7/6/09

Maybe not now and possibly never

Monday~July 6th, 2009


(photo courtesy of flickr)


I want a cottage style house built by my Dad near a lake. I want salvaged barn doors to pull to the side, heavy and creaking. I want built-in book shelves filled with colorful stacks of my favorite reads. I want a cute little breakfast nook and a center island where I can pack lunches. I want a pantry off the kitchen and plenty of space to cook. I want to hang and place all kinds of vintage things, picked up at estate sales by Ryan's parents. I want a really big garden full of fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers. I want a cozy space for guests to stay and kids to play above the garage. I want all of that, and yet I still want the house to be small, holding us close together so there's nowhere we can go to end up feeling like we don't belong.

I want a swing on a wrap-around porch. I want to look through the window while I sit with my husband and swing and rest. I want to see an office through the window, one with those built-in shelves full of books and french doors that lead to an entry where the staircase climbs high and is littered with family photos. I want to write in that office while the breeze comes off the lake and through my window. I want rounded doorways and crown molding. I want to look out the window to see my kids run far and fast, and then I want to watch them play for hours with nothing but sticks and rocks and water.

I want to go home. Through a swinging screen door, I want to go home. And there I want to keep the TV off and never own a video game. I want my boys to love living and people unconditionally. I want them to learn to help the world around them because they see their parents doing that. I want to make them big meals and laugh with them around the table while the chairs scrape the floors. I want to go to church on Sunday and then spend the afternoon with Nanny and Bapa, feeding the horses and smelling the flowers. I want to run into old friends in the grocery store, and then I want to stand in the aisle talking until the frozen things in my cart start to melt. I want to grow our family there in more than one way, in the country and the house by the lake.

I want.

There's nothing wrong with dreaming and hoping for a thousand different things. The renewed health of a loved one. The reconciling of a relationship. The love of a father, or mother, or husband or wife. The happiness of children. The success of a friend. There's even nothing wrong with the wanting of things, things that make your heart happy with their beauty and light, like a cottage house in the country.

Unless this wanting comes with a heavy discontent in the now and the possibly never
.

So more than anything else I could want, I'd like to truly be content with exactly how things are in this very moment, even in the times when these things are difficult and painful. I can always continue to want and to dream, I just simply hope to do it with a peaceful and patient heart.

I want.

56 clicked right here to comment:

MoziEsmé said...

Another perfect post... I want to be content with exactly how things are!

K and/or K said...

I want to visit you there!

But I am content with having you in the city too. ;-)

Kristina P. said...

I want a lot of stuff too. But I'm pretty happy in my current space.

Kim said...

Heather, this is an amazing post. Especially amazing because it is speaking towards something in my own life that God has totally been convicting me on.

I want more. I want my boys to have their own rooms. I want space for guests. I want an office and sewing room where I can create with my words and with my hands.

I have enough. And what I have is a blessing.

Tooj said...

Okay...you see, I was doing okay not wanting for a different abode...until...you sparked me with this post. LOL There was a house we went to view, and I LOVED it. Some of what you've described here makes me sad all over again. I fell in love with that house...it had a wonderful little office with built-in shelves....a great kitchen with windows and an island. *big sigh* I want that house again.

Kimberly said...

I love all your writing Heather, but this is something extra special. Perhaps because of how it goes against the grain of our culture, and yet speaks to our hearts . . .

Muthering Heights and Other Senseless Sensibility said...

I agree...even if my vision of the "perfect life" for my family never happens, I want to be content and love the life we're living! :)

Motherboard said...

Me too. All of it. Me too.

L.T. Elliot said...

I want to be as good of a person as you are.

Elizabeth said...

Everything you wrote resonates within me, down to the tiniest details of what you long for. Discontentment is a tough battle, especially when we know what we want to be different. But the here and now is the best place to be, and all we should really want.

Sheryl said...

amazing!

what a fabulous writer you are. i was walking through every inch of that dream house with you. and i love it!!

contentment really is one of the best gifts we can have. praying that you and i both feel content.

