After we closed on our new home, I called my nanny right away. My 88-year-old grandma is the best listener, cheerleader, and come-to-Jesus-er I know so good or bad she is one of the first people I call. I’ve always tried to be really transparent with her which is probably why we have such a great relationship … even though she was none to pleased when I got my first tattoo or got my nose pierced, but I digress…
She told me she was so proud that Vince and I downsized in order to have a better lifestyle and more time together. She was so excited for us to have more by living less. She was proud of us.
It was SO amazing to hear her say those things… because if I’m being totally honest, when we bought our big ole 3200sqft house in 2014, I was being prideful.
Look at us! Look how big our new house is! Look how beautiful our life is at 24! Look at all we have! SHINY!
And I told her this. I told her how much my pride led me to wanting a big ole house to brag about. Her reply? Proverbs 16:5 – The LORD detests all the proud of heart. (I mean she didn’t quote it verbatim – she threw her own Southern grandmama twist on it but you get the idea..)
I wanted to prove to others that we were successful and I wanted others to know that we had nice things. You betta believe I Instagrammed our big new house because I needed all my Facebook friends to know – I mean, that’s what is important right?
Because we got married at 18, Vince and I received a lot of judgement and unwanted advice. And I will admit, even after over 9 years of marriage I still felt like we have something to prove to others. We have overcome so much and I am proud of us, but I am so painfully aware of my pride
Look at us! We are still married! We survived a deployment, motorcycle accident, NICU baby, and so much more! Look, we aren’t a mistake!
When we both decided to simplify our lives and downsize we did it for us. When we bought our big house in 2014, I did it for others. I wanted a visible representation of all we had worked for and overcome. I wanted to stick my tongue out and say, “Look at how great my life is! Look at how much I have!” but inside the walls of that house was a very fragile marriage.
The first two years of Mila’s life were rough. Yes, she had medical issues, but we also moved to a new city and Vince took a new job that required a lot of overtime. We went through some very dark things. That big ole house wasn’t going to fix the emptiness we were both feeling.
I have told Vince before that his pride is his greatest asset and greatest weakness…. and until today I never realized it is mine too. Mine manifests differently than Vince’s but, but talking to my nanny that day really opened my eyes. And oh my soul, it hit like a ton of bricks. I mean I told you my nanny is a good come-to-Jesus-er!
Yes, I am so very proud of the life we have built but I am now so painfully aware the life we live is an absolute gift from God and we deserve none of it. Getting a lot of “likes” or comments on a photo feels great but then you go to bed and wake up and those “likes” did nothing to make your life fuller.
This post went a tad darker than I intended, but I want to be as (here I go using that word again) transparent as I can in a world with highlight reels.
So what now? We are in a better place now and I’ve talked about how living in the in-between has really changed our outlook on a lot of things. Y’all, my life is such a beautiful, chaotic mess and while sometimes I wish God would make our paths smoother, I am so grateful for every blessing, every heartache, and every new morning.
(I know I keep teasing y’all with outside photos of the house, but I promise as soon as the chaos is semi-under control I will post more! Follow my personal IG – MLDeCrescenzio – to see instastories!)