Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Back porch dreaming…

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Helloooo, all. So… remember my love of screened in porches? =) The picture above is from the darling rental that I cried my eyes out over leaving. And one of the main things I cried about was leaving that porch. Oh, the warm evenings on that swing, drinking a cold D.P., bare feet dangling, listening to crickets. Oh, the mornings when I opened the kitchen door and listened to the birds as I got baby Seth’s cereal ready…

So, we left that house, and I left the porch behind, and I sighed and resigned myself to the fact that screened in porches cost, like, a bazillion dollars, and hello, there are lots of totally not sexy house up keep stuff we should do at some point, and then don’t forget about nasty emergencies like the broken water line and the new sidewalk ‘cause they bashed in the old one getting to the broken water line… etc.

But the 22-year-old deck on the back of the house is rotting. So I called someone to come and see if it could be saved. Nope. It’s too rotten. We have to do something about it so termites don’t start eating our house. He quoted me a price for a new deck exactly like the old deck. It was surprisingly not as bad as I thought it would be. I didn’t even wince.

I tell David about it when he comes home, and he nods thoughtfully, asks thoughtful questions, and then asks if it would be possible to screen in a section of the porch. What? We weren’t going to do that, right? “Well, just ask him to give you a quote.” I did. It wasn’t that bad. I didn’t wince again. Interesting…

And then I start beating myself up over this. How many more Compassion children could we sponsor for that amount of cash? And I’m the main person who wants this porch, right? Isn’t it decadent to do something like this mainly for me? Yeah, I know there are mosquitos, and this would help, and we could all use it.. but it’s not technically necessary.

There are so many times when I wish God would make things a little more clear for me on the discretionary decisions of life. There isn’t anything sinful about having a screened in porch. I know that. But what does He want us to do with the money He’s entrusted to us? We know we’re supposed to take care of our family and tithe to Him, and we know we’re supposed to take care of the house He’s given us and not let it fall apart. It’s the extras that I wonder about…

Don’t know if any of you have had some similar decisions to make that you’d like to share. As for us, we’re going to pray about it some more and do some more research for now…

3 comments:

Brandy Afterthoughts said...

I don't necessarily have an answer for you, but I'll muse a little...We recently added a patio with a cover. We had nothing out there, and something like this is considered "necessary" for our area. Without it there is no shade (the trees are all a year old) or place to sit, and my children spend three to four hours outside each day. With that said, we took the route of trying to figure out how best to spend the money, as we were going to spend it either way. We ended up hiring an old acquaintance, a believer, who has a family of four he is trying to support to build the patio, and a man from our church (who is good at concrete, but struggling becuase there's not much business) to pour the patio slab. We decided that making sure those we know are employed in this economy (it is really bad here--almost 18% unemployment, meaning lots of guys volunteering to do "odd jobs") was a worthy cause, too.

Ellen said...

I'd thought of the employment angle, too, Brandy. The guy we have looking at doing the job is a newish believer who is employing other Christian brothers to work with him. Building has really slowed down here, too, so there are a lot of people looking for work as well. There is a great good in that.

Sometimes I just find it hard to figure out what God's priorities are for us as a family, I think. I know that the porch would get quite a lot of use and be a blessing to our family, just like your covered patio is to yours.

Momma B. said...

Here's my take: As long as you are not disobeying a call on your life with your money you have the freedom in Christ to use it as you see fit. Example: As long as you aren't suspending your tithe or compassion child to do xyz then if you and your husband are in agreement...go for it. It is a smart choice for your family to use it will help in resale of the house and if you have to spend the money to get the deck fixed anyway, then what is the harm of an upgrade? But if you will be riddled with guilt then don't do it.
You are right that as Christians our money is not our own..we are managers of what has blessed us with, but that doesn't mean we can't ever use it and this is HARDLY a frivolous purchase. :)
Just my two cents. Keep us posted!