Last week I chronicled the adventures of my husband and I in becoming homeowners at 22 and 23. We sometimes pretend to be adults.
In wrote in my last post what we learned about holding a dream in an open hand, becoming kings and queens of DIY house renovation, and the importance of acknowledging the sacredness of space. But something else intrinsically happens when you take on the responsibility of a mailbox and a mortgage.
Ownership teaches stewardship
When I see dishes piled high in the sink, I get a sudden nostalgia for my old college apartment. Because chaos, there, was the norm. We were renters, and lived in our space with an air of casual transience. And as a result, we neglected the dishes, never bothered with deep-cleaning, and valued comfort over cleanliness.
But in “The Gingerbread House,” I know that if I don’t clean the cracks, no one will. I suddenly care about order and aesthetics because home is a becoming a clearer concept. I have literally undergone a personality change in terms of chores and domestic duties because of this house. Where before I was irresponsible and messy, ownership has made me a better steward; because we have poured so much hard work into this house, we care about its upkeep. I have also begun to understand the endless tasks such as dishes, cleaning, and laundry as carrying liturgical significance. It doesn’t always feel very significant, but routine chores remind me of a God who is just as constantly renewing and sustaining the world with His daily grace.
At the same time, our flawed home has taught us not to get too attached to “stuff”
Buying a home was a big adjustment for both Zach and I, as we’re both free spirits who hesitate to put down roots. We also plan on living here for only a few years, and don’t know what will come next. This awareness of the temporary paired with our will to save financially has made us very intentional about the purchases we make for our home. When you’re renovating a home that hasn’t been updated in 60 years, it’s tempting to go to Lowe’s or flip through a design magazine and convince yourself you need the very best. But we don’t.
The advantage of living in a quirky old house with flaws is peace of mind. Because our furniture is mostly from thrift stores, we don’t get up tight about scratches on the wood. Because we don’t plan on having a family and retiring in this house, we don’t feel the need to update every appliance to its shiniest new edition. We learn to be content, and to not let our “things” be the cause of our worries.
Have you noticed any difference in attitude, habits, because of where you live in a house or a rented space?