Square footage and debt; for well over a year this has been a topic of conversation for us. How do we make our house bigger and more functional while not taking on a lot (or any) debt. We love our house, but it is not meeting the needs of our family.
I’m not talking about the “wants”, although there are plenty of them, I’m talking about needs. A bedroom for Dimples tops the list. For the past six years, our four daughters have shared one room. With healthy kids, I think this is perfectly acceptable. It’s made even more possible because the bedroom is relatively large with many windows. However, we’ve known for a long time that this was not healthy for Dimples, or her sisters. Before she comes home, she must have a bedroom with a small bathroom – similar to what she has at her school. She is learning skills that we want to duplicate at home, and having her own room will help facilitate that.
Second on the list of needs is a bedroom for Bee. There was a time when this was essential, and we couldn’t provide it. Having lived for most of her life in an orphanage, she knew how to function in the environment of kids being in charge and adults being of little consequence. The older ruling over the younger was the story of her life. She is becoming increasingly healthy, but it would still be best if she had her own room.
Beyond that, we get into the list of “Wants“; none are essential, but we would love to have them. On the top of the list is an office for Russ (rather than the dining room table where his work has to be packed up every night), and secondly, a playroom. Of course, the wants could go on an on – a larger laundry room, a larger dining room, and even a guest room for our adult children who return home to visit. Hannah has done her share of sleeping on the living room sofa. We want our kids to feel truly welcome and to love coming home.
But here is the challenge, we do our best to live free of debt. You would know this to be true if you looked at our cars – but please don’t. Did I mention that my minivan now has 263,000 miles on it? I should write a letter to Chrysler and thank them for making such a great vehicle. It may not look pretty, but it has faithfully carried us on the highways from Idaho to Seattle, and now to Montana.
The conversation about our house and what we are going to do is revisited on a very regular basis – like daily. We’re tired of thinking about it. This morning we held hands and prayed that God would make a way – that He would show us how we can honor him with our decision. We don’t want to put ourselves into a precarious financial position – Russ works as hard as he can as it is.
We want our home to be a place of warmth and hospitality. I want my children to be healthy and safe. One day when our kids are stable, I dream of having foster children. These are all good things – so how do we accomplish this?
How do you balance this in your lives? Is living without debt a goal for you? Would making your home safer and easier for your family to function be worth taking on debt? How far would you stretch yourself financially?
I would love your thoughts; will you take a moment to leave a comment?