Monday, September 19, 2011

Finding BALANCE :: Thoughts on moving, decorating, and keeping my perspective

Sorry for the lack of blogging... I've been trying to dig myself out from under all these moving boxes. (And almost landing in the ER due to a night of excruciating stomach pain that we still don't know the cause of. Ugh. I am so OVER this year of health problems! I am officially on doctor #7 and "mystery illness #3" - and it's only September. My husband has nicknamed me "Job". But that's another story!)

Have any of you moved lately? What is it that makes this process so stressful? And EXPENSIVE?! We were really excited about moving, and thought it would be "no big deal". We told ourselves...

#1 - We don't have that much stuff!
#2 - We won't have to buy anything but a dining room table! (our last one was our landlord's)
#3 - We will be settled in NO TIME!

Oh boy, were we WRONG! First of all - I am convinced things multiply in a move. Seriously. Where did all those extra hangers come from?! And all those clothes? And how many purses/carrying bags/shopping bags do I OWN?! And how do we have THAT many boxes for the kitchen?! I am still trying to figure out where everything is (in boxes) and where to put it (in our house). And purging. A lot. (Dear Salvation Army, you can thank me later ;)

And that #3? TOTALLY DELUSIONAL. The house we are renting is bigger than our last one - and yet - nothing fits in it. All the little nooks that we had for things in our old house are just not in this one. I cannot figure out where to put anything! Not to mention our issues with #2 - which are seriously affecting #3.

See, we really did believe all we'd need to buy was a dining room table and chairs.  We were excited about buying a REAL piece of furniture that we loved, and could keep for a long time.  All our other furniture is "hand-me-downs" or thrift store/used furniture store finds, and I was excited to make a "real" purchase on a piece we would keep for a while (or forever!)  Until we got here, and realized our kitchen was tiny. I'm talking - one bedroom apartment size - tiny. Which means - we didn't have storage for our stuff! (And I'm not talking "fine china" - we don't own any of that. I mean - a crockpot, and mixing bowls, and casserole dishes, and a george forman grill and a cake plate. Would. not. fit. anywhere. Ugh.) So - we suddenly had to add a sideboard/cabinet of some sort for the dining room to our "to buy" list.

And THEN there were the curtains. I told Rusty before the move that I wasn't planning on buying any curtains for this house - because I'd find a way to use ours from our previous house. Since both were rentals, I'd bought the cheapest, most versatile curtains I could (all taupe, cream, brown, or black). I figured I would wait to "invest" in nicer, more brightly colored curtains until we bought a home and knew we were staying for a while. Well friends... I should've measured the windows. Because, they are ALL floor length. Which means all my curtains from our last house are too small! Frustration!!!

Now,  I realize, in the "real world" - these things really don't matter. The people we work with overseas could care less about kitchen storage and curtain length. They'd be happy just to have a kitchen and curtains! But I have let it get me in all sorts of a funk lately.

Instead of "God, I am SO thankful for the beautiful house that you provided for us, and for all the wonderful people who support our work, and for the money to pay our rent!" - I keep thinking - "Why can't we have "real jobs" and make more money so we can buy a house and I can paint my dining room walls a pretty terra cotta color instead of this ugly yellow!?"

Instead of, "God - thanks for giving me such an abundance of clothes and kitchen tools that this house is overflowing!" - I keep thinking - "I wish I had a walk-in closet. And I can't believe I have to buy a stupid cabinet for the dining room! Now I might not be able to get the table I wanted!"

And while reading design blogs for decorating ideas, I sometimes think, "Who in their right mind would pay THOUSANDS of dollars for a coffee table?!? Do you know how many starving kids that would feed?!"- but I also sometimes think - "I wish I could pay thousands for that GORGEOUS coffee table that would look SO good in my house. I am so sick of all our crappy hand-me-downs and thrift store furniture!"

Ugh. I am so fickle. And fleshy. Sometimes I don't understand why God loves me anyway!

I just wanted to be real with you guys and share what I'm struggling with right now. The truth is, I believe it's perfectly alright to have a beautiful home. I want our home to be a place that is comfortable, and attractive. I want it to be a place we enjoy working in and a place we can rest and relax in. I want it to be welcoming to guests when they need a place to stay. I don't think those desires are wrong or sinful. The truth is, I've been very blessed by friends with beautiful homes who have opened them up to us!  

HOWEVER - I also think we have to find a balance. I love this quote ::

{live simply sign from danielson designs ltd}

... but I don't know that there's a hard and fast definition of what that means for everyone. I think we are called to examine our lives and our spending on a regular basis. I think we are called to give and live sacrificially. But I don't necessarily think that means a call to poverty, or shirking away from God's blessings. The truth is, God loves beautiful things (have you seen His creation?!) and He loves to make His children smile! But in everything, we must find balance.

I am working hard on that right now. I'm trying to find a balance between my flesh and my spirit. I am working to remember that I can make a house beautiful without the most expensive things. I am working to remember that my home can be welcoming and comfortable without being perfect. I am working to remember WHY we sacrifice and just how incredibly worth it the kids are that we sacrifice for. And I am working to change my perspective to one that's more grateful.

And you know what? God is providing! And I am growing. And our home is coming together! And I promise I'll show you pictures and tell you all about the process.... I just wanted to share about the process in my heart first.


  1. OH! That is so me. I constantly struggle with not having the beautiful house of my dreams. Then I feel bad for wanting that because I have so much more than others. Right now, I am concentrating on being present with my husband and son every day, every minute. I figure if I enjoy them, I'll enjoy my home more.

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