14 Aug 2013

When you’re tired of waiting

It’s that time of year where all I want to do is open the windows wide, wide. And catch light in stray corners of the house, under the kitchen table, in my son’s eyes. He smells of sunscreen, permanently.

These wooden floors creak and I love that they have their own voice.

We’ve been here since June.

This new house I’ve prayed, temper tantrum-med, whined and hoped for every summer for five years.

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It’s still a rental house. I’ll be 39 this month and we’ve still never owned a home.

It’s taken me five years to be able to say that out loud without feeling somehow ashamed. Ashamed for not being a proper grown up or something. But I’m over it now.

That’s only one of many lessons our too small, too old, too crowded, only-one-bathroom-for-five-people rental taught me.

When we first moved to Virginia that small, rental house was just a short term plan. But every summer when it came time to move we couldn’t yet. And we’d promise ourselves just one more year of saving and paying down debt and then next June would be our June to move.

I would cry.

I would get really angry at my husband.

And eventually I would accept the unacceptable and try to figure out new ways to arrange the couches in a living room that didn’t lend itself to easy configuration. Or room for more than five people at a time.

Five years.

Five years of waiting.

I wrote a lot about that house. I believe there are lessons I learned still cemented between the bricks of that home. Even the faux ones that were constantly falling off the kitchen walls. Curiously I mostly wrote about it as a series of guest posts for other blogger friends. I think this had something to do with the shame factor. How sharing about that house embarrassed me to put on my own blog.

Confessions of a Reluctant Renter

Your House is Only as Big as Your Hospitality

How the Size of Your House Has Nothing to Do with the Size of Your Life

How to Feel at Home in Your House and Your Skin

The thing is, I moved into that house feeling entitled to something better.

And I moved out of it five years later in a hot June feeling like everything was a gift.

Especially this new house.

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We’ve only transplanted just a few blocks away. This is a gift.

We found a home – the only one after months of looking – that fit our budget and was still in the same school district and neighborhood but with more room to breathe. This is a gift.

It’s still a rental, but it feels like our home. This is a gift.

We invited everyone we’ve come to know in the neighborhood to come and celebrate with us and they all turned up. Despite the 104 degree weather. That was the best gift.

The friends who’d eaten on their laps on our sofas at the old house where there was never enough room. Friends who’d folded baby clothes when Zoe was born, helped us get rid of a fruit fly infestation, brought over their kids to dig and run wild in our embarrassment of a back yard.

Friends who never once made us feel the size of our house.

Friends who taught us that hospitality is about opening the door, not about how fancy the furniture, decor or dishes.

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I have learned through and through and down past my hips and all the way into my bones that big hospitality has nothing to do with the size of your house.

And that there will always be a choice:

Panic or delight.

Fear of appearances or fully opening your arms to your friends.

Picking up the backyard or inviting the boys to join the well-loved chaos.

Stressing the stains or surrounding yourself with toys, kids, and enough time to catch up.

Frantically planning something to cook or ordering pizza and slicing a watermelon.

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Waiting is never wasted.

Just ask pregnant women. Or farmers. Or kids on Christmas eve.

Waiting is sometimes the gift. Because it helps pry our eyes open to what is.

There is moonlight that sleeps on the midnight lake as we wait for our homeless hearts to find roots in the good gift of waiting on the Giver of good gifts.

He is never late. And I’ve learned He is rarely early.

But He is always, yes I believe this, He is always on time.

 

Comments

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  1. 1

    I love this post, Lisa Jo. We’ve never owned a home either and sometimes I feel that same, “I’m not really a grown up yet,” feeling when I think about it. But we do have a home. A real, lived in, chaos, crumbs on the floor and tiles that fall off the counter and are then superglued back on type of home. And you’re right. It’s a blessing every day. I’ve opened the doors on this place and shared my messy life and it’s all okay. Because this is home, where my people are. So happy for your new place because… bookshelves. Glad you found your place, long before you ever had to move.

