We live in an old house. Over the past 10+ years that we’ve lived here, we’ve done improvements, but one place that has not seen many changes is our backyard. Before we had children, this wasn’t such a big deal to me, but now, I think about how nice it would be for the kids to have a big place to run around in and just be kids.
This is our backyard.
It’s just dirt with a somewhat dangerous drop down the hill. The deck (or what’s left of it) is unstable. So, you can see why I don’t let the kids play back there.
As much as I wish we had a nice backyard, its present state has taught me many important life lessons.
A Lesson on Priorities
We have postponed any work on our yard simply because there were other more pressing needs. A yard makeover was going to cost money and time, which we didn’t have to spare for a project like that. We had to be wise with the resources that has been given to us. As I’ve shared before, we really see ourselves more as stewards rather than owners of our earthly goods.
A Lesson on Patience
We’ve been saving money to tackle this home improvement, but that takes a long time when we can only set aside a small amount from each paycheck. Moreover, there were often unexpected expenses that would deplete the savings account, like a major plumbing repair or my husband losing his job. I also had to learn patience by not nagging my husband about the yard when there was really nothing much he could do about it at the time.
A Lesson on Contentment
This was an important lesson for our whole family, including our children. Rather than complaining about what we didn’t have, we need to be thankful and make the most of the blessings that we already have. We have plenty of nice parks nearby, where the kids have more than enough running room. We also have an enclosed front patio that our kids can play in. When they were smaller, they would ride their trikes in a circle, like a carousel. I felt sorry for them at first, but they were actually quite happy.
We’ve been able to save some money now to do some things to our yard. And, my husband has been putting in whatever little free time he has to fixing it up. I know that it will still take some time, and we will have to continue to draw from those lessons.
But whatever happens, the value of these lessons far surpasses even the most amazing HGTV backyard makeover.
“Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
What have you learned lately from your present circumstances?
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