It's been a struggle to have a good attitude about living in this apartment.
I am well aware that we are blessed to be in this position, and I'm continually trying to count those blessings. But I wouldn't be telling the truth if I said it was easy for me.
We feel so crowded. There are still so many boxes, both packed and broken down. It still feels as though we're living in a cardboard jungle. There simply isn't space to put things, even the things we use regularly. I am continually wishing I had access to something (the meat thermometer, the blender, my large roasting pan) which is put away in storage somewhere. We have things stored in three separate spaces: the garage at Jeff's parents' house, a garage here at the apartment complex, and at the U-Haul place. Things are spread to the far corners of the earth, it seems. And it's a good thing, because we certainly don't have the place to put it here.
My beloved maternity sweaters are still at large.
They're not in any of the other places, so I'm resigning myself to the belief that they are impossibly packed away, walled in within the U-Haul storage unit. I'm telling myself that it'll be like "new" clothes when I get access to them during the last month of my pregnancy. That is, assuming I can find them before the baby arrives.
But here's something.
In Kyle's prayers, he always thanks God for "our peaceful apartment."
Peaceful? I don't really think so. Our three months here have been full of stress and clutter. We seem to be too loud for the amount of space we occupy. I'm desperately missing having a garage, now that the near-constant rain has begun in earnest. And I feel so vulnerable here. We keep the boys' window shades down and closed all the time; their bedrooms face the parking lot, and the sidewalk passes just beside the windowpanes. I just feel so exposed...to foul language, foul habits, and prying eyes. It doesn't feel quite safe, somehow.
Yet in the eyes of my 4-year-old, it's...peaceful?
It seems that he's been able to grasp something which I haven't. That being able to live here is a gift. That it's working for us. That, in spite of the ongoing frustrations, we're doing okay.
So I'm going to continue the struggle. I'm going to make an effort to count blessings ...not just for grace, health, job security and family, but the blessings God has given us through this very place. Here's a start....
~that the sale of our old house finally worked out
~a dry, warm place to live while our new house is being built
~that the apartment is on the ground floor
~the ability to keep the sleeping arrangements we're accustomed to
~the honest truth that there's no room for a child to sleep next to our bed when he comes in during the middle of the night
~a separate bathroom for our young boys
~space to put our chest freezer in the kitchen (and ready access to our supply of grass-finished beef)
~the fact that no neighbors have complained about our often-noisy children
~the fact that our upstairs neighbor, who hits his snooze button an average of 5 times a morning, does not have to get up at an ungodly hour to get ready for his day
~that the apartment is only about 5 minutes from our church
~living very near a college campus with a stunning display of autumn leaves
~a garage available to rent, relatively close to our door
~the fact that we've only about two more months to go
~our last month here will be incredibly busy (and hopefully go quickly)...it'll be Christmastime!