Featured Journal

what my couch taught me

Written by Danell Will

Soooo… remember last month when I wrote about contentment? Well apparently all my words regarding the topic quickly flew out of my head because a few weeks later my husband and I got caught up in, what I will deem as, The Furniture Fiasco of 2014. It all started with a simple suggestion to my husband that we should move our bigger TV upstairs since we rarely use the basement. This innocent suggestion led to an upstairs furniture shuffle and an addition of a new entertainment center, curtains, and a few random decorative pieces. After getting our living room situated to better fit the new TV situation, it became even more apparent how shabby our furniture is. Now, if you know me, you know that I kind of loathe our furniture – it’s a hand-me-down set that we got from my parents when we were married 8 years ago. It currently resides in its 4th residence, does not wear its age well and needless to say, it does not reflect my personal style… not one bit. I have been yearning for new furniture since we moved it into our newlywed apartment so when my husband suggested we go look for new furniture, I leaped at the chance…

but really… there might have been some actually leaping.

We started the search in Kearney but after scouting out the local stores, it was apparent my dream furniture did not live within these city limits. We gave up the search until the next morning when I had another bright idea – Hey! Let’s go to Nebraska Furniture Mart! So we piled into the car and drove 3 hours to furniture heaven. It was our first time to this glorious store and it didn’t take long for us to begin drooling. Every 5 seconds one of us would exclaim, “Oh, look at that! Come sit on this one! Hey! That’s cute! OH MY GOSH!! THIS IS SO COMFORTABLE!” We were kids in a candy store.  My furniture dreams were coming true – it was all very exciting.

Finally – we found it. The perfect couch.

 couch

Isn’t she wonderful?

(The little girl isn’t too bad either…),

We decided to add in the matching oversized chair with ottoman and then we found the most spectacularly comfortable accent chair.

  chair

It was also a spectacularly expensive chair.

After rejoicing over our finds, we paid, scheduled the delivery for June, and left. While our 4-year-old snoozed in the backseat, my husband and I excitedly talked about our purchase… and then the reality of what we had done started to set in. It only took about a half-an-hour for buyers remorse to settle deep down in our bones. What did we just do? We are heading into a financially unsure time as I finish up my Master’s and we had plans to Save, Save, Save. Nowhere in that plan was Spend, Spend, Spend. Our discussion lasted into the evening and we decided that we deserved the furniture – we had waited long enough for new shiny things and it was time for us to treat ourselves to something everyone else has (yup… that contentment flew right out the door).

Fast-forward to this past weekend when my husband, out of nowhere, questioned whether or not we should cancel our order. His question took me by surprise because throughout the previous week I had been having significant doubts about our furniture purchase, and honestly I was having some major anxiety creep up.  So the decision was made and my husband called and canceled the order.

Truthfully, it was like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Sure, I was really excited about having brand-spankin’ new furniture, but I think I was more excited about the illusion that the furniture would bring with it. But the reality is, we don’t deserve new furniture… we have a responsibility to provide a stable life for our daughter and right now that means sticking to a pretty tight budget and being thoughtful about the future.

Sometimes, by the grace of God, poor spontaneous decisions lead us to a better place.  The Furniture Fiasco of 2014 reminded me of what’s important in life and helped me find true contentment with what I have, not focus on what I want. Now, instead of looking at our couch and seeing a ratty, rundown, lumpy sofa; I see priorities, intentional living, 8 years worth of memories, a comfortable place to snuggle with my daughter, and a place to enjoy a glass of wine with  friends who couldn’t care less about what our furniture looks like.

Someday in the future we will be able to outfit our home with wonderful new couches and chairs but for now, there will be no Nebraska Furniture Mart truck pulling up to our house. However, there will be a well-used couch that was lovingly handed down to us, and for that I’m forever thankful.

About the author

Danell Will

Danell is a Kearney native who recently moved to Northwest Arkansas. She is the happy wife to a tall, bearded red-headed man and a mother to a feisty, but very loveable, red-headed 5-year-old girl. In May, she graduated with her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and has since taken a short break from working and studying to be at stay-at-home mom.
She enjoys (in no particular order) dance parties in the living room, downward dog, a good cup of chai, books that want to make you stay up until 2am, meaningful conversations over a glass of wine, and reflecting on this messy, but always beautiful life.

2 Comments

  • Good for you! You have priorities that will serve you well and you are teaching your daughter by example. Kudos to you for bucking the “I NEED it now” mentality!