As promised, in the coming days and weeks, I’ll be blogging to catch up on the summer, this pregnancy, moving, fundraising and more. Today’s post marks the first post in which I come through on that promise!
Moving to Idaho from Colorado was difficult. The first day we saw our new ‘home’ I cried. A lot. We left a beautiful home that we loved – one that we bought with our future in mind, a future that involved kids to fill up all the rooms and not having to move again for a long time. Two years after buying that house, we packed it up and moved to Idaho.
Downsizing is a nice way of putting the change from our home in Colorado to our townhouse in Idaho. The longer we’ve been here, the more I’ve tried to focus on the perks of this place: it is a mere 3 miles from the campus we work at. When we lived in Colorado I commuted 27 miles and Anthony commuted nearly 20 miles, add in Denver traffic and you’ve got some pretty nasty, tedious commutes. Now Anthony can easily bike to and from work, shopping is closer than ever, and the commute is a dream.
Our new place also has a pantry. That might not sound like much, but our house in Colorado didn’t have a pantry so cupboard space went partially to food storage. Having a pantry here makes the (tiny) kitchen feel like I’m actually getting a good use of the cupboard space.
The townhouse has three bedrooms. We came very close to getting a two bedroom apartment, but I’m really glad we didn’t. Three bedrooms (one of which we aren’t really using until Mistletoe is born) gave us space to put boxes and unpack as we had time, plus it will be great once we have a newborn since the master is much smaller than I’d anticipated and won’t comfortably fit a pack-n-play in it.
Unlike an apartment, the townhouse has two separate floors. All of the bedrooms are upstairs so there’s more privacy in that sense, plus, once the baby comes, Anthony can still host bible studies at our house while I nurse/sleep/play with small children upstairs. Already we’ve been able to host people after Monkey is asleep and get pretty loud without waking her up and I doubt that I could have said the same in an apartment all on the same level.
So how did I make it through those first few days and weeks away from home, in a place I didn’t really love, while also fighting off a stomach bug? I spent a lot of time dreaming. I forced myself to accept that we are going to live here for a year – it isn’t forever, but I have to make it work for now. Once I told – and reminded – myself of that, dreaming became easier. I got on Pinterest and started a board of ideas to make this place feel homier, ways to make the small space work for us. Once our stuff arrived from Colorado, I hung up our wall art almost instantly. Having things on the walls that were the same as our old home helped me feel like I was in familiar territory.
Sometimes I’d sit in a room and just stare at it for twenty or thirty minutes, thinking about how to arrange furniture or make it amazing. I saw the townhouse as a challenge to be conquered and I committed myself to the project.
We’ve been here for six weeks now and it definitely feels better than the first time I walked through it. By no means do I love it, but I don’t hate coming home every day and I don’t wake up wishing I could live somewhere else.
In a somewhat painful way, moving here has made me realize that our home in Colorado isn’t really home either. It is where our story started, but it isn’t the home we are bound for. Whether you are a missionary or not, the home we are all headed for is in Heaven. Our story may start in a tiny apartment or a beautiful house, but none of those are our final home. In essence, all of our homes here on earth are a home away from Home. In that sense, I’m grateful for this missionary life that takes me out of my comfort zone and reminds me that none of this is mine and that my home is in Heaven. This, this townhouse, these possessions, this town, all of it, this is my temporary home and I pray that what I do here and how I use these things brings me closer to my real Home.