Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Temporary housing

As a military wife, I have had my fair share of temporary housing - and never thought much of it, apart from mumbled complaints about the things I did not have. Living in Honduras has given me a much more challenging perspective of temporary living.
We were fortunate enough that Mike was able to find us a place to rent short term. There are houses here to rent, and there are furnished places to rent, but a furnished house, in a safe community, for rent short term is not easy to come by, so we are truly blessed.
The house is furnished with the basics we need to live - beds, table, chairs, stove, fridge and it even have some great extras: sofa, sofa table, water cooler, desk for our computer, and some lamps to light up the place at night. The kitchen had minimal but almost sufficient equipment. The question for us became: "Is this good enough for our time here or do we need to purchase x?" Since we are on a limited budget, each purchase required a 'no, we really need this' in order to be made. So we now have enough plates, cups and utensils to hosts friends for dinner, one pretty good knife, a working can opener, and a few assorted other items. It took a little getting used to, having to juggle meal preparations not only based on what was in the store that day, but the size and types of pans we had. Bob has been known to heat his tea water in our 'lobster pot size' pot a few times, and our newly purchased non stick frying pan does double duty as quick micro wave to reheat left overs. The longer we are here, the more we get use to the limitations and, strangely enough, they no longer seem so restrictive. In a sense it is pretty freeing to have these limits imposed on how we live, what we cook, and the cleanliness of the place.
One day talking with a dear friend, she mentioned the concept of our temporary residency here on earth, and how our permanent home is not here, but in Heaven. It really made me think about how I live life here on earth, not just in Honduras.
How differently I live here in our temporary home than I did in our 'permanent' house in Ridgecrest. How would it look like if I lived a little more like my home is a temporary place rather than permanent, something ephemeral rather than something of such great importance. I have come to appreciate the temporary status of our home here, and the freedom is affords me, and I pray that I will carry some of that with me back to the US. We have so much less stuff here, yet we are not really missing much. The boys are doing a fine job finding things to entertain themselves with, even though we brought hardly any toys. We eat a decent meal each night. Our friends seem not bothered by the fact that nothing match, the food is served in pots, and we have to wash the forks before dessert, and we have fun fellowship playing games, getting to know each other and solving "the world's problems."
As we begin to unpack all our many boxes this summer, I pray I will remember where my true home is; that the things we have need to be taken care of, yet held lightly in my hand, that what we have is good enough more often than not, and that what truly matters is family and friends.
Asking the question "do I really need this, or can I make do?" will do wonders for not only our budget but for our lives. Less things to take care of, more time for friends, family and relationships. Honduras is teaching me so much!

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