photo credit – Laurie Avocado on flickr (click on picture to see her work)
Last night I drove my youngest to her very first softball practice. Softball has a place in my heart so I’m THRILLED to have a child interested in the sport. (Even if it only lasts a season.) We cheered when we found the school, only because she actually missed her first practice. Missed, not from lack of trying, but because we had driven around the Cinco Ranch area for 45 minutes and never saw the school. Cinco Ranch is huge. It could be its own city. For the love.
Anyway, after she started practice I decided to take 30 minutes of the hour practice to walk to relieve some stress that had obviously built-up in my body. I knew this by the sharp pain in my lower back. Happens every time.
So off I went. Happy and content to have 30 minutes of quiet, uninterrupted time (Can I get an AMEN?). As I walked, I started noticing the houses I went by. One after another after another. They were gorgeous. And by gorgeous, I mean houses that you would see in Better Homes and Gardens or maybe on a hill surrounded by a moat. Each were as big as the next and believe me, there were no “small” houses anywhere in sight! I walked at least two miles and never once saw a house that looked small or even medium. They were castles… and some literally looked like castles (like the picture). Every single yard was manicured to be perfect. That’s an HOA for ya! But seriously, it reminded me of the movie, The Truman Show. Have you seen it? In the movie Truman lives in an idyllic town with perfect houses, perfect lawns, working at the perfect job, had the perfect life and wife, etc. except that none of it was real. And Truman was not content.
I wondered more than once what on earth these people did for a living. Seriously. As far as my eye could see I saw perfect houses with perfect lawns in a perfect neighborhood. I wondered if, like Truman, they were content.
And my stomach turned. *Oh no. No. Not a lesson. Please not now, I’m trying to have a peaceful walk. My 30 minutes of quiet. Alone.*
There are times I welcome God’s lessons in my life and there are times they make me cringe. The ones I cringe at are ones that challenge my beliefs or how I do life. I knew it was coming because I tried so dang hard to push all the thoughts aside and focus on the flowers, the blue sky, the quiet, the “perfectness” of everything, the mosquito bite I got the other day, the fact that I needed a potty, the names of the streets… anything…
but the thoughts would not go away and still haven’t.
So before I tell you the thoughts that went through my mind, just know this is not AT ALL a “slam” or judgement or anything to those who live in large houses (or a pat on the back for those of us in small houses.). Or judgement to those of you God has blessed financially. He did that for a reason and it’s not my business. PLEASE know that is not my heart AT ALL. (OK, so hopefully by now you know this is not about judging you or anyone else. Can you tell I’m a people pleaser? LOL)
God knows that if I had more money I’d probably get a bigger house, not huge, but definitely bigger. I’ve always wanted one more room so we could all have our own room. Even had a neighbor stop by to see if there was unused space we could change into a bedroom. To my dismay, the builder had done an impeccable job of utilizing every.single.space. So yeah, I have nothing against big houses. Nothing. Well, except that I don’t think I could keep a big house clean.
What kept flooding my mind were the following thoughts (Hold on because my thoughts can go crazy and I pretty much documented exactly how they happened. Scary, I know.) –
- What do these people do? (See? I’m telling you… I just can’t imagine there are THAT many people who can afford a castle but apparently there are.)
- Maybe I should do that… except I don’t know what “that” is.
- There should be no child without a home because look at all these beautiful homes that could take in a child. (OK, so I was wearing my Run4theChildren shirt and adoption was on my mind.)
- No one should HAVE to sleep in a cardboard box. If they want to, that’s different.
- If I lived in one like that I’d definitely need a maid. Or medication. Or both. Because goodness knows that’s WAY too much house for a borderline OCD person to keep clean. Not that I’m admitting that I’m borderline OCD…. but just stating the fact that “others” may feel that way. Um, yeah.
- Why are we, as a people, obsessed with how the outside of our house looks like? Maybe for the same reason we are obsessed with out our outside body looks like. Eeek… there’s a scripture for that. I know, I know.
- What do these people do? (There it is AGAIN. Stop it, brain, just stop it.)
- I wonder what would happen if everyone just bought a house that was only the size the family needed and gave the rest away.
- I really hope I’d be that kind of person if God blessed me that way.
- If someone from another country came to visit I think I’d shy away from driving through this area because I’d be embarrassed at the amount of money spent on a house… when they are literally starving and living in cardboard.
- What do these people do? (My brain does not obey, obviously.)
- I can name at least 20 families that have done exactly this – either moved so they could give more away, adopted, or use their home to bless others. How cool is that? I so admire them all. Maybe some of the people in these homes have done the same. One can’t tell by looking at the outside.
- If I tried harder I bet I could name more. I know LOTS of giving people.
- I can’t write about this. People will think I’m judging.
- But I’m not judging. So maybe I can write about it.
- My feet hurt.
- Oh hallelujah there’s the school! What was KISD thinking when they chose that stone with that brick? It’s stone-cold ugly. Get it? Stone-cold, lol. Wait. There I go judging. Aaaahhh.
OK, so seriously it was quite the walk and AGAIN absolutely ZERO judgement to those of you financially blessed or that live in large houses. Seriously.
It’s really not about the size of the house (or how much money you do or do not have) anyway, but about using the finances you’re given to glorify God. And this can be for those financially blessed or not. I know this, because God is challenging me on my finances (insert cringe) which is probably why I got a lesson while out on a
with uninterrupted time…
content to be alone.
Except I wasn’t.