September 4, 2016

A Home is a Gift

I am so overwhelmed with gratitude to my Heavenly Father for the many blessings he has given to me and my sweet family. We have been living in a small 687 square foot 2 bedroom apartment with our 2 kids for the past 2 years. Some might think we are crazy for living there as long as we did with such small space for 2 growing kids, cinder block walls and carpet you find in your elementary schools,but for us this apartment was a gift from God.

For 2 1/2 years, we moved from place to place searching for a place to set roots and call home for a time. We moved a total of 10 times, before we landed here in the village. It was an emotional roller coaster ride and for those 2 1/2 years I wondered if we would ever find that place we could call home.

Before moving to the village, we were preparing to move back to the U.S. from Guatemala. We had no idea where we would be going next. We had to rely on the Lord to help us get to where he needed us to be. Eventually, we found student housing at the U of U. We were excited, but nervous to move into a place that we knew basically nothing about.

We applied without even looking at the apartments and saw just what was online. We had had some bad luck with apartments with cockroaches and such, and this time we were just hoping and praying that this time would be different.

The day we moved in we felt an immediate sense of relief. We felt so at peace with the space that was given. Compared to everywhere else we had lived, this place was a palace. The kitchen and living room space was combined with 2 small bedrooms in back. The kitchen itself was small with very little counter space, a single sink and a half size oven. Cupboard space was limited, but to us it was more than enough.  It was no mistake that the Lord had given this space to us as a gift. A place to call home.

Yesterday, we moved one stairwell over to a 3 bedroom apartment that is a little over 1100 sq. feet. Double the size of our little 2 bedroom apartment. It's been so exciting to have more space for us and the kids to run around, but at the same time it's a little bitter sweet.

I know we didn't move very far, but for us it's not about how far you go, it's about what you are leaving behind. We lived in that apartment longer than we've lived anywhere else our whole marriage. It was the place that I called home. I had experiences there that taught me some important lessons. I have learned so much there and have grown in ways that I never imagined. My husband Travis describes the feelings we felt as we left that apartment:

"My favorite part about moving day is going back into your old place when it is totally empty and clean. There is something really special about it. I think it is because there is nothing in the house to distract your mind. There is nothing to fill that space except the memories you have of living there. You just look around and you can see the special times and the hard times and the fun times all swirling together. You can hear the sounds of life in your mind and can't help but just feel the importance of raising children, and the spirit present in a home where the gospel is taught and lived. 

We inadvertently have a tradition of going into the now empty house and saying a prayer together. Every place we have lived has always felt like a gift directly from God to us, and it is always my favorite part of moving day to soak in all those memories, and just express real sincere gratitude to God for the journey in that house."

Each place we have lived has been a gift from God. It is part of our journey and growth in this life. I feel so blessed and so grateful for all the my Heavenly Father has given to me. Our sweet 2 bedroom apartment has filled me with so much gratitude. It was truly the first place in a long time that I could call home. Even though so many may think our little home wasn't anything special, it meant so much to me. It was a sacred place that was just a piece of my story on this journey we call life.

 At times things may get hard and at times it may be hard to find joy in the journey, but if there is anything I have learned it is that I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. He has blessed me so much through all the struggles I have faced and I feel so incredibly grateful for him and his love. Now, we are moving on to what feels like a new phase of our lives and I know that the he will always be there leading and guiding me every step of the way.

What a blessing it is to have a place to call home!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful words, Jessica and Travis! Where our loved ones dwell is home to us or as the saying goes "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!"