Monday, March 3, 2008

Joy in the Journey

I chose this title for my blog because life can get so crazy sometimes, and in those times I find myself thinking "It will be so much easier when..." As in, when Katie-bug gets to the next stage. Or when we move to a bigger house. Or when Mike's job goes to the next level (and the next pay raise). Or when spring comes. Or whatever. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, right? And very often God has to remind me that it's not about the next thing - it's about where I am RIGHT NOW. What is he trying to teach me right now, as I am taking this step? And how do I embrace that?

Embracing the current step, however, isn't quite as easy as it sounds. Sometimes it means that I need an attitude adjustment. (I hate those!) Other times it means that God is trying to stretch me in a new way. And there are times when embracing the current step simply means that I need to stop and enjoy where I am and what I'm doing.

One current example of this is my house. A couple years before Mike and I met, he decided to purchase a house so he could stop being a renter and start building equity in something. He bought a nice little starter house which was perfect for him as a bachelor - two stories with an unfinished basement, two bedrooms, one bath, etc. But what was a great bachelor pad, and even a great place for us as newlyweds, is now cramped with a toddler running around.

One of the major problems with the house is that it doesn't have a lot of designated space for things. For example, our "linen closet" amounts to a tiny cupboard above the toilet that has enough room to store about three bath towels and a few washcloths, provided you fold them up just so and squish them in perfectly. (Brings back memories of playing Tetris.) On the other hand, we have three HUGE closets and a basement, which have become a vortex of stuff.

...pausing to look up vortex and make sure I used it correctly... yes, I did, I think...

Since I didn't have space in the "linen closet" for all of my towels, sheets, etc., the extras got thrown into one of the three HUGE closets. And the same thing happened for stuff all over the house - if I couldn't decide what to do with it, it got dumped in with everything else. And a big pile of "everything else" isn't easy to live with, or deal with.

The bottom line is that I have been frustrated with my house and it's lack of "space." (There are several other factors at work here, but they are topics for another time.) What I have come to realize in the past few weeks is that I need to embrace where I am at for right now. Sure, we have our house on the market and are hoping to move this spring, but I am sorely mistaken if I think that moving to a new house will suddenly make my clutter issues go away. Instead, I need to embrace where I am and learn to live in the house God has blessed me with.

And you know what? God has given me a whole different perspective on my house. And he has opened my eyes to help me deal with the clutter in a better way, and he's released me from some of my own emotional clutter that was tied to the physical clutter. I feel so different about where I am and I've even come to enjoy my little house.

Except for the bats.

But even the bats have provided for some interesting (and very humorous) memories. So I guess, to a point, I can even embrace the bats. Not literally, because that would be gross, and a bat is sort of hard to trap in one place long enough to kill embrace.

By the way, a racquetball racket comes in handy should you ever want to "embrace" a bat.

And if you ever move into a house where the former owner has left a racquetball racket sitting neatly by the front door with a bow tied around it, you might want to be suspicious of what other guests are inhabiting your house.

Not that we'd EVER think of doing something like that.


Sara Luke said...

Yay! Welcome to the world of blogging.

RE: the house issue . . . when Kyle and i got married, we moved into an apartment that was about twice the size of the apartment I first lived in. I had no idea what I would put in all of the SPACE! But eventually, we filled it up and needed to move because we didn't have enough room. So now we live in a fairly sizable house for three people. But we managed to find ways to fill every nook and cranny with stuff.

I wish, when I was living in that apartment, I had just weeded through all of the STUFF and just had a huge garage sale. In fact, I think I'm going to work on that with our house next spring.

Moral of the story: Sometimes I fantasize about simplifying and going back to the apartment days where I didn't have so muhc space to collect stuff. I know your situation is probably different becasue it's stuff that you actually need, but I thought I'd share my thoughts. :)

I'm gonna add you to my blogroll when I get home!

Erin K. said...

Actually, half of it is stuff I most certainly don't need. There is one closet I haven't really, truly, looked in for at least six months, which tells me it's not holding anything of importance. :-D You hit the nail on the head - one day I realized that if I had a house three times bigger, I would probably have three times the stuff. Why is that??

Smith Family Blog said...

Yippeee! I am so excited that you have a blog! :)

I didn't know you had bats! We have bats! I definitely want to hear some of your stories.

Definitely weed things out when you move! We had about 6 weeks before we knew we were moving across the state, and it was great incentive to get rid of things. I think I filled the church's dumpster twice (shhhh....). And I think we supplied an entire Goodwill store. But word of caution: DON'T give away the shoes you wore all winter just because it is Spring and you will "probably" have another pair by next winter, because you won't. :)

Erin K. said...

LOL - thanks for the advice on the shoes. I might want to throw out my boots because I am SO TIRED of wearing them, but thanks to your words of wisdom I will most certainly hang on to them. ;-)

Maybe I'll have to prepare a bat story to post later on today... There are so many...