With the exception of our sweet Fish Stick (who somehow grows more delicious on a daily basis) we are midway through a month of celebrating the births of our entire clan.
As I write, Christian is turning 3 and, in his revelry, most likely striking someone somewhere with something. It’s his favorite way to celebrate.
Josh’s birthday was the day before Christian’s and met with the usual unbridled excitement associated with turning 33. Edy rolled over seven years just a couple weeks ago, and Hattie and I share a birthday in less than two weeks.
We are growing up, all of us, and somehow the days seem to be whipping past even faster than normal.
I suppose it’s because we’re still tossing around hilarious visions of being in our farmhouse by Thanksgiving. Without some divine intervention however (which we do not consider out of the question) we will be lucky if we make it in time to set up a Christmas tree.
Personally, after doing a few rounds of scraping the popcorn texture off the ceilings last week, just burning the whole thing down and starting from scratch is not looking too shabby to me.
I’m kinda kidding.
Much of our talk around here begins with the phrase, “When we move to the farm…” followed by something extravagant and wonderful because, you know, life will be better when we move to the farm.
When we move to the farm, we’ll have more space. It’ll all be easier when we have more space.
When we move to the farm the kids will have room to roam and woods to explore and meaningful chores to do, which means they’ll never be bored and they will never, ever, ever whine at me again.
When we move to the farm I can plant a garden and churn butter. Josh can chop wood. We’ll rarely argue, but when we do, it’ll only be about cute things like what to name the chickens and how Josh buys me entirely too many gifts just because he loves me.
Meanwhile, I’ll also have stopped aging and will never burn the pancakes. The kids will say, “yes, mam’” and look people in the eye and have perpetually happy hearts.
We’ll chop down our own Christmas tree in our own woods and it will fit that corner in the living room like it grew there. We’ll enjoy farm-fresh eggs each morning, which we’ll eat over our farm-fresh spinach, and our always-joyful farm-fresh children will love it. Every. Single. Bite.
Nate will sleep all night without a peep, there will be no spiders on our entire seven acres, and Christian will never hit anyone ever again.
Because life will be better on the farm.
Except it probably won’t.
Yes, some things will be better. We will have more room and, hopefully, more guests. We will have fireplaces (two!) and a reason to chop wood. I do have a great garden spot now, but since I have never grown more than about two spinach leaves at a time, Great Garden Spot does not a great gardener Hannah make.
Life on the farm will still be life. And, no matter where it’s located, life is not generally easy, nor always happy, and most certainly not perfect. Expecting a farmhouse to satisfy and fulfill me is as foolish as expecting Josh to suddenly have a problem with over-gifting. It just isn’t going to happen.
When we put our hopes on something, on anything on this earth we will be disappointed. No matter what. No matter how much better we’re certain it will be when we achieve our dream. No matter what job we have or think we ought to have. No matter how much money we make. No matter how sure we are that we’ll finally be happy when our fill-in-the-blank finally comes true.
There is only one sure thing to put our hope in, and, thankfully, there’s enough for all of us.
“…You are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long” (Psalm 25:5).
When our hope is in the Lord and his goodness, we cannot be disappointed.
Even when life is hard.
Even when we don’t get in the house by the holidays.
Even when the house (or job, or car, or relationship) disappoints.
Hope does not.
God does not.
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:5).
But my memory is short, and that icky ol’ Pinterest loves to lead me down paths of house-based hope. And so it is my goal to remember throughout the sheetrock and the paint colors and the new cabinets that my hopes do not reside in this house. Not in this farm. Not in my career or my kids or books or in what you think of me and this silly blog.
My hopes (should) lie in an unchanging, unfading, unlimited, all-sufficient God. Hoping in anything else is selling myself short and paving the way to disappointment.
And with life speeding by at this rate, I’ve got no time to waste on things that disappoint.
What about you? Where are you tempted to put your hope?