Saturday, February 2, 2008

Wide Open Spaces

We are a generation obsessed with space, at least in the US. And I don't mean OUTER space either. I mean space around us.

It has been noticed by many people, not just me.

US citizens have their own little bubble that surrounds them, they don't want anyone to enter their bubble. US citizens are the only people who stand in line for something with three feet of open space between us and the person in front of us. We are the only people (With the exception of European aristocracy anyway) who thing we need a 4,000 square foot house for a family of three.

People tell me all the time that my family of five needs a bigger house. Our house is 2100 square feet and is plenty big enough for us. (Maybe not when all these boys are huge teenagers, but for now... no worries).

I found a good object lesson for my boys yesterday. We went to Cache Valley for my cousin's mission farewell and just down the street from my Aunt's house there is a tiny cabin, I wish I had taken a picture of it now.

I pulled over to the side of the road by the cabin and asked my boys to look at it. They thought it was a shed. I told them that it was not a shed at all, but was a house, a house where an entire family lived. They were floored. How could a whole family live in a house so small? Where did they all fit.

I explained to him that 150 years ago sometimes even the parents didn't have their own bedroom. No one did. They complain because two of them have to share a room at our house, and back then no one had their own room at all, they all just slept in a different corner of the house.

I explained that back then, some houses didn't even have floors, they just had dirt. That many of them didn't have stoves or sinks, they carried water in buckets and cooked over the fire like we do when camping.

Sometimes it is so hard not to get caught up in the material driven nature of our society. Everyone is so competitive. Everyone wants the bigger house, the newer furniture, the latest trends (Stainless steel appliances comes to mind, how many people replaced perfectly good appliances just so that they could have the stainless steel that was so popular)?

It is hard to keep myself out of this mindset. I get caught up in the fever, must have newer, nicer, trendier. How can I keep myself out of this vicious vortex.

I guess the only thing I can really do is stop every so often for a reality check, pull over to the side of the road and talk about tiny cabins with my boys, remind myself that our cup runneth over and the newest isn't always the best.

I saw a pillow in one of my favorite quilt stores a couple months ago, it said "Dear Lord, thanks for reminding me my grass is green enough...Amen" I think I need to make this pillow and put it in a prominent place where I will see it every day and be reminded that we have more than enough. That we are blessed with a cozy home, sturdy furniture, and an incredible family.