a little and a lot

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Love the One You're With

My mom doesn't care for this Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young song because of it's flippant attitude toward relationships, but...

I think it pretty much sums up my love relationship with my little rented house.

Almost 7 years ago, I moved out of my little church-provided duplex and spent my grandmother's grad school graduation gift on the down payment of a 900 square foot, 2-bedroom/1-bathroom house in a sweet little neighborhood in East Memphis.  I was dating Nick at the time, but never expected to continue living in that house when we married one day.

Almost 7 years later, we have a marriage-full of memories in our little house!  I have gone through a love-hate relationship cycle with our place, and I have drawn many "We'll move out when..." lines that I have broken again and again.  (We'll move out when we have two incomes--then we can afford to buy or rent a larger house.  We'll move out when we get a second dog--there is NO way we could live here with two large dogs!  We'll move out before our first child comes home--there is DEFINITELY no way we could live here with two large dogs and a small child!)

The house is about 60 years old.  It is small and drafty.  There are things about it that I abhor, things I hated and then changed, and things that I kind of like.  And somehow it all pans out to a home that I have really come to love.

Why do we live here?
Our rent is the cheapest I've found.
Our landlord is a kind & generous Christ-follower.
(He lets us deduct from our rent any improvements we make to the house--how awesome is that?!)
And we don't "need" more than what we have right now.

My opinion on that definition for our family is ever-changing.

I have often battled with embarrassment over the difference in our home and those of our friends'.  Years ago, I took dinner to a friend who had just had a baby.  She was showing me her newly renovated bathroom and complaining that they almost put a window in the shower wall.  "Can you imagine it?" she said, "A sliding window in our shower?  I mean, how tacky did they think we were?  This isn't a trailer home!"  I smiled and said nothing, thinking of the sliding shower window in my own bathroom.

But here's the deal, people: this little house has been and continues to be great for us.  It's all we can afford for now, but it's also all we need for now.  Sure, I wish a lot of things were different.  But then I remember Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young...

"When you can't be with the one you love, 
love the one you're with."  

We wont live here forever.  (Well...never say never, I guess!)  But I've come to cherish this little old drafty house in recent years.  It is the first place we were a family of two.  It is the first place we were a family of three (or five, if you count the dog-children).

Necessity truly is the mother of invention.  And I'd like to start a little series showing how I embrace my "less than awesome" qualities of our little home.  Some of it will be changes we've made to the house.  Some of it will be changes I've made to my budget or my lifestyle or my habits.  I know I'm not alone in this--surely many of you "make do" with elements of your homes as well!  I figure it's time to stop pretending I'm blogging from some glamorous home from your dreams, and show the flaws of our home that I can own up to and even love!

Coming up next: Rhet's nursery!


The Strahan Family said...

Thank you for the awesome reminder, especially during this Christmas season, of the realities of "want" verses "need." I am inspired by your attitude and pray God gives me wisdom so see my world as you are.

Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more