Over the next few weeks we'll be discussing some strategies for managing and decorating the home that are specifically geared toward small space and budget-conscious living.
For some individuals, the walk from the wedding alter will lead into the doors of a house. For others, it will be into an apartment or other small or temporary residence. Neither one ought to be labeled as good or bad. The choice rests in the appropriateness of the residence for the couple at the time. The only "bad'' is in under-appreciating the potential of the current living situation by longing for something else. The role homemaking has in transforming a bland and generic rented space into a warm and inviting home is a potential that exists in the present state and as such need not be put off until a house is owned.
Homemaking is most commonly applied to the setting of a house, but the education, skills and tasks required remain regardless of the structure. Can I manage this small space well? If so, then I will be more capable of managing larger spaces when/if that occasion should arise in life. I personally would have been much more overwhelmed by domestic tasks had I started out in a large space or house when I married. I was unprepared in this area, and learning within the context of an apartment has helped me gradually learn and practice. Furthermore, managing small spaces takes a bit of extra skill as there is little room for disorder. If you feel called to homemaking, but are waiting until a house to begin then I would encourage you to embrace your current space as a wonderful starting place.
One of the greatest lessons apartment living has taught me has been in the area of contentment. I get cranky at the lack of storage space for our stuff, smoke smells or thumping music from neighbors, walls and floors so thin that you can hear what you wish you hadn’t, high rent rates attached to poor quality units, parking lots in which a car can be hit without consequence...you get the picture. The argument could be made that within a neighborhood of houses the neighbors' properties aren't directly attached to each other and thus many of these issues would be solved. Perhaps, but the issue is more about a poor attitude than poor proximity. If fault-finding is the fixation, then areas of dissatisfaction will be found regardless of the setting. The heart of the matter is contentment. Having every condition in life be perfect is likely something that will not happen. So, can I be content even when things aren't exactly as I want them to be? God promises to provide for my needs and if I’m not seeing that then perhaps I’m focused too much on my wants and thereby missing what he has already done for me. He has provided a roof and walls to surround me, and that is absolutely something in which I can find contentment! Moreover, could God use me, or my husband and me. where we are that I/we would miss if we were consumed with discontent in our current type of residence and longing for something else?
My husband and I have drawn other benefits from apartment living during our current season of life. For instance, we're thankful that we didn't have home/property taxes, yard maintenance, home maintenance or repairs or other expenses and responsibilities associated with home ownership in addition to all the other changes that were happening when we married. When our sink disposal stopped working in the already stressful Christmas season this past year, I was extremely grateful that I just had to call the repair in to the office and not have to worry about purchasing a new unit and installing it. For us, the ease of having an attentive office and maintenance staff reduced some stress as newlyweds. We'll eventually learn these tasks on our own, but for now we're thankful for not having to have a crash course in them plus marriage. At the moment, our attention is more appropriately applied to working on building up a strong foundation within our marriage.
Linked up at: Homemaker By Choice, A Mama's Story, The Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, What Joy Is Mine, Covered In Grace, Raising Arrows, Time-Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, Thankful Homemaker, A Pause On the Path, Heavenly Homemakers, Cornerstone Confessions, Women Living Well, Women Living Well, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Homemakers, We Are THAT Family
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