Live Simply, Give More, Expect Less

Friday, April 6, 2012

I think this little quote might actually be to blame for this blog. When I was in college, my husband (then fiancĂ©e) and I bought a little 750 square foot manufactured home. I'm pretty sure about a month before we bought the house I was instructing my husband to shoot me if I ever had to live in a trailer park. It's so funny how life works out sometimes. When I saw the photos of the house, I just fell in love. It was sweet, it was cute, it was cheap (I WAS a student after all). 

Now, almost 9 years later, I look at the house and see the kitchen we flooded on our first night of home ownership (and our first "do it yourself" project....that was a huge failure). It is the place we came home to after getting married. It is the first and only home our children know. It is the home we have poured many hours and days into fixing just how we want it. It is honestly our pride and joy. 750 square feet in the middle of a trailer park is our diamond in the rough. We love this house.

Now, it took me a LONG time to get to this point! I have spent many years being embarrassed to say where I live. I perfected my ability to make it sound like I lived near the lake (which is true mind you, but there is a huge distinction between my house and the homes just across the street from me!). I didn't want people to think less of me. I didn't want people to judge me for we chose to live. I guess I didn't want people to think the things I once thought of people who live in trailer parks. To say I've struggled, is an understatement. I wanted what everyone else had! I wanted the big house, big yard, nice neighborhood to show as my status symbol. I would look at my house and just hate it. 

But, slowly, my outlook on my own home began to change. It didn't get magically bigger (well, we did add a 4' x 6' storage room) but my perception of the house made it feel bigger. I cognitively made the decision to end my misery and make lemons out of lemonade. We created storage where we could, we purged the junk that we didn't really need, we found a place for everything. And when everything is in its place, I am one HAPPY momma. We painted the things we wanted to paint and hung photos of those we love so much. We made this tiny house, into the home it was worthy of being. We stopped putting things off. We stopped making plans for "when we have a bigger house" or "when we have more money" and it enriched our lives more than I ever anticipated. 

However, the number one reason I love this house, is that it affords me the ability to stay home with my children and sit here with my feet up and type this. It affords me the ability to donate my time and money to things that are bigger than myself. When I stopped feeling sorry for myself, stopped reaching for things I didn't really need, stopped measuring myself against other became fulfilling just as it was, and this house became more than enough.

Of course I have my days where I throw my little fits and scream "I WANT OUT!!!!!!" I want a yard for my son to run in instead of doing laps around the kitchen table. I want a room for each child so that I don't have to wake up to a screaming baby at 3am along with a four year old screaming "MY SISTER IS CRYING!!!" 

Ya, I got the memo....thanks! 

We will eventually move to a larger house and I'm sure with it we will have other frustrations (the grass is always, always, always greener on the other side) but I will always cherish this house and I hope we can find someone else who will love it as much as we do.

And the quote at the top of the page, well it needs a little bit of explaining. I couldn't agree more with the "Live Simply" and "Give More", but the "Expect Less" to me means to not expect that things will just be handed to me in life....but I can, and should, expect greatness in my life...I just have to go out there and find it!


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  2. We have to mow our own lawn, but it's the size of a postage stamp and when I say "we" I really don't mean me at all! :)

    Yes, I'm very European....most of my furniture comes from Sweden! ;)