I know I frequently write about my struggle with contentment. Especially contentment with our home.
In comparison to 'American standards' our home is small. And, for a family of six many would consider our home entirely too small.
Our home is old. I actually prefer older homes. But, it also means that many things need fixed. There's a lot of cosmetic work that could/should be done, but the practical & functional stuff comes first. And, there's a lot of that work too.
I sometimes wish we had more space so my boys could spread out more, that we wouldn't always feel like we were on top of each other. I wish we had more space so that I could entertain more and that our guests didn't feel like they were on top of each other.
I dream about my dream home - and old but refurbished stone farmhouse with original hardwood floors, a large eat-in kitchen + a dining room!, plenty of bedrooms, a living room AND a family room, acreage.
But, I was reminded again recently how very much we have. In fact, we have more than enough.
This past weekend was our annual missions conference at church. As missionaries from around the world came to share how God is moving in each of their areas, I was challenged. In particular, one missionary's presentation challenged me.
A minister in India (and a native Indian himself), he spoke briefly and then had a video presentation which showed the people of the village in which he worked. His ministry works with orphans, lepers & the sick, the impoverished.
One picture has stuck with me. It was taken in the inside of a hut - the typical dwelling for a family in this village. The floor was a dirt floor. The hut was the size of my living room (which is small). Thin sleeping mats were being rolled out on the dirt floor.
And that affected me deeply. I tried to imagine that setting if I went to India to visit. Could I sleep on those thin mats on a dirt floor inside a crowded hut for a few days? I could hardly imagine. But, this is life for the people in that village.
I thought about my own bed & it suddenly seemed to me that my bed would be like sleeping on a cloud in comparison.
My home is huge & luxurious.
How dare I complain or lament that I don't have enough? How can I say 'Why don't I have a bigger house like so & so?'?
We don't even know what we have! And, what we have is so very, very much.
I am thankful. I am thankful for all I have. And, I am thankful that God is gentle with us. Despite our tendency toward ungratefulness, His Spirit speaks to us tenderly....reminding us of all we have.