A Post About Real Life: How I Struggle With the Size of Our Home Sometimes

It's hard for me to write posts that are personal for several reasons. They take more time because I have to really work hard to come up with the right words to attempt to convey my message, they make me feel vulnerable because I always worry if someone might let me know they disagree with what I wrote, and they also make me feel vulnerable because I'm letting anyone who reads the post take a look inside my messy heart (or my messy home!)

Sometimes though, I sense the Lord wants me to write a post that goes deeper than a review of the newest cool product I've found and that can be hard for me. But the Lord laid it on my heart to share this struggle I have: being content with the size of our home.

I share this not because I need anyone to remind me how selfish I am for wanting a bigger home, but because I bet I'm not the only one that struggles with wanting more.

Let me tell you a little bit about what our home is like. It's a little over 1,100 square feet, is a bi-level, does not have an open floor plan (one of the biggest drawbacks to the house) and has no basement. We live on a decently busy road that has gotten louder and busier over the past 10 years that we have lived here, but we do have a fenced in back yard that I love and it provides some relief from the noisy traffic out front.

The benefits of having a smaller home is that we are living within our means, there is less to clean, less to maintain, smaller expenses for home repairs (e.g. paying for a small roof versus a big roof) and well, it just feels cozy. :)

However, our dream would be to have more land so that we could have a bigger garden, chickens and room for the kids to run free (and you might even catch Mama running free out there too if we had a field). We would also love a bigger house for our growing family and personally, I'd love a room dedicated solely to homeschooling.

So while I do love our home, there are times (like today) that I find myself saying, "Lord, do you see how cramped it is around here?" as I'm stepping around things just to walk from one end of my small kitchen to the other.

Or as I'm trying to store clothes the kids have outgrown or store clothes they're going to grow into and I'm frustrated by the small closet that is literally overflowing.

This is for two of our children, one of which is a baby and you know how many clothes baby's have!). It includes both kids' current clothes, clothes they've grown out of and clothes for the following year.

It is definitely getting "tight" around here with six of us in the house we were "only going to live in for 5 years." Who knew the housing market was going to bottom out? God did and He allowed us to buy this home. Which was looking pretty good in the high priced market we were in at the time.

But when my heart starts to grumble because I don't even know where I'm going to put the baby stuff from the attic that's waiting to be used, I am gently reminded by the Lord just how good I have it.

I mean, when I sweep my floor, at least I'm only sweeping up crumbs (and the occasional spider) and not just smoothing out my dirt floor.

When I sigh because there just doesn't seem to be room for all these clothes for four kids I am thankful that they have clothes and that I have babies that need to be clothed.

When I'm stepping around chairs, and baby swings and art easels, I thank the Lord that in this house, we're always close together and being with my favorite people in the world isn't a bad thing at all.

When I happen to see on pinterest a beautiful room dedicated exclusively to homeschooling and we have only a corner of the living room, I'm reminded that at least I don't have a bunch of school clutter taking up space!

So, what has it taught me living in a smaller house?

Several things, actually. On a practical level, it has taught me to try to only let things into my house if I really love them or if we will actually use the item. It has forced me to constantly be moving things out (mostly kids' clothes and toys that we don't need or want.) It has reminded me over and over again that there are people truly suffering in this world and they would love to have a home half my size. It has taught me not to get too attached to possessions because frankly, I don't have the money or room for them. And last of all, it has taught me to say, "Wow, thank you God for these awesome little people that you have given to us and if having a bunch of them means we don't have money for diamonds on anniversaries or a big home, so be it. I am blessed beyond measure!"

Do you struggle with the size of your home? I'm not the only one (right??)

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Camille said...

Ah, yes. We bought a smaller house (although bigger than yours with less people!) on purpose 4 years ago. I didn't want a huge house to clean and upkeep. Plus we are living well within our means. But I too wish we had an extra room and a little more space. It's definitely harder with a baby because they just need so much big stuff! :-)

Noteable Scraps said...

Well written! I just concur with everything you said. We lived in a 1300 sq ft house when our family became 6. When I was griping about it, I found out one of my friends' houses was only 800 sq ft, and I felt guilty!! We do have a bigger house now (8 years later) and I am thankful, but I remember those days, and thinking everything you wrote. How much I wanted more space, but yet how blessed I was to have so much! Thank you for sharing! And hang in there! :-)

Unknown said...

Hi. I'm a recent subscriber. I really appreciate this reminder of how lucky we are. Not very long ago I was depressed not only about how small our house is, but also about many projects that were planned when we bought it, projects that gave me hope for the house it would become but hasn't yet. I finally opened up to my husband about how bothered I've been and he surprised me with a positive and agreeable response. We've worked really hard the last few months building shelves and creating other storage spaces as well as a few small remodeling projects. I also realized I need to adjust my attitude and remember how lucky we are to have what we have. I am loving my home more now, but there are days I still struggle and cringe about women's and have to put myself in check again. :)

Unknown said...

Cringe about something........ Not sure where "women's" came from. Ha! said...

Thank you so much ladies for your words of encouragement. I needed them. :)

Anonymous said...

You took the words right out of my mouth! I definitely struggle from time to time with the size of our house. My husband and I share it with two toddlers, a baby on the way in July, My oldest niece and her just arrived baby! There are times when I feel very frustrated, but then the Lord reminds me how many blessings he has bestowed on us...and I am humbled. It is nice to know I am not the only one that struggles with this topic though! said...

Thank you for sharing Anna! Praying right now for grace for you. :)


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