About a year ago, my husband and I bought a couch from a friend who was selling theirs. As my husband is a teacher and I stay at home to homeschool our two children, we could not afford a "new" couch, and were pleased as punch to get one in such great condition at a low price.
For one year it has been in our home, and I frequently find myself scrubbing out crumbs and other messes. Today I was grumbling about it, as I looked at the couch. When it was in my friend's home, it was so neat and clean all the time. Now it looks oddly lumpy in spots and there are marks that simply will not come out with scrubbing. I felt jealous that "other people" were able to have nice furniture and I could not. Then I realized that my friend, who works outside of the home and sends her kids to "preschool" and day care, never had to spend much time cleaning that couch. They never spent much time ON that couch! We, on the other hand, LIVE on that couch. It has been a fort on rainy days, a snuggle haven during family movies, the dogs join us on it for wrestle matches, and it is a favorite spot for my husband and I to reconnect after the kids are in bed. Someday when the kids are grown, my husband and I will buy a nice couch, and we'll travel so much that it will probably stay that way.
Thanks to your teachings, I can proudly admire this couch that is bearing all the markings of wonderful, wonderful memories. I know that the quality of my possessions in no way measure up to the QUANTITY of the time I get to spend with my favorite people. Thanks for being the voice inside my head that can beat out any jealousy or self-pity with words that have true value.