My House and Garden

tearing_down_idols_lge

It makes no sense to keep my house.  With only two small bedrooms, it isn’t even almost big enough for my new husband and me, along with our three children.

But I want it.

I want my roomy kitchen where I make pies for my monkey, with its pans and dishes and kitcheny-things.  I relish the organizational plan that makes food preparation and entertaining go so smoothly.

I want my paradoxically small house that expands to fill with friends and love when the occasion calls for it.

I want my garden, with its accumulation of compliments, that I have diligently worked on.

Well, that I try to work on.  It is difficult to work on any of it now that I know it’s not really mine, that it will be someone else’s before too long.

Weeding the garden, painting the house trim, decluttering the closets – they’re things I want to do, that I enjoy doing, but that lately I can’t seem to motivate myself to do.  Every raked leaf, every brush stroke is a reminder that this is not mine much longer.

I want my stuff.  It’s not that I don’t understand why it must go.  Or that I don’t want anyone else to have it.  I just want it.

It feels like a part of me, this house I’ve lived in for 9 years.  The yard that I painstakingly turned from a pit of ivy and blackberries into a beautiful garden.

Am I still going to be me if I don’t have my house, my garden, my things?  There will be plenty of house projects to work on – and an even lovelier and larger garden – at the new house.  But will I still be me if I’m working on someone else’s house, weeding in someone else’s garden?

I know I’m being childish.  Some days I could out-toddler a two-year-old.

I remind myself that I can live without my house, my garden, my belongings.  I note that none of this is truly mine, that it is God’s and that I am just the caretaker.  I admonish myself that getting this teary-eyed over belongings and – seriously – the kitchen’s “flow” (what is that!?), means that I like my things too much, that they have become my idols.

I wish I could tell you I put those foolish things behind me when I came to that realization.  But I am a work-in-progress.  Every day I try to focus on the things above, and sometimes I succeed for a while.  But it isn’t easy.

Giving up our idols instead of giving in to them takes work.  Especially when there is a peri-menopausal toddler living inside you.

But I pray for God’s strength.  And in those strong moments, I realize that perhaps this is His plan in keeping me here temporarily.

That I need to willingly give up my belongings before I can move on.

That I need to caretake this house – that soon won’t be mine – graciously, lovingly, and for Him.

That I need to learn that my identity is not in this house, this yard, these things, but in Him.

 i'm doing it!

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3 Replies

  1. That is a good reminder. For us this has been a year of transition. Right now all our times are in boxes and so it is hard but I am trying to be content.

    1. There are so many things of this world to keep us discontent, aren’t there? But our Heavenly Father is faithful and good, and He will give us strength to be content for today. And when we wake up tomorrow, He’ll give us strength again. Hang in there, Beth! Thanks for stopping by. It’s encouraging to know we’re all in similar boats. Blessings!

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