Small House Big Door

bilingual, Christian womanhood, church, family, Gospel, hosting, lifestyle, traditions, Travel, Travel Home

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My husband and I live in an 810 square foot home. On Guam we lived in a 250 square foot studio apartment. Yes, you read that correctly. We basically did the island thing in a sardine can with a tile floor and windows. It’s a miracle we did not smother to death. Only kidding. As I was thinking about home decor and my notions about what to have and not to have in the home, I thought it would be apropos to start with our philosophy of the home in general. Now, this is what’s currently working for us, with only one child, and we are all about visiting our friends/family with large houses and will one day most likely upsize (bring on some glorious space, a-men).

For now, we love being as debt-free as possible. We believe in living beneath our means and have found that doing so actually opens up life’s possibilities quite a bit, whether that means extra travel, being able to help others, or save for that ever-impending rainy day. Our two biggest challenges have been storage and hosting–well, other than the top challenge which has been to stop apologizing for our home or making fun of it in a way that appears self-deprecating but is really prideful, because we want people to know that we could have a larger house, blah blah blah.

Storage: Eric built some storage units, we utilize our attic, and we don’t buy very much stuff.

Hosting: We have most events during decent weather outdoors (cue giant table in our yard, a campfire, and twinkle lights). OR we comfort ourselves with the notion that most people on the planet have homes smaller than ours, so it’s okay to ask people to get cozy.

We want our home to be a welcoming place of peace–a refuge where guests can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. We want our home to be stimulating with interesting artwork, books, and conversation. We want our home to have tasty treats where our guests won’t feel hungry for anything except the Lord, if they don’t know Him. A few weeks ago I was looking for a hashtag (which I barely use) to describe this concept, and I found #smallhousebigdoor. Apparently it’s some building unit in Korea, but I still like it for our home–it’s a small place, but we hope to bless many.

Here’s to happy homemaking, whatever that looks like for you!

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

Miss

Christian womanhood, family, Gospel, Guam, Travel, Travel Home

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It happens nearly every night as I lay my head on the pillow. Images of our Guam kiddos, images of our sweet boonie dog, and thoughts of what if we never see them again fill my mind. I fight them: No, let me sleep.

Sometimes Eric and I talk of what we miss about Guam. We crank out our accents, and he mocks mine like always. This missing, I see it in the quiet grief in his eyes, in the pained smile when people say (with eyebrows raised), “Guam–for twelve years?!” This and that and most everything we miss about our darling Mariana island. If it is not on our lips, it is a thought lingering. But we must be careful.

In all this missing, may we not miss the beauty around us.

When missing my sweet toddlers, may I not miss the little children at my new church. When missing the Pacific, may I not miss the Atlantic and the lovely homes that make Charleston such a gem. When missing the feeling of home, may I not miss the ever stronger sense that Jesus, that Jesus and Eric are my home.

Missing is only profitable if it encourages me to take in today, to love those I meet today—even if they can’t speak Tagalog, even if they don’t know about Haputo beach or what the word ‘chod’ means.

I am learning new things here—about God, His Word, about the history of Charleston. The culture is rich, full of rustic European beauty, as well as heaviness from the evils of the former slave trade. We talk at church about how to all come together, no matter our amounts of melanin, no matter our backgrounds. Pride and prejudice may have made a good title for a book, but it does not make a good reality.

Wherever you are, do not miss what is going on around you. For if you love Jesus, your purpose is the same, your joy is in Him, and your hope is never-ending. Reminiscing about a former season of your life is good and natural, but still breathe in today. Notice the gifts of today. They may look different, but they are there.

We will not miss the beauty, even in the missing.

Keep the Faith,

Audrey Ann

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New Year’s…Remembrances

Christian womanhood, Christian women, Christianity, church, God, Gospel, http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008/kind#post, New Year, Remember, writing

It is a tradition among some to write New Year’s resolutions, which involves writing your goals and hopes for the next year. Maybe this helps some people–I’m sure it does. However, I have not been one of those people.  Perhaps my goals were too broad, too big, or just plain dumb. Other than the good exercise of writing down goals, New Year’s resolutions sort of depressed me. I liked the idea of them, but it seemed like they were just paper, pencil, and lofty goals…lofty goals I was likely not to achieve. They were time capsules of disappointment.

Several years ago, someone challenged me to, instead of merely writing resolutions, write a list of all the things I had accomplished that year and some of the things God had helped me learn. It was one of the most encouraging things I have ever done.
Now, I am not a drunk-on-self-love type. I find all of that rather annoying and unbiblical. However, it is clear that God wants us to remember what He has done in us, and when we only focus on what we want to do or who we want to be in the future, we may miss what He has already done, and who He is already helping us to be right now.
In Joshua 4 God told his people to build a memorial to remind them what He had done and to be a remembrance for their children.
“When your children ask their fathers in times to come, ‘What do these stones mean?’ then you shall let your children know, ‘Israel passed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” (Joshua 4:21-24)
So try it. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Find a piece of paper, a piece of quiet, and remember. Write things you’ve accomplished, learned, and experienced. I bet you’ll be surprised. Chat with your family about the Lord’s grace and provision for the great and the small this year of 2014. 
And a Happy New Year to you!
Keep the Faith,
Audrey Ann
image credit: 1. google images/answerhub.com
 2. google images/mobilemarketingwatch.com

battle cries…

Gospel, Jesus
David Platt: Why “Accepting Jesus Into Your Heart” Is Superstitious and Unbiblical
Matt Chandler: Jesus Wants the Rose
Both of these clips encouraged my heart, as I’ve been overwhelmed 
with the truth about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Remember, JESUS WANTS THE ROSE!
Keep the Faith,
Audrey Ann