Welcome P31 devotion visitors. I thought I'd share another example of taking thoughts captive.
Several years ago all my friends seemed to move into new houses at the same time. Brand new houses. They were upgrading. I felt pressure to do the same as I attended get togethers in their pretty new homes.
I enjoy house hunting - I like to peer inside the places people live. I like to see where they hang their towels, have their morning coffee, and put on their make-up for the day. I also like imagining myself in that space - sipping latte and applying liner. Like trying on a house for size. So we did a little house hunting, but ultimately decided to stay put.
I don't think our income was rising at the rate my friends' was back then. Plus the thought of prepping the house, showing the house, packing everything up, unpacking everything, and getting a new space suited to us sounded like something I didn't have time for. (But truth be told, if I had the funds to swing a really swanky big home at the beach, I could find the time to move there.)
He called to tell me he and his ex-wife were remarrying. It was tremendous news but that meant I wasn't really paying attention when the electrician asked me, mid phone call, if the lights were evenly spaced before he drilled the ceiling holes.
And my closet space is seriously lacking. My coat closet, kitchen pantry, and linen closet are all 2 ft x 2 ft - tiny by modern standards. And that's how my house made me feel: sub-par to modern standards. Like I'm falling behind. In what race I'm not exactly sure. I don't recall signing up for a marathon, but I find myself running the race all the same. I can't ever really see the finish line. It seems to stay just out of sight - and I wonder if it keeps moving like a carrot on a stick.
I'm that way with many areas of my life, not just my home. I want to be shiny, new, flawless. I want to stylishly function without fail. But I can't quite get there 100%. I'm too much like my house - lived in. This life, this body and this mind are all lived in. They bare the evidence of where I've been, what I've touched, what my real priorities are, and how long I've been walking around here.
I did do some remodeling in my kitchen and master suite in recent years. It turned out well and makes me smile. But there are currently scuff marks on many of my baseboards. I need to replace a window screen in my bathroom. And I still have to jiggle that toilet handle about once a week. Not to mention, the roots from a nearby oak tree are starting to crack our driveway.
Plus, my closets are still 2 feet wide. But that keeps me from hoarding. It stops me from indulging my impulse to buy new comforters sets every other year - I use one down comforter and rotate through two duvet covers instead. And it keeps me from wastefully throwing out four year-old cans of soup that got buried at the back of a large pantry. Or, from falling prey to Williams & Sonoma's many kitchen gadgets as I don't have the storage space for them.
So I'm grateful for my tiny, fresh ingredient-filled pantry that helps keep my spending habits under control. And for my lights, which are slightly off center but plenty bright, which remind me of God's power to restore broken relationships. And I thank God for the two children who can't seem to walk upstairs without dragging their hands along the walls - because clean wallboard will never hug me tight, make me laugh, or pray for me when I feel down the way my children do.
Jesus said, "“Don’t be greedy for what you don’t have. Real life is not measured by how much we own” (Luke 12:15 NLT). I'm getting better at reigning in my house-envy and taking those thoughts captive so I can refocus them on the truth of my blessings. And the great thing is, as I learn to do this with my house, I start bringing that same kind of grace and truth to the other areas of my life.
And there is no more spacious place to live than in the grace and truth of Christ.