I'm in high school. I walk through the aisles of Lowes collecting supplies for another art project. As I look at the variety of thin plastic sheets I might use as the home-protector from my paint shenanigans - debating the value of prices and thicknesses of tarp (oh, the risk of a ripped tarp - visions of paint bleeding onto my mom's carpet)
And, there she was, the beautiful canvas-fabric-lined-with-thin-plastic-square-shaped tarp of my dreams: and it cost 5x what the other plastic tarps I was looking at would have cost.
But I bought that tarp. And unlike the plastic counterparts I may have chosen out of sheer cost difference, this tarp did not end up destroyed and disposed of less than a year later. I have this tarp today - old faithful - folds down into a small enough size to be a travelling painter - has been with me through at-home projects, painting outdoors, guerilla justice art display creations, RA floor decorations, and to four live painting experiences.
The funny thing? The tarp only cost me $13. I probably would have spent the same amount on replacement plastic tarps - possibly/probably more. So why do I so often choose the cheapest thing?
Anyway, this brings me to the bigger picture I'm wondering about lately. What does it look like to invest? What does it look like to be rooted? To have Home, to have Place?
At this moment, I have no doubt that I should be in Baltimore. And yet I know that I will need to leave for the end of November, beginning of December, and then again for a week in January. I exist nomadically - and I am loving it. People in my church family have (quite literally) opened their doors - and I get to stay with different people each week - being infinitely blessed - but also finding out how I can best bless them. Clean the house? Cook a meal?
I'm off track. Another blessing of this time is seeing how different people live. And wow, what a wonderful thing. What dish soap do you buy? What type of vacuum? What do you keep in your fridge? (wow, creepy maybe? I promise I know these people personally as well). How can I be praying for you? What are you struggling with? How much time do you spend in your spaces - how do you create your spaces - how do others share in your spaces?
What a beautiful gift, to have space to give. To share. I'm beyond thankful.
We live in the rental age. Lease a car! Rent a home! Subscribe to this software!
Flexibility - change whenever you want. No strings. Freedom.
Less Responsibility - you aren't the ultimate owner, someone else needs to take care or help take care of this thing
Update-able - keep up with the times and the fast-moving world. Don't fall behind.
Drawbacks? Actually, no, I don't want to list drawbacks of rental culture.
What about staying? What about owning?
Community - when you're planted, there's more reason to invest. To commit to people, long-term.
Responsibility - you need to learn to take care of this thing you've bought - it's the one you've got! Don't waste it.
Personality - my goodness. Customizing, decorating, making something uniquely...sings to my soul. Decorating is not frivolous (unless it's fake or to mimic a magazine) but really important to make a place warm, sanctuary, home - to yourself and to those unto whom you extend hospitality.
As my entrepreneurial marketing professor once said, "nobody owns shit anymore!"
All this coming from someone who knows nothing about homeownership, very little about car ownership, and a lot about Spotify and Photoshop subscriptions (and loves them both).
So where do we land? That tarp? I don't really know. But I know I don't want to default to whatever may be "normal."
Many more things I could share...I appreciate you reading. Please, feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments as well.
With many thanks and much love,
~Praise for Kingdom Family here in Baltimore, loving me.
~For my mom, dad, and grandma as they also live a little nomadically between VA and SC. That they would have peace even in transition.
~My complete surrender to Jesus - saying yes, day after day.