Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Coincidence or Providence?

As we search for our next home, I have felt God working in my heart on something I've always struggled with.  
There is part of me that wants to be completely dedicated to uninhibited stewardship to God with my resources.  In my mind that is a world in which we live with ecological and economical sensitivity, organically, using only what is absolutely necessary, and giving much more away. There is part of me that longs to be a hippie.

And then there's the other part of me.

There's the part that likes nice stuff.
There is the part of me that wants a beautiful home with more rooms than we can fill, an incredible chef's kitchen, a library for my books, a central vacuum system, and a well-manicured lawn.  That part of me wants to throw parties and wear cute outfits and not worry about recycling or composting or whether or not I'm eating cage-free chicken.

Those two parts of me are truly conflicting.  I don't think the second part of me is necessarily "bad" or dishonoring to God, but it has a lot more potential for that than the first part.  

Little else has reminded me more of this dichotomy in my life than searching for a home.

As I looked at 40 homes in the past 4 days, I've seen homes that are all over the spectrum of our price-range.  I've seen homes in the lower end of price range that are still nicer than the homes many Americans (and certainly the rest of the world) live in. I've seen a couple of really nice homes that are at the top of our range, but that we could afford if we really wanted to live there.  And I've tried to picture us living in each of the homes I've set foot in.

The first day, I saw a home that is still in the top two of the homes we're deciding between.  It is in the lower end of our budget, and it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that some of the homes did, but it's still an incredibly lovely home. 
On one wall in the living room it had words applied around a group of family pictures.  The words said,
"The most important things in life aren't things."
This quote has stuck with me from the moment I saw it.  It couldn't have been a better reminder as I've gone through the house-hunting process.

And then..

Yesterday, as Stephen and I were in the process of eliminating a gorgeous custom home in the top of our price range, I opened my e-mail to receive my quote-of-the-day from Real Simple (I just love a good quote-of-the-day).  And guess what it was...
"The most important things in life aren't things." -Anthony J D'Angelo

Coincidence or Providential reminder?
That quote is haunting me for good reason. 
Our home is still going to be newer construction & incredibly nice (and at least twice as big as the home we're currently in), but it seems that we need to choose the home that would enable us to honor God best.  

If we end up in the home with the quote on the wall, those words are going to stay put for sure!


mihee said...

What a great story, Courtney! God always comes at me with words and quotes, too...if there's something I need to know, it shows up all over the place!

And how funny, that the quote you read from your Real Simple email - the guy is a member of my church! Weird!

Excited for you and the family in this next stage...Thank you for being so thoughtful and sharing it.

Jenilee Fleetwood said...

I struggle with the same inner conflict! You articulated it so well! Finding a balance is so hard, especially in this culture of "stuff." Love your blog!!

Kirby 1960 said...

I love this! We spent most of our lives in homes that were at the very low end of our price range--"fixer-uppers" that gave us the financial cushion for me to stay at home with my kids and to give us the ability to help others. But the whole "fixing up" became more of a "calling" for my husband, who now feels he needs to 'rescue' houses. So, I'm in BV in a house that was way too expensive, but needed rescuing. I am way too old for this!

Karamella said...

Cannot wait to see the house y'all buy :-)... Definitely providence! I need to remind myself of that quote daily!!