My ideal of living smaller was now being put to the test. We went from a 1200 square foot apartment filled with “stuff” to a one room space with only a few items. I love it when God gives us a challenge (; Over the years we had already pared down quite extensively, but this was a huge leap all at once to that smaller footprint goal. Don't get me wrong...I'm not on a crusade for pure minimalism, but I do think “stuff” can sometimes take a front seat in our lives if we're not careful. When the newest gadgets and the latest styles become the focus of our days instead of relationships and living life, then that's a problem.
Hotel living was not quite what I expected. We met so many people who were going through a similar experience. One family had been there for over 2 months after being burned out of their home. A young man we met had recently been transferred, but was so busy at work that his family hadn't had a chance to get settled. They decided to call the hotel home until things died down a bit. Another family just moved from Montana, but had a lot of set backs on their home build and ended up staying 4 months. Suddenly I didn't feel so odd.
We all had a chance to get to know one another since we tended to meet at the breakfast buffet around the same time. It was a wonderful moment of sharing our faith and encouraging those who were feeling out of pocket by hotel living. We were also able to inspire others who were only there for a short time. No matter what you may be going through, reaching out to lift up others is always a heart booster (: You never know how a kind word to a lonely traveler can alter what could have been a lousy day.
As time went on, living with less was quite freeing and allowed the day to be seen in a different light. It was chance to start over and dare to dream in a new way. It wasn’t easy though. There were discouraging days, but I knew my Heavenly Father was taking care of things behind the scenes and my job was just to put one foot in front of the other.
The holidays were well underway and our efforts of focusing on other branches of our business were being rewarded. Soon sales were up and our little hotel room was transformed into a tiny studio of busy elves (: I was so looking forward to decorating a home for the holiday season, but hunting for our new digs had taken a back seat to the growing business. A few possibilities were found, but they weren’t exactly what we needed and so the search continued. We couldn’t see moving into a space that didn’t quite work, only to be there for a short time and have to move yet again.
Christmas was only a few days away and we received an urgent email from a friend. She had no idea we were still in the hotel and couldn’t imagine us being there any moment longer. She offered us the use of her city cottage and insisted we come at once. Everything was furnished so all we had to do was bring our seasonal spirits (: Such wonderful generosity!!
Being here has given me a greater appreciation for hospitality. When we arrived nothing was spared. The windows were filled with glowing lights of welcome and the rooms were designed in such a way to make those who stayed within their lovely walls feel special and prepared for. So for a time we were back in the city, but because of a dear friend I received my Christmas wish and we were home for the holidays (:
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