    • 2

      I think your comment says it so much better than my post. Yes, this finding your place before you ever have to move. That!

    • 3

      I just wanted you to know this blog entry has meaning far beyond people waiting to own a home. Your writing is amazing and the point of this post can touch people waiting for so many things!

  2. 4

    This is beautiful. The Lord gives us such beautiful gifts, but sometimes we can be hard pressed to see them. His mercy is new, and I bet it’s shining bright in every room of your new house. I know you know this, but it’s not whether you own the home or not that makes it beautiful. It is the hearts that beat inside it that fills it up. God bless you in your new home!

  3. 6

    It’s like you know what I’m struggling with every time I come to your blog. We are in a small rental, and my heart goes back and forth between longing for something bigger/closer to school/not a rental and being thankful for this small place we call home. It’s easy to make excuses and apologies, but I’m learning it’s even better to say “Thank you” in the waiting.

    http://inspiredrd.com/2013/04/blessings-of-a-small-home.html

  4. 7

    I love this Lisa-Jo! We own our house, have for 7 years, and it feels like a box, and the walls close in and suffocate. And it doesn’t feel like home and it never has… and I so long for that feeling. Home. As we sit and wait on a possible opportunity for a “home”, I secretly want to pray hurry up God and just let us know, let us have this… but there is a part of me, that feels sad to maybe leave this box? And the trees that rustle in the whisper of wind, the sun dancing through those trees and across my floor as it slips beyond the horizon. It is a gift. This post? My reminder of that. His gift to us. In all our chaos. Thank you! P.S. I have that same dining table bench and all :)

  5. 8

    Oh and I forgot to say… CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoy your new home! :)

  6. 9

    Never owned a home and I feel like it’s never going to happen. I too have had such a hard time waiting. I pray hard and often about what’s next. I’ll never forget where I came from though. When that bigger house comes. I know it will be a blessing.

  7. 10

    Wow, I needed this. We have only rented also and are currently living with my hubby’s Grandma while she battles cancer. We are in the basement with one bedroom (for me, the hubs and 3 kiddos), bathroom, living room and laundry room where I have a crock pot and an electric frying pan. It’s only been about a year for us but I have really struggled on and off with wanting our own space. Still learning to just lean on Jesus every day about this. Good days and bad days. :) Thanks for the encouragement, I needed it! :)

  8. 11

    This why we love. You’re so real and honest

  9. 12
    Irma Oosthuizen says:

    So absolute true – He’s always on time…

    So happy for you for this home, Lisa (or as we say it in Pretoria, South Africa: “Ek is so bly vir jou!”)

  10. 13

    This was a wonderful blog. It reminded me of when after 18 months of being homeless (although housed), we were blessed with a new council house, and the joy on my kids faces when they realised they had their own bedroom, and a garden and loads of new friends!

  11. 14

    I love the new house! Our story is different. We owned, and we lost it, and for the last 3 years, we’ve been in a rental. And when I look back, I can see God’s graciousness in allowing this walk and now, allowing us to live in a fabulous neighborhood in a fabulous city and have so much of the things that we only dreamed we would have someday. And part of me still wonders if it is good enough. Good enough for friends to come over. Or neighbors. Or our families.

    Thanks for always being the encouragement that where God has us *is* enough. Always.

    • 15

      This is our story too. And I couldn’t have said it any better! Thank you for the happy tears this morning…

  12. 16

    So beautiful, Lisa Jo! Amen, amen, amen.

  13. 17

    Thank you Lisa-Jo for reminding me that WE are ALL struggling. Whether it is debt, depression, rebellious teenagers, marriage problems, or any of the other millions of issues affecting women today, we all struggle. I often find myself thinking that others have it all together; your post today reminded me that I am not alone in NOT having it all together!!! But, the good news is, He continues to use us in spite of ourselves for His purposes. And you are proof of that! Thank you for yielding to the Spirit’s call for you today!

