Living in a tiny house can be quite challenging especially when you can’t find joy in it.
For quite a while, I have not been joyful in my space. I was discontented and wanted more legroom, elbow room, just more room.
And because of that, my health, my faith and my productivity as a spiritual, social, creative and thinking being suffered.
I became a difficult person because I had a cluttered home.
And because of the clutter, I couldn’t do ANYTHING CREATIVE that could make me happy in my space.
I believe I am a creative person, but my creativity was hindered.
Yes, I was still doing the chores, loving my husband, homeschooling my child, but something was missing.
I neglected my poems, I neglected my music, I neglected my reading, I neglected my job.
Yes, I was giving out things now and then to reduce my stuff but nothing changed. I was feeling stuck in a space that I didn’t like with stuff that suffocated me but couldn’t let go of.
Change Did Come…Softly
But God changed my heart. God targeted my heart. Change started there.
It wasn’t some outward change that had happened. It was more of understanding God’s word in Luke 12:15. It was more of heart change. Only God can do that!
“Then He said to them, “Beware, and be on your guard against every form of greed; for not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions.””
Fast forward now, I can truly say that I feel happy in my space, regardless of how tiny it would seem to some and it won’t be long for it to be a space where I can do what I am most passionate about!
By God’s grace, I was awakened, I chose to be happy, and with a little help from expert advice from YouTube and Marie Kondo’s Netflix show, I did it!
30 Square Meter Life
Yes, I live in a 30 square meter indoor space with a wide-enough area for gardening outside and I am loving it! But how did my mindset change from sad and discontented to elated and excited?
Let me tell you how.
The first time we moved in the house, we couldn’t move around. We needed to downsize, and we thought decluttering would come easy.
The space is tiny, and our apartment in the city where we were coming from was more or less three times bigger than what we have.
But at the end of the day, doing the math, we realized we could not afford it.
So from Timog Avenue, we moved to a small space which is being loaned to us with the obligation of upkeep.
So we said YES to our generous benefactor!
And aside from that, living in a semi-rural area overlooking the city is such an inducement I immediately had hopes of publishing a book idea that’s been there for years, raising organic vegetables and setting up a flower garden for my family while there.
And I did just that.
Well, wait a second, NOT YET.
I tried but the discontent that began to creep in stopped me in my tracks to growing living things in my life and in my backyard.
You see, I didn’t realize we had so much stuff. How in the world did we accumulate too much?
Downsizing is such a buzzword nowadays. We liked the idea at first. We thought well, if they could do it, WE could do it.
Three years. It took me three years. Three Christmases. Three birthdays for three persons. Three Wedding Anniversaries. Three dragging long years to realize that to act on it.
When You Couldn’t Let Go
Possessions had to be considered in the equation. And boy, the problem was hard to solve.
It was hard to let go. I didn’t know how to process clutter. I didn’t want to start parting with things.
Looking at the blank space without our things in it proved enticing, but when the stuff had to be stuffed in there, my happiness level dwindled close to zero.
I was miserable. I was sad. For quite a while, I was just maintaining my space, moving things around, making room.
I was not creating BEAUTY in my home.
So I prayed to the Lord. I said: “Lord, help me! I’m stuck in this tiny house and I couldn’t breathe! I love you, Lord, but honestly, I find it hard to be thankful right now.”
My husband knows my dilemma. I love the location, but I didn’t love the abode.
And my constant source of stress is him reminding me to declutter, but that word for me was foreign, I couldn’t understand it!
We would argue about it, and I would eventually have my own way — keeping the stuff. But I knew in my heart he was right. My husband is right. And my home is a reflection of my hope. Where is my hope to be found?
The Lord dealt with my contentment issue. At the moment, I am proud to say that I have adulted and adulting is also responsible for the fact that early in the morning when I wake up, I love what I see. At night, before going to sleep, I pick up a broom and mop to clean my floors because I love my floors.
I love my bed, I love my table, I love my lamp, I love the soft rug, I love the art on the wall. I love my books on the shelves and I love being with the people I care for the most.
And for my daily morning routine, I go out and thank the Lord for the plants outside, hum a hymn of praise, smell the fresh air that surrounds me and enjoy the pleasure of listening to the repertoire of tropical birds who live in nearby trees.
But it was a long process. It was not a pressure cooker type of thing, but a slow cooker type of thing. This joy was not instantly found, but I fought for it, and God was good to give it to me IN HIS OWN TIME.
When He did, things changed. With a new perspective, ideas started to take shape. I began to embrace my space and feel, just feel, that as I love it, it loves me back.
To be continued… 🙂