Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Settling for less

The moment we drove up to the house we currently live in, eight years ago, I loved it. We had moved from CA to TN two years prior. I had grand ideas that we would be able to buy a big house and officially be homeowners. Although housing prices are much more affordable in TN than they are in CA, we still needed to wait. My husband was determined to look in a particular area of TN that I knew was well beyond our tiny budget. I thought we needed to look on the opposite side of town where it was more affordable. This is not necessarily something I wanted but I thought it was the only way to attain what we were looking for. The negative factors for that area, is that it is more "country" and not close to the interstate/freeway, or really anything for that matter. These were factors that my husband was not interested in. The area he wanted was more suburban and close to everything. I wanted that area also I just didn't think it would be possible. I am not kidding when I say we looked at the 15 houses in the entire town that were in our budget....then God stepped in....as we were leaving a neighborhood after seeing a home (that was really tiny & in need of some repairs) we passed by a home that was not on our list....he wanted to stop and look as it had a Open House sign....I said to him as I got out of the car, "please don't take me in this house, it will only get my hopes up"...he assured me to not worry and said "lets just see". The instant we walked in I fell in love. Its not that it was grand or had any special features (it didn't). It was very basic 1600 sq ft built in the 80's, but compared to the other homes that were on our list this was a palace. The other homes were all in major need of repairs or they were to small for our family. While my husband has many talents home repairs is not one of them (nor is it mine). To make a long story short God literally opened the doors for us to purchase our first home. It was a miracle to say the least. I was willing to settle for less when God had more for us.

As I said I loved the house (I still do) but there was always something odd about the front room ceiling. *note the photo* . The front room has a large A frame ceiling but I noticed that on two sides the ceiling kind of had a bubble effect-like it was warped or something. From a distance its not noticeable but as you get closer it is. For 6 years I thought it was just the way the house is...maybe from settling or something. A few years into the home, I had tackled painting the front room and I didn't think twice about what caused the "defect"-I just painted over it. Then a year ago we had a painter come and give us an estimate on painting the kitchen (which still needs to be done) and I showed him the front room ceiling, wondering if anything could ever be done to fix it...after looking at it for a minute he had a huge smile across his face and said..."that's tape!" I started laughing....all this time I had assumed and accepted that this is just how it has to be and in reality all I needed to do was peel the tape off! Needless to say that was a year ago and its still up there because now my dilemma is if I take it off I will need to paint and I will need to paint the whole room again since its been 5 years since I painted originally.

OK, in all this rambling what is my point... my point is how easy it is for us to just accept things the way they are even if we are not happy with them, even if they don't line up with what we know is right. Sometimes we may examine the issue a little closer and still not see what it really is but then when someone else comes along and sees the truth of the situation and tells us how to "fix" the situation, we are still hesitant. It is often easier to simply acknowledge the issue but not deal with it. The truth of the situation is that if we would just deal with it as it is presented to us and choose not to live in a life filled with doubts and fears (and OK I will admit it even laziness) then we could all have "smooth ceilings".

I think that is where I am in my life now...after 2 1/2 years of therapy, grace and hard (emotional) work...I no longer want to see the defective ceiling when all along it was perfect underneath the tape. It has been hard work and a lot of effort on my part, but it has been so worth it. Although I am still not "there" in all areas of my life, its the first steps that keep you moving forward.

Something to consider.... is there something in your life right now that could easily be dealt with that you are putting off. If so I encourage you to face it head on with courage and determination. Don't settle for less when you can have more.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created things, shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39


  1. This is absolutely lovely. God really shows us that the bigger plan for our lives is greater than the imperfections and details we fixate on. I can't wait to read your book (and own a signed copy!)


  2. Wow - my wife is awesome ... I can hardly wait for the book either - so I can manage her career :)

  3. we had tape on our ceiling? i never knew that.

  4. Hi Sheryl,

    I hear about you all the time on The Fish. I heard about your blog this morning & thought I'd check it out. Wow! I'm not disappointed one bit..It's nice to know there are some "real" people out there; that don't hide the things they go thru. Thank you for the encouragement! :)


  5. Isn't it amazing that even though you see the imperfections (tape on the ceiling) other people don't see them at all? I find that very interesting.


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