My family and I have now lived in a tiny space for five weeks. While we are really grateful to finally be living tiny, we are certainly feeling the pinch that it’s not a tiny house but an RV. Yes, tiny houses are more expensive. But they’re expensive because a human being took a lot of time and care to produce a quality product over a period of several weeks. RVs are processed in factories in a matter of hours. Since we moved in it’s been an almost daily drama of something going wrong (as much as I’d LOVE to blame this on the RV itself, a lot of it has been down to “user error”).
Our very first weekend in the RV was calamitous. We had a faulty power converter (que whiny Luke Skywalker reference) which caused all of our electrical units, including our Air Conditioning, to fail. By the time we woke up the RV was cooking and we had to get a hotel room for two nights because a 120 degree RV is no place for a five month old. It was incredibly discouraging and expensive. Not a great way to start your tiny living journey!
I don’t even want to talk about our water heater or black tank issues (yuk!). Let’s just say we’ve learned A LOT about how to live in an RV in the last five weeks!
You want to know what else has happened? We finished renovating our kitchen, we painted our entertainment unit (just waiting for the fireplace to go in), we finished putting up shiplap wallpaper in the hallway, and we are nearly finished painting the baby’s room. I feel like we have accomplished a lot given that we can only paint when we can open all the windows and leave after so the baby can breathe some fume-free air. Last weekend I left for 12 hours with the baby so my husband could paint all day. It feels really good to look at your ever-evolving space at the end of the day and say, “We did this and it’s beautiful.” And it is beautiful. It is ever so slowly becoming the space we dreamed of.
I’ve learned a lot to be happy with accomplishing a little when you really want to accomplish a lot. Since the baby isn’t sleeping in her room yet, once she goes to sleep, I have to be done for the night with housework and dishes (otherwise I risk waking her up) even if they aren’t finished. It’s forced me to rest and enjoy it. I love slowing down. I’ve learned that a bed in a tiny space is just as comfortable as a bed in a huge space. Rain on the roof of an RV is relaxing and mesmerizing (even though it might be leaking in a little in the bathroom). 315 square feet is plenty of space for a minimalist couple and their small baby to cozy in and call home. I can still cook all my crazy meals with literally zero counter space and store all our healthy food in a teeny fridge. Most of all I love spending uncomplicated hours during the day with my little one.
I suppose it’s been a good metaphor for life: we are never content to stay as we are. We are compelled toward transformation and growth, but we do not twist ourselves into a knot that we are not perfect yet. We must be satisfied with how far we’ve come. We avoid stagnation and complacency, but we stop and we rest and we enjoy.
May you enjoy your journey. Stop and reflect on your growth. Enjoy the imperfect and the already-but-not-yet growth and transformation you’ve seen in yourself. Spur yourself on to greater changes, deeper contemplation, and more sincere gratitude. Thus far God has brought you. Ebenezer.