Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Bathroom Dilemma

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I have a confession to make.

This confession may shock some of you. It will possibly horrify others. I have no idea. Maybe you won't think it's a big deal. I don't know. It's kind of a big deal here, and I spend way too much time thinking about this.

So here's my confession.

Our house only has one bathroom.

I'll let you take a moment to let that sink in.

One bathroom. 6 bums. You do the math.

Granted, it's a big bathroom. When I post bubble bath pictures of the kids in the jacuzzi, it always creates a small "bathroom envy" riot. When those comments start rolling in, I always whisper to myself, "You have no idea". It is so frustrating at times to only have the one bathroom. I would trade that tub in a heartbeat to be able to have two toilets.

Here's the truth. We bought the house long before we had any kids (or were even thinking of having kids). We (I) LOVED the fabulous bathroom and it really was a dream for young and married with no kids.

We added one kid and it was still the dream (Addison took forever to potty train so it just wasn't an issue). Added two kids and it wasn't bad. It is a huge bathroom with two sinks, a separate shower and bath, and the space was easily shared.

When that third child became potty trained...it was a stretch but not too bad...but then Addison finally decided to join the party and holy fighting over the toilet, batman.

I will spare you the details (I started typing out a specific story and then decided no....just NO...you're welcome), but this has caused me quite a bit of angst. (Especially since the boys have decided to become competitive poopers. Side note and totally unrelated: when I grow up I have decided not to have any kids.)

Not to mention that Addison needs a bit more time than the average 7-year-old and cannot "hold it and wait" (learned this the hard way).

I have been obsessing over this all week, and it just won't let me go. For three reasons.

1. We just had a contractor come over and give us a quote for splitting the one bathroom into two. (I would miss that kidney.)

2. I just posted a bubble bath picture of the kids which generated a lot of new comments about my bathroom. (the issue already fresh on my mind)

3. Morgan is (and has been for a while) ready to start taking her turn on the toilet. (the nerve of that child!!!!) (-;

Now if you will remember correctly (I hope you don't remember this too specifically), when Morgan was a baby, we took a stab at selling our house. Lots of lessons learned...lots of prep work done....it just wasn't to be at that time for a million reasons.

Now we are at the point where we are thinking of trying this again because in addition to the toilet needs...there are also space needs (I run my music teaching studio out of the house). BUT this is possibly a year(ish) out and that's why we had the contractor come by. However because of the price of doing this, it would tie us to this house for a lot longer than perhaps would work for us. The bathroom situation would be solved...but not the space problem...and we couldn't move in such a short time frame without losing 90% of the money we just put into a fresh new bathroom.

Long story short, this has left me stewing all week about our bathroom situation.

It is ridiculous. It is impossible. And I'm not sure where I went wrong that left me in this tangled situation? We lose if we put in the new bathroom. We lose if we don't. (Adulthood is fun.)

This super mature pity party led me to a seasonally-themed thought that made me quite uncomfortable.

Contentment.

Can I be content with one bathroom? Even though we are working on changing this situation, this is where God has us right now...today. This has been my inner dialogue pretty much all week:

Well, I don't have to be content because it's not working for what our family needs.
Isn't it? 

Everyone else has two bathrooms plus.
Do they? And why does this matter?

Pinterest says---
Pinterest lies

The pictures on Instagram--
Don't care.

I NEED this RIGHT NOW...
Do you? Do you really? Have you ever gone without?

Well...no....but...
Has God ever failed to supply for every one of your needs?

No...but...
Is God a good God?

Of course...but...
No buts. This is where he has you today. Not forever. But for today. Can you be content with that?

Well I....
No excuses. Can you? Can you find contentment right where he has placed you?

BUT I HAVE FOUR KIDS AND I NEED TWO TOILETS!
How many people would love to have just one? How many people would give anything for running water? You have two sinks...a shower...a bathtub that the kids love. Stop it. You are being ungrateful.

Ungrateful? But...

Because isn't that so true of the lack of contentment? It really goes back to gratitude for what we have? Not what we think we should have or what we think we deserve or what we think would work better for us.

Right here. Right now. Walking into the one bathroom that clearly has been written into today's plan for my life....and being grateful.

Can I do this?

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. I Tim 6:6-7

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Cor 12:10

Not that I speak in respect to want, for I have learned in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. Phil. 4:11

I went to look up verses on contentment, and I found a lot of verses on Paul being beaten and shipwrecked and flogged and persecuted....and content. The more I read, the more I realized...having "only" one bathroom is not a problem.

Not even a little bit.

Remembering this, I look around my bathroom and see not a lack. Healthy and free to live my life, surrounded by healthy, vibrant children...I see a room that serves us well. I see the running water that liberally flows whenever I turn a knob. And as hot as I want it...as often as I want it. The toilet...the most unglamorous job that ever was...that works so well (as long as we keep children from stuffing wipes down it). The shower that has ended a thousand of my days. The tub that keeps my children clean. Even a nice wide open floor for all the dirty laundry that gets tossed there.

As I remember to look at what IS and not what I think SHOULD be...I am grateful.

And this gratitude is the soap that I pour into the kids' bath that quickly bubbles up into large, frothy bubbles of contentment.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear friends. Being thankful takes so many shapes and sizes. For me this year....it is about the bathroom dilemma. But really...it's always something. I am thankful for lessons learned along the way, and for what IS. This year I am thankful for...one bathroom. So grateful.

May your day be perfectly imperfect....stuffed with gratitude...slathered with contentment....shared with those that you love.

Thanks for traveling this crazy thing called life with us.

xo, Deanna