For the Times When the Grass is Looking Greener…



With a new house and a blank slate on which to make my decorating mark, I’ve found myself over the past few months turning online to unearth all varieties of interior inspirations, pinning ideas and coming up with more craft ideas than I can possibly manage. 

And as I’ve found so many smart ideas, I’ve also found myself growing—I'll admit it—jealous. Jealous of the houses outfitted in West Elm and Anthropologie. Jealous of the incredible renovations with breathtaking before-and-after sequences. Jealous of the owners’ mad DIY skills. Jealous of folks younger than me with houses fit for a magazine and who seem to have it all.

I’ve noticed—how quickly, how easily—it is that I’ve forgotten all that I do have when I see all that I do not have, all that I probably will not have for a long time, all that I may never have—ever. 

And that’s where I get stuck. On everything that’s a “not have.” Instead of remembering all that I do have. And not just stuff, but all that I do have in my life, in my heart, in my soul.

Because, though my walls feel embarrassingly bare, I have a husband to whom I can bare my soul to him without fear.

Though my living room is filled with thrift-store furniture and hand-me-downs, my heart is rich and filled with good friends and family who are always so kind, so encouraging, so uplifting.

Though my crafts look just like that: crafts, rather than the artisan creations I had in mind, my life is a testament-in-progress to the One who is continually crafting and working me into a new creation, lovingly guiding and leading me, answering my prayers and showing me grace upon grace.

When I feel my heart starting to wish and want, I have to remind myself that there are plenty of things that I do have that are worth wanting, savoring, cherishing. And I cannot afford to neglect or dismiss those treasures. Especially not in exchange for things like curtains and couches and other accoutrements that quickly gather dust and go out of fashion.

That stuff, I have years to pick it out and make it my own. But all this, what I do have in plenty? That’s the stuff that lasts a lifetime, that truly makes a life beautiful and breathtaking. And that’s something you can’t buy at Pottery Barn.

Related Posts

20 comments:

  1. Beautiful and so true! Thanks for the reminder!

    -Abbey

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post, and reminder for myself. My husband is in school and I am a receptionist at a church (which in case you were wondering, doesn't exactly win a lot of bread) We are SO rich with things that cost us nothing, and yet sometimes I still wish our home looked like all the design blogs I follow. This is something I need to confess and repent of almost on a daily basis. Thank the Lord for his patience with me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You pointed out something I failed to touch on in the post, which is that these feelings are things we do need to confess and repent of! They're lies and distractions from what really matters and do not come from Truth. Thanks for pointing that out. And for letting me know I'm not the only one who suffers in this area :)

      Delete
  3. Such a great reminder! I read Luke 12 (especially verses 22-34) when I'm feeling similar thoughts of coveting & jealousy. Really helps me put things back into perspective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the recommendation. Will have to remember that in the future when I start to get down about things!

      Delete
  4. Just wanted to encourage you - I too tend to look for decorating inspiration online. However, when I really sit back and analyze them, the styles are simply not achievable - financially or practically. Living rooms are not sterile, families actually live in them and get them dirty and disorganized. (I need washable fabrics and don't even dream of bringing white furnishings into my house, lol!) I am drawn to your decorating stories and photos because they are real and achievable. Not to mention that I really love your style. I'd rather have your living room than a Pottery Barn living room anyday. So thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks so much! You don't know how much that means for me to hear that! I'm glad that my posts / style / approach to decorating has been an encouragement to you and not the kind that get you down. I appreciate hearing that!!

      Delete
  5. I wanted to add to Anonymous' post since they said pretty much what I was thinking. I feel the same way as Carmen when looking online. But you also want a home that is filled with laughter and as you'll find out with a little one, messes. Life is full of the good and with the not so good. But it's life. Not a picture or a magazine. The journey to transform your home is part of the building blocks of your life. I struggle with this as well. We have a small home that needs so many fix ups. It's easy to get discouraged. But we all must just keep plugging along one project at a time. And relish that the crafts are yours, the furniture was a good buy and love flows through it all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! Those are my thoughts and feelings exactly! Thanks for sharing and for your encouragement as we battle through these things TOGETHER!

      Delete
  6. Definitely! I have had that feeling as well, and about everything. Jealousy over the places other people are at in their lives... but I'm figuring out how to find that contentment.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wonderful. This is a lesson I feel I'm constantly learning in many areas of life (can't I just learn it once and get it over with? LOL)

    We're closing on our first house in just a few short weeks, and while it's a bit of a "fixer-upper" and I already have plans, my greatest prayer is that I will always see our wonderful home for what it is - a house built on prayer, a blessing, and that I will not find myself wallowing in the wishes and wants of life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats on buying the new house! It's an exciting (if slightly overwhelming) time. Our own has had its own share of surprises (mice!), but I have never once regretted buying it. Hope yours is the same way and totally with you on keeping our prayers/wishes in line. Hard to do at times, but oh so important!

      Delete
  8. Very well written and thought out! Many times we confuse those "things" with what is real and go into deep debt to obtain "things" forgetting that the debt will surely have ill effects on the really important things and people in our lives.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Contentment.......I am constantly chasing this. Being content with where God has me now even as I look to becoming better in the important areas....You are all so right and it is struggle and your blog just points out the important of being self aware when those thoughts come and being able to 'hit the delete' button on them! God continue to give us grace in Jesus name. Amen. Meanwhile, enjoy all your little big things Carmen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you find my blog posts to be an encouraging part of the fight for contentment--I'm so glad to hear that!

      Delete
  10. Sarah (Proverbs 31:30)August 28, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Awesome Carmen! Funny thing. A verse the Lord pointed out to me yesterday during devotions " There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches." I have a problem with lusting after clothes, shoes, handbags, you name it. And when I buy these things, I kick myself for not getting something else, too. Maybe I shouldn't be letting myself go to the mall every week? Good start.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Reading the comments above is encouraging alone! I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that way from time to time.

    Honestly, I could say I get jealous of you, Carmen! I know I can't see beyond the blog posts, but when I read about your life and your feelings and your updates sometimes I think, "Wow. She has it together...she has everything!" But then I have to remind myself that God has a plan for me and everything has a season - He gives and takes. I realize then that He is the ONLY constant and that I have to be content with that. I still pin things and look at things and daydream but sometimes I really just have to unplug, put down the magazines and pray for perspective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww. Well I can definitely, without a doubt, assure you that I do NOT have it all together or have it all. :) Or at least in my own mind I don't feel as though I do. (I could easily fashion a wishlist a mile long for both of those categories!)

      Which I think goes to show that it's something we all struggle with--looking to that which we don't have (whether it's in our homes or our hearts, our lives or our experiences) and thinking that what we DO have is lacking.

      And that is simply, always, a lie. We do have enough, just like you said: We have the Lord. And that is really all we need, even when our hearts or our minds or our desires tell us otherwise. We just have to keep battling those lies, day after day after day!

      Thanks for sharing your own confession, here alongside mine. I think there's something so beautiful in this Body coming together and opening up and finding healing, since, as it says in James, "Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another and you will be healed!"

      Delete
    2. Thank you, Carmen. The Lord has been teaching me that I have a family and that I need to be with tell them, like it says in James and throughout the New Testament. Thank you for your humility and honesty. Your words have been very encouraging. <3

      Delete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Next Post Previous Post
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...