When we first moved into our new home, I really disliked living here. I kept looking back to what we had left, and felt sorry for myself. It was hard to move from a site-built home with a full-size garage, three large bedrooms and two baths, into a double-wide manufactured home with very little storage space, and with three tiny bedrooms and two baths, one of which isn’t fully functional.
I knew why we had moved: 1)It was time to get a place of our own, and not be renting anymore, and 2)We needed to cut costs. We found the absolute cheapest place we could find, that wasn’t also a heap of junk, and jumped into first-time home ownership. Hopefully, we will be able to pay off our loan in half the time, if we pay extra toward the principle. Living within our means is important. But, it also signifies living with less, sometimes.
It didn’t help that I started to feel terribly nauseous almost right after we moved in. All the small renovation projects I had in mind to make our new home a more pleasant place to live were no longer going to happen, at least not yet. I felt like I was up against a brick wall, with feeling sick and exhausted all the time. Being pregnant meant a new life, and we were so excited! And yet, dealing with how it feels, physically, to be pregnant can be hard…
All I could do sometimes was lie there on my couch, while I looked at the brown spots on our kitchen ceiling, the paint drips on the wall trim from a paint job that hadn’t been finished, the linoleum squares in the dining area that were lifting off the floor, and the broken tile corners. I hated the way our house smelled: the dampness and the staleness that oozed into the house from underneath the floor. I loathed the pincher bugs and the cockroaches that somehow squeezed their way through the cracks. I despised the heat that blasted through the thin windows. There was no privacy, no space between us and the neighbors. I really wasn’t happy.
Maybe God wasn’t happy with me, either. I complained a lot. Was that His will for me? I think that all of this was a lesson I needed to learn. I did feel that God had provided this home for us, as part of His goodness toward us. No, He didn’t give us a mansion to live in. But, He provided for our needs. I should have been thankful!
Isn’t that what happens with us, a lot? We pray, “God please help me with this problem,” and we expect that He will come through for us in exactly the way that we envision. But what if it doesn’t turn out that way? What if, at times, He gives us only just what we need, in that moment? Maybe He doesn’t always cause our cups to overflow with extreme, abundant goodness (at least we don’t see it at the time), and instead gives us the alternative: “Here, this is what you need to survive. Make do.”
We have been “making do.” And yet, it really hasn’t been that bad. The price is right. The transportation is ideal. In our old house, I wasn’t able to take walks because there simply were no sidewalks or streets quiet enough for it, but here, I have several different options for walking. My children can ride their bikes in front of our house, which they couldn’t do before in our old home. We have a park nearby that only takes about ten minutes of walking to get to. We have nice neighbors (our old ones were nice, too). Nothing leaks. The cooler and heater work. Even though the bedrooms are small, we have an extra room for toys and homeschool supplies. Now that we’ve got the ducts cleaned out by a professional, things seem to smell better (or maybe it’s just because it’s winter now, and not so hot), etc., etc. And with the coming new year, we’ll have a chance to do more repairs, and continue making this house into a place we will be proud to call “home.”
I have been tested, and I have been found lacking, sadly. But, I am also learning how important it is to be satisfied with what I have; to look at the positive aspects of life, and not waste my time dwelling on the negatives; to appreciate the gifts God has given us now, and look forward to the possibilities of what tomorrow might bring; to
“…[forget] those things which are behind and [reach] forward to those things which are ahead…”