Monday, May 08, 2006

Jagger on Gratitude

A mauve formica dinette with four velvety mauve chairs has become for me the symbol of all that I hate about my house. Paired with two green padded folding chairs, this constitutes our dining table. It was a much appreciated hand-me-down when we were newlyweds. Twelve plus years and four kids later, I no longer appreciate it, except for the fact that it is a flat surface on which to eat. There have been times when we have considered getting a new table and chairs, but something else always seemed more urgent. For example: "We have a place to eat, but we don't have a piano." Or: "We have a place to eat, but we don't have beds for the girls;" or ". . . living room furniture;" or ". . . a drum set."

The last house we lived in was a new construction. We bought it in the "stick" stage, and watched it develop into a beautiful home. New carpet, new appliances, bull-nosed corners, non-popcorn ceilings, new bathroom fixtures. Enormous master closet, Corian kitchen countertops, birch cabinetry, walk-in pantry. We had the interior professionally painted and custom wood blinds and plantation shutters installed before we moved in. We landscaped our back yard within a couple of months. Within two years I'd added my personal touches to about every room and the outcome was beautiful. I LOVED that house.

Then we decided it was time for a move. I don't regret that decision. We love it up here. Great school, great preschool, great community, great people, great Branch. The kids are thriving. It's beautiful. It's not crowded. It is where our family needs to be.

We now have a beautiful mountain home. Great views, great pool, great layout, great square footage, great wood ceilings. Most people visit for the first time and adore it. Most people from up here consider the home to be quite new, being built in the early 80's and added on to in the early 90's.

But often I just can't get past all of the flaws and the work that needs to be done. No baseboards, ugly old kitchen with drawer bottoms falling out, old dishwasher, brass fixtures and knobs, thrashed carpets, broken pool vacuum, broken spa heater, very weathered exterior wood, carpenter ants, outdated light fixtures and fans, breaking window blinds, broken fence gate, leaking windows, concrete work needs to be fixed, more fire abatement needed. Plus, #4 needs a big-boy bed, we need a computer desk, outdoor furniture, food storage freezer, better storage for my sewing and craft materials, roman shades for the solarium, and a bigger bike for #1. Neither list is entirely comprehensive. It's overwhelming and depressing.

Much as I love the Stones, "profound" is not generally how I would chose to describe them. There is one song, however, which will sometimes come to mind and truly change my outlook. I hope it's not sacrilegious to say that it effects me nearly as much as some scriptures that I hold dear. A prophet Mick is not, but for me these lyrics hit the mark: "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometime you might find you get what you need."

We do have a roof over our heads, food on our table, books on our shelves, and clothes in our closets. We have the gospel of Jesus Christ and the priesthood in our home. We have a husband and father who takes very seriously his roll as provider, and who is persistent and intelligent and honest enough to be successful. We have two working vehicles which can get us around these mountain roads, even when snow-covered. We have breathtaking nature all around us. We have family near-by. We have good friends who love us and help us out more than they even realize. We don't all have great health, but we function reasonably well most of the time and we are all 6 alive this morning.

I don't always get what I want. But I always have not only what I need, but more than I need. I am blessed. I need more often to be very thankful for all of those blessings.

1 fishy comments:

Jenn said...

Truth rings true no matter who says it, huh?

Your family is adorable. You really are so blessed. :0)