My grandmother was visiting from Costa Rica for the last month. She left yesterday morning.
In the time she was here we had plenty of time to chat over meals and mostly over coffee.
It was wonderful to have her with me to chat. I listened carefully to her because I knew that every few sentences she would say something interesting and thought provoking… just as grandmothers do, they speak wise words without categorizing them as so.
One day we were having our regular afternoon cup-o’-Joe and the topic of “our house” came up.
I told her the plans that we have for completing some renovation projects and some much needed cosmetic work so that we can sell and move to a bigger home nearby in the next 3-5 years.
Her reaction was one of surprise.
“Esther this house is just fine! Why do you need to move?” she said
and proceeded to list all the qualities she saw in my little house.
I sat there and listened. After taking it all in I started to think on what she said.
Was I being ridiculous in my expectations for a house?
I remembered that she raised 12 kids in one house. One kitchen. One bathroom.
One washer and no electric dryer… just a good old clothesline.
I remembered that she lives in a country that, despite its economic stability,
its people still don’t have the widespread commodities that we have
so easily and readily available in the States.
Maybe I should see things as they do. Maybe I am being a little ridiculous.
Maybe my attachment to things of this world is getting out of hands.
My house is small.
We have a decent living room, an eat-in kitchen, three bedrooms—
one of which we use as a family room.
We have two full bathrooms and ten closets. No, I am not kidding about the closets.
The priority list for building a house in the 40’s was wacked out.
I know that I am more than blessed to have this home to call my own.
It’s not the roomiest place but what my grandmother said to me got me thinking
about all the things that I have started to consider necessities.
“I need a dining room!” or “I need a washer and dryer on both floors!” I say to myself sometimes.
Phil and I have so many material blessings that we overlook
because we are always searching for something more, something better.
We don’t want to be complacent because I intensely fear being stagnant
but I have to remind myself to take a hard look at the line between complacency and simplicity.
In theory, I know that one can be perfectly happily with just a few things.
It’s the practice of that theory that becomes a struggle.
I have a wish list of things I want in a future home that includes a sunroom, a den,
a dining room, a finished basement, and two impeccably white laundry rooms.
Yet, if I never got those things, would I be a miserable human being?
I hope not but I question if I would be able to look past what we lacked
in order to find true happiness in the mere being my husband and son.
It’s important that I take the steps towards finding happiness in that now
so that if one day in the future God calls us to get rid of all of our things…
I’ll be happy to do His will without even giving it a second thought.
I’m not vowing to stay in this house forever
because we don’t know where God will lead us in the years to come.
Yet I am saying that a serious effort to become spiritually detached of material things because,
in the end, that overused quote is entirely right,
“the most important things in life aren’t things.”