This post is a longtime coming! I was on the fence about whether I should share this part of our lives to be completely honest. This might be a little lengthy. It’s not a Before & After, it’s not a great DIY, it’s not a house update, but it is an important decision. I also know I have really great readers and fellow blog buddies that won’t mind that this post is more words than pretty images.
So here goes nothing.
When we bought our 1950′s brick ranch it was never meant to be a forever house. It wasn’t our dream house by any stretch of the imagination. It was a quick fix. We wanted a bigger house and more kids. We were outgrowing our starter house. This house is the house I grew up in, even stranger. My Dad sold it to us for a great price and interest rates were low. The timing fit our situation.
So here we are.
After a couple of years, another kiddo, and more financial stability we started dreaming about the dream house. To build it or rehab an old beauty in an established neighborhood? To stay in Illinois or move to Iowa? We had prayed on it continuously.
Discontentment started to set in. I started questioning our motives for wanting to move into the dream home. It was on my conscience and I started to feel convicted about it. We kept going back and forth. One day we would say, “Let’s just sell and move on.” Then one day we would say, “Let’s just make this our dream home. We are paying our mortgage down fast and we can remodel this house to make it ours.”
Then enters Dana.
One day a couple of months back this dilemma of ours was weighing pretty heavy on my heart. While I was cooking dinner I had some down time and hopped on the laptop and started reading a blog I just discovered. Since I am pretty new to blogging (not even having a year under my belt yet) almost every blog is new to me– even if it has been around a lot longer and is more established.
This post by Dana from House Tweaking stopped me in my tracks…
Even though her story is not the same as mine it totally spoke to me. I have been a stay-at-home mom since my first kiddo was born. We have been fortunate enough to send our kids to a great Christian school. Even though our neighborhood isn’t “up & coming” it is nice, safe, clean. There is a park and private pool all within walking distance. My kids are happy here and love our home. We have enough space to entertain and have had large parties for our kids successfully. We have out of town friends stay with us, and they keep coming back so it must be comfortable for them.
What in the world was there to be discontent about??
Our dream house started to make absolutely no sense at all! Then, Dana shared how they have been able to free up their finances. Conviction again setting in. That is something that selling and building our dream home would make a long time coming. We have been paying our mortgage down so fast and to start that over with a larger mortgage, higher property taxes, the worry of whether or not we could continue to keep our kids in their school if my husband had a bad business year–that’s a bag full unneccessary worry and spending that I don’t feel willing to carry.
Then I scrolled down.
Her house is a spitting image of ours. Right down to the front door. No kidding! This can not be a coincidence…
Dana’s house on inspection day.
Our house today. A total work in progress.
Very alike, right?
The phone call.
I called Dave right away and simply said, “We are not selling. This is our home.”
When he got home I showed him Dana’s post. Then we sat down and started talking about our long-term dreams.
• Keeping our kids in private school
• Travel across the good old USA and abroad and lots of family vacations
• Giving more to causes we believe in
• Freeing up our finances and being debt-free in 5 years– No mortgage payments, no credit card bills (which I am happy to report we have 0 to date), just having basic living expenses
• Thanking God daily for blessing us so much even in our trials
Dave agreed with me whole-heartedly. This is home.
Where we are today.
You never know what the future will hold. Maybe one day we will have to sell this house for some reason. Until that day comes, I feel completely content and released from the desire to super-size our life. Our life is already super-sized in my mind.
Even though we have almost the entire house to rehab, there is a comfort in knowing that we are working on being better people in the process.
I feel like working on this house is really working on ourselves.
So my ugly bathroom, the unfinished kitchen, the unfinished basement– they are all just steps to working on ourselves and our true heart’s desires.
Our exterior of the house needs a complete overhaul and some curb appeal, but I guess it is what is on the inside that matters.
Our house is “us”. A work in progress.
I love how this house has made us stronger as a husband and wife. It has made us stronger as a family.
I have been guarding myself against the urge to apologize to people for our mess of building supplies and tools in the foyer and basement. Why apologize for the lack of perfection? Perfection is unattainable. We are not perfect, why should our house try to be?
So, you see, we are really living in our dream house after all.
My blog baby.
When I started this little blog of mine in June last year, I never thought it would be such an outlet and that I would meet so many great people through it. Then, actually being able to monetize it is just icing on the cake for this stay-at-home momma. Every little bit helps with the house remodel fund. I’m excited to see where it will go from here on. I have found in it a great community of DIY and design friends that are just as cuckoo about all things home as I am. This saves me from boring my friends here with talk of home remodeling, fabric, decor, etc. I know, it still shocks me that not everyone is in love with these things like I am. I am truly excited to meet a lot of you this summer at Haven.
Another, positive takeaway from this long-winded post is that I will have YEARS of blog content to share since we have so much work to do around here.
So, Dana and family, I thank you for sharing your journey and giving us some much needed perspective.
I thank each one of you from the bottom of my imperfect heart for reading, following, commenting, supporting, sponsoring, sharing, and connecting.
This house is not our dream house but it’s the house in which we are pursuing our dreams.
Dana from House*Tweaking
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