One year ago, my family moved from our ten-year-old, well-maintained, nicely decorated 3600 square foot home, and into a sixty-year-old, poorly maintained, horridly decorated 1800 square foot home. I shared a little of the story here and here.
While there are many things I would like to change about this ugly little house, the fact of the matter is… I love it. Here are seven reasons why.
1. The Ugly Reminds Me to be Grateful
The kitchen and family room floors must be the most horrid linoleum I’ve ever seen. I try not to use the “H” word, but let’s just say, I strongly dislike the flooring. However, when I look at those floors and dream of ripping that nasty linoleum up, I am reminded that the majority of the world’s population lives in huts or shacks that don’t have flooring at all. And what can I do, other than be thankful that we have flooring – even if it’s ugly – not to mention heat, running water, and a washing machine?
There were rooms in our old house that I entered once or twice a month… to clean. I found that a bit frustrating. In this little house, every speck of dust and dirt has been well-earned by a well-lived-in space. I appreciate that, and it makes cleaning much more pleasant when I know that I will actually enjoy the fruits of my labors.
I can’t fully explain this, but that squeak makes me think, “lake house.” Every time it opens, I relax just a little bit.
I heard a while back that studies have shown that families who live in smaller homes are actually happier. My children would completely disagree with this – they are constantly insisting that we need a larger home, or to add another story to this one – but I can see a difference in my family since we moved. And I like what I see.
The yard was the whole reason we wanted this house, in the first place, and it hasn’t disappointed. Sure, it’s been a ton of work and there’s still tons more to do. But, whether we’re in the house or out in the yard, we feel like we’re out in the country. We have campfires regularly, and the kids have camped out in the back yard with friends. And yet, we have every imaginable amenity within minutes – literally. Stores, restaurants, schools, friends… nothing’s more than a mile or two away. It’s truly our hidden little slice of paradise!
While we have painted several rooms of the house now (thanks largely to my master-painter-mother-in-law!), a few of the original colors still remain, and they make for excellent conversation. What do you think they were thinking when they chose dark brown paint to go with blue countertops? What’s with the dark colors in an already dark house? And, best of all, Which type of poop best describes that color?
7. A Much Needed Lesson in Humility
I joke that I live in the land of latte’s and leggings, an oasis of Maserati’s and mansions. I enjoy a latte as much as anyone, but my rear-end won’t be seeing leggings anytime soon. My minivan is a far cry from a Maserati (and let’s not even talk about Ray’s “classic” Honda), and our house would only be a mansion if you stacked three more stories on top.
I confess. For a while, I just avoided having people I didn’t know over. But, I’m getting over that. I figure God doesn’t care about the size of our homes, or how nicely they’re decorated, and neither should anyone else.
Instead, he cares about how nicely our souls are “decorated.”
My house needs a lot of work. And, let’s face it, my soul is very much a work in progress too. But, as long as I focus more on the latter than the former, I figure that mansion will come eventually. When it does, it will be of the eternal sort. And I’m okay with that.
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