Friday, June 7, 2013

Curb appeal

I have a home fetish - especially a Chagrin Falls home fetish. Each is so unique. My attention is grabbed by the special touches that set one apart from another. This is the town of wonderful homes. There is one house in particular that I have loved from the moment I saw it. I called it my "dream listing" before I ever walked inside. The outside sold me - hook, line and sinker. The home sits up a small hill and is set behind large pine trees. Around ever side of the house is a porch with rocking chairs and even an outdoor kitchen with a restaurant style pizza oven. Although the home was built in the late 1800's it was completely remodeled in 2005. The pizza oven was part of the addition, as I'm sure you could have guessed. 
I have admired this home every time I've walked by. I always slow down my pace and take in the view from the street. The outside is a feast for the eyes. It has everything I love in a home. Beige siding with big white trim, stone patios and lush green landscaping. My dream exterior.
As you can imagine, I was pretty excited when I saw that this house was coming on the market. Yes, it has been MY dream listing but I am a little ways away from getting the 1.3 million dollar listings in Chagrin Falls. For now I'm just excited to be able to tour the homes on broker's opens. So, this Tuesday I had the opportunity to finally see the inside of this home that I have drooled over from afar. 

And guess what.... I don't like it. The inside was a massive let down. Instead of feeling homey and welcoming, the entrance is cold and much too grand for my taste. The bedrooms were small but the master bedroom's closet was the size of my living room and kitchen combined. The great room was massive but instead of it being open to the kitchen it was open to a wine bar. There was no family room, just a room with a billiard table. The dining room was cramped and awkwardly placed. The garage on the other hand was enormous with a vaulted ceiling that was more of a work of art then a covering for a car. 
But the biggest disappointment was the kitchen. You would think, when looking at the outside, that the owner would have designed a luxurious, grand kitchen with ample counter space and an open concept - isn't that what every buyer and owner longs for in a kitchen? Well, apparently that was not the wishes of the 2005 remodeler. The kitchen was tiny (relative to the grand scale of the rest of the home). Counter space in the kitchen was at a minimum and cabinet space wasn't much better. The disappointing kitchen was just the cherry on top of a disappointing house.

Isn't this just a perfect metaphor for so many situations in life? Aren't we easily deceived by the outward appearance, only to be let down by what is truly behind the front door? 
...A great pair of jeans on a mannequin are really stiff, scratchy and uncomfortable when you put them on. 
...The stylish and new restaurant downtown ends up serving an overcooked chicken breast that is short of flavor and big on price. 
...That new car you have been eyeing up is your dream car until you actually drive it and find out that it has sluggish acceleration and squeaky windshield wipers. 
...That guy you see in the coffee shop - the one with a great smile and breathtaking eyes - ends up being impatient and rude when he opens his mouth to order his drink...

Lots of things look great from the outside and aren't so great underneath. 
But one thing only gets better when further understood, explored and investigated: a relationship with Jesus Christ. The more you get to know Christ the better he gets. A closer relationship with God only reveals more of his goodness and love. Actually you can't truly know, or even imagine, how good God truly is until you actually do get to know him. Sure, he looks good from the outside, but that is nothing compared to how good he is once you get to truly know him. 
If you are looking to find something amazing in the things of this world you will often be disappointed. The exterior will look great. Curb appeal will deceive you and draw you in. But far too often you will be left desiring more. But seek out God, his son and Holy Spirit and your greatest expectations for what you will find won't even begin to describe the wonderful interior you will experience. 

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