I want a bigger house. I want my own bathroom and a walk-in closet. I want a dining room and a fireplace. I want an attached garage and separate bedrooms for my girls. I want an office with better light. I want more distance between my neighbors but less distance between me and Target.
Instead of answering that want that I’ve been voicing for years, recently God has been taking it away from me. He’s showing me how amazing my house is. He’s putting me in places and around people that talk about how little they live with, how much they don’t need. He’s showing me how much I truly have. He’s helping me to let go of things and donate our extra and downsize our lives.
I’ve been praying and thinking about contentment a lot. Some days I can’t wait for us to move out of our small house and have more space (oh, how I dream of space!). Other times, I can’t imagine moving and I just know this house could be our forever home. I go back and forth between these two thoughts, constantly struggling with contentment and a want for more.
But here’s what I do know right now where I’m at: my house keeps my family safe. We have room to live and play, eat and sleep. We don’t need more room for toys or people, we’ve got plenty of both. With a bigger house, I’d want more things and I don’t want to want more things. I want less. Less clutter and mess. Less places to clean. Less things to put away. And for all of that to happen, we need to stay put.
Right now staying put feels good. It feels like we’re supposed to be here, in this small space, figuring out how to live within these walls. There’s also a part of me that says stay here because what is coming up will only work if you’re here, in this house and living this life. I can’t explain that feeling much more than that, but it feels right and comforting. I believe that’s the Lord’s voice—him whispering something to me that I don’t understand yet, but I’m going to trust because it feels wrong not to.
We’ve been acting on that whisper to stay recently. We’re spending weekends cleaning out closets and getting rid of dressers and shelves and freeing up space. I cleaned out my shameful, secret storage room in the basement that housed all my thrifting and garage sale treasures, things I was saving to open up a booth at a local arts and antiques shop. While it hurts a little to get rid of all that stuff, I think that stuff, that dream, was just junking up my life and my focus. Things feel clearer since I’ve cleared out that room.
I wonder how often God’s whispered to me and I’ve ignored it. I wonder if all the stuff I’ve been filling my life with has stood in the way of bigger and better things. I wonder if all my stuff has been so loud, clouding my vision, that I’ve not been paying attention to him as well as I should have.