We are gearing up to move again this week, and it will be the third time in three years. In June of 2006, we moved to Florida and bought a beautiful house, expecting to stay there for the indefinite future. But eighteen months later, we bounced back to the DC area. Even though I loved living in a smaller, cozier city, something about DC really does feel like home. Since our house in Florida wasn’t selling, we decided to buy and live in something modest near Will’s work in Virginia. I found a foreclosed condo with a two-minute commute. Our plan was to live there (here) until we sold our house in Florida, and then reevaluate. Maybe sell the condo. Maybe rent it out. But we never have sold that place in Florida. Hence, Plan B: sell the condo and rent something with a yard, and a place where the boys can ride bikes.
But it’s interesting to reflect on these last two residences; each has housed our family for exactly eighteen months. One is utterly fabulous and spacious and the other adorable, but small. The contrast is stark. I feel compelled to at least consider whether that big house, with all it’s gadgets and high ceilings and modern everything, made me happy?
The answer is no. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed living there and even marveled that it could really be ours. But we’ve been just as content in this little place. My kitchen is small but sufficient, the boys all sleep in one room, and the bathroom that Will and I share is tiny with a single sink.
Often we think, if only I had more this or more that, but that kind of daydreaming just leads to discontentment. It’s a significant blessing to know through experience that living in extravagance has zero effect on my happiness. Jesus said, “a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” (Luke 12: 15). And His words always prove true.
But lessons learned once, are not necessarily lessons always applied. We have an incredible propensity to forget. Why do you think the Bible says “Remember!” so many times? We need to remind ourselves of truths over and over and over again. And there is no better way to remember than to record. I’m not terribly organized about it, but I do enjoy having the record of this blog, and I also write in journals that I keep around the house, in the car, in my pool bag, and on the computer. You definitely do not have to be supremely organized about it, the Lord knows I’m not, but I do think everyone should keep some kind of record of spiritual lessons learned and also of God’s faithfulness.
As my daily devotional recently noted, “Those who praise God for His many blessings will find those blessings abounding more and more.” (Indeed Magazine, 6/8/2009).
Let us be intentional this week in discerning and recording life’s lessons and God’s faithfulness. He will be glorified and you will be blessed!