Meg Herriot ponders how a small home can be a blessing in unexpected ways.
Sometimes we need to be reminded of our blessings. My husband and I moved into our starter house about 10 years ago. It’s a pretty nice house, but there's not a lot of space, especially for storage, or a designated play area for our son. I don’t think I became disenchanted by it until the pandemic when it always seems like everybody is in everybody else’s space. I’m always telling my son to pick up toys or clear his latest project off the dinner table. In a house of introverts, we don’t really each have our own space (or as in the case of my husband, his space for work is also the dog’s space, the space for camping gear and the coldest space in the house. But at least it’s quiet.) Our extended family has also commented on our lack of space, but let’s just say our circumstances keep us in this space. Most of the time, we are content with it. But I think sometimes we forget that whatever space is a blessing if we are all together.
A few years ago my son commented that he wanted a bigger house. I looked at him and said, “I’d love one too, but it costs more money.”
“Well then, get more money!” my son responded. as if there’s an ATM that is endless. The innocence of children….
“Well, if you want mommy to get more money, it means I’ll have to spend a lot more time working. You will have to spend a lot more time at childcare than you already do.”
He quickly replied, “Mommy, this house is fine.”
My husband and I like traveling around and looking at mansions. I never really dream of moving into a mansion (I can’t imagine cleaning one, and I don’t think I would be content with that much space). But the other night, on a walk, I walked by some single family homes and realized something. If we had a bigger house, we would each have our own space.
I may not dream of a mansion. But I do dream of a little den where I can retire in my favorite chair in silence and read and pray without hearing the TV or being disrupted.
While initially the thought of each having our own space seemed like a dream, the flip side occurred to me. If we each had our own space, being a house of introverts, I think we wouldn’t interact very much. We wouldn’t have the same threesome we have. While we drive each other nuts sometimes, there is joy.
One time during the pandemic, I thought I lived in a musical, because my son and husband were randomly breaking into song all the time. Sometimes, it was a bit much. Trying to work and focus with virtual school in the background and the cat chasing the dog and everything going on at once would be a challenge for anyone.
We have a unity. Everyone has different circumstances (I don’t begrudge anyone with a larger house). But I remembered how God provides us with the right blessings for our station in life. If my son not having a designated play space makes me more likely to come over and play a game of chess with him, or more likely to have him come over and see me reading and ask me to read to him, I’m happy to live in an open-floor-plan, no-private-space house. This is where God put us, and I rejoice in His wisdom.
Copyright 2022 Meg Herriot
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