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

Hosting Is Scary

Christian, hosting, Jesus

“Nobody cares!” I told her. “The house looks fine.”  I huffed and puffed, while my mom continually cleaned the house before guests would arrive. Back then I prided myself on my “chill” attitude about people coming to visit. And then I got married and had my own place. 
I have been married just over a year, and due to our home being a studio apartment, there was a time I felt we could not truly host like I wanted. Instead of seeing the potential, I saw the inadequacies. I saw the tiny indoors, instead of the plentiful yard. But once I was able to see the potential, my husband and I dubbed ourselves the “Bonfire People.” He dug a fire pit, we bought a few chairs, a fold-up table, and some pretty, twinkly lights. And before long, we had a cute little outdoor setting.
Besides, we all know that true hospitality has little to do with the house, and more to do with the heart of the home–what you feel as you walk in, the way you are greeted, and invited to relax. The most beautiful thing about your home cannot be purchased. 
I have been able to experience true hospitality from several families. They had very different houses, but they all made me feel like I was both a special visitor and that I was one of the family. 
In particular, I had just flown from Guam to Texas for my friend’s wedding. We all stayed at her future in-laws. The large, country home was bursting at the seams with wedding paraphernalia and people. And even in the clamor, their home was so very welcoming, and I felt so very comfortable.
About the second day, I was delirious from the 13 hour time difference, and stayed back one afternoon to nap, while everyone else ran around finishing wedding details. Shuffling downstairs to the kitchen, I found myself opening the pantry door to rummage around for a snack. I thought to myself, “Audrey Ann! What are you doing? You don’t even know these people! Your mother would be ashamed!”
But the beauty of their home was the way I felt free to find a snack in their pantry, and they way they invited me for morning coffee on their porch, the day before their son’s wedding. In essence, the beauty of their home was that they cared; they cared about me.
If the goal of hosting is to show off your home or your cooking skills or even (in our case) your bonfire-making skills, you have missed the point. It is always about showing people the love and care of Jesus. As my pastor said, “Make your home an embassy for Christ.” I would also add, make it a haven. There is so much craziness in this world, and so many people need a place where they are safe, cared for, and can even rummage through your pantry (on rare occasions like jet lag).
Keep the Faith,
Audrey Ann

Photo 1: Google Images/dwnloadwallpapers.com
Photo 2: Norman Rockwell/Google Images/mosbybuildingarts.com