Tuesday, January 16, 2007Without a Home
"Without a Home"... The title I choose for this post seems so sad, so forlorn, reminiscent of a lonely, homeless cat wandering the streets... It is not so dramatic or sad as that. -Just a fact of the present state of things around here. I'm sure that there are many of you out there who have been through or are going through a similar sort of thing as I am about to share.
My husband and I bought our first house one year ago. 3 months later we moved here and tore apart parts of our house with the intention of renovating a bit. Now, almost a year later, we are STILL chipping away at the place. My husband has not the time nor the money to finish it promptly. Being a carpenter, if he were to do nothing but the house, it would have been done early this summer. However, with starting his new job and all, his time was quickly eaten up. Our 2nd child is due to arrive around February 22nd or so...That is only about 6-7 weeks away, and I have not unpacked one box of baby clothes or diapers or anything. My nesting instinct is kicking in and I want to start scrubbing my home, washing the baby blankets and organizing clothes and diapers... but I am stuck here in a little room, still without a home to move into. My husband and I still reside with his folks in a very small bedroom and sleep on a bed smaller than a Queen size. With a toddler sprawled on the side, a big man and a 34-week pregnant woman crunched together, it is quite a snug fit. -Cozy, but very tight. There was a time this summer when I thought I'd die of frustration. I wanted my own kitchen, my own space... I wanted our own family time back, etc. I begged people to pray for us and was desperate to get into our own house. However, the lessons I have learned have been immense.
First of all, there is the wonderful advantage of knowing my in-laws very, very well. We are now all so comfortable around each other that I'm convinced there may not ever be an awkward moment in our futures. Secondly, there is the virtue of patience and all, which I learned the hard way. Most importantly, I have been given the graces to be able to be very grateful for the many blessings I do have. I have been given the grace to be able to focus and be grateful for the what I DO have as opposed to what I do not have. It sounds so simple, but I think that many of us spend so much of our time thinking of this and that which needs to be done, this or that which we desire/need/want, rather than just living in the moment and thanking God for the moment-to-moment blessings in our days.
We are rich! We may not have a home, but we have love; we have grace; we have each other. What more do I really and truly need? Sure, I desire to have my stuff again-- to have my own pots and pans, my own pottery and icons and table linens and furniture... but do I really NEED these?? I do not. I need God, shelter, my husband and children. That is all.
We plan on having a home birth. We did with the firstborn, and we plan to do so with our coming second. However, I could technically go into labor safely in just a few weeks... And, as I mentioned above, I have not ONE thing ready for my coming baby! I don't even have a house of my own that is ready. I am beginning to feel like Our Lady. Now I have a very tiny idea of what it may have been like, going from inn to inn before giving birth in the shelter of a stable. Thank God I do have a wonderful husband, my own St. Joseph, to take care of me. If I went into labor tomorrow, so to speak, he would be preparing a bed and a little mini hearth in our empty, unfinished home. He would make a cozy place to welcome our little one. In other words, God will provide, through Him and His merciful providence.
It has been hard to be grateful for these things amidst the frustrations of not having my own home. But it has been a journey of grace, a journey of growth, and I thank God for giving me the strength and the graces necessary.