You guys, I’d be lying if I said I felt love for my house. This is something I struggle with a lot, and have for years. I spend a lot of time daydreaming about a nicer home, which I suppose is normal, but for me at times it’s gotten to the point of obsessive idolatry and coveting every nice home I ever see a picture of online and having to reign it in and repent. And it also feels ungrateful, which adds guilt to the whole equation.
It’s not like we live in a hovel. Let me give you a little background so you’ll know where I’m coming from. When we bought this home, we were in a bit of a rush. Offers on two different houses we really wanted fell through, and we were on a deadline that forced us to settle for something “good enough.” This house, though not really in a great location and lacking certain features we wanted, seemed to be the best of our remaining options. Since it was only supposed to be a starter home, we told ourselves we’d be just fine living here for five years, and put in an offer, which was, of course, accepted. So we started making plans on how we could fix up this house and really make it a home.
Fast forward to five months later when the economy went bust, I got laid off from a great job, our home value sank and our mortgage ended up deeply under water. Needless to say, all those plans for fixing this place up went out the window. It was then that I started freelancing, out of sheer desperation, and while that has had varying degrees of success over the years that have allowed us to make ends meet, home renovations and decorating have never made it back onto the priority list, plus you can’t fix location, which, over the years, has only gotten worse.
Fast forward again to 8 years later–almost to the day that we moved in as I write this–and we’re still here. By the grace of God, we’re still here, and I am truly grateful for that. But on the other hand . . . we’re still here. There are no prospects of moving elsewhere in the foreseeable future. So much for this only being a starter home.
The problem is, a starter home is exactly what we’ve treated this house like over the years–like something temporary, something to be endured until we’re led to our “real” home. And somewhere in there, I kind of started viewing life the same way. That these years of struggle and enduring aren’t my actual life–this is just a holding pattern we’re in until God finally decides it’s time for us to start our real life, whatever that looks like.
But this year God has been gently nudging me toward the realization that, guess what, pumpkin? This *is* your real life, and it’s high time you started actually living it instead of waiting until things are more ideal.
In the same vein, I’ve realized that as I embrace my current life, just as it is, with so many things still up in the air and the future still a great big question mark, part of that means learning to love the home we have and embracing it as the gracious gift from our Heavenly Father that it is.
I may not be able to force myself to feel love for this house, but I can still love on it by treating it like my dream home, giving it the same amount of TLC that I would give to our forever home.
That’s what I’ve been doing these last several weeks. If you came over right now you wouldn’t be able to tell much by looking, but I’ve been going through and “tidying up” via the KonMari method, gradually getting rid of clutter and stuff I’ve accumulated over the years that has just been making me feel weighted down. I’ve also been decorating the walls with posters and handmade art that makes me happy. It’s a long, long way from looking Pinterest-worthy, but already it’s starting to feel more like a true home, and I’m gradually feeling more content to be here.
I’ve also been praying over it regularly. At one point I even went outside and laid my hands on the brick and consecrated this house to God. This might sound a little nuts, but ever since I did that it’s felt more peaceful here, more like a refuge than a ball and chain.
The main thing is, we’ve finally begun seeing this home as the blessing that it is, and a stewardship that we need to take seriously, and I believe that as we do–as we take the best care of this house that we’re able to–God will honor that and make provision for us in this area. I’m not sure what that means or what it will look like, and I’m sure it will involve MORE waiting, because God clearly wants me to be a champion at the waiting. But I’ll spend the waiting time actively loving the home I’m in, for as long as we’re meant to be here.
How do you feel about your house, dear reader? Do you struggle to love it like I do, or are you in your dream house?
Love and blessings,
PS – You can scroll down to my footer or click here to go to my Instagram feed and see some of the changes I’ve made over the summer.
PPS – Find more encouragement here: