What do you see when you look at this picture?
Smiling faces? An adorable little boy? Toys scattered across the floor?
Well, let me tell you what I see... ugly carpet. (And my hair is looking a hot mess too, but that's a whole other blog post).
We moved from Alabama to Florida a year and half ago and said goodbye to our cute, bungalow home with nice laminate and tile flooring. I didn't realize how much I took for granted that little house, until I was placed in a much larger one with carpet everywhere. And before you think I'm just some superficial, shabby-chic wannabe that must have the latest and greatest (which, I won't completely deny that I sometimes wish that were the case), have I mentioned we have a 70 lb golden/lab retriever that sheds like cray-cray? And a baby that throws slices of bananas, apples and blueberries all over the floor? You see my problem.
This may sound silly to some of you, but this carpet has been a major source of discontentment in my life. And I'm not even joking.
I stare at it in fury. I sit there and try to imagine ways to make it look cleaner, nicer... and what shade of horrible beige is it anyway? I have honestly gotten to the point in which I am so discontent with my carpet, that when I see a photo of someone else's home... the first thing I notice is their flooring. And is it just me, or does everyone have beautiful, stained hardwood floors these days?
So why don't you do something about it? You may be wondering to yourself.
Well, the problem is we're renting. And until we sell our home in Dothan, AL (which, p.s. if anyone would like to buy, contact me here) we can't afford to buy another one. We love the location, space and layout of our home, so we don't really want to move either.
And with another baby on the way, the image of baby spit, dog hair and banana slices mixed together in the deep crevices of my carpet makes me want to gag. I vacuum and still feel like it's dirty. We've even rented one of those professional carpet cleaners for special occasions (the picture above was actually taken after one of those, believe it or not) and yet, nothing seems to make it any better.
My husband reminds me of how childish this all sounds. But hey, it's the truth. And I told you it may be a little messy on here this month (not as messy as my carpet though).
But honestly, he's right. This is childish. The fact that I allow something as trivial as flooring to dictate the state of my heart is a sad, sad thing. And yet, I think we do it all the time. If it's not the color of our carpet, it's the size of our home, or the decor in the living room, or the appliances in the kitchen. And we don't stop there - we want trendier clothes and better hair and anything that makes us appear like we have it all together.
Go back to the first picture - notice the smiles, the clapping. A happy moment had just taken place - Micah stood up on his own at his 1st birthday party for all his guests to see! Instead of seeing the joy in that photo, I was quick to pinpoint the negative.
I was blessed to discover a blogger who is writing on this very same topic for the 31 Day challenge and she made a great point about gratitude: "I want to slay my dissatisfaction and discontent with the sword that is gratitude, so that I can make a way for a heart full of thanksgiving and gratefulness to God for His generosity to me. I don’t know who said it first, but that commonly heard quip that “gratitude turns what we have into enough” is proving to be true in my heart and home." - Sarah Sandel
I want my heart to be so full of gratitude for what I have, that I don't even have time to think about being discontent.
Contentment starts when I begin to see things for what they are worth, instead of what they are lacking. In this case, our house was so packed that some of our guests ended up having to sit on the floor to watch Micah open his gifts. And the very thing I detested, ended up being more comfortable than a hard wood floor would have ever been.
And to end this story with some good news - our landlord actually agreed to replace the entire flooring in the kitchen and living area for us. He came over today to take measurements and let us know that it would be considered an "upkeep" on the house and would not cost us anything.
It's funny, but I'm going to miss that carpet. It's where my baby learned to roll over, crawl and take his first steps, where his daddy wrestles him to the ground and chases him across the living room on hands and knees. Those moments will be different when it's gone. And it's when I begin to see it's worth, that I really find myself... content.
This post is part of a series I’m writing for the month of October entitled “31 Days of Being Content.” See all other posts in this series by clicking here. Or enter your email address in the sidebar on the right to subscribe to this blog and receive posts straight to your inbox!