Family Motherhood

When Your Home Doesn’t Look Like An HGTV Show

I have a list of home projects I wanted to get done over the weekend. It still sits untouched.

When my family moved into this house three years ago, we had grand plans of changing everything. I watched a lot of HGTV. We wanted to refinish the floors and remodel the kitchen. Paint and add new finishes. Many of these tasks were completed within the first few months of relocating for fifth time in five short years.

But then life happened. We welcomed a new baby. We slowed down and adjusted to being a family of four.

And the thing is, life hasn’t stopped. When I’m not wrangling my two young boys or keeping up with the never ending pile of dishes, we make memories. This weekend, we had plans to go to Lowe’s, pick up some hardware and paint, and order a new door. But the little ones were feeling restless. So instead, we abandoned the list and took a trip to an amusement park.

My baby boy rode his first roller coaster and went down his first water slide. My oldest son burned some rubber on the go-kart track.

As I watched them play, that inventory of unaccomplished to-dos faded until it seemed like a distant memory. My two-year-old’s continual laugh as he romped around the water was one-third mischief, two-thirds delight and all his. Big brother said, “Mom, this pool is so much better than the other one.” (referring to the one just miles from our house) Yes. Yes, it was.

As we giggled and made memories, I realized that this story we’re weaving is so much better than an HGTV show. Even with the diaper changes and the sibling fights and the whining, “I was playing with that,” the dream home is right here in front of me. It just took me a while to realize it.

Living the dream is making the most of the time and blessings we have, not wishing for things we don’t have.

When I think about how I want to live my life, the kind of mom I want to be to my kids, I don’t recall those perfect home shows or chef-grade kitchens, although one day I would like to remove this ugly laminate floor that shows every speck of dirt. I think about those moments in time that are so fleeting, so fast, and how I don’t want to spend them coveting an ideal plastered on the cover of a magazine or a website.

I’m sure that one day we’ll get some more things checked off that list. Maybe I’ll upgrade our refrigerator that I’m sure is nearly as old as I am. But for now, I’m remembering what it’s like to be a kid again.

And through the eyes of a child, memories are so much more important than lists.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we can take nothing out of it.” 1 Timothy 6:6-7


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