We bought a grill today.
Mike and I have been speaking of buying a grill pretty much since we first got married, but we were patient. We waited to pay off loans, we have been putting away our money with care, and we have been plotting what to do with it. Normally, we err on the side of caution when it comes to spending, but with the July 4 holiday coming up and a garden of vegetables to be consumed, we bit the bullet. And so, in the spirit of pragmatism and enjoying the fruits of our labor (both the money and the vegetables), we took advantage of the July 4th sales and purchased a grill and charcoal. Life has never seemed so inviting… fresh vegetables, longer days, warm weather…! I can scarcely wait to start cooking on it. It doesn’t even matter that the Baltimore forecast on the 4th is cloudy and calling for thunderstorms. I will run between the raindrops to enjoy this new purchase!
It is strange, but part of my excitement about this grill is because it will change part of our lifestyle. We are no longer restricted to cooking indoors; we can try out a myriad of new recipes; our food can be introduced to a whole new flavor. It is something new.
Now that we are nearing the end of newlywed season, new chapters are continually brought up, and none of them are about grills. People ask of children and houses and careers and our plans for them. Rather than being annoyed, these questions bring to mind the future and how excited I am. I was excited at the beginning of our marriage, but I’ve only gotten more excited as we’ve grown up and seen how God has already worked. Questions of the future make me look forward to what else He will do.
Yet even amidst this excitement for the new, I can’t shake the anxiety it brings, can’t seem to resist comparing myself to others. So many other couples already have a growing family, a house, their dream job, or all of those things. It’s a huge temptation to just compare, but this only leads to lost joy in the moment and missing the lesson of being content.
Anyone who’s talked to me recently has probably heard me waxing poetic about buying a house. I cannot wait for this, in part because it will represent a number of firsts Mike and I get to do together, but mainly because in my mind “buying a home” equals that elusive “adulthood” status I so crave. (Never mind the fact that I just turned the ripe old age of 27 and can’t stay up past 11:30 anymore… in my heart I’m still 23!)
It has been such a ministry to my heart that Jesus sent two articles my way, each on the specific topic of homes, but they reach a deeper truth about new places and nesting and recognizing these things for what they are. Susanna over at Revisionary Life and Ashley over at Not Without Salt both speak to this welcoming space called “home,” and help remind me that not all satisfaction is found in a time-consuming, work-laden, debt-ridden, 5000-square-foot residence. Susanna phrases it this way:
…That longing for home [is] the ageless quest for paradise, whether it was the children of Israel seeking the Promised Land, hopeful immigrants looking to pursue the American dream, or my searching for the ideal 3-bedroom apartment. We’re all looking for that space of rest, a place where we belong.
But that place has already been purchased for us, and that space is no longer defined by geography and borders, as it was for Israel, but by a person, and that person is Jesus.
Ashley also gives an apropos lesson: “I want to strive to see the joy in the mundane, find its beauty amid the mess and care more about loving the people who walk through its doors than the house itself.”
Even in this season of searching for a place to call “ours,” (which is really an illusion), I still have an opportunity to invite people in. Home ownership is not the ultimate goal. Fooling myself into that way of thinking sets up an idol that interferes in the pursuit of better goals.
And in the meantime, while continuing to search for a new space – not to mention endless decorating ideas and paint swatches – I can learn how to use this grill well and invite people over for life-changing vegetables and meat. (Maybe I can also make some of those raspberry scones, because seriously, how amazing are berries of all kinds in the summer?!)
Until next time, friends.