Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Eve

It is 'Thanksgiving Eve' and the house is dark and silent, everyone cozy in their beds but me. The fridge is full of food prep for the morrow and the one day of the year when we specifically pause and take note of our blessings.

My heart isn't particularly overflowing at the moment. Not because I have no blessings, far from it! More because I haven't paused to specifically take note.

I was sitting here just now, relaxing in the stillness, and I came across something I wrote during the 500 Words for a week challenge titled "Blessings of four years with 7 people in 726 square feet". With a new house and twice that space just waiting around the corner out of my grasp, I must admit, 726 square feet is not a blessing I have been taking note of too much lately.

So, I thought it interesting that I should have happened upon my writing and that, just maybe, it was no strange coincidence that I should be reminded to take note of the blessing of 726 square feet on the eve of Thanksgiving. I remember a time when 726 square feet was, indeed, a huge blessing to be taken note of and one that I did not take lightly at all!

Five years and four months ago we packed up our belongings and moved our little family from Arkansas to Ohio. For one year we lived in with Chris' parents and then decided to renovate the shop building he had built before we were married. Four years and four months ago we dug our belongings out of dusty, dirty boxes and made these 726 square feet our home. It was amazing to have our own space once again. There was no need to stop and take note of the blessings, my heart was fairly bursting with them!

Time has a way of dulling our memories and I now take every square foot of the 726 for granted. In fact, most of the time lately I chafe at every one of them, knowing that three miles down the road is a house on the hill that promises so many more if only they would ever get completed. And so, tonight as I read over my list of blessings of living in this house, I decided it might be a good thing to stop and take note of, these 726 square feet we call home. Maybe you would like to hear them too...

1) Clean up takes so little time when there's so little space!

2) It cuts down on purchases dramatically. I have no room in my kitchen for all those extra gadgets so I'm not buying them! Same goes for furniture and decor and even, to some extent, clothes...

3) Nobody has the space to go off and do anything by themselves. We're all right here. Together. We hear everything, see everything, know everything...pretty much.

4) There is so much less to take care of. I'm convinced I am far less busy than other women partly because I live in such a small space.

5) It's a great place to teach contentment.

6) It gives an opportunity to cultivate creativity and finding unusual ways to make things work - all the clothes on hangers in the laundry room, bunk bed with full on the bottom and single on the top to accommodate three kids in one room, key board in our bedroom because there's no other space, plastic drawers under short hanging items...the list goes on and on.

7) The little perks - being able to reach anything in the fridge while staying seated at the table, having everything in the kitchen within two step's reach, not needing to gather hangers from hither and yon when doing laundry, and so forth and so on.

8) Hands on examples of the principles of simplicity and contentment lived out for our children in a way that would not have happened other wise.

9) Having only four windows makes the job of cleaning them quite simple (although they still don't get done very often, cough cough).

10) I've had a very valid excuse to not have company over .....wait..... Maybe not so much. I just thought 10 would look better than 9! 😄

Of course, for every pro I could probably name a con. But on this Thanksgiving Eve I am choosing to pause and take specific note of the blessings of 7 people in 726 square feet. The biggest blessing of all is a warm house and the 7 of us all here together and I am so very, very thankful for that!

Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you. May you find time to pause and take note tomorrow!


Tina Z. said...

We are blessed! Happy Thanksgiving to you!!

Samuel said...

Great reminders! I am curious, though. Do you actually have your bedrooms/bathroom/kitchen/living all in 726 sq'?! That's amazing!! I thought we had it bad when we lived in our 'shouse' (shop/house) for 16 years, going from 2 of us to 6 of us, and it was 945 sq'....2 bedrooms/1 small bath/an all-in-1 living area, plus a mini walk through laundry area. So, of course, living in that for so long, I'm very curious how yours is. :-)
~Lois J

Bethany Eicher said...

Yes, it's all in 726 sq feet! ☺ Three small bedrooms (one has only room for a single bed and chest of drawers) with no closets, an open kitchen/dining/living area, tiny bathroom inside a larger room that has the bathroom vanity, freezer, stacked washer and dryer and rods for all of our clothes. It works! ☺

mom of three said...

Hi Bethany! I have followed your blog for years, because it was listed as a blog Patti Rice followed. I absolutely love it! You have such a gift of writing a story that hooks your reader from the first sentence! Anyway, I just had to say, 'there is no place like home.' I grew up in a 900 s.f. house, then lived in a tiny college dorm room that had a sink! A real bonus at that time. When I married, we had a 600 s.f. house with no furnace and a hole in the floor where it used to be... it was repossessed before we bought the house. We moved to a 700 s.f. house, then moved for a new job and bought a 1275 s.f. house near my sister. After that, a 3400 s.f. house. I inherited my parents home and moved to 2800 s.f., then moved out of state to a 1374 s.f. house. (Notice the pattern here?) Moved back to home state to 812 s.f. to help hospice my husband's aunt, and here we are today! Even when we return from a friend's huge home after a visit, we still love home, be it ever so humble...
I am so excited for your new home to be where you actually lay your head on your pillow to sleep! You have made such a beautiful home where you are now, but you certainly will enjoy more space for your precious family! Home is where the heart is, and you have such a beautiful and generous heart Bethany. Your relationship with God is certainly one to be emulated! As is your devotion to your husband and your children. Thank you again for your blog, and for sharing your truly beautiful life with us. God bless you and yours. In Him, Gretchen from Oregon.

Bethany Eicher said...

Thank you so much for commenting! You are so kind and your words brought tears to my eyes. God bless you!

mom of three said...

Sweet Bethany,
Thank you for your reply! I meant to tell you one other tidbit! When you changed your profile picture to your current pose, I was surprised by the impact it had on me. I suddenly saw you as playful... more youthful and friendly! Your picture seems to invite me into your blog... 'come sit with me and visit!' I realize I smile whenever I see your picture now. I grew up Catholic, and I think I felt unworthy to read your blog, like I might be trespassing or intruding somehow. For whatever reason, your pose seems to have leveled the playing field foe me. Just thought you should know that the thoughtful things you say and do really do touch your readers.
Thank you again for being a touch of God for me! Blessings to you, Gretchen

Bethany Eicher said...

This amazes me. Thank you so much for sharing! I am so glad you feel welcome, because you are!! The picture of me comes from an evening our family went exploring and my girls and I got started taking pictures of each other. I wasn't sure, at first, if I wanted to use that "silly" picture in my bare feet but now I'm so glad I did! :)