Contentment and gratitude are so sweet. In the age of social media, filters, catalogs, and online shopping, it is easy to compare my life to lives of others. I am daily met with flashy offers claiming to have the next best thing – as if my dream life can be bought.
We live in a tiny apartment. Our pedestal table hardly fits our dining nook. We have 3 feet of counter space in the kitchen and minimal storage for food, linens, cleaning supplies, and basics. Half the bulbs in our dining light fixture are perpetually out, regardless of how many times we buy a new pack from Target. The pipes squeal when our upstairs neighbor runs their shower, and our heating system creaks through the night. But it’s our very first home.
Our apartment is the biggest expense we’ve shared. Choosing to live here was one of the biggest decisions we’ve made together. It’s the place we came home to after our wedding day. It is where we dream and pray boldly together, care for one another, and daily invest in our marriage. The pedestal table is where we created our very first budget and hosted our first guests. Soon we will celebrate our first married holiday season here and set up our first tree in our living room. This is where our traditions are being formed. This is home.
Yesterday it occurred to me that our home is made with love. While organizing our space to prepare for our Christmas tree, I realized that our home has been made by many loving hands. Beyond our wedding registry, so many of our furnishings have been a gift, generously passed down to us.
My parents gave us our couch. My Grammy and Tappy gave us a beautiful wood chair they bought in Florida as newlyweds nearly 60 years ago. Tappy said ‘They don’t make them like that anymore,’ and he was right. At night, I cook dinner in pots and pans passed down from our parents. I stir soups with spoons from Dillon’s mom and use seasonings from his Mimi and Fafa. Hot meals are set out on an engraved wooden trivet gifted to us from a dear family friend. In our closet is a handmade tablecloth that once belonged to my great-grandmother, tucked away for hosting. On our coffee table sits a crocheted doily made for my Grammy by a coworker in Japan while Tappy was stationed there. Soon, I will set out holiday candy in a dish gifted from my friend Catherine’s mom and hang Grammy’s vintage ornaments on our tree.
Our home is made with love.
I never want to miss that by comparing what we have with what others have. We have been married for five months. We are just starting out. It’s okay that we don’t yet own a home (and actually encouraged by Dave Ramsey!). While I dream of filling a big beautiful home with Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware with more space to host, I am content with this. The sweetness of this newlywed season – sharing a tiny space and being humbled by the generosity of others – in itself is a gift. I am thankful God opened my eyes to see that our home is truly made with love.