  14. 18

    Wonderful post Lisa. I too have just moved from a “far less than perfect” rental to a lovely (but still a rental) home that I have been praying for, envisioning and drawing for the past five years. It is amazing how well this home fits the needs of our family of 5. Curiously when I started praying for this home we were only a family of 4 but it has all worked out. I like you have had to get over lots of things and learned lots of lessons about what really makes a home. And we are so blessed to be in a space that feeds and nurtures our souls everyday.

  15. 19

    Thank you so much for sharing Lisa. I struggle with the exact same thing. We have lived in our rental for five years. We moved here when I was expecting our first and it was supposed to be temporary. Now, three kids later we are still here. And I never realized why it bothers me so much but you said it – it’s embarrassing like I’m not a real grown up! I don’t know anyone else my age with kids that still lives in a double home. I pray every day for The Lord to send is a home. Thanks for the reminder that His time is always perfect!

  16. 20

    Lisa-Jo, are you in the Springfield area? May I invite myself over for lunch? :)

  17. 21

    I think this is a harder lesson for me to learn right now because we’ve been told more than once that our house isn’t good enough. I’ve invited my sister to stay the weekend with us, but she’s said she wouldn’t be comfortable with it because we only have one bathroom and she and her husband would have to share an air mattress in the den. (Even when we had a guest room with a bed, the one-bathroom thing was a deal-breaker for her.) We had friends from church over for lunch for the first time a few months ago and one of the couple’s children said repeatedly, “Mommy, this house is too tiny!” in front of me and my husband. Our friends only laughed. I want to be hospitable but so many have made it seem like our efforts aren’t good enough, which leaves me feeling not good enough, and leaves us in arguments when I talk about wanting a bigger home so I can feel more comfortable having people over. My husband is great about letting that kind of talk slide off his back; for me, it’s harder.

  18. 22

    Lisa, I was a pastor’s wife for several years, living in a parsonage. We didn’t buy a house until we were 50. I feel for you. And of course I doubt if it will be paid off before I’m gone to heaven!

  19. 23

    From someone who is actually hoping to rent a tiny basement apartment, just to get out of the motel room, thank you for a much needed reminder! I’ve already caught myself complaining in my head, that it’s dark and has stairs and no yard, and it’s just for a few months. And I know my selfish prideful instinct is going to be to put off hospitality till we have a place I want potential friends to see. But a home is not about the walls and carpet and furniture, but about the life that fills it.

  20. 24

    Um, either you were in my head or I was in your head this week because we just wrote about the same stinkin’ thing. Except, I am not feeling as brave as you and decided that it was easier to be sarcastic than lay my *stuff* bare, as Adelle says. We’ve been in our first home for almost 15 years and for the last 10 we’ve been trying to get out and move on… for a myriad of reasons. And for a million more we have not been able to. The truth is the house owns us. And some days we wished we had rented longer and maybe we wouldn’t be as stuck as we’ve been! How ironic is that? I cried and stopped talking to my husband and got over it and got mad again. Thank you for being such a deep, proud woman for putting it all out there when I couldn’t.

  21. 25

    This: “He is never late. And I’ve learned He is rarely early.
    But He is always, yes I believe this, He is always on time.” Wow, it’s taken me a long time to learn that. And some days I go back to square one and have to start learning it all over again.

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post about finding your place, Lisa-Jo.

  22. 26

    I love renting, but I do hate the comments like “It’s a not a REAL home until you own it.” Which someone said on my blog post about why I love renting.

    A home is truly where the family is. Whether that’s in an RV, a tiny city apartment, a rural rental home, or a cape cod that you own. Whether it looks like a magazine or like Goodwill. ;)

    (And honestly, renting is a whole lot less attractive to millennials like me who’ve seen how hard it can be to sell a home.)

