Struggling With Contentment

I Timothy 6:8
"But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."

Do you ever find yourself struggling with being content with what you have and not wishing you had what everyone else seems to have? I know that this is something that I must daily ask the Lord to help me with.
I will often find myself looking at what some of my friends or neighbors have and wondering if there is some way that I could possibly afford it or maybe even barrow the money for it. That is when I have to stop myself and thank the Lord for all the wonderful blessings that he has already given me. I have a beautiful home, food on the table, clothes, and a family that loves me. What more could I need?
The one thing that I have been struggling with the most lately is my the unfinished renovations in my house. We bought our house last January and had to redo nearly every surface before we could move in. Luckily we were living with my parents rent free at the time. We had the money to do the things we needed to do to make the house livable. Then we were introduced to Dave Ramsey. We knew that we needed to get out of debt, but just figured it was something we would eventually get to.

As of April we decided to put the major renovations that we had left on hold so we could concentrate on getting every penny of our debt paid off. As of today we have been able to pay off all credit cards, medical bills, and have put a huge dent in our car loan, but to be able to do that we have not worked on the house except for things we can do for free such as clean up or things that cost very little.
This is where my contentment issue comes in. I want to feel like my house is finished. I can clean all day and still not feel like my house looks clean. We have no threshold between the dining room and living room, which means my 1 year old is eating pieces of grout. I have no quarter round in the living room and hall. We still have yet to get a new dishwasher and range hood. The biggest thing that is bugging me is that the master bath has been untouched and now has a leaky toilet that is leaking dirty water all over the nasty, original linoleum floor, and I have plastic tiles falling off of the wall. I would also like to finish the basement someday.
I am really struggling with not taking some of our debt money and finishing some projects. We would have enough equity in the house to possibly sell it and pay off our debts completely. The only problem is where would we live?
All of that said I am truly learning a lesson in contentment. I feel this is a way the Lord is teaching me a lesson I will never forget. I look around me and see a mess, but there are others in this world who would see a palace. There are some who have so little and barely a house that is standing. Who am I to complain? Thank you Lord for all the things I have been blessed with. I pray that I will always be thankful.
I thought you might be interested in seeing the progress we have made on our house since January. So here are some pictures.
The old dining room with blue carpet. We attempted to take down the wallpaper, but opted to spray knock down texture.

The living room with blue carpet. Who would put that over original hard wood?

Pre renovation kithen

The old kitchen

MMMM, grout. One of Jack's favorite snacks.

The basement. Thanfully the previous owners had the anchors put in the walls to fix the foundation issue. Don't you love the smoke stained orange walls and linoleum floor. I can pick all the tiles up and move them.

These are all current pictures of the master bath

Master bath

Another view of the current master bath

The living room

The dining room now.

A view from the kithen into the dining room. I love my new oven. The old one I had to go to the basement and flip the fuse box to turn it one and off. Plus it was BROWN.

Praise the Lord for my almost finished house.

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Anonymous said...

Hi, I came to your blog through the Money Saving Mom blog. I wanted to let you know that you might be able to find some of the "stuff" you need for your projects from Freecycle. Freecycle is a yahoo group and there's one in most cities. When we renovated our house we were able to get several things (vent a hood, wood, tile, etc.) from others who no longer needed those items.

Lorrie Briggs said...

Thank you so much for the info. I will have to look into it. Free is always good.

Pearl said...

Another great way to save on building projects is Habitat for Humanity. My SIL recently bought her new front door there. It was valued at $175 - after all discounts, she paid $85 at the Habitat store. I'll be honest, I don't know if they have a website that would tell you where your nearest location is.

Lisa said...

Hi Lorrie,
I think your house is looking great.
Another suggestion is to look for a Habitat for Humanity Restore nearby. They sell extras not used on home builds. My sister got tile extra cheap. I think you could still do small projects while getting out of debt. Make a small envelope for renovation projects. Tiling is actually not too hard. Take a free class at Home Depot. By the way, check out my latest post...

Judy said...

We've done Freecycle and ReStore to get some things for our old house. And yes, I am still waiting for a threshhold between living and dining rooms, too, as well as the quarter round in the dining room, trim on the kitchen cabinets, a light above my kitchen sink, a rod in the closet, shelves in the basement (ours is more of a cellar-- it will never be anything but grungy!), and our gutted upstairs bathroom will be redone... when???? After we gutted it, God dropped our son into our arms out of the blue, so we've got adoption debt that we never planned for. But... it's all gonna burn eventually anyway, and my home can still be a haven for my family and friends, who do not notice the unfinished details that drive me nuts (unless I point them out!). I have so much to be thankful for!
By the way, I enjoyed your before and after shots. You all have done some really neat stuff!

Marcy said...

You have made great progress!

FYI - I just added you to my blog roll. :-)