Have you struggled with the “If Only's . . . “ in your home? When my husband and I were first married, we lived in a tee-tiny apartment and I spent the first year of our marriage thinking: “If only . . . . we had a house.” A year later, we purchased our first little fixer-upper home, and I just loved it. (Rust-colored-honey-comb-looking linoleum in the kitchen and all.)
We took care of that tiny house, and spent hours working to make it just perfect, but every once in awhile I would hear a little voice inside my head say: “If only . . . we had a garage.” Sure enough, a few years down the road we sold that house for a bit of a profit and bought our next fixer-upper, which included a nice big two-car garage. We spent loads more hours working to fluff up that home, and really loved it too, but it wasn't too long until I stared at the front of it one day and thought ~ “If only . . . it had a front porch.” (It was kind of a flat house, and really would have looked amazing with a front porch!)
When my husband took a job a few years later in Alabama, the very last house that we visited had the largest front porch I could possibly imagine. It was no fixer upper; rather a brand new home all ready for us to move into without too much work to do. We purchased the home, headed South, and have enjoyed many hours rocking on that front porch. (I wish everyone in the whole wide world could have a front porch swing to spend an afternoon on!)
But, as you can imagine, the “if only's” still creep in every once in awhile. “If only . . .I had granite countertops,” I hear myself think as I scrub my plain old formica counters. (Gosh, I really would love those; they just look so perfect in other people's homes!) “If only . . .I had a three car garage. . . “ (we're one of the few houses in the neighborhood that doesn't have one, so you know, it would just make us “fit” better, right?) Humph.
What I'm slowly realizing though (after almost sixteen years of “If only's”), is that I love having a home, I love having a garage, and I absolutely LOVE my big ole' front porch. However, reaching my “If onlys. . . ” doesn't fill an empty void. Instead, something else manages to pop up that I convince myself I need to have. And the funny thing is, very few of my “if only's” have been anything I've needed at all.
The truth is, there are millions (jillions!) of folks in the world who survive each day with so much less than the abundance I've been given. (Truly, we are crazy blessed; which most of the time I completely am thankful for!) Maybe one day all my “if only's” will be fixed. . . but in the mean time, I need to embrace the family that lives in my sweet home, who drive up in my not-quite-big-enough garage, and who hang out with me on my front porch swing. (So if you hear me dreaming of those countertops, will you please just say HUSH?)
Have you struggled with the “If Only's . . . ” in your life too? And do you have any tips on resolving this one?