Tiny living isn’t just about the house

When we started this journey to tiny living 5 years ago, it seemed so obvious. The goal, the end result, was reducing possessions, reexamining our classification of ‘need’ in terms of space and stuff so we could create a simpler life for ourselves and children. It was about simplifying, cutting out the excess. Sure some sort of deepness was there within it. It wasn’t completely about do we need 4 mixing bowls and place settings for 16 but how do we actually live and envision our future life. Is cooking so important it justifies those 4 bowls? Is entertaining a focus to justify the extra place settings?

What I did not count on is how much it actually causes you to examine and learn about yourself on the much deeper levels. Stripping the clutter and chaos of stuff leaves just the basics, the core. It does the same thing internally, mentally. There is less distractions to hide behind. No longer a slave to cleaning the house for 6 hours or working 80 hour weeks. Cleaning is done in an hour tops and 40 hours funds most everything. And then what?

I don’t really know the direction of this blog now. But I know I don’t want it to end. This has been an issue I’ve been toying with for a year. This big project is almost complete. Perhaps that contributed to the extended time off. And then what? What am I if not an off grid tiny house builder? No more projects to research. No more searching for opinions on best practices or neat and inventive design ideas. No more pro cons for each method. No more seeing an issue and finding a creative fix. No more excusable mental clutter. Clutter to hide behind, to distract. Just the core of who we are, who I am.

While I noticed a couple of years ago that as we were building the house the house was building us. What I did not realize is how deep and far reaching that would be. I didn’t have to think about it, I had other distractions to keep my mind focused. Only those past issues and hurts became magnified in the house building process. My obsessive and perfectionistic need with doing things the “right” way, my response to failures and the unexpected. All fall back to one simple thing – my outward behaviors may have changed but my core, the reason I respond in those ways, is the same broken girl. Eliminating the extra allows the core to be revealed. And if allowed, truly healed.

It’s a messy process. A stack of lumber doesn’t magically become a finished home. It is an unrecognizable stack of basic materials waiting for someone to do the work to transform them, to bring about the vision of what it will become. Disorder before the pieces are brought into a recognizable order. Repeat it dozens of times with interior wall coverings, cabinetry and finally detailed finish carpentry work to smooth out the rough seams. With enough persistence, struggle and dedication, it becomes a beautiful masterpeice with no evidence of the blood, sweat and tears that went into the process. Except to those who watched it unfold step by step or have done similar.

Sound familiar? We humans aren’t all that different. And while most of us stop when it becomes painful, when the internal mess is revealed, we should push through, allow Our Father to bring order to the chaos we created, to bring about the beautiful masterpiece He has intended all along. I am broken. But I’m not so broken I am unfixable by Him. Neither are you.

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