Our family is really enjoying living in less house.
It means less to clean, less to maintain, and less space to decorate.
There are no more formal rooms or "company/guests only" rooms.
We live in these rooms and use every single one of them, every single day.
Which also means more time to focus on living and loving
and less time spent on the shuffling of stuff from one spot to the next.
It means contentment.
Our dining room is not only the place where we dine,
it is also my office and our music room.
(I talked about our plans for this space a few months ago HERE.)
To have one large room do triple duty is a blessing.
As I switch out the office stuff spread out all over the dining table
for place settings, silverware, and candles,
I thank God for the versatility of this house.
I also welcome the quiet times I can write and work,
and spread out all my office-y stuff all over the table,
yet while I do, I ponder and pray for the friends and strangers-become-friends
that we've laughed with, sung songs around the piano with, and been encouraged with in this room.
And I smile.
This is what this sideboard looked like when I got it
(bartered from my friend, Ann, who got our theater room TV console in exchange).
The top two drawers hold my Gram's silver, candles, and linens.
The long, large drawer holds my paperwork, laptop, and crafting things.
In the bottom baskets, the left side (for now) holds Christmas gift wrapping supplies
and the right side contains board games and cards.
(Hmmm... I guess this room is also our game room!)
This Christmas, as we settle in this house, fresh from unpacking
and determined to keep only those things that we actually use and enjoy,
a new layer of gratefulness has spread itself over the floors and walls.
It's an understanding that joy doesn't come from inanimate belongings.
It's a realization that hope isn't found in the acquisition of paraphernalia.
It's a discovery that peace can't be found by holding onto stuff.
The items that we chose to keep have all been merged together to create our home.
The things that we've kept with us are the things we are willing to enjoy and share.
And, through the years, as tables and lamps and rugs and candles come and go,
these things will always remain within these walls:
The hope that our lives will reflect the glory of the One Who gave us life.
The joy of knowing that our security rests in eternity, not in the trappings of the here and now.
The peace, that our Emmanuel is always with us.