August 21, 2017 “It’s not perfect.”
We’ve lived in Freedom (our Airstream) as our home for nine weeks now. We’ve been residents at two RV Parks so far.
There are pros and cons … at both.
- The first park had a state of the art laundry facility…the second, not so much. (No, we don’t have a washer and dryer in Freedom!)
- The first park had a lake and a big dog park. The second doesn’t have a lake and the dog park is about 15’ by 30’. Rowdy is not impressed.
- The second park has a giant ice machine; this was not an amenity at the first park. (No, we don’t have an ice maker in Freedom; yes, we do have a small freezer!)
- The second park has the cutest – and wonderfully delicious – Food Truck park, right next door! The first park had zero good choices for formal or informal dining within 15 miles.
As you can imagine, there are pros and cons to living in an Airstream – compared to a “real” house.
- Our house had a giant bath tub; I had an every night habit of bubble baths. Freedom has a very functional, very small shower.
- In our home, we had a television package that supplied us with every Astros game of the season. There’s not a television package available for our travels that feeds us our daily Astros’ fix. We got real excited a few days ago when we could watch the game on FaceBook live.
- Decorative pillows are a necessity for me; Freedom’s interior is dressed in fine style! That means every night we get to move eight pillows from the bedroom to the couch, and every morning we get to move eight pillows from the couch to the bedroom. Freedom doesn’t have the bedroom square footage that our home offered!
It’s been less than ten weeks, but Doug and I are experiencing a new kind of freedom – different than just what we expected from a home on wheels.
This unexpected freedom is this: It’s ok that everything’s not ok.
We treasure deeply our time together, our purpose, the beauty of our surroundings, and the simple new rhythm of our daily routines.
We hold loosely the inconveniences that are the “cons” of the current RV park – or of our current tiny home.
We talked about this idea the other night…that it almost feels like an “aliens journeying through a foreign land” kind of thing. We weren’t expecting this kind of peace.
When we were home-owners, the “cons” of our home or our yard or our subdivision seemed like big deals. They were important to “fix” or “renovate.”
There seemed to be a constant undertone of “what needs to be upgraded next?” or “Things will be better when…”
There was always a list of “we need to get…”
Ok, in some ways, these lists are still reality for us. We need to get a camera so I can start recording the online classes; we need a good microphone for the podcasts. (For those of you who love Doug as much as I do…yes, we’re planning a podcast together! Stay tuned!)
The rug at the front door of Freedom will need to get replaced frequently because we wash it … frequently.
We “need” a bigger outdoor rug … to help stop the gravel relocation project we seemed to have started – without intention.
Still, these “needs” don’t rob our peace.
And we’re not living in a pretend “Happily Ever After.”
We have more to do in the next six weeks than seems humanly possible. Our monthly budget meetings are for the purpose of keeping an eye on – not if our expenses are more than our income – but by how much. Living on savings isn’t our long term plan.
And…in unexpected ways…we’re living in Freedom.
It’s ok that everything’s not ok.
What if this peace was a part of “at the table” in our homes? Not every night perhaps; maybe just one intentional night a week.
What if everyone knew? “Tonight is the night it’s ok that everything’s not ok.”
We’ll talk about what needs to be done and fixed and bought and repaired…later.
We’ll talk about conflicts, struggles, and past-due assignments…later.
Tonight…it’s safe for things to not be perfect. We can hold the struggles loosely – so we have the time to deeply treasure being together.
Sharing memories – and making new ones.
Inviting dreams to make an appearance in the conversation.
At the table…one night a week… what if our priority is connecting?
Connecting builds trust – and strength.
Connecting sets the stage for affirmation.
Affirmation builds identity and confidence.
We’ll need trust and strength and confidence to talk later about what needs to be done and repaired, and about conflicts, and struggles, and past-due assignments.
The atmosphere can still be safe – because we’ve sat together a while in our true identity.
“I know you; I know you’re for me.”
“You know me; You know I’m for you.”
“It’s ok that everything’s not ok” – we’ve got each other, and we’ll work on it together.
We have a dream – that we can rebuild our great nation, one conversation at a time.
Parents, if you’d like some ideas about conversation starters…maybe you might lead the way by sharing the answer to one of these:
“I remember when….”
“I used to think that when I grew up…”
“I always loved it when Papaw told the story about….” (for me that would be “the Teeny, Tiny Woman!”)
“I helped a friend at work today….” or “A friend really helped me at work today…”
“You might not know this about me, but my favorite (book, song, meal, hobby, friend…) when I was growing up was…”
A few of you might be bold enough to share your “At the table” stories with us. We’d love for you to leave a comment and let us know that you’re giving this idea of a safe place at the table a try in your family.
Thank you for joining us – together is better – let Freedom ring!