A few years ago, my family and I moved from a sprawling ranch with a finished basement to a rental townhome with harvest gold appliances and a kitchen counter the size of a Pop Tart. The place looked as though it had been designed by TV-sitcom architect Mike Brady.
We figured we'd be parked in this 1970s sitcom set for a few weeks, four or five months at most. We were there for more than two years. Writer Lisa Jo Baker recently described the way living long-term in what was supposed to be a short-term dwelling "stunted her hospitality and ate away at her contentment." Our groovy rental home had the same effect on me.
Oh, the stories I told myself during those years. Almost all of them began with, "When we move … " When we move, I'd reason, we will have people over for dinner again. We'll unpack our library. We'll plug into a church instead of keeping our relational distance. When we move, we will relaunch the kind of life we used to have.
I'd allowed the dated dwelling and temporary ...1