You need a bigger house.
Whether well-intentioned or otherwise, just about every person who has stepped foot in my home has managed to remark on its size.
Or lack thereof.
Yes, by today’s standards, we live in a small house. A family of 5 dwelling in about 1000 square feet split between two levels can at times feel a bit cramped. Especially when we have company.
The size of our home is consistent with that of those of the 1920’s, not the 2020’s.
But you know what? I love my small house.
In fact, when we purchased our home nearly 6 years ago, it felt as if I were moving into a mansion. You see, we had spent the previous 2 1/2 years in a cabin without running water. We had no toilet, no shower, and we hauled water daily. Water had to be heated up for dishes, sponge baths, and for cleaning up after sick kids in the middle of the night. My daughter was born while living in this cabin, just 13 months after my 2nd born. I raised 3 children ages 0-4 in that home. The cabin was half the size of my house now.
And so, when we moved in, I felt so freaking fancy.
Look at me and my fancy running water. And my fancy bedroom with a real door. And fancy cupboards for all my fancy kitchen stuff.
And yet, to the average person, we were not fancy at all.
We were moving into what was, at the time, a one bedroom home. For a family of five. The upstairs was at first separated into bedrooms by hanging blankets for walls.
To the average person, we were just some poor people who didn’t know any better.
And yet, in my past life there was a time when I had a very large home. I’ve known what it’s like to clean 5 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and 2 living rooms. I know what it’s like to have a whole bunch of space that I felt needed filling. I’ve had an outrageous mortgage payment and all the stress that goes along with that burden.
So I do know better.
I know that the home is shelter from the elements.
This structure that keeps us warm at night and dry and protected from the weather is not life itself or what defines us as people.
The real home is in our family. It’s in the outdoors. It’s in the incredible bountiful forest that surrounds us. It’s in our hands and their ability to work. It’s in our thoughts and actions and interactions.
Our home is small, but it is cozy and keeps us close wherever we are. Whether it’s crowded around our small table in our much too small kitchen or piled on the couch in our narrow living room the size of a hallway.
It means we are forced to be intentional about what we bring into our home because it means sharing what little space we have with it.
Would I hate to do an expansion on my kitchen or my living room? No. I would love it. Someday.
But that does not mean that I’m not content with what I have today.
I am blessed, man. So blessed. I have a home and land and my own sliver of happiness on this great earth.
So please, don’t feel pity for me and my small home.
Because I have a home.
And I’m dang proud of it.
I’m proud that I don’t have to feel that my worth is tied up in the stature of my dwelling place.
I’m grateful that I don’t have to compete with anyone else in order to feel self worth.
I’m thankful to know and understand what Jesus said when he advised that our life does not result from the things that we possess (Luke 12:15).
I hope you know and feel this too, wherever you are, whatever you have.
You are alive.
You are a living, breathing, functioning human being.
You are so much more than the size or contents of your home.
Until next time,
Just be content, my friends. And I will too.