  23. 27

    LJ, I don’t know why, but reading this post this morning caused me to well up. I guess I do know why, and maybe the soft silent tears were because I wish things were different. I wish I wasn’t always waiting…at least that is what it feels like. I could provide the list of things I am waiting for, but that seems self-destructive. However, back to the point, I am so comforted reading your post, that while you are waiting for certain things to change or grow into something new, you have people surrounding you as you wait. Loving on you and reminding you that where you are, no matter where you live, is where God is too. Love this and sending prayers your way my friend.

  24. 28

    Lisa Jo – you definitely discovered the gift. I am 54, empty nesting in a too big house with echoes of the past around each corner. We have discovered that owning a home can be a burden and the more we own, the more we are burdened by. “Ownership” is overrated. I am currently fascinated by “tiny houses” that are just right for living because too much becomes well, too much. To be free to respond to God’s timing and direction in our life, to be free to give more, to go where we are lead, that is the “more” we desire to own. Freedom to live in God’s perfect timing without the burden of the things that this world uses to tie us down. Less is more! Love that you jam pack your home with loved ones and celebrate life with people right where you are. That is the gift! (BTW – from the photos your home looks lovely and so beautifully decorated…you must have a knack for making the most of things!)
    Hugs,
    Kelly

  25. 29

    Lisa-Jo, your home is beautiful! This is such a great post.

    We don’t own our own home either. We did once and then sold it when we moved into ministry. Since then we have rented.

    I feel insecure at times. I worry about retirement and what we will have in for our future.

    Yet like you God has blessed us with the gift of a home.

    I love your truth about the waiting. We have done a lot of waiting in our lives and almost always have been able to see the blessings that have come from it. I’m learning to be more patient… I hope!

    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  26. 30

    And then there is the thing that we aren’t really home anyway… but rather homeless wanderers waiting a lifetime to climb the porch steps and walk through the front door of His house. So, in the meantime, we bumble along seeking, always seeking, for something. Ever since we were cast out of the garden, we’ve been looking for the way back in, the next and better. Patience in the waiting… never easy, but always worthwhile.

  27. 31

    Oh, these words were balm for my soul. My husband is unemployed and we’re living with my parents. Before that were a series of too-small rentals. We’re waiting, and praying, and feeling the shame and discomfort of not having “our place.” But THIS: “…as we wait for our homeless hearts to find roots in the good gift of waiting on the Giver of good gifts.” This spoke to my heart.

  28. 32

    This is spot on. I didn’t invite people over for years. Hearing way too often, where would everyone sit? (both in my head and from others). A few months ago, God called me to open my door. It’s hard work to change my mindset, but SO VERY WORTH IT. I am elated when my home is full of people. And no one complains about the mish-mash of furniture.

  29. 33

    Thank you so much for this post. We have been renting a tiny house for 3yrs and I moved into it the same way you did yours. I have been ready to move for 3yrs. Now I truly see God’s blessings in this place and will be just a bit sad when we move. Thanks so much!!

  30. 34

    Love this, friend. And I’m so happy for you. HOME is so much more than I ever realized until the past few years… I’m so thankful you feel every bit at HOME in your house and in your community of friends…

  31. 35

    I often think, If id have owned my own house in the UK I could never have packed up traveled to the USA and married my hubby as quick as I did.. blessing one .
    We have had to move once already cause of hubby’s job and the price of gas (commuting just doesn’t work these days) and we are about to do it again , blessing two
    I have a very adventuresses spirit, owning a house would tie me down, blessing three.
    But the houses God has always given me to live in and make them home for how ever long have always been huge blessings, not only price wise but landlord wise and community wise. I feel blessed to be a renter :)

  32. 36

    We owned a home once and determined renting was better. We have gotten a lot of criticism over the years…people pointing out tax breaks (we never got anyway), pointing out how much we pay yearly…

    However, I have a lovely landlady who at this moment has her teenage boys mowing my grass. She has had to repair bathroom plumbing that flew out of the wall during a shower one morning. And is currently negotiating repairs to a leaky foundation. These are all skills that the hubs and I either don’t have, can’t afford or don’t have the strength to accomplish. I love renting! I am a much better tenant than home owner.

