I stared at the vintage, electric fireplace for years, wishing it to be different.
With a more realistic flame.
And built-in, with a working heater.
But it was none of those things. So, my soul kept longing for one day when I could get a real fireplace. Maybe not unlike the way Pinocchio dreamed of one day becoming a real boy.
I have to say that my wish felt silly, selfish, and materialist. Why couldn’t I be happy with what I have?
I can’t tell you how many home tours I went on, wandering around aimlessly trying to find a my prince charming of a fireplace. In my search, I knew enough to know the answer wasn’t in moving to a house with a fireplace. So, I stayed put.
In the meantime, I moved the fireplace back and forth between walls, trying to make it work. But, no amount of decorating or styling was going to help. I even thought about not having a fireplace at all, but that just felt wrong.
Doubt and discouragement finally gave way to hope one night when I was listening to The Next Right Thing podcast. Emily happened to talk about the spiritual practice of sitting by a fire. I had a very freeing moment right there in the McDonald’s drive thru.
“Yes! She gets it!”
I realized the longing for a real fireplace was just a physical reflection of a spiritual need. And that meant, I’m not materialistic.
A couple of months later, I had the opportunity to upgrade my dingy, old fireplace for a brand new one. A built-in with realistic flames and a heater. The remote control was just a big ol’ bonus.
Watching the process of putting in the new fireplace was surreal, and maybe even a little bit spiritual. The fact that it required getting rid of the old, and even tearing down some walls, to make room for the new wasn’t lost on me.
Now, instead of wishing away that old, electric fireplace, I spend nearly every night just sitting by the fire, watching the flames dance in rhythm with my soul.
It feels so good to be home.