Simple Living: When You Feel Like You're the Only One

I believe in living simply.  I love our quaint, small house because I am able to stay home with our girls.  It feels like home.  It is cozy and warm.  It calms my spirit.

 But I am embarrassed.  Most of our friends live in newer--see 'brand new'-- homes that are two to three times the size of ours. The main areas of their homes look like pictures from a magazine.   Ours looks, well, lived it. The walls and trim need painted. The kitchen is a little cluttered and we need new floors throughout the house, well, desperately.  I have always been ashamed of our house, felt "less than" because our house doesn't look like those of pretty much everyone we know. 

Some friends of ours stopped by recently--the first time they had been to our house--and I found myself trying to make excuses, embarrassed at how small our house was, how much worked needed to be done on it, how "lived-in" it looks.   I wanted them to see us as being "just like them," yet there we were, naked and exposing the truth.  I spent much of the evening assuring myself that our house is a "work in progress" and that they wouldn't stop liking me because they know that I live differently than them. 

And then it hit me.  Isn't that the point?  Instead of trying to appear to be "just like everyone else," I should be proud of being different.  We can not be salt and light to the earth if our lives mirror those of everyone else.

 We bought an older, smaller home so that I could stay home with our children.  My kitchen is slightly cluttered, because I love cook and bake for my family.  Our garage floor is littered with tools and debris from a small renovation project that we are finishing up--and did ourselves, by the way.  Our back yard is dotted with children's toys and a small garden sits in the back. 

The goal isn't to show people that you can live out Catholic values and still look like everyone else.  The goal is to be an example of a better way, a way that if full of joy, personal growth and fulfillment and peace; a way that brings a family closer together, and closer to God; a way that looks different from society's "perfect picture."  That's the point.  The simple life--the Catholic life--looks different than society's ideal. 

That is part of its beauty. 

I realized that it is not enough to live out this lifestyle in secret, pretending to be just like everyone else, hiding my lamp under a barrel.  To really change people's hearts, to be an example, requires the courage to let people see that we are different and let that light shine bright for all to see.


  1. I love this post. It really hits home with me as I just had relatives up who live in such nice, beautiful homes and mine is a small home that needs work.
    I felt so awkward before they came up but once they got here, it hit me that they didn't come to see my house, they came to see me.
    This post just sums it up beautifully. And also, reminds us to not judge people. (like I was judging my relatives....thinking they would think less of me as a person because of my home).

    1. What a great insight. When we tell ourseves that our friends and family will judge us poorly for the size home we have, we are judging their character based on the size of their homes. And, what are we saying about their character?

  2. God Bless You! This was just what I needed to hear today. I often struggle when I see people who have so much (land in particular) that they never worked for and I just have our little house. BUt you are right! It is a blessing! Because we choose not to spend so much on a mortgage, I can afford to homeschool my children and my husband does not have to work excessively. Thank you for refreshing my heart today!

    1. Wow this is a very relevant topic. I myself Live in a small home, thats part renovated. No hallways, all rooms are off the kitchen/dining (including the bathroom), we purchased our home cheap. Our reasoning was the land size (1 acre), the massive shed and back entertainment area. Once we took off the cost to buy those things brand knew the 3 bedroom home cost about $30 000. I go through fazes where I am embarassed by our home. Everyone has beautiful, huge houses, with 2 bathrooms 3 living areas, giant pantry, attached garages. Mine is quaint. 1 living room with a small toy room attached, 4 bedrooms, (we converted the garage into a bedroom and storage room, when I fell pregnant with number 4. We have plans to add a second living room and external games room for our billard table thats in storage.
      We looked to sell a month ago for a bigger better place. But When it come to it I couldnt. This is our first real home. We had houses but our first home. My youngest was born here (30 min labour, and a woops your here early delivery lol) the carpets need replacing, But 4 kids under 9, that wont happen, ;p given their track record for spillages. Its small but its our home. I want my kids to come "home" when they are older, to memories, to laughter to cosiness. To show their kids I did this here. Not to a strange huge house. Plus It will be a lovely size when its just the Hubby and I. xxxx

    2. Beautiful perspective! Thanks for sharing!