Hi friends! Today I’m happy to welcome Jesse May Danson, (fellow basement apartment dweller) to Smallish. Jesse May blogs about her family’s experiences at Danson For Joy. If you have time, stop over and say hi to her there!
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We’ve been living downstairs for four years now.
What I mean is that we have been renting a daylight basement apartment since the beginning of 2011, most of our married life.
As newlyweds of five months, when our friends offered to let us rent their three-bedroom basement for the same cost as our one-bedroom nest, it made sense to move. And through all the ups (including job changes and welcoming three babies into our lives) and downs (including live-in relatives, septic issues, and rats…yes, you read that correctly) over the last four years, it has never made sense to move FROM the basement.
Oh, we have gone through periods of looking at properties as I’ve longed to be in an actual house with windows on all sides. This California girl moved to Washington state five years ago and has been going through sunshine withdrawals ever since!
While our 900-plus square feet by no means entitles us to the “Shoebox” club, it has been a challenge learning how to live in this space. With no garage of our own, our third bedroom has evolved from an office to a full-fledged storage room filled with baby gear, tubs of various-sized children’s clothes, and tools… and this is AFTER ruthless de-cluttering.
Our two bedrooms, one bathroom, and narrow great-room concept living area has challenged me to move our hand-me-down furniture into all kinds of configurations as I’ve tried to make our home work well for us.
Our family is bigger than ever—we have three children—but I’m so excited to see how our home has changed for the better in the last months, and how my mindset has changed. I barely know where to start in sharing this experience!
After lots of experimental tweaking, our home seems to flow so much better than it used to. I’ve been constantly educating myself on home-making and decorating since I’ve been married, and while I have a lot to learn, our space looks dramatically different than it did when we began.
Through the challenges, God has used this home to teach me so many deep lessons – humility, gratitude, contentment, hospitality, patience. The Lord has brought me to a wonderful place of truly loving our little home.
I’ve realized just how much He has blessed us by having us be in this place…
I’ve realized just how much He has blessed us by having us be in this place, and can see His hand of provision in ways that connect directly to where He has had us live – and stay – downstairs.
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Jesse May Danson enjoys living in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest with her hardworking husband, Jonathan, and their three blue-eyed girls. Her family serve together in their local church and pursue their widely varied creative interests, with recurrent snuggle breaks and espresso runs in between. Jesse blogs occasionally at http://danson4joy.blogspot.com/ and pins frequently at https://www.pinterest.com/jandjdanson/.