Monday, February 21, 2011

Better than a mansion!

Ten years ago Jason and I decided it was time to move. We liked the house we were living in but it was a little small for our growing family.

We found this house and hoped it would be a good fit for us.

It has two stories (good), a yard that is big enough to accommodate both vegetable and flower gardens (very good), but it needed some work (not good)! We did not want to buy a house that was in need of remodeling. Having done that in our previous house we had had our fill. But, there was something about this house.

Once we moved in the house began to reveal that it had many more issues than we realized; the floor drain backed up, a tree that had had it's roots cut when the previous owner put in a patio fell over onto the roof of the garage, the paint that had been sprayed onto the siding—to give the house better curb appeal—was too thick and didn't dry properly and began to peel a year after we moved in, tiles came loose from the bathroom floor, sadly the list went on and on. 

We became very discouraged with the house a few years after we purchased it. All of the work the house needed and the updates we wanted to make overwhelmed us. It was bad news!

Now comes the good news. I know you are giving me that cockeyed, questioning look wondering if the house has caused me to lose my marbles! Rest assured I still have most of my marbles! A couple years after moving into the  house we became invested in our neighborhood church where we have built wonderful friendships and have been encouraged to grow in our faith in the Lord. We have also become involved in our local community as Jason has coached the girl's soccer teams and we have held small cookie sale fundraisers in our front yard. We have good neighbors and have made wonderful friends.

One of those friends is Amy. She and her husband and children live across the street from us and have become very dear to our family. 

Our kids have become the best of friends. They hang out, ride bikes and even on the rare occasion bicker like siblings. They are four peas in a pod. It is a joy to watch them grow close to each other.

Amy is funny, creative, kind and loves my children like her own. She helps me with carpooling and has been a wonderful encourager and friend. We get to walk our children to and from school each day and we get to pray for them with an incredibly faithful, God loving, group of women. We get to sit on the porch in the summertime with our husbands and sip Cable Cars while talking and laughing and watching the children play. Our families have even vacationed together and we still like each other!!!

If you had asked me eight or nine years ago what caused us to buy our sad, in need of so many repairs house, I would have said "I don't know what we were thinking." The big picture was not in focus at that time. If you ask me today why we bought our sad, in need of so many repairs house, I would tell you "God had better plans for us than we had imagined for ourselves." 

Our house is still in need of much work, slowly but surely we are making improvements, but because we live in this house, in this neighborhood, our lives have been richly blessed with good gifts. The big picture has begun to come into focus. We intended to find a house, God intended to give us the gift of a home where friendships, love and joy are abundant.

I still hope to be able to remodel our kitchen and bathrooms. It is an annoyance to put up plastic in the winter because our windows are so drafty I get that wind-blown hair look if I stand too close to one on a windy day. But I would not, if given the opportunity, trade the gifts I have been given because I live in this sad house, for the most beautiful mansion on earth!

Now when I become discouraged I remind myself of the many blessings God has given me because I live in my sad house. And I will no longer call it a sad house because when a family is as blessed as we have been because of living in the house they live in, it can only be called a happy home!

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above... James 1:17


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