The Authors of Writes of Passage

The Authors of Writes of Passage

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Being content

Phil. 4:11-13, The Message translation..."I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am."

Those particular verses have nibbled at the edges of my mind over the past months as hubby and I have shopped for a new home. Way back in January, we thought we'd found our dream home—a beautiful 8-bedroom Victorian that had gone into foreclosure. After a four-month yo-yo ride with the mortgage company, even though we loved the house, we grew seasick and began looking elsewhere.

In early May we discovered an "English cottage" built during the Depression, set on six beautiful acres that included ponds and a mini forest. Gorgeous! And so unique. It even had a barn that could be hubby's workshop. It had been sitting empty for months with no activity. Certain we'd found our replacement for the Victorian, we made a bid...and the very same day, so did another couple. Their bid exceeded ours, so once again we lost a house we both really liked.

You have to understand...finding a house we BOTH really like is not easy. We each seek different features that are important to us. And the ones he seek tend to be contradictory to mine. (Have you ever heard the adage "opposites attract"? Sometimes I think it was based on Don and me!) Consequently, after getting struck down twice, I really wasn't up to searching again.

I thought about those verses from Philippians. Had we lost out on these houses because God wanted me to just stay put? Our current house is nice—it lacks many of the features I considered part of the "perfect" house (and possesses most of Don's), but it's nice. Maybe instead of wanting more, I was just supposed to be content with a house I considered "little" rather than "much." Did a lot of praying about it, too. Finally decided no more active seeking. I'd wait for a house to come to me...and if one didn't come, I'd just be content.

The last Sunday in May, after church, hubby said something he never says: "Let's go walk through a few open houses." After I picked myself up off the floor, I searched the paper and found four that looked interesting. One was only a few blocks from where we're living now so we hit it first. Don immediately headed for the backyard, where the ad promised a pool, and I climbed the stairs to check out the second floor. As I rounded the bend on the staircase, I burst out laughing and muttered, "Somebody saw me comin'..." The bathroom at the head of the landing was done in shades of purple. My favorite color. The bedroom adjoining that bathroom matched in decor. Perfect.

I stepped into the master bedroom and chuckled again. More purple! A deep rich eggplant and dusty sage—a beautiful combination. A third bedroom also waited upstairs, again with its own private bath. My heart skipped a beat: each bedroom with a private bath. Definitely one of MY features. I headed back to the main floor and couldn't find Don, so I meandered around on my own and began tallying up the positive points of the house: Living room with French doors leading onto a spindled, screened-in porch; a family room with a fireplace; a formal dining room; a HUGE utility room and spacious kitchen with lots of cabinet and counter space and a large pantry...

Don wandered in from outside with a big smile. "It sits on a double lot! And not only is there a swimming pool, there's a hottub out there." Together we investigated the basement where a beautiful snack bar (more seating for guests!) separated two large recreation areas. A fourth bedroom with a private bath and a nice-sized storage room completed the basement.

"Well," I said, "this was fun. Want to go check out the others?" So we did. And after looking at the last one on our list, Don suggested returning to the first one again. I wanted to know why. He said, "I liked it. I want to see it again." I stated all the negatives: No shop, no acreage for him; no open winding staircase, Victorian gingerbread, or attic for me. We decided we wanted to go back anyway. We had twenty minutes before the open house would end, so we hurried over. And by the time we'd walked through it a second time, we had both decided we wanted to make an offer.

Now remember, we'd made offers before. Twice. And both times we got shot down. I jokingly said, "Well, third time could be a charm...or it could be three strikes and we're out." But we called our agent, made a bid, and the next day the owners countered with an amount we were willing to meet. We said, "Yes."

So...in less than a month, we'll be moving in to our new home. There's space for the grandkids to play inside and out, and guestrooms (not 8, but enough) for family or friends to come stay. Although it isn't a 100-year-old Victorian or a rambling house sitting on several acres, it's a warm, cozy house that feels like "home" to both of us. I realize that a lot can still happen—maybe this house won't really be ours. But I have no apprehension at all this time. If we move into it—wonderful; if we don't—we'll survive. Maybe that means I've learned that lesson of contentedness?

Below is a picture of the house we will soon call "home." Although it doesn't possess all we thought we "needed," it has "much" in both of our opinions, and we feel very blessed.


God bless you muchly as you journey with Him! ~Kim

P.S. -- If you're on Facebook, I posted several pics in and out of the house, if you're interested in houses. Feel free to visit my page there...and befriend me if you haven't already! :o)

6 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this post! My husband and I have been going through a horrible process of buying a house before he starts working. We lost out on two and we are now in the closing process on a third but there is still enough room for things to go wrong. I just keep praying every day and keep listening for those small promptings of comfort and peace that everything will be ok. Good luck with your home! It's beautiful.

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  2. Kim,
    The 13th verse of the referenced passage (one translation says) "For I can do all things through Christ that strenghtens me", has been so easily declared by Christians (especially me), but we fail sometimes to read what comes before that verse. In a word, as you said, it is "Contentment". For me, it has been a continous lesson, when I wanted a new job, and even in purchasing a car, to name a few.
    In the case of changing jobs, the Holy Spirit impressed on me to perform my current job at the time in excellence and as if I would be there indefinitely, but to always be ready to leave when He gave the directive. I got it! And began to change my attitude and would come to work with a smile. After about a couple of months, I recieved a call from a school where I had applied and was sure they had forgotten me. Well I got the job and am still here after 12 years.
    Learning how to rest in Him is such a good place to be.
    Thanks for sharing and I LOVE your new house. I am so happy for you!

    Veronica

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  3. Be still my heart....purple is my favorite color too and in my humble opinion, a gal can't have too much purple! Ha! Being content is so hard in our society. They is such peace in it and knowing God is leading...makes me wonder why I fight it at times! Thanks so much....and happy moving! (If that is a possibility!) Blessings, Connie Sue

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  4. Jill, it's stressful, isn't it? I'll be praying God makes the way for you to move into your home!

    Veronica, you speak so much truth! When we wait for God's perfect timing, everything always "fits." But sometimes that waiting is hard for us impatient humans. :o)

    Thanks for the well-wishes, Connie Sue! And great to find another purple fan. lol

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  5. Great post! Contentment is a lesson that the Lord and I seem to continually work on!

    The new house looks beautiful!

    Blessings
    Michelle

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  6. Thank you for sharing this house-hunting "journey" with us, Kim. It seems the Lord uses all kinds of situations to help us learn and grow, and you've shown us that He even uses house-hunting! ~ Your new home looks lovely, and I pray everything goes smoothly as you pack and move. ~ Hugs, Patti Jo :)

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