October 24, 2011

To Have Is To Cherish: No-Money Remodel Challenge

What is it? Why Now?

After a year and a half of renting a really cool house in a state I hated, with no friends, no jobs, a tiny kitchen, and astroturf-green carpet, and after living with my gracious in-laws for a month, we finally closed on our first home in November 2009. It was the first house we found in the area we wanted that was in our price range, and would not have to be remodeled before it was inhabitable. It was a foreclosure, with a newly renovated kitchen, so we got a great deal.

We LOVE the yard (we scored a double-lot), with plenty of room for pets and toys, and a garden. We love the upgrades to the upstairs: new, huge kitchen with spanky-new appliances, new windows, new bath fixtures. But there are quirks, too. The wierdo, too-skinny addition leaving us with no entryway, and a living/dining room conundrum. The one-and-a-half-car garage (?). The screwy wiring everywhere, and the lack of any lighting in our bedroom and dining room. The teeny, tiny bathroom. The half-hearted finishing of the basement. I think Mister and I figured we’d enjoy the upstairs and yard, put up with the downstairs and be happily onto one of those shiny new(er) houses across the street in a few years.

Enter life, kiddos, crappy economy, and job chaos. I love my house; I am grateful for this house, but you wouldn't know it, because I haven't taken care of it like I cherish it. It kills me to admit that, because one thing I hate is when someone doesn't take care of something that belongs to me. But revealing your weakness is the first step to strength, right?

Part of my problem is that I have a crazy kiddo and no eyes in the back of my head. Every time I want to repaint over a stain/scratch/crayon mark, I wonder What's The Point?, it's just going to happen again. I get no help, so I quit. More importantly, I see others who have tons of family close by, and have their moms to help them decorate, and I throw myself a pity party because I don't have those things and we don't have money to remodel the way we'd like, so why bother to pour my heart into this place? Excuses, excuses.

If these walls could talk, they would tell our story. And this is why I am grateful for this house. This home deserves better.

No more envy of others. I choose to be madly in love with the home God has given us to raise our family. I will not teach my children that their mama has given up; instead I will teach them that we show the Lord that we are thankful for what He has given us by how we cherish it.

When we leave this place, I want these walls to say how much it was loved, how we poured ourselves into making it the very best home it could be. That we faced the trials and joys and sorrows of life as a family while we were here.