Monday, February 21, 2011

A chair, a couple tables, rugs, fancy pillows, and some roman shades. That's all. Really.

That's all I want for my living room to be pulled together, fit for public consumption. Oh, and a fresh coat of paint. And, possibly some new wall decor. Then, we can move onto the kitchen where we need another fresh coat of paint, new appliances, counter tops, and recessed lighting installed...minimally.

That's just the main level of our home. I haven't even taken you downstairs to our basement or upstairs to our bedrooms and bathrooms.

Lately, I've become a bit preoccupied with outfitting our living room with new furniture, for starters. It's needed an uplift for quite some time, like since we moved into our home in 2003! ;)

Lawrence and I don't do home projects with gusto like some folk. We call it progress if empty soap dispensers get refilled and burned out light bulbs are changed with any regularity. Seriously.

Apart from our lack of know how, time and money, I think we over think things like house projects a bit, too, which typically ends up impeding any kind of progress.

Nevertheless, I grow impatient with the state of the union here on a rather frequent basis. I want change and I want it now. Actually, yesterday would have been better.

Sadly, I grow discontent and air my grumblings to my husband and friends. Or I scour the internet looking for the right chair at the right price thinking that if I just landed a great steal like that, I could assuage the churning discontent that resides within my heart for at least a week or two.

Where do I go with this daily temptation? How do I respond in a "gospel centered" way to these circumstances?

I first remind myself of the facts of the gospel, namely that because God is a Holy God and fully just and because I am a rebel, one who has turned away from the worship of my Creator to the worship of the created, I deserve God's wrath. I do not deserve God's mercy. I do not deserve God's blessings or favor. I deserve hell.

But, because of God's love, He sent His Son, Jesus, who lived a perfect life and died in my place on the cross taking the penalty of God's wrath upon Himself for my sin. He then rose again from the dead, conquering the power of death, making everlasting life and freedom from sin available to me, too.

But, how do these facts connect with my desire to have a nice looking living room?
Well, I consider specific implications these facts have for this circumstance. Stay with me.

I consider that if I deserved hell for my sins, then I definitely don't deserve a nicely furnished living room. But, that doesn't really bring joy to my heart to ponder too long because I still really want nice, new furniture.

Then, I remind myself that God loved me enough to crush His only Son. If he loved me enough to do that in order that I would have eternal life and freedom from sin, can't I trust Him to provide all that I really need for a joy filled life? That may or may not include nice living room furniture.

Reminding myself of these truths doesn't automatically cause me to abandon my desire for new furniture and leap for joy at the absence of it. Over time, however, as I rehearse these truths in my mind, it does begin to have an effect on my affections. I DO really experience a change in my attitude regarding the condition of my home.

I cannot remain sullen and discontent when I consider, truly consider what God has done for me.
I could go out and buy a new chair and experience a sense of release from that churning discontent. But the contentment would fade faster than the fabric on my chair, and I would have to buy something else.

When I take the time to remember the facts of the gospel and consider the implications those facts have on my particular circumstances, my heart is moved. It may take some time, but it does soften. It does change. I do begin to experience that abundant life Christ died for, no matter what abundance or lack thereof in material possessions I own.


Danielle said...

It's true, even making needed changes can make me obsessive for the "perfect" thing and materialistic. No doubt it's a struggle for all of us to some degree.

The beginning of your post reminded me of the Sara Groves song, that I think is meant to point out the never-ending ridiculousness we can get ourselves into (and yes, I can find a Sara Groves song for every occasion:).

"All I Need"

Newly married, new apartment
All our furniture was saved from the dump
Yes dear maybe we can afford a trashcan next month

All I need is my love for you and a seat for two

New baby new life
We will teach him to speak French
We’ve got no money so we’ll make it all ourselves
I’ll make the curtains and you make the shelves

All I need is a power saw and a new sewing machine

Honey, this house needs a little something
That bare mantle doesn’t look so good
Someone told me of a man
Who makes animals from driftwood

All I need is your monthly bonus for a wooden walrus

Honey, the Colbaughs are coming over
This house needs some renovations
Just a wall or two, just a little room
And a few new decorations

All I need is a sectional and a satellite TV
and dark-wood cabinets that were custom built for me
and a painting by that guy that paints with his feet...

That’s all I need
For now

Anonymous said...

all well and said...but come on atleast the downstairs hearts GOTS-TO-GO. God told me so.

krista said...

Have you been reading my mind?

This post really spoke Truth to my churning heart this morning... a timely reminder...and I love the lyrics Danielle shared in her comment.

Thanks Bri. ♥

Anonymous said...

Well, Kristen and Garrett are sleeping on an air mattress for a week that has a hole in it. No chairs or table to eat off of and no chairs to sit on. They will get their furniture next week sometime. Thank you aunt Jill for couch and end tables. Keep looking on craigs list.