Our own house, albeit rented, had four small rooms: a tiny kitchen, living room and two small bedrooms. We didn’t have a beautifully manicured lawn, but I remember a tire with a long rope hanging from a tree on which we played. Our house was nothing next to theirs, and at the time, I remember being in awe, and perhaps just a little jealous that these two beautiful girls could have so very much, while my dad worked hard just to make bills and put food on the table.
One of my favorite places to visit is Monticello. It’s big and beautiful, extravagant and inviting! I’m fascinated with the thought process that must have gone into creating this unusual place, both inside and out. And one of the things I really like about it, is it has two fronts! As bizarre as that sounds, the idea of not having a “back door” but rather two front doors, just appeals to me!
Why are we a people so consumed with having the grandest and most expensive living quarters around us? People upgrade from a small house to one bigger and then again to another one bigger. Granted, as families grow, it’s really a need to be able to accommodate everyone comfortably. But it’s more than that. It’s about having the best of the best; the idea of “keeping up with the Joneses!” It’s about being the best on our block, in our town or community and those in Hollywood might suggest, the best of their peers! It’s about money and status!
Sadly, money and status cannot make us happy. It matters not the amount of rooms a house has, how elaborate the furnishings, the number of maids, or if we have a tennis court, swimming pool or movie theater inside! What is really important in a house isn’t the “stuff or the cost of the stuff.” It’s the heart. A house is just a house if it isn’t a home filled with love and caring for each other.
Even if our lives are filled with all that is grand, when we do not have love, we have nothing. We walk through life doing the motions of one who has everything, but we are left feeling empty and sad.
So I challenge you to look at the place you call “home.” Is it home or is it a house filled with stuff? Is your heart filled with love for those around you or is it filled with an ache of emptiness?
We’ve started a brand new year. It’s a wonderful time to start brand new relationships, even with the one in your life right now, that perhaps you’ve been married to for the last five, ten, fifteen or twenty years! Make your house a home and love! Love your spouse and your children. In a twinkling of an eye it can all be gone.