I have opened my heart up to want this year.
One day in early January, I woke up with the clear vision that this house is never going to be ideal for our family. And I began to want something better.
When we bought this brand-new 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom house as nearly newly-weds, we saw a blank slate for creative design, we saw unique spaces and interesting angles, we saw a place that was bigger and better than our last house. We saw an investment. We saw something that was perfect for us.
Fast-forward. Thirteen years and six kids later, we are busting out of the seams of this house. We have rearranged a million times. I have learned to make the best of it, to see it as an accidental tiny house. We have closed in the porch and built up some walls and walled in the attic. Every small change has brought an incredible flow of new life here.
I have recurring dreams where I am walking around in my house and all of the sudden, I realize there is a door I have never seen before. I open it, and I am standing in a perfectly empty room. I can’t believe I’ve never noticed this before. The utter and complete possibility of it leaves me breathless.
We have been praying that God will give us a house. The right house. In the right place. We have written our lists and the deep desires of our hearts as far as where we really want our children to experience the bulk of their growing up years. We’ve had some houses come along that felt like they were the answer to our prayers, just to have the door shut. I have spent hours and hours in the zillow vortex, doing detailed back-story research and complicated math. And every time I walked away from the screen, I felt like I just wasted an hour of my life that should have been used up doing anything else. Like reading to the babies or cleaning up the kitchen or writing or playing cards or taking a first-trimester nap. I have been so focused on finding a house that I have started to feel myself forgetting what it feels like to be home. The lingering weight of all of this has been heavy.
I wrestled with the idea that yes, we have prayed, and yes, we have faith. We have seen God do incredible miracles in our family. We made a decision a long time ago that we were not going to choose *not* to have children because of the size of our vehicles or our house. God owns everything in this world, and He can create something for us out of nothing if He wants to. I know that He can open a door for a house that is everything on our lists if it is His will. But I also know that we don’t get everything we want in life. And that if we lived in a less wealthy country, the home that eight (soon to be nine) of us are sharing would be seen as so luxurious and full of extravagant comforts, it might as well be a palace. I wrestle with the knowledge that what I want is often much more than what I need. And ultimately, what is important is less of where we are living and more of who we are becoming through the process of wanting and waiting and hoping and praying and trusting that God truly does supply all of our needs.
And I had a revelation that feels like the truest faith I have ever had in regards to our material needs. I believe that God has heard our prayers. And when we need a house, He will give it to us. It might be before the birth of this baby, or it might be years from now. We might one day realize we never needed another house. I recognize that I do not fully even know my own needs, or how to differentiate them from my deep wants. And so I am surrendering that realization to God, and truly, in a new way, trusting that He is going to open the door when we need it. And in the meantime, we will continue living here and making small changes as we are able to make it more comfortable for our growing family.
I feel God’s pleasure in these children’s lives. Every time the baby crawls up into my lap, puts her dear little arm around my neck and says, with the softest-sweetest expression imaginable, “I love oo, ma-ma,” I feel the pleasure of God. I feel his pleasure in the way we have said yes over and over again, even though the future is uncertain. He cares for these children much more than we do. He is in control. He gives us everything we need.
I truly feel that through the process of wanting and searching for a house and coming up empty time after time, God is teaching me a new way to trust Him. And I feel his peace as He is allowing me to move from a place of extreme dissatisfaction to true contentment.
There is so much to be grateful for in this life. I want to lean into that.
And to realize that it doesn’t matter where we live, because we are already home.