My five-year-old niece and her nine-year-old friend Caitlyn were playing at my house the other day. When sweet Caitlyn walked in to our 1,500 square-foot home, she looked around in awe.
“Your house is so big and beautiful,” she said. “I’ve never lived in a house as big as this one.”
I looked at her a little shocked. Our home is really not big. It’s a starter home, in our opinion. It’s a perfect size for my husband and I and probably our first baby (someday).
Later after they left, my husband, Isaac, and I discussed how Caitlyn’s abrupt and kind words gave us a renewed perspective on the way we live.
The fact that our 1,500 square-foot home is large to anyone made me realize how blessed we are to have our home and financial freedom to buy things we enjoy. Sometimes, we find ourselves complaining about wanting a bigger kitchen, more bedrooms someday, an extra space for an office and a bigger master bathroom.
Bigger is better, right?
Doesn’t that often seem like the motto in America? We are always thinking about the next bigger or better thing we “need” to buy.
When I find myself always wanting more in any aspect of life, I stop enjoying the blessings that currently surround me. My heart turns from a thankful heart to a never satisfied heart.
It is so easy to become caught up in the desires of life here on earth: fancy cars, big homes, shiny new appliances or the latest fashions. Isaac and I both have to remind each other that it just doesn’t matter in the long run.
Sometimes we ask each other, “Ok, do we really need this?”
Wants in life are normal and definitely okay. But if our wants ever become obsessive or something we feel that we need to make us happy, we must bring ourselves back to reality.
I hate to admit this, but I have found myself at times obsessively thinking about the latest home décor item from Pottery Barn or Hobby Lobby I feel that I must have in my home. Purchasing the item consumes my thoughts.
I think to myself, My home will be prettier, and I will be happier.
Jesus reminds us in the book of Matthew to not put our focus on the “stuff” of this world. None of our stuff will last in our eternal lives.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20)
It’s obvious to me that things like homes, clothes and cars will not last in heaven. These items do not even last forever on earth either. Clothes get old and go out of style, cars rust and stop working, and homes eventually fall apart.
However, I have the hardest time letting go of family photos, love notes that my husband wrote me when we were dating, home videos and the things of sentimental value. These are the items are want to take with me to Heaven. But, I know that I should not hold even these items with high regard, because they take my focus away from anticipating eternity with Jesus one day.
Instead of focusing on accumulating “stuff,” Jesus said to make the most of our time on earth by loving, serving and showing grace to others.
The more I “be” Jesus to my husband, co-workers, sister, the red-headed woman who rings up my groceries at Wal-Mart every Sunday and the guy who cuts me off on the highway, God remembers my actions and stores valuable, riches for me in Heaven.
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