possess everything.

Louise

Follow Louise: dustandpearls.wordpress.com, @louisec2801

*picture courtesy: Britney @baretribe.blogspot.com

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Lessons in contentment

3 thoughts on “Lessons in contentment

  1. Challenging post Lou – to be content in all things is something paul always reminded up to be as well, and while I’m one of the lucky ones with my own house (albeit not in Devon lol), its still something I can learn from -There will always be someone who has more than you, and its a human fault to always want more than you have – no matter how wealthy you are, or how healthy your bank balance. One of reasons for the global recession is people borrowing more than they could afford just to give the impression of wealth and success. Don’t let it fester that you don’t have your own place. Even with renting, you’re lucky and still have more than a lot of others simply because you have a roof over your head 🙂

    It gets REALLY difficult when ‘Christian’ friends mock the things you do have, becauseuthey have something better lol. That is something that really tests me. but that’s for another day … X

  2. Pingback: Spiritual Growth | rediscovered

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