  33. 37

    I really could relate to this post. I as I child growing up with three siblings, was one of those kids who moved every few years, because we too, never owned a home. I remember how difficult that was growing up. Never knowing how long we would be staying in one place. But somehow, we never really lost site of our family. I have friends now that constantly trade up there homes (and sometimes trade down) for all sorts of reasons. Bottom line is, whether you own the house or not, you make it a home by how you live and what you teach your children. Moving from home to home has the same effect on children/families regardless of owning or renting. Make memories where ever you live, and live in the moment. When they grow up the will not remember whether you owned the house or not. All they will remember is how much love, and happiness was there. Don’t you ever be ashamed in anyway for not owning a home. I know plenty of people who wished they had rented some of there homes. When your ready to leave, you leave. No staging, price dropping, waiting for showings. Oh please. You have a beautiful family and you know what’s important. Live and enjoy!

  34. 38

    Beautifully said. Thank you for this today.

  35. 39

    Love this post. Our stories are fairly similar, and our blog posts today are VERY similar. We are currently in a rental of 900 sq ft, and God is using this time of waiting to show me to stop dreaming of more space to have and really LIVE in the space we are in. I love this post and the pictures give a palpable quality to your joy.

  36. 40

    Lisa-Jo, I really needed to hear this today! Thank you so very much. I’ve done the same with home ownership in my mind. Thank you for helping me know I’m not alone, and for reminding me to look around and be grateful. Because there are so many, many gifts right in front of me.

  37. 41

    Before we got married, my husband had a nice little apartment with a gorgeous view of the desert and mountains. We would sit on that little balcony and watch the jackrabbits and count stars…it was amazing. Then we got married and bought a condo because we believed that grown ups are supposed to own homes. The condo had a view of…the other condos. (If you craned your neck and squinted, you could still see the mountains.) Then a year later, we had to move because of his job. Mercifully, God allowed us to sell the condo at the last minute, but we sold it for a substantial loss. Thankfully, we have recovered, but we have both decided that we will not buy again until we are done moving and find our “forever home.” Sometimes renting is the best thing for your family, and there’s no shame in that, ever. A tough, valuable lesson to learn. As always, thank you for the beautiful, inspiring post, Lisa-Jo.

  38. 43

    “Waiting is sometimes the gift. Because it helps pry our eyes open to what is.” Ah…so, so true. And as I am in a time of waiting in my life, these words jumped off the screen to me today. Thank you for that.

  39. 44

    Lisa-Jo, you are one of my favorite blog writers. Funny, I have always felt the opposite, that I would have a hard time living in a really large expensive home – when there are so many who have so little, it would make me feel badly to have more than I needed. And from reading your posts, it sounds like you have a lot of what we all really need: love, family, friends, laughter …

  40. 45

    Water on the ground of a soul that is waiting. Precious words….thank you.

  41. 46

    This post is shiver-y good…especially “There is moonlight that sleeps on the midnight lake as we wait for our homeless hearts to find roots in the good gift of waiting on the Giver of good gifts.”

    My friend, this post has given me perspective…and that is always welcome…My husband and I bought a new house last year and it is still nowhere near being decorated or nested yet. Money is tight and new curtain panels or sofas without ten years worth of life in and on them are just not a priority.

    What we do have is peace, space and room to breath…in a home that we never, ever dreamed we would be able to afford. (We both came from very humble beginnings, even still, our house is a plain bungalow that is not fancy by any means) Even if we were still in rental townhouse with leaky pipes or the double wide we had for a few years, the love and togetherness would still be the same…

    True friends take us as they find us and those are always the very best kind of friends. Your blog continues to be an inspiration. Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us all.

