Constant Change

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My “cleaning out the whole house” rampage I was on at the start of the New Year has somewhat slowed down.  Maybe during Lent I will pick it up again with more vigilance.  I still have a long ways to go.   My time devoted to this has been replaced by the opportunity to remodel.

I had great plans of switching our dining room and family room around, but budget and time restraints are keeping me content with just redoing the family room and at the same time fixing up a playroom/bedroom for my soon to be two-year-old.  (She is still in my bedroom—clothes, baby gear, and all!)

Is your house in constant change like this?  

Our needs change, our situation changes, heck, our family changes!  I have older children coming and going.  They are going to college, coming home again, getting jobs, getting married, etc.  We recently had our Junior Engineer Major come home to live because he got a job-co-op at a local firm.  This past week, he moved out again.

Even when families are at the younger end, babies come, kids pair up in rooms, dining rooms need to be bigger, toy rooms need to be created, etc.

Change is good. It helps us grow. It keeps life interesting.  It also helps us to keep evaluating the many aspects of being parents.  One part of our vocation as homemaker is to take the time to create a home space that meets everyone’s needs.  This doesn’t mean we need to spend lots of money, but simply that we need to use the resources we have along with a little creativity to make our homes suitable for us.

I like to take the opportunity of change (and sudden bursts of creativity) to try different things.   I ask myself these questions:

  • What kind of space is my home lacking?
  • Do we have a comfortable place where people can talk and visit?
  • Does anyone in the family have a particular need that is not being met? (Like a teenager needing a place away from the baby toys, or a quiet place to do homework.)
  • Is there a place where there is a constant mess that can be organized better?
  • Does our home allow for easy entertaining without a lot of stress?
  • Does our dining room allow for consistent meals together?

Like I mentioned, these changes that can be made can often be done without going into debt.  Sure, sometimes we will have to save up some cash to buy that bigger dining room table or new sofa, but often we can just use what is available in different ways.  A little thrift store shopping can help.  There may be times, like we have found, that after a lot of prayerful consideration, you might need to move into a different home or even take on a small loan to add on to your existing home.

My son who just moved out of a room in our home took most of his stuff with him.  I have three large bins of his “saving stuff” that I moved into the attic.  I will keep you posted on my cheap remodeling of this room into a toddler bedroom/playroom and guest room.  Currently, we need this guest room here since it is downstairs and we have aging parents who come to visit who can’t do stairs.

This is another change that some of you may have to make—having an aging parent come to live in your home.  But in the past, this room has been a dining room, bedroom, music room (we had a baby grand piano in here), guest room, and school room.

And in the future, when we get a few more bedrooms available from our emptying nest, we would like to tear down a wall and use this room as added space to our family room.  This is what I mean by “constant change.”

Thanks be to God for the availability of this room!  And I really mean that.  Every change we make we ask God for guidance in our decisions, especially when it involves tearing down walls!  I’d like to take credit for our creativity in use of space, but I really should give credit to my “remodeling guardian angel.”  (This angel often works with my “shopping” angel who brings me to all kinds of great deals!) This remodeling angel has brought me many ideas and clear insights.

Don’t have a remodeling angel?  God will send you one if you ask.  And don’t be surprised if she comes in the form of a dear friend or family member.

What changes have you made to your home recently to better suit your family?

Copyright 2014 Tami Kiser

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About Author

Tami is the author Smart Martha's Catholic Guide for Busy Moms and the founder of www.smartmartha.com. She lives in Greenville, SC with her husband of 29 years.  She has 10 children:  8 boys and 2 girls ranging in age from 27 to 4. She also has 5 grandchildren.   Tami runs the Smart Martha ministry, CatholicFamilyCelebrations.com, the CatholicMosaic.com, and teaches dance classes.  Thinking like a Smart Martha has helped her to constantly seek to “sit at Christ’s feet” even in the midst of piles of laundry and sinks of dirty dishes. Visit Tami at www.smartmartha.com.

2 Comments

  1. I never thought of asking for a remodeling angel. That is really what I need. We already got the bigger dining table. But the dining room is so small that we have to push the table against the wall most of the day and pull it out for dinner. (Not to mention clear the homeschool things off before we can eat.) We’ve played musical bedrooms for years, one time having a “sleeping room” where I and all the kids slept, and a playroom in the other bedroom. Hubby slept on the futon in the living room, since I had a co-sleeping nursing baby at the time. (Future small bedroom #3 was still an office.) We already tried a couple times to move to a bigger house. But the choices in our small, poor, rural town were no better than what we already had, at least what we thought we might afford. So when child #4 got to be about 6 years old, still in our room in a toddler bed (with toys and clothes and mess), we really had to shake up the family. We moved 15-year-old sister in with the kid sister (got her a nice new loft bed which she loves, but the rest was a very painful transition), and hubby and I moved into big sis’s former (dearly loved) room, an 8x7x7 space (yes, I can touch the ceiling without stretching). It just holds the bed (thank goodness we never upsized to that queen-sized bed, much less king-sized) and we can just get around on the perimeter. So whether this better suits our family is probably questionable, but something we parents felt had to be done. Having a guest room or any-sized piano in our house is something I can only dream about, but what would really make us all happy is a second bathroom.
    So that I don’t sound like too much of whiner I usually say, “Well, Jesus was born in a stable, so how can I ask for more?” You start to think this must be what God wants for you. But I’ll definitely ask that remodeling angel for some tips, because I am plumb out.

    • I hear ya. We had the smallest house for a while. I am truly blessed now–plus we are emptying out. It will happen. We had to put our dinning room into our family room because it was the only room in our house big enough for our table that seats 12. The piano was also a blessing (and a loan that we slowly paid off) because we had a home schooler who played the piano every spare moment. Now he is in graduate school as a piano performance major. (all his schooling has been by scholarships) I could go on and on–but I just want to say these examples to tell you to keep praying about it. God always gives us what we need. (even if it involves a little discomfort sometimes) Oh and did I mention we did remodel the garage into a playroom.

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