Izzy 'N Emmy said...

Me too. :)

Chele said...

I am new to your blog and very glad I found you! You touched on something I was thinking about all day today!! I dream of these things too. You are not alone in that! I do believe God wants us content and happy (most of all, He wants joy in our hearts!). I also believe that you can pray for what you want, doesn't mean you'll get it but there is nothing wrong with doing that! :) Discontent is a hard thing to deal with. I just have to think that my family is here with me safe and healthy, and it helps!

Corinne said...

You just described by dream life :) Almost to a "t"

minnesotamom said...

You just described my freaking dream house, and ended with a well-needed rebuke. Here I was, picturing and wanting right along with you (especially after having had our house for sale for 5+ months with nary a bite and reading a depressing story on Yahoo about how Mpls is in the top 5 places people SHOULDN'T buy real estate right now), and there it was, the slap back to reality. I have it so good, I am so blessed, and here I sit, desiring, wanting. Contentment is so hard to achieve, yet I know it is attainable. Paul learned it, Pastor John says he's learned it, and I hope that I can learn it...

minnesotamom said...

You just described my freaking dream house, and ended with a well-needed rebuke. Here I was, picturing and wanting right along with you (especially after having had our house for sale for 5+ months with nary a bite and reading a depressing story on Yahoo about how Mpls is in the top 5 places people SHOULDN'T buy real estate right now), and there it was, the slap back to reality. I have it so good, I am so blessed, and here I sit, desiring, wanting. Contentment is so hard to achieve, yet I know it is attainable. Paul learned it, Pastor John says he's learned it, and I hope that I can learn it...

minnesotamom said...

Oopsie, sorry...apparently impatience is another of my faults. Sigh...

Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

Um, me too. All of it. Every word - start to finish.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I think about this a lot and I always call it my "someday house." But I really do appreciate the here and now with my children. I just focus on them since so much changes in such a short period of time. I don't love my house. But I love the life that fills it. And the good neighbors surrounding us. So for now - it's fine. But someday...

LisAway said...

Amazing imagery. So beautiful. Not just the words, but the message.

I really, truly love you.

wendy said...

Hmmmm, well said. We can want and wish and dream out lives away ---and never stop and see what is right in front of our nose. If we don't like what we smell, maybe we need to blow our nose and look again.
I get it ---I do alot of that, but now have become alot more peaceful and letting some of my dreams come true. it is glorious

D said...

A great reminder. Thank you.

Debbie said...

You are a wise woman. Dreaming is great, as long as it doesn't lead to being discontent. Which is what happens to so many people in our culture.

blueviolet said...

I too have always wanted a swing on a wraparound porch.

I think we all have moments when we're not sure we're all that content. I think it keeps us in check.

Jen said...

I want too.

this was an awesome post.

Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, amen. Lovely images.

Jo@Mylestones said...

Now THAT is one amazing dream house. I want you to have it too. And I want to be your next door neighbor.
But I also want (for both of us) to be content right where God has us, with or without the porch swing and office with the lake breeze coming in through the window.
So well said, Heather, as always.

radioactive girl said...

This is so perfect. I feel exactly the same way quite often. It's so hard to live in the now instead of wanting, even if the wants are sort of simple things.

Kerri said...

I love this post, and I so feel exactly what you're saying. And can I have a house right next door, just exactly the same (except with room for a grand piano. That's all I need extra)? To be content, but to dream...a hard balance, but a good one.

deb said...

I'll wish it for you too, just because
you truly are a gifted soul

Kazzy said...

Luscious and lavish and lovely. I want those things for you too, because you want them so much.

XOXO

patty said...

wow- what a wonderful reminder! :)

Carrie said...

Yeah, this is a wonderful reminder. We are living in a trailer right now, and next year we're supposed to be moving into a house. But I know I need to be content with where we are RIGHT NOW instead of focused on that future hope. :)

happygeek said...

Excellent post.

Kim said...

This is fabulous Heather. There is so much I want and so often I forget to be grateful for what I do have. We have a great house but I want something different, better, blah blah blah.
I am working on being content with what I have. I think it is a struggle that many of us have.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Meee too.

