Almost everyone I know has a “dream home.” It doesn’t matter where they live or what kind of environment they enjoy. Homes and dreams float hand-in-hand.
And the ultimate dream of every dreamer? To design a home according to particular tastes, style, likes and dislikes. From the roof’s peak to the foundation, having a home that breathes your name is often a most coveted possession.
The grander it is, the prouder we are of it!
It’s my turn?
In the past month, I’ve been thrown into the housing world in a new, overwhelming way. We are designing our own cottage!
In many regards it’s nothing new! I grew up in a family of carpenters. My husband and several in-laws also work the trade. Shucks, I even paid for part of my college tuition swinging a hammer.
I’ve heard dreams. I’ve seen plans. I’ve helped build houses. But I never entered into my ideal.
When the door swung open…
…I didn’t find myself on cloud nine. Why was I not beside myself with joy?! Getting to design my own home? Choosing the layout and flow of rooms, windows and colors? Of flooring, vanities and kitchen cabinets?
Instead of being overjoyed, I find myself being thoughtful, frugal and focused on simplicity. Instead of dreaming up the most beautiful ideas and styles, I find myself looking for ways to cut back on “excess.”
I’ve always seen the home as a haven. I’ve always known that I want to have the naturalness of God’s world surrounding my house in the form of cottage gardens, fruit trees and vines, animals and children. I’ve always known I wanted imagination, realness and a relationally connected home. And beauty.
I’m a lover of soft, natural beauty. There are a few parts of the cottage where we plan to accommodate this forever-appearing side of me!
But the layout isn’t glamorous. It’s efficient. It’s small. In many ways, we are scrimping and cutting any corners that can be cut. We are trying to fit everything we need within the four walls without breaking our small budget. But still, why aren’t we hyped about it all?
Because its not the most important thing!
We’ve been brought to the realization that in the grander scheme of life, the look, style and design of our home doesn’t matter so much!
Living with chronic illness has caused a shift in perspective for both my man and I. Somehow, it strips everything away that isn’t valuable and sets the spotlight’s direct beam on what truly does matter.
Outside the illumining circle, I see white ceilings with wooden beams, windows with diamond panes, an arched kitchen doorway leading to an outside luscious garden.
That straight-shooting beam of light illumines and centers NOT on a building, but instead, on a life lived according to what matters most. Our home should better equip us to invest into what matters most. What does that look like specifically? I think it varies from family to family and situation to situation.
And the truth is?
Our contentment, relational connectedness, joy and peace isn’t dependent on the house we live in. In fact, if we aren’t content now, we won’t be even if our dream home becomes a reality!
Why? Because contentment is a condition of the soul and has little to do with concrete, wood and glass.
I set myself to remember this in the midst of planning because I don’t want to be consumed by something that doesn’t fulfill or hold the answer to my life’s needs.
To those who are stuck in difficult housing situations:
There are some of you out there who are currently living in housing situations where it does matter. I’ve been there. Perhaps mold is affecting your (or your children’s) health. Or the carpet saturated with smoke and animal hair is causing reactions. Perhaps you are moving into the phase of life where your home should accommodate a walker or wheelchair. Please don’t think I turn a blind eye to the struggles that come with inadequate housing situations. Your situation DOES matter!
I write to those who fervently wait for their dream home in hope that it will fill something inside. I write to encourage us to keep perspective, to live a life centered around what truly matters. I write to remind myself:
It doesn’t matter what kind of home I live in, but rather, how I live life in that home.