We live in an apartment. Even though my husband and I both grew up in the suburbs, we have a deep city-love! The way I feel when I look at a city skyline at night is how other people may feel about a beautiful waterfall. We aren’t downtown but we are “in the perimeter” and we love it! This is definitely one of my favorite places we have lived!
The main reason we moved where we did was to be close to my husband’s work. He leaves 10 mins. before he has to be at work verses an hour. He also comes home everyday for lunch. Since moving, we have gained 3 extra hours together as a family (three hours my husband would have otherwise been in the car)! It’s been awesome!
When we moved in, however, I had my usual doubt. I started to feel guilty because my kids didn’t have a big yard to play in nor could they run around the house as they please. The only three bedroom apartment available at the time was on the second floor, so we have neighbors under us. (And bless their heart!) So I don’t allow my one and three year old to run wild all the time. Jumping makes a lot of noise and my flat footed son has the loudest run in the universe so I try to keep all that at a minimum.
So I started to feel guilty like I was depriving my children of something and started thinking we had made a terrible mistake. But then the Lord got me thinking. Living in consideration of our neighbors underneath is actually a very good thing. It is cultivating amindset of thinking of others on a daily basis! A little bit of daily selflessness is actually a great thing!
I decided to go “apologize in advance” to our downstairs neighbors. This provided an opportunity to meet them when I might not have before. We have begun to develop a friendship which I hope will continue to grow over the next year!
Also, because we live in an apartment, it forces us to frequent parks and playgrounds. I have met several moms at the playground, moms who I may not have met at church or a Bible study. A couple of these moms are turning into friends. I may not have met them if we had a big playscape in our backyard.
Now, I am not advocating that everyone sell their house and move to an apartment! I am just encouraging you to look at the inconveniences in your life as “Gospel Opportunities”. Those things that we complain about the most may be the very things God wants to use! Nothing falls outside of His grasp! He has a purpose!
Maybe your child has an ailment that has you living at different doctors’ offices (been there!). Try to meet people who frequent the waiting room with you and build relationships with the nurses, staff and doctors. You never know how God could use you! Or maybe your budget is tight and requires you to be at home more than you wish. Use this time to invest in your neighbors and serve them in ways only you can because you are home more.
Obviously, God calls us as wives and mothers to serve in our homes and our family. But push a little farther and think of how He could use you to serve and spread the gospel to others you might not know if it weren’t for your circumstances! I don’t know your inconvenience but I know our God is sovereign! There is a reason He has you in the position you’re in. Instead of complaining, take a step back and seek how God could use you!
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” Colossians 3:17
Trisha is a wife, mom, friend, artist, blogger, couponer, homemaker, cook, and bargain shopper… through God’s amazing grace and love she lives for Him! For more about her check out her blog: writingaboutthejourney.wordpress.com
Love it!! A minister at my church this week was talking about letting God turn our junk into jewels. You have the same message here, obviously God is trying to tell me something =) Thank you for sharing this!!!
Thanks Angie! I love it “junk to jewels”! I’ll have to remember that one!
I really, really, really enjoyed this blog post! Thank you for the encouragement. When many would complain and feel bad for themselves, you are turning an inconvenience into a wonderful opportunity for ministry.
Sherri's Thoughts says
This is precious, Trisha! I didn’t know this was where God had you right now. I love your perspective. I love that you see the beauty in being close to Mark’s work. Dan works just 6 miles from home now and it’s awesome to have him so close. And he’s so less stressed not having to drive an hour to work!
Thanks Sherri! Yeah living close to his work has been awesome! I don’t think we could go back to the way it was before! We all love it!
I love the practical ideas you share, like building relationships with the nurses and staff in the offices you frequent. You are right – so many opportunities!
Kim A. says
My neighbor loves my brownies…I love to make them. I love it when opportunity combines itself with chocolate! =) Thanks for the thoughtful post.
I love this post so much! In every way. Also, we have been house hunting, and I have always wished that we could live in the city. (We are in the suburbs now.) Your post was encouraging in so many ways. Glad I found your blog!
Wonderful reminder of trusting God’s plans for us and not our own. Thanks for sharing!