Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The last month has been a flurry of activity for Dennis and me as we got ready to recieve 2 male international students to our household. We have a three bedroom house with two baths, but we occupy every square inch of it. The process of making room for more people to live with us has been a hard one, but it has been good.

For one, Dennis and I now have to share some space. The closet in our bedroom is tiny so I claimed it while Dennis got the closet in a spare room also designated as his office. As we contemplated having to empty that extra closet, I realized that I had to clear half of mine. Dennis also occupied the second bathroom downstairs while I dominated our masterbath. We like this arrangement because of our different standards of what is acceptably clean--Den is a little more relaxed while I'm a lot more obsessive. Sharing a bath together to make room for the students means making a compromise--i.e. Den will step it up and I will stop nagging.

Small, cramped quarters make for possible friction and irritation. Mostly for me, because I like my home a certain way. Organization equals peace to me in my physical surroundings. It kind of goes against that purpose if the way I have to achieve it is to harp, get impatient or mad. Living with me can be hard if all I do is insist that everthing has to be my way, and the only way I know to deal with it is to take responsibility for my feelings and put a higher value on the feelings of others than my own selfish desire for being a neat freak. Even the cat doesn't mess with me.

On the other hand, I need some cooperation from my husband and the students. Living with all guys will be a challenge for me, and I need their sensitivity to what I expect. A home is not a crash pad and consistent maintainence and cleaning is required. I want excellence, not perfection. So, Saturdays are chore days and everyday all members of the household have a task in daily upkeep. I don't think I'm asking for too much.

So far, the last three days have been fun ones with the students. One is from Africa and the other from South Korea and they are both learning English. They don't yet know Christ, but we are hoping that will change somewhere in their futures and that God would use us and this home in the chain of grace. It's worth it.


Arnold said...

Which country in Africa?

Althea said...

Kaba is a 20 year old Muslim from Uganda. He has been in the U.S. for one year through a local refugee rehabilitation program.