Today marks exactly 3 years since Luke and I became homeowners and moved into our very first house.
Our house actually has 3 apartments in it. We own the house, but rent out two of the apartments and live in the third one. It's a pretty amazing situation, and we are very blessed.
Anyway, back when we bought the house, we had a 5-year plan. We wanted to save up for a down payment on our forever house while we lived here. We then wanted to move into our dream house but keep this one, renting out the third apartment as well. At this point, I pictured us with one baby, but I knew we didn't have room for more than one baby here, so we'd have to move before we had another one. Hence the 5-year plan.
Well, you know what they say. We make plans and God laughs.
Our plan is not looking like it's going to come to fruition in any way, shape, or form. Instead of teaching, I'm going back to school for speech-language pathology. I'll be in school for 2.5 more years, so we won't be ready to move out at the 5-year mark. And we didn't realize our lemon of a VW Passat was going to eat up so much of our second home savings (We've been rid of the car for a year, and we're still paying for the repairs!! C'est la vie).
Since our plans aren't turning out the way we had originally thought they would, I've learned to be content. For a while, every time I thought about this house, the only things I could see were:
- it's lack of a dishwasher
- the 20-some steps we have to walk up to get into the house
- the teeny, tiny yard
- the fact that we have to share the house with other people and therefore we don't feel like we have the amount of privacy we would if we lived in a house by ourselves.
- the small kitchen and lack of counter space
- the lack of air-conditioning
- the fact that I live next door to a fire station. It's loud a lot. Especially on Saturdays at noon when they test the tornado alarm. Bane of my existence, right there.
Around the time I decided to go back to school, I decided that I needed a major attitude adjustment about this house. Is it my dream house? No. But that doesn't mean I can't see it for the blessing that it is! Now when I look at our house, I see
A kitchen where I've:
- Learned to cook, and cooked hundreds of meals to enjoy with my husband
- Stolen so many kisses and asked for afternoon hugs from Luke after work
- Baked more cookies than you could ever imagine
- Washed and dried hundreds of hours worth of dishes while talking to God, singing, or pondering life.
A bathroom where I've:
- Sung in the shower
- destressed in much-needed bubble baths
- Done loads and loads of laundry. Have I ever mentioned how much I love the smell of clean laundry? Because I do. Almost in an unnatural and extreme way. Therefore, laundry is my favorite chore. Don't even get me started on clean sheet day. Best day of the week!!! Clearly I am off on a tangent...
A dining room where I've:
- Shared romantic dinners with my husband
- Had deep conversations with friends
- Met with God most mornings with a cup of coffee or hot cocoa and a Bible and devotional in hand
A bedroom where I've:
- found a peaceful and comfortable haven every night with my favorite person. I try not to let my fears or worries enter this room, and God has blessed me with restful, sleep-ful nights just about every night for the past three years.
- Laughed and cried through thousands of chapters of many books with the little nightstand lamp turned on.
- Taken some pretty divine naps
- Cuddled with the two cutest cats in the world!
A living room where I've:
- Cuddled up for movie nights with Luke
- Laughed and cried and had some very deep conversations with friends
- decorated Christmas trees and celebrated three Christmas seasons
- Spent so much time de-stressing
And a little yard where I've
- Talked and laughed around bonfires with friends and family
- Played in the snow
- laid out in the sun with my iPod and a good book on a lot of warm, spring days.
When I look at all the everyday things that go on in our little house, I realize that it is our home. Our own safe haven in a crazy world. The place where we connect, entertain, escape, and live.
So as much as I complain about our little house, I know that someday when Luke and I are sitting in our rocking chairs at a nursing home, I will look back at this house so fondly. It was really where we began and built our life together. As soon as we got married we began renovating it and making it ours. And then we lived our first married years here.
I wish we lived in a nice big house with a gigantic yard, cathedral ceilings, a big fireplace in the living room, a wrap-around porch, an enormous whirlpool bathtub, a roomy kitchen with a dishwasher, a garage, and a walk-in closet the size of my current bedroom. But if we lived in one, I guarantee that I'd be looking back on our first house and missing it.
It's all about perspective, and I'm choosing to see this house as the blessing it is. It's home to us, and therefore it's my favorite place to be :-)