  42. 47

    Yes! But what if you fear the waiting will suck the life right out of you? What if you have rearranged the couch and changed the pictures on the walls a hundred times. What if after begging the Lord to change your home for years you bend a knee and ask Him to change you, and still it is hard to pry open the door you don’t want and invite others to come in. I guess what you said, right. God is never early and never late. Sigh… Thanks for sharing your story.

  43. 48
    Lillian Machir says:

    Lisa Jo, I truly love your honesty! I have been renting a house for over a year and half, and am not happy because of several things but you make me stop and say thank you for today. I love reading your blog! Lillian

  44. 49

    A beautiful post! I must have felt the energy from this post even before reading it. I’ve never owned either, and I’ve always longed for a nice back porch overlooking the woods so that I could sit out there in the morning and drink coffee as I prepare myself for the day. This morning was a beautifully chilly morning and I realized, I have a perfectly good patio with a perfectly good Adirondack chair, with a perfectly good view of the community pool. So I made a perfectly good cup of coffee while my infant daughter took her morning nap and breathed in the beauty of What Is, instead of daydreaming of What Could Be.

  45. 50
    Heidi Hunter says:

    I too will be 39 this month (August 18). Not only have we moved 9x in 7yrs of marriage (NY, NV,AK &WA) but this last move was THE hardest. We moved in with my in-laws. My husband was/is a pastor & after we left our last church in Alaska we moved to WA and in with his grandpa to lick our wounds, heal and pray about what was next. After grandpa passed away family wanted to sell the home and we didn’t really know what was next so my in-laws invited us + newborn & 2 y/o to move in with them. That was LAST September & were still here. On really good days I remember that I should be grateful to have a place to be & that they have to share space they’d probably rather not share either. I also remember that I never wanted to stay home with kids until I had mine & now it hurts to think about having to go back to work. We can’t afford to get on our own until I find work (been looking for almost year). So on the good days I thank God that as stressful as it is to be home and not helping financially, I have been given the priceless gift of another day home with my babies.
    So, although different, I too understand. Its just hard too wait on God but on the good days I remember that in many ways, He waits for me much more. Thanks for listening.

  46. 51

    Wow, this is exactly what I’ve been needing to hear. I am most certainly in a similar place of whining about my home, wanting something different, then rearranging every piece of furniture to try to buy some time before the next tantrum. We’re so blessed with our home. Two years ago this month, we had a fire that destroyed eight townhomes in our complex (including ours). We learned so many beautiful lessons through the process of waiting and rebuilding. Last September we finally got to move back into a brand new home. A home that had been rebuilt exactly the way we wanted. We got to pick out everything from carpet to cabinet doors. It is a truly beautiful, wonderful house! But I get restless. I want more space, I want a backyard. I feel like there is so much we’re missing out on because we don’t have certain things in our house. Yet every time we get close to buying something else, we realize it’s not the right time and have to start the waiting all over.

    Sorry, that was long! I just wanted to let you know how much I needed to hear the words you spoke and how grateful I am to have run across them today.

  47. 52

    Thank you. I needed this today. One way or another, God was going to get this message to me TODAY…at just the right time. :)

  48. 53

    Such a beautiful post! Thanks for sharing it with us. :)

  49. 54

    Having read your previous posts about your last home, and mixed feelings about it, I am really pleased for you about this new home – and that God was part of changing feelings about the old home too. Good for you – and good for those you share it with, be it family, friends, neighbours or more.

  50. 55

    Blessings upon blessings to you and your family Lisa Jo! My family and I are in a very similar situation and the waiting can eat very frustrating. Wanting to always correct yourself when you say my home because to you it isn’t truly yours yet. But a home IS what you make it. Not where your name is signed. Thank you so much for this post and letting me know waiting on God never ends in disappointment.

  51. 56

    Lisa,
    When my house is overflowing with people, I always thank God for blessing me with enough friends to fill my house to overflowing!
    Kim

  52. 57

    I don’t often comment since I’m usually reading while holding a baby in one hand and wrangling a toddler in the other, but I just had to let you know how much this post spoke to me today. It’s like the Holy Spirit dictated to you EXACTLY what I needed to hear.

