It had been snowy for a couple of days. Freezing temperatures prompted me to fill my freshwater tank, shut off the water supply, and ensure my black tank was completely drained. The R.V. life had become routine. I knew the ins and outs of making sure I could stay as comfortable as possible in my tiny home of 335 square feet. There was something about the coziness, although a challenge at times, which made me feel safe. One year prior I genuinely thought I’d own a different R.V. (a Class C). There was a campground in Alaska, near my son and his family, which needed a workcamper. It would be a 5 month experience I knew I would enjoy. The thought of being on the “side of the world” closest to my sons and their families gave me joy, too as I had found a campground near my youngest son and his family in which I could workcamp possibly that fall or the following summer. My blogging had started and I dreamed of writing on the road, moving from place to place based on weather and places other campground friends were staying. And then…a pandemic progressed, and the country was shut down. I had decisions to make. Around a fire, or at game night with friends, and most importantly around my parents’ family table, my tiny life proved groundbreaking.K.L. Hale
It was snowy when I moved into my house. Much like the tiny home I desired and had designed at one time, this new home was perfect. The foundation was old but everything in it was brand new. One year ago today, with leftover snow sprinkled around, I took over ownership and walked into my front door. “God, thank you for bringing me home. Thank you for allowing me to clearly hear your voice and clear the clutter of clinging; clinging to that which was no longer your plan. No matter what, wheels or rock below me, you have me.” Within the first month my heat was not working properly, my water heater had issues, another appliance needed replaced, and an adjustment period paused my pace. I’d hear, “That’s part of being a homeowner!” Stoicism steered my stranglehold.
Mainstream is not my measure. Buckling down, I committed to the classes I needed, the coaching (a wonderful investment), and the foundation to further my faith and pursue a dream. Finding my purpose, aside from motherhood and one occupation, was no longer fastened to how it looked to others. Energy could not be drained due to unrealistic expectations. It was accepting a huge truth in my life-a feeling of abandonment that had tried to overtake my self-worth and sabotage my spirit. You may have been there or are experiencing it now-an empty nest feeling or reeling with the reality of what you THOUGHT your life would look like. Grief can grab you when you least expect it. Grief over loss or grief over what you feel you are missing. Back away, Satan. You’re a liar.
Twelve months. What has changed for you? We’d all be in denial to think that this world has not changed us in the last twenty-four months; much less, twelve. To “normalize” we can:
- Manifest mania in the madness
- Magnify the make-believe world of social media
- Stay hidden without hope
- Paralyze ourselves with paranoia
- Explode in unrealistic expectations
- Numb or neglect others with negativity
- Create a reality unaligned with our Creator
- Fuel our faith with foundational truth, family, and friends.
Which do you find can happen? At one time or another I’ve done all. But I’ll continue to choose the last one. We all need stress reducers. But at some point, we must stop ruminating over what we feel is ruined. You and I are not defined by where we live, who we are, what we’ve gained, what we’ve lost, or any other “measure” that the world uses to define “normal.” As we approach the end of this year, I hope you remember this: no amount of presents under the tree, the titles to that which you own, the certificates with your name, how you look, your years spent in a contract or on a job, or any other worldly measure will change your worth in the eyes of a Savior. In one week celebrations will occur. Some may have a hard time with the holiday seasons; we must be mindful and caring. 💚
As I stood staring at the stars last night outside my home, I could feel the wonder. Flashbacks of past Christmas’s flooded my memory-traditions with my sons (oh, how I love them so)- hearing their laughter and seeing their joy! How blessed am I that I remember caroling to strangers, services at church, driving in the car to see lights, and enjoying “old-fashioned” Christmas’s?
On Christmas Day, in my small home without wheels, and with my pup, I’ll await the opportunity to “see” my kids and grandkids via technology. I’ll hear the giggles of the grandkids and see the wonder in their tiny eyes. I’ll smile in gratitude and plug into peace. My mind will marinate in the magnificence of our Maker. I’ll read the Christmas story in my Bible, watch an old black and white movie, sip hot coffee and cocoa, and cherish the new memories around my tree. Oh, what a day that will be! The snow may or may not be falling. I won’t be worried about a black tank or heat (hopefully 😉). I will count myself blessed beyond measure.
Two years ago, I began a blog, “Living Large in my Tiny World.” Things changed. My flannel and faith were two constants in my tiny world. Thus, Flannel with Faith was born. I’ll never forget the tiny way in which Jesus came-lowly and humbled in a small space. I think of the small group, particularly the animals, which gathered around him. He needed little, gave so much, and left his mark with the most ultimate gift. It’s a gift for us all. I hope you open it.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”Luke 2:11-12