"And he said to them, Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."
Luke 12:15 ESV
It is amazing what perspective will do to a person's ideals. My ideas of 'necessity' took a drastic turn during that year without a house. I noticed every available looking house and shack in my drives around the countryside. Size, appearance and location meant less and less to me as I longed for a place to call home. I caught myself looking around the furnished basements of people we visited and thinking how perfectly content my little family would be to live in the spaces that, to others, were just extra. When we decided to turn Chris' old shop building into living quarters, what would have seemed like an impossibility a year before, now seemed like an exciting opportunity.
We brainstormed ways to make 726 square feet a workable space for our family. No closets? I can work with that. A narrow little kitchen? Not a problem. A tiny little 'drive in and back out' bathroom? Sure thing. 726 square feet had never looked so delightful!
When we moved in and unpacked our very own belongings again, the whole experience felt sacred. Cooking and cleaning and caring for my family in our own little space was a thrill. I hated the feeling I got from people that I was some sort of hero for what I had done.
Was it hard? Yes, I would be the first to say it was! I confess to some very nasty feelings toward any woman I heard complain about their small house or their old house or anything else that had to do with the house they were blessed with. Pictures of people's exquisite remodel jobs on houses that were perfectly nice to start with made me nauseous. Pious comments about the joy of making do with what we have when, to me, the one commenting appeared to have it all made me want to gag.
But I wasn't a hero. We were simply following the Lord and, although I did my share of kicking and screaming, His hand was so evident through that whole moving experience. Through it all He taught me some of the most important lessons I have learned in my life and, honestly, I really don't think I would trade the experience if I could!
Sometimes God needs to turn our world upside down in order to re-arrange our perspective. Even then, we don't get it all perfectly. I think I did learn something that year about how little we need things to make us happy - how rich we are aside from all our stuff. But God is always about teaching us more and He continues to do that.