For my family and me, the past several months have been filled with the tasks involved in buying and selling a house. Our home has been on the market since before the holidays. It took nothing less than family teamwork to keep our home in "showing" condition at all times.
In this economy and real estate market, we knew there was a good possibility our home would not sell, no matter how hard we worked at keeping it looking good.
Our home is now under contract, and we have found another home that would be a great fit for our family and slightly upgrade our lifestyle. We are thrilled and feel blessed.
We know some other families that also are buying and selling their homes. Many are looking at homes we could only dream of having. I went from feeling excited and grateful about the home we are buying to feeling like we would still be on the wrong side of the tracks. A spoonful of envy and a pinch of jealously can leave one feeling ungrateful and filled with self-pity.
But then a friend of mine announced she, too, was putting her home on the market. It was surprising that after moving into that beautiful house just last May, my friend wanted to sell so soon. I wondered whether it was a financial decision.
After hearing more of her story, I realized the financial situation was not what I thought. She was not selling because of financial hardship. Nor was she selling to get an even bigger and better home. She was selling her six-bedroom, four-bath home because she and her husband wanted to be able to give more to those in need.
I first went from feeling excited about a small upgrade in lifestyle to feeling inadequate because I am not able to purchase a home worth more than half a million dollars. Then my friend's story brought everything back into perspective and reminded me that it is not about how much stuff we have or how big and expensive our house is. It is about what we do with what we have and how we use that to help others.
I admire my friend and her family. Her husband and her children all agreed to downsize and make small sacrifices so others can benefit. What great values these kids are learning at such an early age! In a time when other kids are trying to acquire more things, their kids are on board with giving things up. Their willingness to do with less so that others can have more is a great example for all of us.
Instead of wishing my wallet would grow so I could have more and bigger and better stuff, I realize I should work on growing my heart instead. Thank you, my friend, for helping me see what really matters. People matter, not stuff.