Finances

Changing Perspectives

I thoroughly enjoy Ikea. I get a rush in the store. I feel like I’m in Europe with the tiny room displays. I walk around imagining what my house could look like with that nightstand in my bedroom and that couch in my living room. Ooh, I could get lost in all sorts of ideas with their organizational and storage units!

Yet, the rush leaves as I pull away from the building with my single purchase of a salad spinner sitting on my lap. 

It is quite entertaining to sit at home scrolling through Houzz.com or watching another DIY house flip on TV. I find architecture and interior design fascinating. My creativity can soar imagining my dream house and how I would style it.

As fun as all of that is, it is very easy to get carried away. The more you search for ideas the more dissatisfied you can become with what you have. Suddenly that perfectly good chair of yours feels hard and outdated.

Our house was built in 1905. It was old in every way. Michael has worked hard to renovate it and make it a home. Thankfully, all three of our dads are great with renovations. We’ve been blessed by their guidance, provisions, and assistance. We’ve also been blessed with various friends who have sacrificed their time to help us as well.

I saw the potential of our house when Michael and I first married. I conveniently had furniture that matched the paint on the walls. We filled the house with our belongings and settled in.

I liked new. This was my first house and I wanted to make it special. I wanted to make it ours. I wanted it to be pretty and fancy.

My perspectives have now changed. As we set out on the quest to pay off our house, I noticed that my priorities and values began to shift. At one point, I wanted all new. I wanted all matching. Now, as I look around our house and all that we have, I see community. I see love. I see generosity.

Michael and I mostly owned books and movies when we first married. When I look around, I think of the people who graciously gave us our belongings, and I am grateful. It has given our house character. It has created stories.

When I think of all the rooms that have been renovated, I think of the people who’ve lent us their time and skills to make it possible. I think of the friendships that we have. I think of the time we had with them as they helped. I consider us greatly blessed.

My challenge for you today is to look around your house. What do you enjoy about it? What stories are written in the things that you own? What are you grateful for? Do you really need a new bed, couch, or table?

I understand that furniture and household belongings wear out. Eventually they do get pretty rough looking.  Some things need to befriend the trash. Other things may be gifted to a thrift shop. We don’t need to hang on to things our whole lives. But, take some time to appreciate what you do have.

Save up for something that you really want or know is going to wear out soon. When the time comes to replace it, enjoy the success of paying for it with cash.

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