Giving Thanks for the Space You Call Your Home

The sound of rain hitting the tree tops and the clanging of the dryer spinning with rocks inside, thanks to my boy of course, break my concentration long enough to remind me of an important truth.

This is what I always wanted.  

A family of my own.  

And a safe-haven to dwell in together when the storms of life hit noisy and loud.

But if I was still living for my own dreams, I would have missed the reality of this blessing.

See, I’ve always wanted to own a home. And yet what I’ve wanted has not been a part of God’s plans. My husband is a boarding school teacher, and housing is a part of his package. In all our years together, we’ve lived in 7 different homes, from apartments to condos within a dorm to houses small and large. They are not all created equal, nor are the responsibilities that go with each one. And none of them have a white picket fence with an ocean view I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl!

How we live in the spaces we're given . . .

For the first ten years of living in this place, I wrestled with God over our housing situation. I was ungrateful. Plain and simple. And I was discontent with our circumstances, until one housing fiasco led to another and I had no choice but give it all up to the Lord.

“God, from this point forward I will thank you for the place you’ve given us to live in. No matter what. No matter where.”

God took me up on that prayer. Only a few weeks after surrendering to the Lord, we moved into a beautiful, large home rented by the School. I was overwhelmed by God’s provisions. Humbled and grateful for the way that house enabled us to have an extended family member live with us for my than six months, and meet a need in her life. However, God did not plan for us to stay there long term.

A year later, we had to move again, and settled into a smaller, condo-like home in a girls dorm. I loved the responsibilities, but it wasn’t an ideal long-term commitment. Two years later, we were packing boxes again.  In a bittersweet departure from dorm life, we moved into a what seemed like a reasonable size home for a family for four, only to find out a few months later that we were having twins. Our roomy home vanished into a world of baby gear and discontentment took over my soul. I set my eyes on the larger school homes, aptly named the battleships of the fleet, convinced that the larger space would make my life better.

In God’s perfect plan, we did not move into one of those larger homes. We had no choice but to stay put for another three years, before we moved into a house with more bedrooms — a grace place where our spiritually adopted daughter would have room to live with us. We thought this was the end of the line for our moves at the school, and then we were graciously offered the opportunity to move into a home with more common space — the house we now call our home. It’s not a perfect place. It’s not without it’s little issues. It’s required creativity and flexibility to make some parts of it work for us. But it’s a home we give thanks for, as much as we did for the last three — because it’s the place we get to live together as a family and serve those who God brings in through the back door.

I’ve learned through this journey that a house isn’t a home because you’ve paid the mortgage and call it your own.

It was in the squishy, uncomfortable home in which the twins were born that I truly learned how to give thanks for the home God gave us — then and now. The Lord changed my heart and perspective, opening my eyes to see that no earthly dwelling is meant to be our forever home.

It’s the relationships and interactions and experiences lived within the walls that define our home that matter more than the decor and accessories and square footage and taxes paid.

Whether it is small or large. Whether it is newly renovated or shabby but not chic. Whether it is beautifully decorated or filled with clutter. Whether it is rented, owned, or assigned.

It’s what we do within the spaces we’re given that matter most to God. {click to tweet}

A home on this earth is only meant to be a temporary dwelling . . . a space that most likely will cause us to groan with longing for something more.


Humbled and grateful,

Elisa &

If you would like help in shifting your mindset about your home and space,
consider using this living intentionally resource and the benefits of life coaching.

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  1. says

    Thank-you for sharing your perception both past and present. The biggest desire that I’ve ever had is to own a home of my own.This desire has been the source of a lot of turmoil in my life. I am suffering reprecautions due to a home buying endeavor that has left be depressed, personal relationship problems and burnt bridges with relatives. An opportunity to purchase a home and loan fell through and it has had enormous consequences. In the end, I still do not have a home of my own. I’m grateful for your positivity and advice as I learn to “Bloom Where I am Planted. “Thank you!

    • says

      Shanna, I can only imagine the heartache of the turmoil you’re facing — I’ve brought plenty on myself. But I am asking God today to bathe you in His grace and truth. May you know His mercies and walk forward in that precious gift He offers you each and every day!

  2. says

    Such a wonderful reminder ! Thank you ! Great advice for any situation of unthankfulness or ungratefulness we find ourselves in . Saving this one for myself and passing it on to friends as well .
    Leticia @

  3. Elle says

    Thankyou this is us only difference my husband is a farm overseer!

    We are moving into a bigger house in the next month and far away from where we are now but this little space we called home for 6months is where the memories doubled and our family of six started to love each another in many more ways…

    • says

      Praise the Lord, Elle, for God’s unexpected blessings in the little spaces of our journey. I totally understand and I’m asking God to go ahead of you in this journey!

  4. says

    Beautiful post! This is SO true. It’s possible for a home to be immaculate and professionally decorated, yet empty of warm memories or moments, like a cold beautiful mansion that’s just pretty to look at. We often focus on the outward circumstances and miss the beauty of what’s transpiring in our homes: memories, life, and family. These are the things that really count.

    • says

      Yes, yes, Andrea! Well put! What a lesson to learn the hard way, but at least there is the opportunity to live differently today and not dwell on the foolishness of the past!

  5. says

    This is beautiful. Your words are truth through and through. Convicting and encouraging for me, thank you. God bless you as you seek to please Him – say a prayer for me as I strive to be a virtuous wife to my husband and mother to our 4 precious kiddos.

  6. Julie says

    Thank you so much for this post. This is definitely something I’ve struggled with. This perspective is what I need to keep in mind. Thanks for the reminder!

    • says

      Julie, I think more of us struggle with it then we care to admit. I’ll be praying for God to move you through your struggle and into the fullness of His grace and provisions!

  7. Joni says

    I am so glad to have read your post today. I too have struggled with wanting to live in a bigger home. I have 1 son that is 9 and constantly ask God why He hasn’t gave me more. My husband keeps saying ” no, we can’t afford another child”. We live in an in-laws quarters above the garage that was originally built for my husband’s grandmother. It only had one bedroom so we made a section of the living room for my son’s bedroom. We only have 1 closet for all 3 of us and the roof is slanted so I can’t store a lot of stuff there.
    We are slowly building a house when we have extra money but it seems like we won’t have it finished till at least 3 years.
    I just have to keep thanking God for the home that I do live in now and keep telling myself that some day I’ll have a bigger place and that I could have it a lot worse.
    Thank you for helping me remember that it’s not how much space I have, but the love of my family.


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