    We’re raising six children in a three-bedroom house, and it’s getting increasingly complicated since my oldest is a different gender than the next four in line and really needs his own space now. It seems like everyone I know has a bigger house, and I’ve been doing a lot of whining and wallowing in dissatisfaction. Thank you letting me see it another way!

  53. 58

    We rent, as well, Lisa-Jo, but I’m afraid I’m not quite as graceful as you are about the whole thing. I know I need to surrender my fear to God but I always feel sad when I think that my kids won’t have affectionate memories of their one family home when they grow up. And I worry every time our contract ends that our landlords won’t want to renew it and we’ll have to move yet again. Thank you for reminding me, in your always-beautiful and gentle way, that “waiting is never wasted.” That thought brings me a lot of peace.

  54. 59

    Your posts about your little house have always touched me deeply. We do own our home, although I never got to go through the process of picking a home, my husband lived in it when we met. It was his grandparents homes, it was where his dad grew up. It is a two bedroom one bathroom 900 square foot house and there are three of us. The part that gets me always is the part about remember that it doesn’t matter about the size it matter about opening it up. My friends all have beautiful BIG homes with plenty of space to entertain but I have come to realize that they don’t care about that when we invite them over, they come to enjoy spending time with us and to eat yummy food. Thanks for your words and your reminders, they alway bless me.

  55. 60

    This post is SO timely. We are in the (long, drawn-out, never-ending-it-seems) process of buying a home, and I am so tempted to worry, not trust, fret, fear, and give up on my “dreams”. Although some dreams could probably use some giving up on as they are rather shallow and materialistic. I need to learn from your wisdom and let renting teach me a thing or to as well. Why is it such a status to own a home? In a country where people all over the place are buying things they can’t afford, it seems a silly juxtaposition that we would place such a badge of honor on owning a home. Anyway. I wish you and your family the best!

  56. 61

    You are awesome :)

  57. 62

    This is so encouraging to read. We’ve been waiting for several important things for a long time and it can be very discouraging to feel like it’s never going to happen. We’re about to start making large strides to pay off our student loan debt after years of creeping along on interest only monthly payments and principle payments made with tax returns that we’d prefer to use for vacations or cars with working air conditioning. It’s still a long road and I’m so tired of waiting, but at least now we’re moving forward.

  58. 63

    Gah! I so needed this tonight. I needed the gentle reminder that He is always on time. I am just a single woman in my mid-twenties, but I love, love, love following your blog!! It’s so encouraging and inspiring. I cannot wait to one day be a wife and mother, but your blog reminded me tonight that waiting can be a gift and His timing is perfect so I’ll wait. His ways are always better than mine anyway. Thanks Lisa Jo!

  59. 64

    From someone who’s owned three homes and still owns one while we live in a rental in the same city… ownership isn’t a big deal. Our culture may make it out to be a big deal, or our family or our own expectations but in the light of all eternity…its not much of anything. Like you said, hospitality is the real mark of true beauty…of ourselves, of our home. And the mark of whether we are willing to receive grace, from others, ourselves, and a great big God who can use small awkward spaces to “grace” and gift us in the most unexpected ways.
    I’ve learned the hard way that whenever we’re at a place in life and just CONVINCED that “such and such” change will make everything better, than we’re just deluded. I was just deluded. My husband and I lived in a smallish 3 bedroom home in a modest neighborhood with our two very young kids. All I could feel was the crunch of people and stuff and tearful kids I couldn’t escape. I saw every problem with the home and failed to the blessing in it, or chose to focus on the good rather than the frustrating. So, we spent a lot of money and bought a huge house and I was still miserable. So much house to clean, so many stairs to walk, so many toys to pick, so much laundry to cart, etc. And I realized its not the house, its my heart. I told God that I would work and chose to be content whatever my circumstances.
    Now we’re renting out our house and living in a modest 3 bedroom apartment with two kids, a husband that sleeps days and works nights, and a huge dog and I am determined not to whisper a complaint about this place. And be even more hospitable.
    Thank you for the encouragement and good reminders. Congratulations on your new home. Blessings upon blessings on you and your family!

