Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Small Houses, Big Houses

Two weeks ago, a book arrived for me to review.  My mom picked it up that very day and began thumbing through it.  She enjoyed it right off the bat.  This weekend my sister in law was here visiting and she read the whole book.  So, I picked it up yesterday.  My full review of the book will be posted in a few weeks, but several of the quotes were very relevant to what we've been going through.  

Our new, old home has had a lot of issues.  We've been working hard on fixing them and getting it in shape.  There have been so many things that have run through my mind as I've been working on them.  One of the things I've pondered is that I need to seek daily to be content with my home and in my home.  

The book I'm reading put it this way:  that we should seek to "dwell well".  The author talked of how large houses cost people--personally, economically,professionally.  Houses can restrict people, rather than free them.  

So, here's a quote by Kathryn Bechen to consider:
"Small spaces give us the opportunity to live sincerely, forcing us to choose which of our possessions make our hearts sing."  
from pg. 15 of her book Small Space Organizing

Last week, when I was at a friend's house discussing houses and possessions, the idea was brought up and discussed that the more possessions one has a) the more one has to take care of and clean and b) that more choices lead to greater unhappiness.  If we only have 1 platter, then we use the 1 platter and are thankful.  If we have 3, we want to make sure we choose the right one and spend more time making that choice.  I use the platter example because up until last week, I had no platters.  My mom was sifting through her things and figuring out what we should keep.  We decided to keep 2 oval platters and 2 round trays that she had.  On Saturday, one of our guests brought some food and asked for a platter to put it on.  I brought the larger one out and our friend wasn't sure it was big enough.  After a moment, it was decided that it would work after all and it looked great with food on it!  For me, that platter was the only choice I had.  I was thankful to have it!  I knew that the person's request wasn't unreasonable at all, but that she must have several platters and be used to having them available to use.  We were coming from different perspectives and have different things in our homes.  

But, that tiny moment brought to my mind what happens when we have choices.  I want get a new camera case that will make it easier for me to carry my camera and lenses.  The internet has a myriad of choices.  I want to make sure I make the "right" choice--or else what?  Well, the fear is that I'll be unhappy with it.  

Having a home that is just right for our families and even perhaps, smaller than we'd like compels us to not hold too tightly to our possessions.  There simply isn't enough room to keep a lot of extra stuff.  But, sometimes it can go the other way.  I've seen how only having a few possessions has made me become overly concerned with making the "right" choice of possessions instead of letting go of those possessions.  Something that someone gives another may not be received because it wasn't exactly what was wanted.  I don't want to get caught in that trap either.  Having possessions comes with many traps and we have to be careful not to make them our homes into idols.  

What really matters?  Our houses?  No.  Our stuff?  No.  Rather, we should desire to dwell well--to seek to love others well with our home and in our home.  Ideally, I think it should be a comfortable place to all who come and go.  

I think I have some more purging ahead of me this week as I finish storing my homeschool books in our basement...  and some more time to think about what I really keep.

No comments:

Post a Comment