This photo was taken 4 years ago when we moved into our apartment. We had one chair, a lamp and a coffee table. We all shared that chair for 6 months as we tried to save for a couch. But as life goes, there’s always something – car breaks down, kids get sick, work isn’t secure – and so our savings always found some other pressing outlet.
That’s when I decided it was time to get resourceful, I went onto craigslist and found all the best furniture that I loved & email blasted everyone with an offer for a photo trade. It was no surprise I received an inbox full of rejections, but I kept at it. That’s when I found the couch of my dreams; a West Elm sectional. I could just imagine all four of us comfortably lounging instead of the kids picking fights over who gets to sit in the chair (and by kids, I mean Greg and I).
To my surprise, they said yes! They were an engaged couple needing wedding photos. The trade was perfect for both of us. I clearly remember setting up our couch along with our Christmas tree. The kids were so excited they slept there for the night.
It was magical.
Why do I share this?
Because I caught myself feeling down about life. We weren’t planning on staying in this apartment for this long, just long enough to save for down payment. But the year after we moved here, the housing market blew up. No matter how much we save, we just can’t keep up.
I’m sure you can identify with unmet expectations. It can be crushing. Especially when comparison creeps in. I found myself feeling resentful and frustrated. But then I stumbled upon this picture. We’ve long forgotten the days of having to share one chair and the magical feeling of getting our couch.
I realized that I lost gratitude. I got so consumed in my entitlement and what I thought I deserved; I stopped seeing the magic of all that already is.
God reminded me of my prayers years past; for a good school, a place to live, good jobs for Greg, for a couch, the list goes on. So many prayers, big & small, answered. I have been missing out on the beautiful wonder of now.
So, this Christmas, may we have wonder & gratitude for all that already is, whether in plenty or in little.