Embracing Reality

by nickles5

The little white abandoned farm house sits back from the road about the length of a football field.  It is surrounded by 28 acres, mostly rambling fields with a few wooded acres.  A gravel driveway beckons me to turn onto it and dream....  I can envision a large vegetable garden when you turn up the driveway on the right, chickens scattered across the yard eating the bugs off of the lawn and my adventure seeking boys exploring in the fields while my daughter helps me pick flowers from  meandering flower gardens.  Yes, this would be a perfect place for our family to grow.  Lord, if it is your will may it be so.

We contacted the owner of the property and waited... and waited... and waited (about a year) until one day a friend called and said "Your house is for sale.  I mean, the house you love is for sale."  We drove out and sure enough, it was for sale and after contacting the agency we found out it was in our price range.  So, our hearts soared as we got the ball rolling.  Doors began to open until the news this week of "sale pending".  We have done a lot of dreaming about this place.  I cannot lie... my hopes were set high and my emotions were really tied into this dream.  However, I find it interesting that I read these words just a few days before I found out about the "sale pending":
"It is easy to excuse ourselves from working at our everday lives with the words, "if only..."
"If only I were married."
"If only I were married to another person."
"If only we could leave this miserable home and have a nice place."
"If only my spouse had not died/left me."
"If only I had more money or a better job."
"If only I had more time/energy/ideas."
"If only I'd had a good childhood model."
Homes are for everybody - single persons or families with children, young or old, people with good jobs or bad ones. Homes are not a romantic idea to dream about wistfully; homemaking needs to be put into practice as a priority. A good home life is too basic a human need to whine and fuss about the plaintive words "if only"." (For the Family's Sake: The Value of Home in Everyone's Life By Susan Schaeffer Macaula page 15)

I realized in that moment that I had been living for this dream.  I had been neglecting the home I have currently because I was caught up in dreaming about the "if only".  I made it a point to change my attitude, to start thanking God for this house that we have made a home.  I have made it a point to get outside and enjoy the yard daily rather than bemoan how small it is.  I stopped thinking about "if only the children had some more room"... guess what... the children hardly ever complain about the yard being too small, I am the guilty party. Ouch.  

So, when I heard that our dream was "sale pending" I smiled.  I smiled because my heart was at peace.  I smiled because this is our home... this sweet house nestled in the middle of town.  I have brought all of my babies home to this house.  I have played with them in the back yard.  I have tilled the soil and toiled in order to have flower gardens where I have planted special flowers, trees and shrubs for each of precious ones to celebrate their births. My husband has worked hard with his hands to build our shed, sand down wood floors, and make this home more beautiful for me. We have the infamous door frame with our children's heights marked on the side with permanent marker. We cared for my dear mother in law in the house and this is where she breathed her last. These walls hold memories of love, laughter, heartache and tears.  These walls have heard many prayers during the Bible studies that have been held here and even more praises.  These walls echo my life.

  I was gardening the other day while the little ones were napping and talking to God, relinquishing my dream and apologizing for taking His blessings of our home for granted.  I poured out my heart concerning the desire for my children to have a yard to explore in and discover the wonders of His creation.  While I was praying and pulling weeds a huge frog the size of a dinner plate hopped out in front of me.  While throwing the weeds into the brush pile a gray squirrel and a chipmunk both scurried across my path.  Then the Lord brought to mind the eagles that are nesting just 1/4 mile down the road from us. Arriving home from church we found a newly hatched monarch butterfly by the porch door.  We placed him in the garden and marveled at his brilliant colors.  Then today my boys brought in a variety of caterpillars they had found in the driveway that they wish to keep to see what they would turn into.  And even on our small pint sized property my boys were able to carve out an area for a fort and today we built a wonderful area for them to dream and explore.  There is so much LIFE happening all around us... my eyes just needed to be opened.

Susan Shaeffer continues to write:
"It is helpful to remember that we don't have to do everything or have everything.  What are the basics exactly? What is the most important when we can't have it all or do it all?... Today we have so overcomplicated and stressed our lives, minds, and bodies with the "too much" that we've lost a "pearl of great price": the basics of wholesome everyday life at home. A balanced life." (pages 15 - 16)

Contentment, joy and peace are within our grasp, we just have to take our eyes off of ourselves in order to see the goodness around us.   

Are there any areas in your life today where you need to set aside the "if onlys" and enjoy the here and now?

Keeping it real,