I have a love/hate relationship with my home.
I love my little home.
It’s so small that it reminds me of Laura’s Little House on the Prairie, or her Little House in the Big Woods (which is the first place that she actually lived).
I can sit in my kitchen and look clear across my living room into my bedroom: the end of my home in that direction. If I look to the other way, I see our school room and my girl’s bedroom. The rooms are very close to each other in proximity. And that’s it, the end of the tour! (Minus our downstairs.)
A contractor once jokingly asked me how I manage to cook for a large family in a kitchen as small as mine. Truth is, I just make it happen, much like anyone else would. (Besides…some of the best things come in little packages!)
Anyway, my home may be small, but it has warmth and character; and sometimes, when I look up and glance across the rooms, I’m so pleased with what I see and how I feel, especially in the evenings when the house is still and quiet, and all the main lights are off and only the lamp lights are on. It really is quite tranquil and the atmosphere says – Ah . . . Home.
I just love my little home.
But, you know (because I have a split personality and sometimes Mr. Hyde gets the better of me), I have moments when I hate my home and every fiber of my being contemplates how to escape it (with my family, of course!).
“I’ve got to get out of here!
It’s too small!
We’re so cramped!
We don’t fit in this house anymore! (Did we ever?)
It’s old and dilapidated! I want everything in my home to scream NEW: new walls, new floors, new tiles and baseboards.
Unlike the homes of my many friends who have moved out of the city for greener, larger, more peaceful and less expensive pasture. Where crickets can be heard cricking (crickets crick?), birds can be heard chirping, and aside from that – all the cricking and chirping – NO OTHER SOUNDS ARE HEARD.
Mr. Hyde emerges, because in contrast, I live on a freeway (it’s really a busy street, but I dub it a freeway!), and it’s noisy. The clamor can be heard through my closed windows. The cars never stop honking; they never stop racing. The bus stops (almost) in front of my house and when it pulls off it sounds as loud as a Boeing 747.
That sums-up my external bliss; as for internal factors . . .
My lovely little home was built at least 100 years ago. (It’s old, y’all!) Not all the walls are smooth, the doors are outdated, the base moldings are worn, some rooms have painted paneling and the windows are old.
“Oh Lord, how can I appreciate what I have? How can I find beauty in flooring that’s torn and furniture that doesn’t match and is worn?”
His answer: “Oh, daughter. How can you not?”
I know the Lord is right. I know that my murmuring and complaining is wrong.
And this actually gets me to thinkin’ . . .
My home is beautiful because each room of donated, mix-matched and bargain basement furniture represents years of sacrificing financially to live on one income.
Yes . . .
My home is beautiful.
What’s old is beautiful.
What’s tattered and torn is beautiful.
Worn out flooring is beautiful. (**Huh? What? Must have my head evaluated!**)
Not always getting what you want (or don’t need) is beautiful (and potentially character building!).
Let’s put it this way . . .
If Charles and Caroline Ingalls (Laura’s parents from Little House on the Prairie) can live in a rustic, handmade log-home on a prairie with dirt floors and windows with no glass pane – practically devoid of basic amenities – yet still manage to provide a home in which their children felt happy, secure, contented and virtually never deprived, and manage to raise a daughter who went on to inspire countless generations of people with her recollections of childhood, then I imagine that Hubby and I will be fine raising our kids in this little house on the freeway.
Lord, I DO love my home (most of the time). 😉 Please help me to love and appreciate it more.
(UPDATE:::There’s been a lot of work done to my home since I posted this back in 2010, but the core of the message never changes.)
Next up in this series: Little House Lessons: Contentment.