We have settled into our new apartment well; living in town has its perks! The photo above is a panoramic view outside our ‘front door’ a few weeks ago. The buildings across the street don’t look that exciting, but less than a minute’s walk away is a bakery/cafe/coffeeshop, a hardware store, fabric store, our favorite pizza place, several flea markets and antique stores, and a recently-opened ‘hippie’ store that delights me. Just last night, we walked over to the opera house/movie theater for a fantastic performance by some local talent, where I ran into a bunch of people I knew. Love, love, love this small-town life. If we walk a little bit further, there are more restaurants and a grocery store a couple blocks away. Walmart and Tractor Supply (pretty much the only ‘big’ stores in this town) are a five-minute drive. I still do miss living on that farm — that darn rooster has a place in my heart. However, I think I’m pretty content wherever I am. It’s a pattern I’ve noticed as I look back on how much we’ve moved.
Philippians 4:11-13 comes to mind:
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.
We’ve experienced ‘nothing’ to ‘everything’ and all in between. There have been moments where we don’t know how we will afford meals for the next few days, but there have also been moments where our fridge is flowing with plenty. It is indeed Christ who has carried us through this past year (and all the years past). We are learning to let go and rely more on Him than just ourselves. What a blessing and relief that is! We are so filled with joy!
Yet… our current struggle with this apartment? You might laugh.
There are no windows.
Yes, my friends. No windows. At all. OK, we do have a back patio door that we can open to look up into the blue sky and sunlight, but without a screen door [yet], the door needs to stay closed to keep our beloved cats indoors. From time to time, I do open that door just to look outside and see the sun. And of course, daylight is always the best for taking photos of cups of coffee….
The only thing a window-less room really affects is our sleep pattern. 2am feels like 10am, which feels like 2pm. And 8pm. No windows = no sunlight = no idea what time it is! Getting up in the morning does have its challenges some days. Today, I woke up at 10am. Oops! (For those of you that know me, I do not sleep in — that is late for me!) Honestly, I’m more concerned about our cats lacking daylight than myself! I can tell they miss looking out the window(s), but they sure do love all the room to run around! (Note to self: get a screen door soon so can all get a little more sun.)
Having no windows was a concern of mine before we moved in, but the rest of the space is pretty good (if you can overlook the pink kitchen cabinets). It’s there. It’s warm. It’s ours. All we need, right? Yeah, it’s empty and furniture-less (other than the bed, television/chest stand, and outdoor bistro table), but who cares? I am a bit self-conscious about inviting people over (“hey! come over and sit on our floor while our cats walk all over you!”), but that’s something I am working on. (And no, we don’t need any furniture, really, it’s OK. We know we’re moving out of this apartment eventually and less furniture makes for an easier move.) We do spend a lot of time on the floor… and out in town, exploring and connecting.
We’ve come a long way from our first apartment together — granite counters, stainless steel appliances, fireplace, balcony overlooking a pond, fancy-schmancy for sure — to where we are. Who needs fancy stuff and all that matters is a roof over your heads? And running water! That might be the one thing I’m most grateful for in this moment, haha. Happy, happy, happy, indeed.
The apartment has also done for us what we needed: relieved us from a lot of the stress of RV/farm life (more like… RV during cold winter on a muddy farm life) and given us the energy and time to invest in others. We are much more involved with different aspects of our church and developing strong relationships. I’ve also noticed a different dynamic out here than back in hectic Chicagoland — people are more able to “do life together.” Schedules aren’t as busy and distracted. Life is slower. There’s a lot more face time than screen time. I love it. My phone doesn’t get picked up as often anymore. (On the other hand, apologies to y’all that I’ve not been in touch with as much lately! Eek!)
We are good. Life is good. God is good. All the time.