Over the last few months, Graham and I have been quietly looking at homes on the market in Charlottesville. For the first time in our marriage, we feel like we’re finally settling down in a city/state with no plans to leave due to job transfers or military moves. It’s been a sweet moment for our family and we’re grateful for the longterm stability.
Simultaneously, it’s been interesting to make lists of the things we’re looking for in a home. Kinda like the must-haves on all the HGTV shows but not nearly as high maintenance. Some of our wants stem from what we had in childhood: an older home with character, land that encourages our kids to get outside and explore, trees and foliage we can bring indoors, a cozy room with a wood-burning fireplace.
What didn’t make it on our list are Instagram worthy spaces: a perfectly renovated kitchen, a master bathroom complete with stone shower and heated floors, a walk-in closet the size of a small apartment.
Our little list of dreams reminds me that vision is subjective and not all wants are created equal. What is important to me may be highly invaluable to you. A non-negotiable for your family may be something mine would appreciate but not require. Remember that not every line item weighs the same amount to everyone.
Most of all, our modest little list affirms the things that are most life-giving to us. Rooms full of light. Trees under which to read. Common spaces for family to gather. Quiet spaces for privacy and reflection. Woods to romp. Neighbors who become friends.
In a recent review of Parker J. Palmer’s book, Let Your Life Speak, I resonated with this quote:
“Is the life you’re living the same life that wants to live in you? Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you.”
When you dream about any area of your life this year, consider your must-haves. Ask yourself why those matter so deeply to you. Take time to truly peel back the layers and uncover hidden needs and desires. Are your must-haves rooted in love or fear? Do they reflect inner heart desires or external perceptions? Then revise, modify, and let go of the rest.