in the house down the hall…

…..lives one of my best friends.

this was on a note she had left me a few weeks ago

Yes, we have two small babies and my best friend living with us here in our cozy apartment. Kristin moved in back in October and will be here through this year unless God moves her again.

And TODAY is her birthday!!! We were talking today how God has really brought us through so much together. I told her yesterday while we were snowed in pretty much that most snow days in my life (at least here in the lower 48) I have spent with her… either as roomates before I was married or as neighbors in Raleigh or here now in Texas.  We remembered that two years ago this time we weren’t even speaking to each other and wondered if we ever would be close friends again. Of course God was gracious and expanded both our heats to forgive and grow to love the ever changing people we were becoming.  Seven years ago she was there just as excited as I was that for the first time in my life  I had a Valentine for the month of February. Years have come and gone and she has been in my life as a close dear sweet friend. We were very unlikely friends in college… in fact she says that the first time she remembers me was when I told her how to get rid of her plum hair color (that she had intentionally done in order to celebrate See you at the Pole day! How insensitive could I be???) and she left class in tears.  But God in His infinite wisdom knew that this skirt wearing self righteous preachers kid needed a friend like her in my life to make me more like Christ! And that she has done. She points me daily to the gospel and to the goodness of Christ. I’m so thankful for her.

You may be thinking, isn’t it strange or hard to have a friend live with you and your family? How do you have room? How do you have time alone with Dan?

Well, I will say this isn’t our first time having friends live with us. Dan and I have always been very communal people… we love being around people!  We had two girls live with us for a period of time a few years back and that really was a HUGE blessing in our lives. They were busy seminary students and at times we even felt like they weren’t home enough because we would start to miss them. They provided so much laughter and deep conversations about God and just wonderful company.

Kristin has been there in both of our lives since before we were married, and I had been roomates with her before so when the opportunity for her to live with us came up we knew it  would probably be a good fit…. regardless,  we would MAKE it be a good fit. And it has been.

She’s such a help with the kids and doesn’t ever mind when the babies crash her bathroom for bath time! She makes us scones… and pumpkin poptarts and savory dinners. She and I spend many an afternoon on the couch talking over life and love and how God has transformed those things for both of us!

Yes, Dan and I still strongly disagree with each other in front of her and yes, I still am moody at times and yes, she see’s my laziness in parenting and house work and my selfishness in marriage. But she loves us and I know prays for us and encourages the heck out of us on a daily basis.

And she’s taken care of. I mean, she can totally take care of herself on her own, but as a single woman I would imagine that sometimes it’s nice not having to think of each and every meal, not to have to worry about the water bill, And to be able to run hard after some goals that otherwise one might not have time or resources for.

So, it’s a very wonderful relationship and both she and us are very blessed because of this time of shared dwelling!

I know MANY families who have tons of space in their homes (and really as I mentioned, you don’t have to have a lot of room… a free bedroom and part of a bathroom is really all it takes) and I know many families who financially could totally add one more plate at the table or potato to the soup it wouldn’t cost near as much as what a grocery bill of someone living on their own would cost.  I know many families who don’t have extended family near by and could benefit from having an extra set of hands or someone at home for certain hours of the day to help with the kids, celebrate holidays with and just to keep you company day by day! So, I’m here to say, that I’m not sure that Dan and I are “special people” just because we do this…. I’m kinda more inclined to say that it’s probably more doable for a lot of families than they might think. Yes, it’s unusual and unconventional, however, I think I’m okay to say that many might be missing out on a blessing in their homes because they have a hard time wrapping their heads around sharing life with someone whose single and not related to you.

Be open to the idea… See what God may put in your path… and you might be surprised how easy this communal living can be and how much it blesses YOUR family. Because I know it sure as heck is blessing ours!!!!!

have you done this before? have you thought about it? what has been your experience? I’d love to hear about it… leave me a comment!!!

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