Lots of women going through divorce are also facing the prospect of selling your house or moving to a smaller place, or you may even be without a permanent home for the moment. Those changes can be agonizing. We hate parting with our familiar surroundings and belongings. I did my share of crying and trying to get my arms around all of my possessions and holding on for dear life because I somehow thought holding on to “my space” and all that stuff might somehow keep my life from falling apart. They don’t.
Our home is more than our physical surroundings. Our home is more our sense of hospitality. Our real home is our willingness to share our space (whatever it is) and to welcome others into our space and to use our space to encourage others and to celebrate life. Our home is more a matter of spirit than a matter of tangible rooms and furniture and stuff. It’s our heart.
Here’s how Sark, author, writer and incest survivor says it: “Your home is where you are. It’s much more than a structure or possessions — it’s a matter of spirit.” Keep that in mind during your divorce when you have to sell your house or live in your friends’ basement or whatever. My daughter recently had a six-month stint where her kitchen was down to the base wood flooring …. at times with no water, no appliance hookups. (she had water damage from a broken pipe this winter and ice that came in through the roof and melted causing water to come through the light fixture in the kitchen. (It was a mess!)
During part of that time, she and her children set up camp in her bedroom …. plugging in a toaster ovens and hotplates … having cold food at the park … whatever. She tried to make it a learning situation (she’s a teacher!). Trying to show her children that many people live their whole lives in a space no bigger than that bedroom …. with more people. Showing her children that people living in refugee camps have much, much less. Our perspective gets off balance sometimes and it takes a whack upside the head to bring us to the realization of how much good stuff we have in our lives every single minute of every single day …. no matter how dire our living situation seems to be at the moment.
Here’s something else. Everyone seems to be downsizing these days. The Wall Street Journal had an article the other day about people selling off these giant houses and getting more reasonable. And also the spike in people moving to really small spaces and loving it! And one other thing: moving to your own new (even if much smaller) space that is all yours can be a huge leap forward in your recovery.
Our real home is wherever we are and wherever we are warmly, joyfully sharing God’s love with other people. Our physical surroundings are nothing compared to our welcoming hearts. Make people happy to be with you wherever you are!
“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves too cozy in it.” 1 Peter 5:11 (The Message)