SOLD! (The Fruit of the Spirit is . . . Peace)
"Contentment is not having what you want, it's wanting what you have."
I don't know what springtime means to you. I live in the Pacific Northwest so to me it means regeneration of hope after months of rain. A sense of new beginnings as the ground finally dries out enough to plant (actually, it's snowing right now). A feeling that anything is possible as you step outside and feel the sun on your face (that was yesterday). However, for many years it also meant the sprouting of hundreds of FOR SALE signs and the onset of house lust. The desire that remained dormant all winter would awaken—TIME TO MOVE! This happened every spring and yet I've lived in the same house for forty-two years.
This annual attack of "the grass is greener syndrome" usually lasted from April through October. Then the darker days and coming holidays caused me to want to get cozy and stay put. This must be a common phenomenon in this part of the country since the perennial FOR SALE signs would all but disappear by November.
For years house hunting became a hobby for my husband, Rich, and me even though I suspected he would be perfectly happy to stay put—forever. However, to humor me, or possibly to avoid my "Honey Do" list, he happily traipsed around on Sunday afternoons looking at other people's houses. Occasionally, he spotted a new development open house in the Sunday paper. "Hey, they're serving hors d'oeuvres," he'd announce, putting on his shoes. We were off.
Now, you may be thinking all this poking around through beautifully furnished new homes or spiffed-up older homes would create discontent with my own home. Well, you're right, it did. It's taken many years but God finally got my attention. I began to realize this annual comparison of what I have to "what else is out there" robbed me of contentment and the pleasure of enjoying my home. Besides, the houses we wanted, we couldn't afford, and the ones we could afford were pretty much like the one we owned. So, if we wanted to live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood within our means, we could just stay home.
I finally slowed down long enough to sit down on the stairs and look around. This dear old house:
helped raise our boys
- sheltered many and assorted animals and reptiles
- provided a place to celebrate forty-two Christmases, Thanksgivings, Easters and birthdays
- became Grandma and Grandpa's house to our grandchildren and, oh, so much more
It's been the backdrop for our daily lives, a refuge to Rich and me during difficult times and, at the end of the day, is the place we are happy to be. I may never come to love the "popcorn" ceilings, but I can appreciate them as a bit of vintage 1970's history (hopefully, never to be repeated).
So, I'm not going to end by saying how much I'm looking forward to the new season of houses and the thrill of the hunt. I am going to say that God helped me look at what I have with fresh eyes. He showed me I need to treasure and be at peace with all I have been blessed with. So . . . I choose to be "sold" on the house I have. I'm not saying we'll never move but, let's face it, by the time we got this house ready to sell, it would be November and who moves in November?
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He restores my soul.