Moving is one of my least favorite things to do. I don’t move well. I tend to procrastinate and end up rushing, throwing things in boxes, and taking things to the new place that I probably should have packed up for Goodwill instead.
So, when a friend at church needed help moving, of course we offered to be there! I was dreading it. Worried that I wouldn’t pack the boxes correctly, or would get overwhelmed by all that needed to be done and end up being more in the way than a help. But, hubby and I showed up Saturday morning (late, of course), truck and trailer at the ready.
She had a great group already there and they were probably halfway through loading the first trailer. Went inside and could not believe my eyes…everything was already packed. I mean, like, in boxes…organized…ready to go. There were a few kitchen odds and ends left, but this girl was so prepared! All we had to do was load the trailers. So, we get to the house she had bought and started unloading. She already knew where everything was going. The whole thing took maybe 2 hours, we were done by, oh, 10:30, 11 or so. Amazing.
But that’s really not the point of this post. (Thanks for telling us that 4 paragraphs in, right?!?!?) After we had unpacked and most everyone had left, a few of us stayed behind to chat. The new homeowner was telling us where she had gotten this piece of furniture and that comforter, etc…A story for everything in her home. Joy was apparent on her face as she animatedly described the life story of each thing in her home. I don’t think a single item was purchased new, but rather was new to her. The gratefulness she had for those items people had blessed her with…the finds at flea markets and resale shops…how she went on about how much God had blessed her with everything she needed, my eyes were green with a different kind of jealousy.
Because, you see, I want that.
A few years ago, while still in the middle of my husband’s alcohol addiction, we had to sell all of our living room, dining room, outdoor furniture. Everything. Things I had struggled to pay for, or make payments on, or save up to buy. All gone in a matter of days, all gone for a small fraction of what we had paid. But more than that, the memories we had made on our sofa, in our “comfy chair” (see pic above, at my youngest daughter’s birthday party) where 3 (sometimes 4) of us could cuddle in, the dining room table we gathered around with friends and family, the outdoor dining set we were so proud to invite friends over to picnic on…All gone.
We used to be the ones to volunteer our home for family gatherings. I have beautiful memories of Easter, Thanksgiving, birthdays in our home. I have dreaded having family gatherings since we “lost” our furniture. Our living room has 2 mismatched love seats, our dining table is a small hand me down that barely fits our family, let alone guests. We have no outdoor seating for our peaceful back porch. So, the joy I felt in bringing everyone together was gone.
Because, life with green eyes is hard. Looking through eyes that see what others have and you don’t is an awful way to live. Comparing what you have today with what you had yesterday, or last year, or 5 years ago, and never measuring up, is miserable. Being too ashamed and worried about what others will think of the “things” in your home, so you stop inviting people over to enjoy the people in your home, is heart breaking.
I have lived with the fear of neighbors or family stopping by and seeing the difference from what we had, to what we have now, for long enough. Because, what we have now is immensely better than what we had then. We have sobriety. Love. Peace. Serenity. Communication. Selflessness. We have a family that is whole. A family that once was broken and, yes, will always have cracks in places other families don’t, but we are whole.
So. We are celebrating our oldest daughter’s birthday on Saturday, and we have invited everyone important in our lives to stop by for cake. At our home. Where you won’t see fine, or even matching, furniture. Or Pinterest-worthy decor accents. And there may not be enough seating for everyone to sit at the same time. There won’t be curtains hung on every window, or decorative rugs where there should be rugs.
But, if you look, you will see that we have love…patience… compassion…unity… sobriety …and more…in abundance. And, looking through these green eyes… that, my friends, is everything.