I want to give you a fun peek at our recent farm house dining room remodel… and I’m going to tell you about it with a story…
And that story begins in an ugly church parsonage, in 2004-
So I don’t love shaggy carpet in the dining room…
Once upon a time, Jeremy and I lived in a church parsonage… one that was IN the church.
Part of the church.
Connected to the church.
For eighteen months I shared a kitchen with the church. Yes, I did.
A very ugly kitchen, I might add, with those “square” linoleum tiles that always come unglued and leave bare, sticky places on the floor.
Oh, and the dining area had carpet. Brown, shaggy carpet.
And no windows in the kitchen or dining room. In fact, the house shared so many walls with the church building that it hardly had any windows.
And I do love windows.
And that’s about the time I became very infatuated with the idea of a spacious, sunny kitchen and a cheery dining room right off to the side.
After a year-and-a-half in the ugly kitchen, we bought a little house of our own across town…
A little home with doll-house-size rooms, and…
funky blue counters…
My “new” kitchen sported BLUE counter tops. Funky blue, ladies, not chic-robin’s-egg-blue.
And the floors were gold… and I don’t mean pure gold, girls! How about 1980’s gold linoleum? Yeah.
And there was no dining room… my kitchen table swallowed up nearly all of the unclaimed space in our kitchen.
I kept dreaming of that sunny kitchen with the cheery dining room right off to the side.
We moved a few more times…
a mobile home with four bedrooms and five acres of land…
a two bedroom rent house in the middle of a busy suburb…
And then we found our fixer upper on two acres of land.
With a sunny kitchen.
With LOTS of windows.
And a cheery dining room just off to the side.
(A reader asked where we got the cute curtains… Lowe’s home improvement store!)
I happily settled into our old, charming, two-story, 1800-square foot “farm house”…
But the much-desired dining room turned out to be, well, sort of ugly.
The floor sagged. The walls were thin paneling. The worn out linoleum was stained.
As I sat at the table and helped my kids with school work or scrubbed the old, dented, rust-stained floors… again… my coveted dining room sort of felt like a disappointment.
And I found myself counting down the days until we could remodel the ugly dining room.
Because, SURELY, if I could finally get my sunny, cheerful dining room with windows… FIXED UP… THEN I could be happy! Right?
In May, Jeremy remodeled the ugly dining room.
Now it is beautiful.
Now friends always compliment the beautiful, dark wood floors and the cheerful, pale yellow (sheet rocked) walls.
Now it is truly a cheerful, sunny room just off the side of the kitchen.
And you’ll never believe it, but…
These days I find myself fighting the urge to complain because the dining room table seems to stay cluttered because of homeschooling…
Or because the freshly painted, white trim gets dirty when the boys run in and out the backdoor a million times a day.
Or because one of my kids spills food on my precious table clothe during a meal.
So much for the happily-ever-after dining room story!
It’s Never Enough, Is it?
It’s easy, ladies, so VERY EASY, to complain our way into a habit of unhappiness.
We can always complain and compare. Yes we can.
We can complain and compare ourselves right out of enjoying the blessings of life’s everyday moments.
If our recent dining room remodel has taught me anything, it’s that the beauty of life’s moments aren’t necessarily enjoyed any more in a “perfect” environment or “better” circumstances.
The gauge of our happiness lies within the choices we make on a moment-by-moment basis.
Do we choose to complain?
Do we choose to assume that someone else has a lucky break, or a better situation than we do?
Do we choose gratitude, and the joy that follows?
Do we choose to believe that if only this would happen, we could be happy?
Or do we just enjoy life anyway?
We do choose… every day we choose… something.
That’s what I think about these days when I sit down in my sunny, “farm house” dining room.
I sit down and glance over at the worn out kitchen floors and the tired cabinet doors that have hung on the walls for nearly 100 years… and I think to myself,
I love my house! I don’t love everything about it, but I love the memories I’m making here and the people I share it with. I can be happy with an imperfect kitchen. With an imperfect life. Yeah, I can be happy!
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