I never cease to be amazed at how much our physical circumstances affect us mentally and emotionally. I simply can't seem to separate these areas from one another, no matter how hard I may try.
For the past 3 1/2 years Seth and I have been living in a little 600 sq ft trailer near downtown Corvallis. Although the idea of living in a trailer had never been a dream of mine, when we decided to move in with our then 3 month old daughter Mikaiah it seemed like a perfect, low budget fit. And for a time it was. We enjoyed getting to know our sometimes quirky neighbors, being a part of a community garden and having "river front property." Those were good days. Even from the beginning though space was a bit of an issue, not much storage or places to put things, but we made it work. Fast forward two years and another child later and it was beginning to wear on us. With a baby and a toddler running around I found myself slowly going crazy while the amount of baby stuff/toys/tools/other things we accumulated continued to grow until we knew we were going to have to leave. Fortunately some good friends of ours who had just bought a fixer upper in Philomath were planning on leaving the cute 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home (also in Philomath, just 3 miles from Corvallis) they had been living in, right next to some other friends of ours. How perfect! Unfortunately as remodels sometimes (often) do it ended up taking longer (much longer) than expected. One move in date got changed to another and with the anticipation of moving already there the space we were occupying no longer felt just "small" it felt stifling. The Lord is faithful though and he never gives us more than we can handle. We were blessed with a big house to house sit in for a month over Christmas giving us a much needed break, and then just a few weeks after we had returned to our trailer were finally able to move into our new home. Sitting here in our nice spacious living room I feel my entire body relax and I finally feel as though I can breathe again. We are still getting things put away and organized, but we have enough done to be able to truly enjoy our new space. We were also very blessed with lots of help from friends and family as we packed, cleaned, painted, moved, unpacked, and cleaned once again. Not to mention all those that generously watched our girls while we were doing the aforementioned things. It feels so nice to be settling in, but even more than that it's so encouraging to know how many people are surrounding us (and have been for a long time.) I am so used to this wonderful little community we have that I often forget how many people do not have people surrounding them, and then I try to be even more grateful and aware than I already am. Thank you friends!
As I have been pondering these things, it has made me think about all the many areas of our lives that have the same effect on us that that small trailer had on me. Whether it's work that is all consuming, or needy relationships, or even being burdened by too many possesions or financial debt, that are so many different things that the enemy uses to overwhelm and restrict us so that their burden weighs down on us so much so that it runs into every area of our lives, bringing with it a suffocating fog and keeping us from living life fully. Unfortunately, since it is often not as obvious as a house you have clearly outgrown, many times we don't even realize what it is doing to us until we are either already "waste deep" or until we have somehow found our way out. We were not meant to live this way however, whether it's physically, mentally or emotionally and if we let him, the Lord will (and does) free us from the things we have gotten ourselves so overcome by, we just have to be willing to take that first step and recognize the problem and then continue to work at it until it is resolved, no matter how long it may take. We also have to be willing to accept his help in whatever form it comes, be it good advice from a good friend on a touchy subject, or physical help paying bills, whatever it is I am convinced that if we want to move past the fog we've found ourselves in we must first accept help in whatever form i is sent. Easier said than done, I know, but always, always worth it.