When I tell people that I am the eldest of 9 children they usually (after they recover their jaws) ask a few typical questions. One of my favorites that always makes me laugh is,
"So, ya'll live in a big house?"
Ha ha ha ha ha!
We live in an 1800 square foot home. We moved in almost 6 years ago when there were only 6 of us children- we had previously been living in a 2400 square foot home up in the mid west but because we wanted to be closer to my grandmother who had cancer at the time (more on that later) we moved and bought this house to live in *temporarily* until we could find what we really wanted. Well, the market was at it's height in '05 (when we bought the house) and ever since it has been plummeting. Thus, here we are, 11 people in an 1800 square foot house, 1 car garage, 1/3 of an acre.
The Lord truly had His hand on us when we bought this house. The way it is laid out is perfect for us... The space was used very efficiently in the architecture. We have four bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Learning how much (or rather how little) we should keep and how to efficiently store it all has been an adventure.
We have been trying to be faithful. It's so hard when the world is pressing my father to walk away and go find a larger house. That would be so easy. We could be in a nice house twice the size on at least three times the land in no time! But we don't believe that is what God has for us. My daddy believes that because he agreed to pay on this house, that is what he is going to do- leave the rest up to God. We are all behind Daddy, we do our best to make this sweet little home as wonderful a place and refuge for our family as we can- and the Lord has been blessing our efforts.
Don't get me wrong- it is work. Me and Momma have become champions at Tetris (on a larger scale of course :) ) but it takes a lot of thought and time to figure out how to fit 11 people's clothes into 5 closets or any other conundrum that likes to rear it's ugly head.
But even if He wasn't blessing our efforts (it's up to Him- He doesn't have to!) I was comforted the other night by the words of Jesus, "In my Father's house there are many rooms, if that were not so I would have told you..." (emphasis added) In this home on earth we only have 4 bedrooms, but in my Father's house there are many rooms.
"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, Jesus Christ."
Theodore Roosevelt wrote:
"I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph."
This world is not our home. Thank goodness for that! In this world we will have tribulation. We are supposed to work hard, to suffer for the gospel's sake. I pray that the people on the outside of our life looking in are saying, "There is something different about them- they aren't choosing to be let off the easy way..." When we get to that home in glory I believe God will say to my Daddy, "Well done good and faithful slave, because you were faithful in the little things, I will put you over greater things. Enter into the joy of your master."
No matter what situation you are in- sometimes life can be discouraging. It is hard. But we are not called to a life of ease. Be encouraged- our citizenship is in heaven, in my Father's house there are many rooms, in this world you will have tribulation, but take courage- He has overcome the world. Remembering those sweet words,"Well done, good and faithful slave..." are well worth fighting, working, and persevering for. Remembering that I will get a room in my Father's house- remembering my citizenship in heaven-that this world is not my home... it is only temporary.
"So how do you do it?" may be your question now.
Well, I am going to begin a series next week on how our large family works: the ins, the outs, the loopty loops and so on. Questions like:
"How are your bedrooms set up?"
"Do you have a TV?"
"How do you do your schooling?"
"How do you keep up with all the laundry?"
will be answered in the next several weeks!
Please send me some questions and I would love to answer them in the series!