There are mushrooms in my back yard.
A cluster function all their own.
I didn’t plant them. But I don’t intend to do anything about removing them either. I kind of like them. Come next week they'll be a distant memory anyway.
I walk into the house and inhale deeply. It's been nearly five years, two books, countless Bible studies, and lots of travel since the day my ex-husband closed the door behind him and left this house forever.
We looked for a modest home a year after we got married. One that we could sustain on one income should something happen economically. We chose this house in north Houston because it fit us and was an easy commute between church and jobs.
The house bustled with life as we unpacked boxes, set up our own studies, and furnished the guest room to welcome visitors. On the first night between the stacks of boxes we told each other we would be here for a very, very long time.
We were content. We planted roots. We invited Jesus in. We sowed seeds for our future.
Then one rainy night, life uprooted as he closed the door behind him one last time. I cried. I got angry.
We got divorced.
And this house wrapped its arms around me and became my safe haven from an unsure future.
I didn't know if I would be able to keep it. I never thought our plan of surviving on one income would ever become a reality. There are memories in every corner, many more good than bad. I budgeted, cut back, and pressed forward.
I didn't plan on putting down roots here alone. But I remodeled the interior to reflect my personality, and the roots sank deeper. No matter how fierce the spiritual or emotional storms raged during that terrible season, this house was home. Jesus did a lot of ministry in my heart between these walls.
I was content.
Because true contentment isn't about acquiring stuff, it's about allowing our Savior to inhabit our days.
When we grasp that truth, God turns our surviving into thriving regardless of our circumstances.
I didn't dream for a bigger and better house. I dreamed for God to fill this one with joy, love, and laughter once again.
And He has. As wonderful family gatherings, lunches with friends, ministry celebrations, and holidays filled it, I saw John 10:10 take on new meaning: “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.”
A full life isn't about a bigger house, it's about a big God who turns a house into a home.
So much life and love spills out of this house that the very walls have stretched to accommodate it. And with it, the roots have gone even deeper.
I get down on my knees in the flower bed and pull weeds. It's amazing the beauty God allows us to see when contentment reigns. The same soil produces flowers and weeds. It's what we allow to take root that makes all the difference.
My unexpected life. In all its glorious disarray.
Life and Grace.
This house. Old memories and new. A cluster function of mushrooms and a bed of beautiful roses.
I bury them in my heart, walk back inside, and exhale.
What does contentment look like to you?