"The Nesting Place" - my story of contentment

This Halloween will be the 10 year anniversary of my husband moving in to this wonderful place we call home. This September I will have lived in our fabulous home 8 years and when I stop to think of all the things that have changed - furniture and the furniture arrangements, paint colors (no more builder's beige!), the pictures on the walls, etc. - it's actually pretty darn accurate with the seasons of life that we have been through together. You see, we never planned on being here more than 3-5 years. This 2000 square foot house on an acre lot at the end of a cul de sac was a "starter home" in our eyes because at 23 and 25 when we got married and the real estate market was booming all we saw was bigger and better. Now, at 31 and 33 and with a 2 year old son, we see simple and together. But, to be honest, the last few weeks I have had some major issues with contentment and was reverting back to my "bigger and better" days. Days I don't particularly love to revisit.

Just in case you read that last paragraph and thought about what a selfish brat I am to even think of moving, let me explain. 2000 square feet for 3 people is not small and I know many of you dream about that size home. I will admit that moving into this house as a 23 year old newlywed was quite a bit for me to handle. I came from living paycheck to paycheck with not much budge room and as a very young bride who saw money and things everywhere I looked, I ended up putting very unrealistic expectations on myself and my husband of how I thought our home should look and how we should be living while we were here. I allowed this home and our things to define me...(that is not an easy sentence to type). And boy, did we pay for it. And while that is a whole other time and story that I am not going to go into detail about in this post, just know that, sadly, this is not my first time to deal with not being content.

My husband is a kick butt real estate agent and has been for over 12 years. He has a gift of helping others along with the confidence and knowledge to get the job done. I joined him and my father in law last year in the office 2 days a week to help and really enjoy watching him at work. But with this has also come the plethora of beautiful houses - huge bonus rooms with bathrooms upstairs, walk in pantries, kitchens that may make me want to cook every meal and can fit a beautiful farm table, and a blank slate of all.the.things. I could do to make this house a home that would make us oh so happy! (right? right?!). Before I knew it I began convincing myself that I have looked at these walls for too long, that I wanted a kitchen where I can fit my dream table, I wanted a bathroom upstairs so we can use it as a guest room and not a storage unit like it seems it is now, and well, maybe even a sunroom! I want, I want, I want. But my real issue? It's obvious that I was not content. And I was certainly not being a good steward of what I DO have. facepalm.

Last week when I finished the book The Nesting Place by The Nester my attitude was changed. The last chapter was titled "contentment" and couldn't have come at a better time. Funny thing is I started the book weeks ago and then put it down and started my most recent "not content/miserable in this house" journey only to pick it back up to this very chapter:

Well, shoot. If that didn't get me in the gut. Lord, you know just what I need and when I need it, don't you?

I can honestly say that with fresh eyes I looked at this last chapter and even went back to read some parts again. I was again reminded that life isn't going to be perfect when I move into a bigger or different home. The world won't be all sunshine and lollipops when I get to look out new windows every day, or open said windows to hear the birds chirping and nothing else. Moving to the country where it's quiet won't make me happy, moving into the city to be closer to all the fun kid things won't make me a better mama, moving into a different neighborhood won't solve my problems of not being social enough with others, and moving into a new home won't make me want to entertain more. I need to do these things now, where I am, with what I have. If I need to ask God to open doors and to make me brave to do the things I need to do, then so be it. I will do them with a joyful and thankful heart.
With the encouragement from these pages I stopped to take inventory of what things would honestly make the next couple of years that we have left in this house feel like a fresh slate. We are long overdue for a paint job - so we will paint. I may even go wild and add gold polka dots in the laundry room because, why not?! I rearranged the living room furniture and it now feels much cozier. I made a huge gallery wall above the couch where I will hang more family pictures and Finley's artwork because that is what I enjoy seeing each day. And no, there won't be a huge sunroom or a walk in pantry or a bathroom upstairs. But, I also won't be wasting my time wanting for more while my life is happening right in front of me. 

NOTE : I wrote this entry about a month or so ago and I hesitated for a long time to post it. Then THIS wonderful blog came out that I loved and can't help but share with you because I needed it oh so badly. It was so timely because a couple of weeks ago (at the last minute) I decided to open the doors of my home to women and their children to look at the wonderful Noonday collection for this fall and winter. Toys and kids were everywhere, food was plenty, women were gathering together, and we were in full blown community. And I loved every minute of it. I NEEDED it. To have the rooms filled with love while we supported women all over the world who worked so hard on the jewelry displayed and while I had the chance to support my friends who have taken bold steps to provide for their family through Matilda Jane and Noonday it was clear to me what my heart was missing along with my struggles above. And that was COMMUNITY. 

I still have plans to freshen up a few things (and say goodbye to things that we no longer find useful so that others can enjoy them) and then throw the doors back open for baby showers, birthday dinners, and playdates. I am doing my best to be intentional about having a thankful heart for the food in the fridge and cabinets, for the ability to have a home where we are all safe and can pray together each night to the God that gives us each other, and to remind myself daily that this home is our gift from Him to use for His glory. I will take my eyes off of what I don't have and put them back on what I do have and what HE has given me to help others. Because, that is where I will find contentment. 
**If you want more information about The Nesting Place book check out Myquilliyn's blog here. And remember her famous quote - "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful!"

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