I'm pretty sure that in Part I or Part II, I mentioned that I don't really like my house. It almost feels disrespectful to say that after all that God did to get us here, but the truth is that I really don't love it.
The layout is weird. The space is tiny and feel like we're on top of each other most of the time. We knew those things when we bought this house but I don't think either of us planned on being here this long.
Honestly? I struggle with being content in my house.
Some days I do this weird flip-flop thing and get all prideful about it. When friends come back from Africa and talk about how rich we as Americans are and how big our homes are, I smile smugly and think that somehow my tiny house makes me less guilty. Or when foreclosures pop up left and right in my town, I think to myself, "I can afford my house. It might be small, but I'm not house-poor." Pride. Isn't it ugly? It's hideous, really. And sinful. Ugh.
Some days I wallow in self-pity. I look around feel sorry for myself and complain that my gift of hospitality is restricted by the space I live in. How can I have possibly people over for diner when it's a stretch for all five of us to sit around the kitchen table? We do it, of course, but it ends up feeling like a youth group event with people scattered in every room of the house sitting on the floor, the windowsill, or wherever they can find space. That was fun in middle school. Not so much in adulthood.
Our house is about 2300 square feet.
You're right, that's not small. But....
Our basement isn't finished so the part that we actually live in is 1200 square feet. That's tiny. Especially for a family of five.
So why don't we sell this house and move? Excellent question.
First, the economy is tanked right now. I prefer to wait it out a few years and hopefully recoup some of our home's value. Second, if we move to a bigger house right now we'd likely be house-poor and I would need to work. There's nothing wrong with being a working mom, but that's not our desire for our family at this point in time. Plus, have I mentioned how much we love our neighbors? The thought of moving away from these people makes me incredibly sad.
So why don't we finish the basement and increase our living space? Excellent question.
It makes sense, and I guess it's not totally outside the realm of possibility. I just don't think that finishing the basement would give us space where we most need it--in our kitchen/family room.
The only thing I really can do this point is adjust my attitude and focus on the positive while changing the things I can. Spruce things up. Make things cozy and warm. Fill it with things that are meaningful to us. Some days that feels easier than others.
The bottom line is that it's not really about our "house" as much as it is about our "home" and home is a place that my family loves. We may not look at the layout or the furnishings or the size of our space and sigh with deep contentment, but I'm pretty sure all five of love being together in this place. We've filled it with lots and lots of terrific memories over the years. We've filled it with laughter, and love, and family and friends and those things are deeply satisfying.
Part Four? Photos.