When Joel and I bought our house 10 years ago, we had big plans for it. Yes, it was (still kind of is) a fixer upper. Our plans were big and we had lots we wanted to do. Well, a little over a year after we moved in life took some very unexpected turns and getting things "fixed up" came to a screeching halt.
I found myself complaining to Joel about our house the other day. Yes, it is true the kitchen is very dated and poorly designed. I have no cupboard or counter top space and with a large-ish family that can be tricky. And yes, we are busting at the seams. And yes, the closets and bedrooms are very small. Really, I could go on and on. We have wanted to move for many years. We actually had our house sold, packed up and unpacked 2 times this past summer (really 2 times) and both deals fell through. I continued to complain about our house and all the sudden felt like God was trying to get me to be quiet. I felt this guilt start to come over me. I began to really start thinking about some things.
This house, our home, has weathered so much. We have had some really rough times here. Joel lost his job, we had a hard and scary 3rd pregnancy, there was a time that I thought Joel and I would not be Joel and I -we honestly did not think we would be together. We experienced a lot of loss in this house too. This house has been a safe haven where Joel and I have been able to talk and heal, we have grown and overcome so much. There has been lots of good times too. Joel was able to find another job, a great job at that. We have been able to welcome home 4 beautiful children here and soon to be 5. We have learned so much about God and his faithfulness and love for us. We have learned all about adoption and how beautifully tough it is and what it really means for our family. This is the place where our children laugh and grow, and yes, sometimes cry. This is the place where it is okay to be us and it is okay to struggle through some of life's tough stuff. This is our home- we love each other here. This is the place where God wants us to be, outdated kitchen and all.
There did come a time when we could have updated our kitchen or done something else around the house, but felt like adopting was a better choice. Keeping us here in this house has taught us that earthly possessions are not what they seem. God has asked us to make decisions that have been "selfishly hard", but in the end blessed us immensely. He wanted us to learn a bit more about being content. Contentment, boy, that is tough- I still struggle with it sometimes.
We are very fortunate to have our warm house with running water and comfy beds. But more than that, it is a true blessing from God. Honestly, thinking about it now, I feel so awful for complaining. We are so blessed - I have everything I need and more. Shame, shame, shame on me for complaining.
And to think, if God would have not closed the door twice on the sale of our home; if we would have kept pushing to sell, we would of missed out on our beautiful Aliyah. God is so good (even when we do not deserve it). He had bigger and better plans for us...bigger and better than any house!