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I remember all the excitement leading up to the purchase of my first home with my husband. We spent the summer months leading up to our October wedding looking at dozens of properties in various cities, but couldn’t quite find the one. Our wish list wasn’t over the top, but it was specific (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, finished basement, large yard, no carpet, rural property). The plan was to purchase a home one month before our wedding so that we had time to move our things in from our respective homes (we each still lived with our parents) and get the house ready.
We were cutting it close, with only 6 weeks until our deadline, when we looked at a most unusual house on a whim. It met all our criteria AND was under budget. I walked in and thought “I could see us living here forever”!
We saw the house on a Thursday, and by Sunday we owned it! I was so happy to have found this beautiful home, and couldn’t wait to move in with my husband after our wedding.
It’s been almost four years since we became homeowners and it has been anything but the romantic dream I thought it would be. We’ve had to do countless repairs (replace all plumbing after the pipes burst one winter; deal with water damage in our whole basement; gut an outdated bathroom; paint everything; patch holes in the roof; fix the UV water filter after getting E-coli, to name a few…), have been frustrated at the terrible soil in the gardens, noticed the main road near us is a little too loud at times, and the list goes on.
Have you ever had moments like that with your home? What you thought was your dream home has turned into a daily nightmare, or perhaps you’ve never liked the place you live. Friends, I can relate! I sometimes think of all the projects we’d like to do to make our home as close to perfect as it can be, and then I become frustrated at how long that list is, or at things I can’t change, such as the square footage of the house.
But here’s what I need to remember: having a home is a blessing straight from God. Yes, it’s true! There are probably hundreds of people in my county that don’t have a place to call their own, so what right do I have to complain about my house’s imperfections?
If you don’t love your home, I want to offer some simple tips for seeing how blessed you truly are:
1 | Figure out what you can change in your home
What can you change in your home to make it a place you can grow to love. Are the paint colors not your style? Do you have too much stuff that makes it feel cluttered? Are there small repairs you can spend a weekend doing? Sit down with your spouse, family, roommates, etc, to determine how you can tackle these tasks practically and discuss why they are important.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. Proverbs 31:17
2 | Make a list of all the ways you’re thankful for your home.
Really? I don’t even LIKE my house, so how can I be thankful for it? Even though my house has a laundry list of problem areas, it’s not a bad house. If I force myself, even I can come up with good points, so I’m sure you can too.
Does your roof leak? No; be thankful. Are the walls sturdy? Yes; be thankful. Do you think your home is too small? Yes; be thankful your family gets to spend a lot of time close to one another. Do you only have one bathroom? Yes; be thankful you just have one to clean! Are your mortgage or rent payments reasonable? Yes; be thankful for no financial stress.
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:4-5
3 | Let go of the “dream home” complex.
I’ve had a wish list for my future home since I was very young, but my home does not check off even half those points. It’s alright though, because a home, like everything else, is just STUFF. Chasing after material goods in any form will not ensure one’s happiness. Quite the opposite, it can lead to a life of discontent since we feel like what we have is never good enough. Stop thinking about that perfect home that has everything you want, because, in all honesty, you might not ever get it, but that’s okay! Why? Read the next point…
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21
4 | Realize that everything here on earth is temporary.
Whatever material possessions you own will not be going with you to heaven, so why get bent out of shape trying to have the perfect everything? We can spend a whole lifetime trying to achieve our dream home, but in the end, when Jesus comes back, does it really matter? Our homes here on earth don’t translate to how nice our heavenly home will be…we can’t even begin to imagine how much better heaven is!
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18
I could ramble on all day about this topic, but for now, I’ll leave you with this final thought: it’s okay to have moments of dissatisfaction with our home because that can be a motivator to do our best to improve it. But we need to remember that God gave us a home, so we must be thankful for it.
How do you find ways to be grateful for your home when you feel less than happy? Leave your comments below and encourage others!