Yesterday I went to help a young mother in our ward who gave birth to triplets back in December. She and her husband live in an older, small house that needs some things done to it before they move their beautiful little babes into it so in the meantime, they are living in her cousin's home that is vacant and up for sale. This home is BEAUTIFUL! It is close to 4500 sq. ft. on a half acre with stunning views of the mountains and surrounding valley. It has all of the modern conveniences of the 21st century and offers everything that any red-blooded American woman would love...I am ashamed to admit that I felt a bit envious...I used to have a 4000 sq. ft. home and, although I thought I could let it go, I often find myself missing the space I once had.
As I looked around, (the house is scantilly decorated with just a few things to make it more appealing during the "for sale" process) I found myself envisioning my own personal touches and I had it completely decorated in my head...and it was FABULOUS! I spared no expense and filled it with my own personal things as well as numerous plush drapes, linens, luxurious couches, comfy chairs, oriental rugs, textured wall treatments, amazing framed oil paintings, along with the latest in electronics and appliances (yes, I changed out a few things in the kitchen)...
I envisioned huge family gatherings with grandchildren playing in the upstairs bedroom that was already painted a soft yellow (that remained the same in my renovation!) They played in the drop down "playroom" area within the same room and I saw them in their dress-ups having tea parties...Then I went home!
As I walked into my little 900 sq. ft. home, I felt a rush of...comfort. I felt at home and as I looked around, I realized that even though my house is less than a quarter of the size of my newly redecorated "imaginary" home, it is filled with love and memories. Memories of a life before me...
It's the home where my sweet husband and his sister were raised by a loving single mother who worked 3 jobs just to make ends meet and provide for her children who were the loves of her life. It's a home where if the walls could talk, they would tell stories of "Christmas's Past" where wide-eyed children would creep out to see what was left under the immensly over-flocked pink Christmas tree. Where families gathered in cramped quarters to celebrate birthdays. Where neighbors stopped by without advance notice just because they cared and wanted to chat. Where teenagers had parties when their hard-working, devoted mother was away on business, only to have that same mother call their friends when she got home to make them come back to help clean up the residual mess...and their friends were OK with that and LOVED their mother! And on and on and on...
This is my home! It has adopted me and now it is time for me to accept the love it has to offer. It's time for me to let go of the need for more room and just embrace the precious space that reeks of a lifetime of memories. I have done some remodeling and have more to do...we have room to grow, and we will but in the meantime, it is time for me to learn to be content with what I have and thankful for a warm, comfortable home...it's not a "house", it's a "home".
It became very clear to me that I have been complaining about a "gift"! I have been wanting more than I really "need" I haven't been thankful for what I do have and I have been more concerned with what I don't have...shame on me!
I do have a LOT of things in storage...actually, I have enough in storage to furnish another house. And that's OK...the day will come when I have room for some of those "things"...the rest, I'll get rid of and that will be OK too. I do want more room for entertaining...I do want room for guests to come visit and I will have that room because this little house has available space for additions...but in the meantime, I am working on being more thankful and more content with what I DO have and I'm trying to not worry about what I don't have.
I DO have:
1. An amazing husband who loves me and whom I love more than I could ever have imagined.
2. Four amazing children who give me more joy than I sometimes feel like I deserve.
3. Five of the MOST BEAUTIFUL and SWEET grandchildren in the world!
4. Faith in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the peace of mind in knowing that through Him, all things are possible.
5. Good health.
6. All of the comforts and modern conveniences of life.
7. Plenty of food, clothing and lots of warm blankets.
8. The sweetest neighbors in the world who would do anything for us without question!
9. Precious extended family members who I adore and love even though many live far away.
10. Everything I need to be happy!
I pray that I will remember the bounteous blessings that have been bestowed upon me and my family and friends. I pray that I will be forever grateful for ALL that I have and remember that there are MILLIONS of people who are so much worse off than anyone I personally know. And I pray that I will always be thankful for the truly important things in life and appreciative of the love of good friends and family because in the end, that's what makes a person rich and the size of their house doesn't matter at all.