Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Does This House Make Me Look Fat?

Let me start out by saying that I absolutely love my house. I have a big, beautiful house. It has a gorgeous view from the large back windows . . a lovely winding staircase . . wide, open spaces . . and it was decorated beautifully before we ever moved in. But to the point in my last post, it is perhaps a "fattening" element in our lives -- it is more house than we need. There are at least a couple rooms that we rarely, if ever, utilize. There's a lot of space in each room that isn't necessarily necessary.

But I still love it. And I feel a little guilty about it. And then I don't. It's really a struggle for me.

I don't feel guilty about it because we didn't go into this house hunt intending to buy a big, beautiful house. We had some things we knew we liked in a home (high ceilings, separate dining room, kitchen counter space, shelving for homeschool, etc.). We knew what kind of area we wanted to live in (more rural, but convenient to get to necessary shopping and for Keith to get to work in LeMars quickly). Keith looked at scads and scads of homes and narrowed it down to about a dozen that the girls and I came to look at.

This house was the first we saw, and I had an immediate connection with it. I stifled that, knowing I had many more to look at. But when we saw the others and came back to this one, I couldn't deny the feeling in my gut that this was our home. It felt right. It was also a good price, had low utility costs, etc. It has been a great place for us in so many ways. So I have a hard time feeling guilty about the purchase.

On the other hand, there's . . well, my kitchen. It has been called a "chef-ready" kitchen. It is SO wasted on me. I have friends who love to cook, and cook for large crowds, who would kill to have this kitchen, and I use it to make sloppy joes and heat up frozen pizzas. (OK, I'm not quite that bad, but . . ) I keep wondering how I can make better use of this kitchen for God's glory.

We have a large family room with squooshy, comfy sofas and a giant TV. It's wasted on the four of us watching Phineas and Ferb. How can we make better use of this room for God's glory?

We have a large yard to the back and an extra lot to the side of our house. Lots of wide, open space. It's wasted on our sedentary, indoor-loving family. How can we make better use of this land for God's glory?

I keep looking for ways, and I'm confident God will reveal them. Our house in NJ had much more space than we needed also, especially in the basement. But then I became a Creative Memories consultant. Because I had the space -- and could afford to have the money tied up -- I was able to keep a large inventory that many other consultants in the area made use of as well, consultants who were really trying to pay for family necessities with their business (unlike me, who was just supporting my own habit).

I also had a wonderful space there for holding workshops for my customers. And many wonderful things happened at these workshops. Friendships made, conversations enjoyed, family honored, memories celebrated, healing applied. In particular, I remember a regular customer who lost her husband suddenly to cancer crying while journaling on the pages she made of his hospitalization and funeral -- and the powerful relief and healing that flooded her countenance afterwards. Even before I knew what it was for, God had a use for that space.

And God has a use for this space, too. I don't feel guilty about having it. Until I consider what so many people think of me for having it. I know, it shouldn't matter what they think. Should it?

Maybe my sensitivity to "classism" is more understandable now. Just because I'm white doesn't mean I'm a racist. Just because I'm a woman doesn't mean I'm over-emotional. And just because I live in a big, beautiful house doesn't mean I'm a cold, selfish, privileged brat.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gwen, your house is beautiful! Love the pictures and would love to come see it some day.
Enjoy the house, stop worrying about the possible uses of the house in the future, by God or otherwise.
Love the house, let it bring you peace of mind.
I think it's wonderful you and Keith are in a house you love and is big and beautiful. Anyone who judges is just wrong and worrying about those people is a waste of your time!
Just my two cents!
Julie W.