>> Tuesday, April 19, 2011 – enough, envy, gratitude, Hole in Our Gospel, money, Shop-Not Chronicles
I spot a black roach-like beetle foraging beneath the kitchen cabinet. I refuse to say it is a cockroach. I just won’t.
Brad tosses a pair of loafers down the stairs, and they put a dent in the drywall.
The carpet on the basement stairs is permanently stained – I know this because I rented a carpet cleaner last weekend, which despite my best efforts failed to remove said stains.
We can’t flush the downstairs toilet while the washing machine is running.
The kitchen cupboard door occasionally dangles loose from the hinge and hangs askance with one corner at rest on the floor.
The window panes are filthy because the screens and storm windows are welded into place, and I swear a blue streak in front of the neighbors every time I try to wrestle them free.
The basement leaks at the slightest drizzle, and a squirrel chewed through the Internet cable outside the house [this, perhaps, a sign from God?].
“I’ve had enough,” I yelp to Brad. “I want to move into one of those big, fancy, brand-new houses on the south side of town. I don’t care if it’s on a lot with no trees -- I want a house that’s not falling apart. I want new!”
“What? No trees? We’re moving to a house with no trees?” Noah, future botanist, is aghast. “Are you serious? Are we really moving to a house with no trees?”
No, I’m not serious; we are not moving into a house with no trees. I love my old house. I do. It’s quaint. It’s got character. But it’s also got dents and water stains and, ahem, the occasional bug.
These are the days I launch into my infamous, “I deserve more” tirade. You know the one, right? It goes something like this:
“I deserve to have a bathroom that’s not smeared in toothpaste gobs – a bathroom where I don’t have to empty my tub of plastic manta rays and puffer fish that spit when squeezed every time I want to take a bath."
"I deserve to have a closet that holds all my clothes, rather than just one season’s worth."
"I deserve a living room that can fit a sectional. New patio furniture that I don’t have to spray paint every spring. A garage that can accommodate a car and the kids’ bikes."
I want, I need, I deserve so much more.
And you thought the Shop Not Project was going well, didn’t you?
Truthfully, Shop-Not is going well. I haven’t bought anything in more than eight months; that's something, right? I’ve discovered my wardrobe is much more flexible and accommodating than I ever imagined. And I am blessed by generous friends who drop off shopping bags full of hand-me-downs.
I can even walk through Target now without feeling faint.
But still, I have moments, many moments, when I covet. Moments when I yearn and desire and want. And I am quite skilled at convincing myself that I need more, bigger, better...when the fact is, I don’t need a thing.
So I pull The Hole in Our Gospel from the shelf and scan the pages for those stats, the ones that put everything into perspective in the first place:
• More than 26,500 children died yesterday of preventable causes related to their poverty, and it will happen again today, and tomorrow and the day after that.
• Almost 10 million children will be dead in a year from preventable causes related to poverty.
• More than 1 billion people live on less than a dollar a day.
And then I look around my house, at the sun slanting in windows, at the cozy couch, at the tile backsplash and stainless steel appliances, at the faucets that shower hot water and the new roof that keeps out the rain (at least out of the first and second floor), and I know.
It is more than enough...and then some.
Joining Jen and the sisters at Finding Heaven:
And Emily at Imperfect Prose: