Thursday, January 5, 2017

31 Days: A Change In Perspective

"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.

10 comments:

Gina said...

I'm sure enjoying this series. You have had experiences that make you uniquely qualified to broach this subject. Looking forward to hearing more.
Gina

Bethany Eicher said...

Thank you, Gina. It's funny, I think I kind of thought that too until I started working on this series...now I'm not so sure! 😀

Meadowlark said...

This series is perfect timing for the new year. I'm looking forward to the rest of the story...! I don't think we've met, but your sis in law is a long time friend of mine. :)

Bethany Eicher said...

Glad you are enjoying it! Now I'm curious which sis in law that might be? ☺

Meadowlark said...

Joy G. :) I'm Bertha Nisly, from Kansas. Your writing is an encouragement to me. Thanks for the effort you put into it, and your willingness to share with the rest of us!

Bethany Eicher said...

Ahh, I think I have heard that name before ☺ Thank you for the encouragement!!

Miller scribe said...

I can relate. When we "finally" built our addition I was not impressed with how many people commented that we were so deserving since we 'put up' with 900 some square feet for 17 years. Never mind that we bought this house from a family with 3 teenage daughters; they didn't complain about 1 bathroom. I resented the mentality that Mennonites have big families so we must have big houses. We wrestled with the same things you are wrestling with. I love my space but when it's time to spring clean i sort of wish for 900 square ft again. :)

Bethany Eicher said...

I've thought of that side! I keep telling myself surely cleaning will still be easier when there's more space to put things 😀

dorcas showalter said...

"But I wasn't a hero. We were simply following the Lord... 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!"
Oh, oh I so can relate to this post. Although we sold pretty well everything we had and mostly moved in 10 big suitcases, 5 carry-ons, and 4 very heavy backpacks to Chile the beginning of September. I felt sick at alot of the comments people made to use, as if we were heroes, and they NevEr could do what we did. I struggled more with their comments, thinking that they have a warped perspective, than I did about selling our stuff and our place and businesses.

Bethany Eicher said...

Yes. I know what you mean.