We were talking about houses, actually, as she complained a bit at the "small" size of our home. I love our house and am so thankful God has blessed us with a safe roof over our head to raise our family in.
But I won't lie. It's on the small side given the size of our family. I have dreams of a little more space to spread out. A non-galley kitchen with an actual *swoon* island in the middle that more than two people can fit in. Bedrooms for the kids that aren't cramped. A real bonus room that doesn't have to house 2 kids bedrooms in it. A backyard that doesn't back up to a busy road (that is going to be under construction in a year or two and take a chunk of our previously good-sized backyard... OYE)
Looking at our finances, the *dream* of upgrading is pretty laughable and seemingly far-fetched.
Lacy and I had a fun chat about the balance between being content where God has put you but still having dreams, hopes and goals. About the balance between never being satisfied and always wanting "more"-- and being lazy and settling for less than God has for you because you don't want to put the effort into achieving it.
A house is minor on the scale of importance in that lessen, but I think it's a great example of the tug-a-war between the two extremes.
I've been thinking about this a lot lately, as my hubby and are VERY opposite when it comes to this.
I am the dreamer.
He is the settler.
I was raised by parents who moved a lot, who always had big dreams, and taught me to reach for the stars, that NOTHING was out of my reach if I put my heart into it and trusted God to get me there. They worked various jobs, started businesses, and were the epitome of "dreamers." We had times of plenty and times where we barely scraped up enough money for groceries. It rarely felt like there was a middle ground.
This mindset is why I've done crazy things like move halfway across the US to marry a man I'd only met twice at the young age of 18. It's why I always had big career goals and allowed me to be promoted to a Corporate manager at the age of 26 with no college degree. It's why I was able to let go of a stable, good paying job to stay home with my daughter, trusting that God would figure out the rest. It's why I started this crazy writing career.
Scott, on the other hand, was raised by parents who lived in the same house his whole life, went to the same church, had a father who worked at the same place since before Scott was born. They gradually made improvements to the house. Made upward job movements as available. They were savers and not spenders. Frugal and steady. They didn't have a lot, but they were stable.
It's why my sweet hubby is always calm during crisis. It's why he was content with staying home with our kiddos while I built my career, letting his dream of working with his music go to the wayside. It's why he all his bosses have always remarked that they can always depend on Scott. He's dependable and always calms me when I am going to pull out my hair. He would probably be perfectly happy to retire in 30 years from his current job, living our current house, being exactly how we are now.
Which would be fine, except our house would be full of giant holes from me beating my head against the walls in frustration at having my dreams couped up for that many years. And those holes would still be gaping and unpatched because Scott is too steady and content to patch them.
See how this works?!? :-) :-)
The one thing that was very similar about our families and prevents that last scene is that through it all, we were taught that none of those things mattered without JESUS being your center.
JESUS being our center has saved our marriage many a times when our conflicting lifestyles of upbringing didn't mesh well, and will continue to in the future, I am very sure!
So where IS the balance?
The older I get, the more I realize--
There isn't one.
Not really anyway. This is not black and white, with a simple solution. I'm a fan of simple solutions. *sigh*
But the kingdom of God is filled with many different personalities, INCLUDING dreamers and settlers. The key is to not let our personality be an excuse to not follow Jesus.
Are you a dreamer? Fabulous!
God has made you that way, DREAM ON, my friend. Reach for those stars, because God wants to use you there! But--if God whispers and tells you to sit tight for a little while... you need to sit tight and be content with that. If your dreaming is making you discontent with where you are, then take a step back and reevaluate. Are your dreams JESUS focused, or are they YOU focused? Press into Jesus and make sure they are the former.
Are you a settler? Do you like things steady and even and safe? Fabulous!
God has blessed you with a content spirit that is easily pleased and easily happy. He has planted you and wants you to bloom where you are, my friend. BUT--if God calls you to dig up your roots and move over to new soil--you need to suck it up, get out the shovel, and get on it. It may be hard, out of your comfort zone, and scary. But you do not want to bloom in a spot God isn't going to water and spread his sunshine. Don't let fear or laziness prevent you from going after God's heart.
As for me and my house?
We will serve and love Jesus, big or small. I'll still probably do spreadsheets and budgets of what things would need to look like to get there. I'll still probably peruse the Internet every once in a while to drool over a house that feels perfect. But doing those things won't prevent me from serving Jesus right here where he's put me. And if they do? Someone come delete my spreadsheets for me, okay?!?
Which are you? Are you a dreamer or a Settler? Do you feel like you've found a balance or do you still need to work at it?