my husband and i lived in apartments well past the age when many of our peers were buying homes. we shared a car for many years, until friends gave us the beast of a car they felt too ugly for their 16 year-old son to drive and park in their driveway (yes, they told us that). :) my sister laughed hard when she saw my husband drive up in it (yes, it did look that funny). we had furniture that we took from the free pile of donations left at the seminary where we lived, and found other pieces by the side of the road.
…and yet, i can say that i loved that car. one had been enough. we managed and were probably closer for it, but that ugly beast gave me a new level of freedom. we just laughed harder than our friends about it…and enjoyed its benefits! :) i enjoyed finding a ratty bookshelf or stinky, tiny couch (another day, i found a little, dirty, white slipcover that pretty well fit it…also on the side of the road). i could either see gross junk or blessing! perspective is an amazing thing!
i learned to recognize that what we had was blessing, but i kept letting that perspective get clouded. when i visited my friends' newly built, beautifully decorated homes and rode in their new SUV's, i'd come back to my apartment and feel want for more... even though i knew i had plenty!
somewhere along the line, i finally kicked that feeling for the most part (it still creeps up on me from time to time). i'll tell you what helped: a total shift in perspective. i really got into rachel ashwell's shabby chic (it helped that i lived close to her amazing shop and the rose bowl flea market). she wrote about not filling your home with anything that you don't love…be willing to live without first. this made me feel like my sparse home was what i was choosing. chippy, used things i could find and afford at yard sales and the flea market were what i wanted. i was most attracted to the more minimal of her decorated settings. a single smooshy couch along with an amazing beachy candle and a warm rug looked like total achievable bliss to me!
later i fell in love with the tiny house movement and reading about how people were paring down their belongings to the necessities. we began to think about being willing to move overseas, and i embraced purging and the chance to experience life with less. God was (and is) at work in me.
now i want to show those around me how happy we are with our two craigslist cars (thank God for both of them!!), our not so big, older home (i actually wanted a smaller, older house, but couldn't find one in time), our craigslist furniture (again- thank God for those finds/gifts), and my simple wardrobe. it's all in the perspective, because now i don't feel like this is what we are stuck with…all we can afford (even though it is). i know that this is what we chose…what we want!
wishing you the courage and fortitude to find perspective that brings you peace,