Tuesday, July 6, 2010

contentment in decorating

In April we moved into a new house built in 1930. We had seen this house for 3 months before it went on the market and loved it before we walked through it. We had a particular area we wanted to be in and this house was smack in the middle of it! This is the house we want to live in for 50 years, to raise our family in, to grow in, to open up for friends and family but it is a house that needs more work than I let myself see before I moved in. So when we moved from our small 7 year old home leaving our bright shiny new appliances and bathrooms behind I thought I was up for the adventure.

I quickly realized that I took comfort in my clean, new kitchen, that showering in a pink tile bathroom built in 1930 didn't feel as relaxing as my clean white bathroom built in 2003. My thoughts were taken over with how quickly we could renovate this house, how quickly it could be painted, decorated, carpeted...I wanted it to feel new, quaint, like a Pottery Barn magazine full of charm and very welcoming for whomever might drop by.

I was a little surprised at myself to find that I was defining these wants as needs. That the enjoyment of this gift of such a wonderful house God gave us was not being enjoyed due to the work it needed. It is livable, it has running water, a roof that doesn't leak and more space then we need right now. But, I couldn't get past the white walls, the small kitchen counters, the bathrooms that were so old they felt dirty, the rusty pipes, and the lack of decor.

This weekend we finally got curtains in 3 rooms! Reading 1 Timothy I was challenged by chapter 6:7-8,17 "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content...set [your] hopes...on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy." We have been looking at curtains and curtain rods since before we moved into the house. We tend to look at things and talk about things for months before we ever take action. This forces me to process the great importance and need I put on things that are aesthetic. Beauty is something I believe we need in life, if it wasn't why would God create the beauty of smiles, flowers, and sparkling lakes? But in our homes we need to define their beauty and their hospitality by our families in them. We need to see that these homes are gifts and our contentment cannot be found in the pictures that hang on the walls, the paint colors, curtains and furniture that decorate them. Those are for enjoyment but a lack of those aesthetics doesn't change the wonder of the gift!

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