I live in a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom house. In the past it's always fit my family of five. My parents slept in the master bedroom, my sister and I shared a room and my brother shared a room with my dad's office. It isn't huge and spacious, but it has always worked. I have never felt like we are all crammed in. Probably because we were kids and it was easier to roll us up into bedrooms like pigs in a blanket. We each had our own space when we needed it.
Growing up we turned our garage into a playroom. Carpet was put down, bookshelves full of fun things lined the walls and an old couch even ended up out there. It was where my siblings and I spent hours playing together. I have so many fond memories sitting in the room playing Davie Crockett and guns with my older brother. My sister didn't spend as much time in there because she had, "I'm to mature for your childish games" syndrome.
Years later my brother and sister had left for college, and our house suddenly felt really big and quiet and calm. It was my 9th grade year and my dad was working all day and my mom was in and out of the house, busy with life. I was homeschooled, so I spent most of my time hanging out in the quiet house. So at the beginning of 10th grade it was time for a change. There I was, living in, what felt like, an empty house. Little did I know our house was going to get a whole lot smaller.
In the last few years my sister moved back and my uncle and grandparents moved in. Don't get me wrong, I adore my family. I have been blessed with some amazing relatives, but this has definitely been an adjustment.Going from three people to seven is a big change.
So there I was after a long, exhausting day at work. My boss had grumpy and stopping around the office, yelling at anyone that got in his way. On top of that, my piano students had been especially lacking in their practice that week. I was ready to go home, get in some pajamas and curl up with a hot cup of apple cider. Now this wasn't just any old apple cider. This was fancy apple cider from apple hill. A treat I get, maybe once a year, and a friend of mine had so kindly brought me back an entire gallon. So, you can understand my excitement when I finished teaching and headed for the refrigerator. As I opened the door my eyes gazed in shock at the lack of apple cider that was sitting on the shelf. It was gone. The entire gallon was missing and I was standing there empty handed and sad. I hadn't even had a chance to have one cup of my beloved cider. The long, frustrating day had just gone from bad to worse.
You are probably thinking, really? She was upset over some apple cider that someone drank? But you don't understand... this was APPLE HILL APPLE CIDER.
Okay, that really isn't the moral to the story. This was the last in a long line of difficult and challenging events. From waking up at 6 in the morning, on a Saturday, because my room had dropped to about 50 degrees, to find a lack of peace and quietness because every room is full of people.
It isn't really about the apple cider, although that was a bit of a disappointment, it is more about the challenges of living with seven grown, loud, opinionated adults in a 3 bedroom house. I have never been very challenged when it comes to loving people, but the Lord is definitely starting to throw some challenges my way when it comes to loving others.
I am reminded so often that I am called to love, above all else. (1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.)We are called to bring glory to God through loving Him and loving people. God has quickly revealed to me that I need to love people better. He has taken me out of my comfort zone and thrown me into a situation I have never dealt with before. He is teaching me that love is a multitude of things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. )
.My eyes have been open to the fact that I am selfish and I don't like how things have changed. I have been forced to adjust my way of living, but slowly I am adjusting, and through God's gracious kindness He is giving me the strength to have this servant love. It is in no way coming naturally, and it is a struggle that is, and will continue to be, a challenge to overcome.
I have learned that part of loving people is being gracious, even when I am woken up in the middle of the night to someone cooking and the fire alarm going off.