Setting up: furniture

We never fully established our home in Wayland with furniture and then downsized what we did have when we moved to Centralia.

For a few months everyone who visited seemed content to use stools, folding tables/chairs, a blow up bed, and share our only sofa/ love seat.

But it was obvious when we moved to our new home in Chehalis, which has even more square footage then Wayland, that we had minimal places to sit or eat.

Now that we have moved, we have been blessed to borrow or be gifted many pieces of furniture. We are honored to use furniture for mine and Luke’s childhood for the nursery (more on this to come). Plus we were gifted a desk, two bench seats, a bed/ bed frame and several other pieces by family members. These have helped us set up a guest bedroom; which has already gratefully been used several times.

Even with all of these items, we realized we did not have places for people to sit or eat when they visit after Baby Greene is born. We have been looking the past month or so on craigslist and offerup impatiently trying to coordinate the right items, price, and timing/resources to pick something up.

This past weekend, Luke’s parents came to help us with any last minute prep before baby. We asked them to bring the trailer so we could pick up furniture. In two days and only two trailer trips, Luke and John were able to pick up a leather couch and chair set, a vinyl couch, and an oak dinning table set with six chairs.  All of this costed us less than what an outlet store would offer for a living room set alone.

On top of these blessings, the couple who sold us the leather couch and chair gave us four tall backed bar-stools for free, perfect for our galley kitchen for free. Next thing you know, our living room and family room are full.

This is the first time in our marriage we have bought a couch set and even owned a dinning table set, items we plan to keep for a long time. I am relieved to no longer have guests sleep on a blow up bed or eat around a folding table and chairs.  It makes this house feel so much more welcoming.

Thank you family for providing us with furniture and helping us pick-up what we need to establish ourselves and our home.

Complacency vs. Contentment: Thankfulness

We have now been living in Corning for a little over a year.  The newness of the Finger Lakes region has started to ware off and to some degree the same could be said about our marriage.  The longer you stay in one place, in one pattern, the easier it is to not see the little things. The route to work with all turns becomes a blur, as do the days. Same can be said about life together in a marriage. Over time it is easy to forget or not even notice the little things as they days start to blur together. When this happens it is easy to become complacent.

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Complacency is settling, possibly unhappily, with the way life is. When life begins to buzz by it’s easier to complain and become grumpy. But instead of doing anything about it, complacency leads us to feel comfortable with the unhappy grumpy us in our mundane routine because it can be controlled.

Contentment instead is a state of satisfaction even if life is not perfect. It focuses on what is going right or well with a sense of thankfulness in and/or during our regular routine. This helps us let go of the pieces we can make us grumpy or irritated but we have no control over and helps the days feel more important, significant, less “blurry”.

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I am learning what it looks like to be content instead of complacent in our routine and current place in marriage. But what does that look like?

Saying thank you, a lot. I don’t have to think or worry about the bills being paid on time, the trash being emptied, the car having gas, or there being money in the checking account so I can buy groceries. Luke just takes care of those things for us. But because I don’t have to worry or think about them means I can forget they are getting done. They can become part of the routined haze unless I saying thank you; a lot: in a text, email, sticky note in a lunch pail or out-loud. If I say thank you it helps change my focus onto what is working well, what is going right.

Once I began to think with a thankful perspective and communicate appreciation for the little things, I began to see Luke’s actions differently. I began to recognize the “why” behind what he did big or little. For instance, my husband’s willingness to go to the store at 12am in the morning to pick up nyquil. That action showed me that he cares about not only my well being but that I get decent rest. Although I already knew these things to be true,I need constant vocal or physical reminders because let’s face it life gets to us and we forget just how much our spouse or loved on really does care about us.

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It may sound strange to, say: thank my husband for going to work everyday. But I see the deeper value or purpose behind his behavior. By always going to work, dressed professionally, on time, I see he has a strong work ethic, sense of responsibility to his co-workers and patients, and he cares about our financial security.  So when I thank him for a small everyday action, what I am really saying is I see and appreciate who he is: the roles he has taken on, and his values and ethics.

It takes discipline to remember to communicate my gratitude but overtime it helps develop perspective. I am able to see more clearly the emotions and values behind what Luke is communicating to me. In turn I am more aware of how I communicate and thank him through my behaviors back. It makes the little things Luke does for me or I do for him seem not so little anymore. Because when I get a small text in the middle of my day that simply says: “hey love u babe” it makes a big impact in how I handle the rest of my daily routine leading me more towards contentment and away from complacency

How about you?

What little things do you take for granted?

What little things are you grateful for/impact you the most?