My house is freezing. The past few days our furnace has only been working part of the time, we have a guy coming over tonight. I hope he can fix it, and for cheap. We'll see! I am thankful that our tax return is coming in, but hopeful we don't have to use a lot of it for stuff like this!
I have to say though, I am very thankful for how good our house has been to us. We bought this house in 2004 when Bailey was 8 mos old. We had lived in our condo for 2 years and sold that for a great profit - but of course we paid more for this house than it's worth today, even with the improvements we've made. When we were looking for single family homes, I was 24 years old - which is fine, we could afford it (barely) but looking back, I didn't have a clue. And because we wanted to feel like adults (why?) we didn't want too much input from our parents other than, "We love it! Can we get you a housewarming present?"
When we bought this home, we made 2 big mistakes.
#1. Thinking that most of the work that needed to be done was easy cosmetic stuff. First of all, even if it was, Kevin and I don't have a CLUE about anything home-improvement. Second of all, the home needing all new flooring among MANY other things does not count as 'easy cosmetic stuff.' That was a big lie, from me to me.
#2. We thought this would be a "starter home" and eventually we'd afford a "big home." Um...why would we think that?! We were putting every cent we had into this house, not to mention all the cents to come since it needed work, and I wasn't working with no plans on working again any time soon. How did we think we'd ever afford to have a big house? So if we had been looking at it from a we're-going-to-live-here-until-we-rot kind of mentality, we may have tried to hold out for something that would grow with us more. But I have to remember the market at the time -- we had to give an offer THAT DAY - full price offer and there was another bid - or we'd probably lose it as we did another house in this development. And we REALLY wanted to be in this neighborhood - a great school right here, tons of trees and playgrounds, pool, clubhouse, even a golf course. It's really pretty and a nice place for kids.
Anyway, looking back at the home we moved into, I am thankful that over the last almost-7 years that we've been here, things have taken turns needed replacing. It would have been so difficult if everything had gone at once, or one on top of another. But God is so good, and things have needed replacing it seems right when we have the extra money to do it. And as often as I pine away for new flooring, a new fence and actual grass in the front and back, (not to mention replacing my dive of a kitchen someday!!) every time I roll into the driveway, I am thankful to be home. It is where both of my girls have taken their first steps, it's where they have learned how to ride bikes, it's where we became a family of 4. It's where Tatie broke her arm (and I broke my foot), and Bailey had a loose tooth kicked out of her mouth while wrestling with Taylor. It's where, at 2 yrs old, Bailey found my food dye while I was talking on the phone, and dyed herself and my kitchen. All over. It's where we've had marathon Wii games and hide-and-seek games. The dining room table is where Bailey learned to read and where we've had thousands of family meals. And our back deck is where I felt Taylor kick inside of me for the first time, while little 1 1/2 year old Bailey was giggling over ice melting in the sun. It's also where, on a cool evening wrapped in blankets under the stars, Kevin and I feel like a couple again - me enjoying a nice glass of wine while he has a cigar.
It's no McMansion. It has one main tiny bathroom and a kitchen that I'm pretty sure taps SOS while I'm trying to cook. And currently I'm freezing my knickers off here. But it's ours...well, it will be in 23 years. It's all my children have ever known, and I am thankful we have had a home to enjoy to meet all of our needs. It's easy to get caught up with all of the "I-wants" here in America, and easy to forget how AMAZINGLY BLESSED we are with what we have. Relatives of mine lost their home recently in a fire, so not only do I want to remain thankful for what I do have, but to remember that a home and its contents are earthly possessions, and what is truly important is faith and family. This does not undermine their loss - I can't imagine the grief of losing treasured pictures and memories. But to have left such a devastating, all-encompassing fire with their lives - including the family dog - is a blessing. I think of them often, and say a prayer whenever they come to mind that they will be comforted and strengthened.
So we all have eyes -- if you're like me and you see your circa-'70's tile and you want to rip it off with your bare hands, ok. But what I am going to continue doing when I catch myself "wanting" is remind myself how God has TIME AND TIME AGAIN met ALL of our needs and instead of seeing the nasty tile, I want to be thankful for a working bathroom! Gratitude always feels better.
And speaking of gratitude -- since I started this post earlier this evening, now I can report that the furnace is fixed, to the tune of $60.00. Thank you God!!