Steph

Beck said...

Lovely post - and I can tell from my own self how destructive my disasstifaction is to my GOOD life.

Jenn @ A Country Girl's Ramblings said...

Heather, this was amazing! I struggle with this at times. Thanks for the reminder, because I too WANT to be content with where I am.

maggie said...

I knoooooow. And now that P is going to grad school we're stuck in our house for 2 more years. WHICH IS OKAY. But still. Sigh. A friend of mine calls this "a spirit of lack". I pray to ward it off, but not very enthusiastically I'm afraid.

charrette said...

I love your last line. That is truly the key to it all. To want is fine, as long as your heart's in the right place.

btw, it sounds like what you want is our old house in Pasadena. It had at least 90% of your list. When we moved here I had to remind myself that I want THESE things too: Mountains, a stream, a safe place for the kids to play...and I realized if my heart's at peace I can be content anywhere.

Roban said...

I enjoyed this little trip to your cottage...

The cottage and the lake and the office sound absolutely lovely. I guess the most wonderful aspect of that is how we can incorporate some of those things into our lives wherever we live. The good meals and talking and laughing around the table.... Teaching our children to love and to help others....

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Your words are so descriptive. It's beautiful how you really "take us there".

Wonderful post - and so true.

Aunt LoLo said...

Love it. I love looking through your comments and seeing names I recognize. I loved this post...the house you describe sounds oddly similar to mine, and so very different. (No barn doors, no "country living", but it is a remodeled Summer House, on a lake, with creaking floors, loads of personality and more animals in the yard than I can name.)

So glad Debbie introduced us!!

jen@odbt said...

Me too. You say it so well. I always feel like there's just one more project or thing that I want (not necessary need) but my family is healthy, we're happy and life is good. Thanks for the reminder.

Angie said...

"I can always continue to want and to dream, I just simply hope to do it with a peaceful and patient heart."

Beautiful, my friend. I want those things, too. Just simple, sweet living. But we can have that living today, it just might look a bit different. :) Perfect post, once again.

Cynthia said...

Amen!

I've been thinking about the comment you left on my blog about this very topic. I am always planning and looking for what's next. Perhaps what's next is learning to simply be in the now. Thank you for that insight.

Oh- and speaking of 'the now' I spent an awesome day out and about with my kids on an adventure that I'd have completely missed out on if I were working toward something else right now.

Thanks for your words and perspective. May you continue to be inspired to write as you do so the rest of us can benefit. I've always loved the saying "The Lord hears and answers our prayers but it's through another person that he meets our needs".

laura @ peacoat said...

so beautiful. and exactly what i'm working on this summer.

Bonnie said...

You are an amazing writer. I felt like I was right there with you in that cozy lake house. I think we need to know what we want and be albe to visualize it but you are right we need to also be content with where we are at the moment or we might miss out on the now.

Thank you for another beautiful post!

Kristen@nosmallthing said...

You totally nailed it. There is nothing wrong with wanting, "unless the wanting comes with a heavy discontent in the now..." I absolutely totally and completely agree. And I love your cottage house. I want one too. Except I might put it at the beach...

Eowyn said...

I'm crying.

Thanks.

kirsten said...

I love the way you write. And yes, please, can I have the house next door, exactly the same? You seem to have struck a chord with the world with this one. thank you!

Melanie J said...

As ever, girl, you nailed it.

Laura said...

Thank you for a thought-provoking and beautiful post. You are blessed with a great talent to express thoughts that are on your heart. I really appreciate reading them -- and they often jive with what is going on in my heart, too.
Peace!

Terresa said...

Where is your published book because I will run out and buy it now.

And then hope we could spend an afternoon over a chocolate gelato, talking about words, writing and possibility.

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Rissa said...

"Unless this wanting comes with a heavy discontent in the now and the possibly never."

I am so thankful that you wrote this post. Even though it was several months ago. And I'm really thankful that you posted the link in my comments! I needed to read that line.

Thank you.

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