Plumbing and the pursuit of the American Dream

houseColumn Post by Laura Hyers

My parents’ toilet exploded last night. Well, not really. I guess a more accurate description would be that it imploded, or that the handle stuck and it flooded a good bit of the house.

Lucky me made the discovery as I headed toward my littlest sister’s room to leave her a note. I slipped on the fancy laminate floor because it was under an inch and a half of water, and the water was everywhere.

I yelled for both of my parents and we—along with my husband, sister, and brother-in-law—started the process of pushing way too much water out the front door – this was the most logical place to put it because the entryway was also full of water that was leaking under the door and out into the yard.

I watched my mom try to force water out from under the laminate, out from the insulation beneath it, and I watched the lines on her brow grow deeper as she realized that this wasn’t something she could fix herself. This was something she’d have to call a specialist out for, something that would require part of the flooring being pulled up, the insulation being replaced, and the flooring put back down again. I don’t know if she knew I could hear her when she murmured, “I wish I didn’t have homeownership right now.”

That statement went straight to the core of me. Not only do I rarely see my mom despair, but that very afternoon I had been wasting time on Pinterest and wishing I had a home of my own to take apart and rebuild as I saw fit; I’m talking crown molding or a reading nook, knocking down walls for an open floor plan or maybe situating a garden tub for the long soaks I love to take at the end of hectic days.

It’s easy to do, I think, especially with Pinterest and the handy little app on my phone. Daydreaming turns into lusting, and lust takes over and replaces happiness with neediness. Before Pinterest, there was HGTV or Martha Stewart, the magazine section of the grocery store, the department store catalogs.

I know this sensation isn’t a first; I know that many before me have wrestled with wanting what they cannot have—or what they simply do not need. But I was convinced I needed all of it! I wasn’t being selfish; I was dreaming big and bold for the future. I just wanted the American Dream! Was that really so bad?

I had been wallowing around in my discontent and wishing for the days to come when I could see my name on a mortgage. Listening to my mom and the frustration in her quiet voice, I felt that familiar nudge within my spirit, the one where God is checking my thoughts against His: “When did I promise you the American Dream, child?”

He never did. He only promised to provide.

And oh, how He does.

. . . . . . . . . .

LauraHyersBioLaura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at

Read more encouraging stories from brave-hearted women here. Be sure to grab your free copy of inspirational quotes and writing prompts while you’re there. (Look over on the right hand side!)

One thought on “Plumbing and the pursuit of the American Dream

  1. I’ve avoided getting on pinterest for that very reason. I just signed up for business reasons but I plan to be very careful what I look at. It’s so easy to slip from pinning things that help motivate you to work harder, into that land of discontent, where you are longing for a different life. I don’t want to go there. I want to be happy with what I have. That’s hard to do when I see all the beautiful things (like built in bookcases and 5 ft. windows in the kitchen!) that I don’t have.

    Thanks for the reminder!

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