We live in a one bedroom home. All four of us. It's got a kitchen and a bathroom with running water and sewer drainage. It's got a bedroom that fits all four of our beds comfortably plus a pack-n-play for the little boy that I babysit. It's got a living room with room for a small couch and chair, a t.v., and room for the kids to play. It's even got a little dining room that we use as a play room for the kids. Under all of that is a basement that houses an automatic washing machine and dryer plus plenty of room for storage.
We have everything we need and more.
But we also have dreams of hosting a home church, of sharing our home with friends and family...and there's no room to do that in our current house. So we bought a new house.
Our new house has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen with a dishwasher, and a finished basement that not only houses a washer and dryer and room for storage, but also plenty of room to host friends and family. It's certainly more than we need for the four of us, but it's exactly what we need if we want to be able to share our home with others...and we do. We do want to share our home.
But as soon as we bought the home (heck, as soon as we saw it, much less offered on it, much less got the offer accepted), I started dreaming of decorating our home in addition to sharing our home. New flooring, new paint, new furniture... I've been pinning with abandon over the past few weeks.
But yesterday evening, I read this post about my family.
And I was convicted. Like crying as I chopped the lettuce for dinner conviction...crying so hard I couldn't speak when my husband asked me what was wrong. So convicted that I went to bed as soon as dinner was over and didn't get up until this morning.
You see, I want my brothers and sisters around the world to be safe, healthy, thriving, and in deep relationship with Jesus. If you know anything about me, you know that I want that.
But I'd be a fool if I didn't admit that I also want a pretty home. Not just a safe home, not just a clean home. Not just a home that's "fit" to share with others (n America, since that's where I live). I want a pretty home with colors that please me and fabrics that make me smile. A pretty home with comfortable furniture for everyone.
And what it really boils down to is this: Which desire is greater?
Stephen Covey says it like this,
"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage - pleasantly, smilingly, non-apologetically - to say 'no' to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside. The enemy of the 'best' is often the 'good.'"
Following Christ's command to love my neighbor and to care for the poor is a priority for me. I would even classify it as a high priority. But last night, I came face to face with the reality that it's at least tied with my desire for a pretty home.
Oh, and that makes me angry..."angry at how much I want comfortable more than I want Christ." (Voskamp)
So I'm fasting from Pinterest and from thinking about home decor for the day, maybe even for the rest of the week. As long as it takes for me to get my priorities back in the right order.
So today, on the 18th day of Thanksgiving in July, I'm thankful for bloggers like Ann Voskamp who provoke me to think about my life in a way that brings me closer to Christ. And I'm thankful that Jesus died for all of my sins, even my ugly, deplorable vanity and materialism. I'm so thankful for his forgiveness.