Wording by Candice Lombard
Ours was a shabby building, with dirty stairwells and peeling paint, but the location was perfect. Once we walked through the front door to our light filled apartment, with white walls and gleaming parquet floors, we knew we were home. From the huge windows, we saw spectacular sunrises and watched the city lights sparkle at night. It’s our last week here, and looking back, three and a half years in this space has taught me a few things.
In the living room I learned two lessons:
1. You can always make space for things that you love.
Our living area wasn’t big. But that didn’t stop us from filling it with beautiful things – furniture, music gear, artworks, books or a suprise gathering of friends & family squeezed in on the hottest day of the year!
2. When you are feeling frustrated, change things up.
Often on a whim, when the space (or myself) wasn’t feeling quite right, J and I would start moving things, re-positioning, rearranging & re-purposing. It’s never too late in life (or at night – sorry downstairs neighbours) to re-evaluate your circumstances. And somehow, after a bit of discomfort and frustration, a few simple changes solved the problem.
In the bedroom I learned about perspective.
If I stood at the window and looked down from our 3rd floor window, I saw a dingy courtyard, rubbish bins and corrugated rooftops. Not the prettiest sight. But if I sat on my bed and looked out the window, I saw Lion’s Head, palm trees and sunrises. Often I would retreat to my room to reflect and spend time with God. While sitting on my bed, He taught me to see what He sees. To look at things from His perspective and not the world’s. It’s simple really – just change your positioning.
I can’t say I learned terribly much in the bathroom (!) but lastly, in the kitchen, (the tiniest space in our home) I learned contentment & intimacy.
I wanted a larger sink and a proper oven, but at that minuscule sink I washed dishes & talked to Jesus and whilst I cleaned the mugs and plates, He cleaned up my heart. I wanted a big oven so that I could cook meals that would feed lots of people and host dinner parties, but on our little gas stove, I cooked meals for myself and my husband. Meals that J savoured and whilst sharing our meals, we sat at the table and talked and dreamed and planned. Just the two of us. God taught me about intimacy in that kitchen, intimacy with Him as my Lord and Saviour, and with J, the man He gave me as my husband & covenant partner.It’s true what they say, that “love grows best in small spaces.”
I am learning how to love God with all my heart, all my soul and all my mind (Matt 22:37). I am learning how to better love my husband, and through all this, God is teaching me how to better love myself. I learned some big lessons, from living in a little home, hidden in a shabby building and a heart hidden in Jesus.