I've written on here before that I struggle with contentment. It's something that I'm constantly striving for. Sometimes I'm doing good in this area. Then, other times the ugly old face of envy creeps up.
That's why I've had to be careful with what I feed my mind. I love watching shows like House Hunters. But, it often ends up making me upset. I've recently started a Pinterest account. And, I enjoy finding really fun & inspiring ideas. But, again, there's a fine line between getting inspiration and longing for something you don't have.
I also get Country Living magazine. I really, really like this magazine. It's probably my all-time favorite. It's got a little bit of everything: recipes, gardening tips, info about vintage finds/collectibles, DIY ideas. But, my favorite part is looking at the pictures of featured homes. Usually the homes are old farmhouses that have been restored & renovated. The results are what I call 'farmhouse chic'.
This picture is from the kitchen of a featured home from April's issue. I love this look. So bright & airy, yet maintaining it's farmhouse charm. Here is where envy starts to creep in.
The houses they feature are, of course, owned by people who have the money to spend to make them as beautiful as they are. Even though mentions are made in the articles about 'working with a budget' or 'cost being an issue', I get the definite sense that these folks don't REALLY know what it is to have very little to work with in terms of finances.
And, then I read something that makes me downright mad. This beautiful home set on a 20 acre property is owned by a husband and wife. Two people. Two! Here's the quote that got my blood boiling...
"Inside 2300 square feet accomodated the couple beautifully when they spent all day outdoors, but come winter, the space felt...cramped. DiMauro had grown weary of sharing the one full bath with frequent weekend guests. And Windley, who had followed her passion, painting full time, felt hemmed in by her tiny office."
Ok. I know. 2300 square feet by American standards isn't considered 'large' anymore. But, somehow our family of 6 makes do in our home that is right around 1600 square feet. If they would like to talk about feeling cramped...try being cooped up inside over winter with 4 rambunctious little boys.
See. It's that ugly envy face again.
And, I have to wonder...if we didn't have television shows, internet sites, and magazines to tell us what we don't have but ought to wish we had, would we care as much as we do now? Would we be envious or oblivious that we didn't have as much as someone else?
And, I've said this before, and I'll say it again....even most of the poorer folks among us in the U.S. live in luxury compared to so much of this world. Yes. Luxury. Do you remember this link about Hong Kong's cage homes?
Or the slums of Calcutta?
Or the poor in Kenya?
Or war-torn Afghanistan?
Or the poor of Appalachia in our own country?
This all puts it into perspective pretty quickly.
I pray that it doesn't take extreme loss and devastation within our own country to remind us how blessed we are.