Happiness Does Not Come in the Form of Square Footage

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My husband and I took a while to pay off our student loans and then start saving for a house.  During this time of waiting, I had to trust that God would provide just the right house at just the right time.  There often was a temptation to feel stuck or discouraged.  After all at times our 900 square foot rental house seemed to be bursting at the seams with well… baby gear!  There was a temptation to not be grateful for the place I called home. “If only I had a bigger house syndrome” would often kick in.  I had to keep reminding myself that simply moving into a new house would not be a source of happiness.  The Lord reminded me that my joy would need to come from something other than simply having a bigger house.  At times this was easy to do, but at other times it was hard and required a decision to trust.  For example, I remember scraping my side (just below the rib cage) on the sharp corner of a dresser that I decided to put in my son’s bedroom.  I was not quite used to the new piece of furniture being in my normal walking path.  Oh, if I just had more space, I thought!

Soon, it became clear that we were ready to look at homes.  The process took about six months from the time we looked at our first house to closing on our home.  In the beginning the process seemed slow, and I feared we wouldn’t find the “perfect home.”  Again, the Lord reminded me that joy and contentment would not be found solely in the perfect home.  I remember going through homes I thought might be “the one” only to find some flaw (or flaws) in them that were deal breakers in my mind. Then, we went through a house that did not fit our complete criteria but looked cute to me and had a lot of features that we hadn’t seen in houses so far.  I remember going through the house and taking my son upstairs to the kid bedroom.  I sat with him on the carpet as he looked at some toys (and put them neatly back, of course).  The sun streamed in through the blinds and the room felt so cozy.  It felt homey.  However, it was determined by us that this was not the right house for a few reasons.

As we continued to look at other houses and that house continued to stay on the market, it kept coming to mind.  I told my husband- we need to look at it one more time. I can’t stop thinking about it.  We scheduled another showing and went through it again (without toddler), and we decided to take that big scary leap and put in an offer.  Throughout the offer process I tried to stay detached in case in didn’t go through, and I got to the point where I was willing to walk away if it didn’t meet our needs.  It was a hard place to be in because I loved the house so much, but had to believe that if it was not the one, there would be something else out there.  I won’t go into the nitty gritty of it all, but in a few days time we had an agreement in place and the countdown to closing began.  I do have to admit it was kind of scary and exciting taking this next step.

So, we moved in to our new house.  I have found that life did not drastically change because of having a new house.  I do enjoy having a bigger space and not running into dressers anymore. 🙂 I’ve realize that indeed joy doesn’t come in the form of square footage, soft water, and ceiling fans, but rather in knowing that God gave us this house as a gift to be shared with others.  It is my hope to share this space with family and friends, and that it be a welcoming space.  The whole process of buying the house and moving in has made me aware of the generosity of others.  Friends helped me pack, watched my son during house appointments, cleaned, moved boxes, unpacked boxes, visited me, and encouraged me through it all.  It is those acts of service and friendship that brought me joy and thankfulness.

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