As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Friday, February 10, 2012

What My Home Says About Me

Every now and then, I like to dream about the things I'd have to for my family.  In a perfect world, we would have a huge house with more than enough living space for our still-growing family.  We would have perfectly designed and stylish rooms, that were kept perfectly clean by my perfectly responsible children.  I'd like to indulge myself for a moment, and show you what this looks like in my mind:

Think of how well we could put all this space to use!
Many happy meals could take place around this table

Functional and stylish for a large family
Tastfully boy!

Until I win the lottery however, this is what I have:

Modest four-bedroom in the country (that needs a bit of work)
Dining room with handed-down furniture, finish scratched from many happy meals enjoyed by many children over the years, walls cluttered with school supplies because it also doubles as a classroom.

Living room with stuff in every possible corner,
because it also doubles as a classroom
This room is boy all right.  We'll leave it at that.

To tell you the truth, it doesn't bother me.  There was a time I wished we had done a better job of paying off our debts before we started having kids, maybe had a bit of a nest-egg so that we had more disposable income to put towards a mortgage on a bigger house.  And there was a time I was mortified to have anyone pull up to my house and see how desperately unfinished it is on the outside, or how messy the yard is.  Or to have anyone step inside and see the knicks and dents in the wall, where the white drywall underneath almost seems fluorescent peeking through the paint.  

I will confess that for me, the living room was the most difficult to surrender, particularly when we started homeschooling.  For a while I thought I could relegate all of the "school" material to the dining room.  It was a bit foolish, as desks were shoved into any space they would fit, and we all bumped into furniture anytime we tried to move (the poor kids were elbowing walls when they tried to write!)  I desperately wanted one space - just one space - that was grown up, and the living room was it. The problem is that, being a "living" room, it is where most of the living happens.  After Christmas I did a massive re-organization of my upstairs, and finally moved some desks into the living room where the kids had more space to work (and freed up some much-needed space in the dining room).  I especially hated the desk in the corner by the TV, which I have no way of hiding, and just doesn't seem to fit traditional living room decor.  But then again, there isn't much "traditional" about us.  Or maybe there is - and maybe that's beautiful.

These days, if you enter my home, you will see signs of the life that takes place within it.  A life that has too much work to be completed in the run of a day (or several).  A life that embraces faith, family, and education.  A life that is full of children and the wonderful joy (and sometimes, destruction) that comes with them.  A life where parents works hard to maintain some order, but also strive to spend time with each other and focus on the important things.  A life where we take each day one step at a time, walking together, working together, and living - together.

I like my dumpy little house.  But if I ever win the lottery, I might upgrade just a little.


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