A couple of you asked in our reader survey a while back for more peeks at our place! Bjorn and I are currently renting a house in a tiny town surrounded by acres and acres of fields in every direction. 🙂 This house has been such a beautiful, special place for us to start our life together! Since it’s just the two of us, we really don’t need much, and we don’t need much space…so this is way more than just 2 people need! But it sure is lovely. And we sure have loved dedicating an entire room to bookshelves! 🙂 The home we’re renting used to be a parsonage and our relatives always talk about how deep and special the sense of peace is here.
To be honest, it took me a while to really enjoy living here. You see, since Bjorn and I chose not to live together before we got married, I lived here alone for over 7 months (while he lived at his childhood home) during our first year of teaching. Although I’m an introvert, I really don’t like being home alone overnight. (That’s something I’ve really had to work at, even after getting married! I later wrote about my 7 strategies for staying positive + productive when your husband’s out of town.) When I first moved here, I didn’t know the area, the neighborhood, or the people, so it felt rather lonely to head home alone each night to a dark, quiet house! Those 7 months felt pretty long! And does anyone else listen to every pop and creak in a house when you’re alone at night?! 🙂
Fast forward to when we got married: all those months of waiting had been worth it, as we excitedly began to turn the house into our place! It’s been over a year and a half of living here together, and every passing week teases out more and more coziness and peace from this house.
The history and the stories are rich in this little rental place of ours, and I can truly say that I love being here and calling this our home for now! I have grown out of my near-daily Starbucks visits of my teen years 🙂 and have grown into a 20-something homebody who delights in blogging at the dining room table near a sun-drenched window filled with Bjorn’s cacti. I love hanging wet laundry on the clothesline we put up in the backyard. I savor the quiet early mornings at my desk with my Bible open, watching the sky lighten over the tiny sleeping roofs of homes. In summertime, I rejoice in those hazy days when I can slide old windows open and watch the white lace curtains lazily catch the breeze. In autumn, I eagerly collect ruby-red leaves offered by the wise old trees in the front yard.
I wash dishes at a large white farm sink and have taught myself to enjoy the particular, careful, slow nature of this chore. Because some day, we’ll own a dishwasher and our lives will seemingly speed on and on. At night, we sleep wrapped up in a bed with a single anniversary photograph hung above us, the perfect moon watching casting white bands of light through the window. In winter, the snow muffles the entire neighborhood and this house seems to envelop itself in a cozy hug. I love knowing which floorboards creak and which doors won’t latch quite perfectly. I love knowing which rooms to step slightly up or down into. I love throwing myself into little tidying and decorating tasks, each of them never wasted time, because they teach me the joy and servant-heart I so strive for!
Something else that we love about our place is our fish tank! When we first got married, we decided to forgo a TV and instead invest in a large aquarium to act as the focal point of our living room. We haven’t regretted it since! Our 75-gallon fish tank is full of happy African cichlids, each with a name. (Most have historical names from various wars while one is named Pistachio! Can you guess who named that one?!)
I recently got our gallery wall up above the fish tank, and I couldn’t be more pleased. I had been mapping it out for quite some time, but finally jumped in and carefully hung each frame in its special spot. Even the quotes have a special place in our hearts: “Home is wherever I’m with you,” “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,” “Be Thou my vision oh Lord of my heart”…all such good reminders to see when we’re visiting with family, hanging out alone, or walking in the front door at the end of a long day.
What are your favorite things about your current place? What brings you peace when you’re at home? Do you have a fish tank or a gallery wall?
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