  60. 65

    I really needed to read this today! My husband and I live in an apartment in Virginia that has a tiny kitchen; by tiny, I mean it has one drawer that is not large enough to put a silverware tray in. We hang all our pots and pans on the wall, because what else can you do? My husband is very hospitable – thank goodness, because I would be constantly fretting about what we lack. I need to grow in this area, and your example is an inspiration. Your kids will appreciate your ability to look beyond the lack.

  61. 66

    Thanks for this!! Sometimes I feel second class because we still rent, but then I talk to my friends who are new homeowners and there seems to be a level of disenchantment–all the bills they didn’t expect, etc–because when we focus on material goals….they often let us down. Here’s to loving and making a life right where we are! God bless you :)

  62. 67

    As a homeowner, I’ve been unaware of the angst renters feel and think about their lifestyle and living arrangements. Wow. Being a homeowner isn’t for everyone, I know a few people who would be happier without the huge commitment and responsibility. Bloom where you’re planted, whether you own the garden or are just passing through!

  63. 68

    This was such a good reminder to me that hospitality is so much more than the walls around us. We recently moved from our own home in Eastern Virginia to a very basic, tiny 750 sq ft apartment in Western VA so my husband could go back to grad school. I catch myself feeling embarrassed of our new home at times and not wanting to invite friends over here (once we start meeting new friends that is)…but then I read things like this and remember it’s not about the space, it’s the people and the warm welcome. I love stumbling across the exact encouragement I was in need of at just the right moment – thank you for your blog!

  64. 69

    Somehow, through the ether, this post reached me tonight and touched me so deeply. I am never on facebook, but tonight I was. I never click on links people post on facebook, but tonight I did. And though all the posts I’ve read on your blog brought tears to my eyes (especially your five-minute Friday post on “last”), this one took my breath away. My husband and I have an amazing 17 month baby girl and a restaurant that we are trying to sell. The business has worn me down to the point where there are days I just don’t feel like I can do it any longer. I have been praying and pleading that God will show us the way forward, but I am hearing from Him that he wants us to be patient. When I read this post, I felt waves of comfort come over me and I know that He is speaking to me through your words. Waiting is never wasted. So I will wait. Thank you Lisa-Jo and much love to you and your beautiful family.

  65. 70

    Just a quick note to share my deep gratitude with you for this post, which I read in a little dim hospital room on the paediatric floor of the local hospital. I was squeezed into the bed next to my two year old son who has been hospitalized since Monday for meningitis. We have been waiting for answers about what kind of meningitis it is, about how long we’ll have to live in a hospital room with our other child shipped off. But, getting my spirit in order from the little jolt of your beautiful post, I know that even in this kind of waiting there is much purpose.

  66. 71

    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this web site before but after going through
    some of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless,
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    it and checking back frequently!

  67. 72

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Trackbacks

  1. […] Lisa-Jo Baker:  When You’re Tired of the Waiting ~ I laugh and I cry and I nod right along with this lady- I am 35, living my days in a rental home, knowing quite certainly that God is working His plan in my life.  And that maybe His perfect plan is that I would own nothing in this world.  Nothing at all. […]

  2. […] Lisa-Jo Baker opens up about her struggles with rental homes and living in small spaces, and offers some very wise words about what really makes a home beautiful. Do you think there would […]

  3. […] A little bit of encouragement from the fabulous cheerleader of tired moms, Lisa-Jo Baker — “When You’re Tired of Waiting” […]

  4. […] A little bit of encouragement from the fabulous cheerleader of tired moms, Lisa-Jo Baker — “When You’re Tired of Waiting” […]

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