Monday, December 17, 2012

I Grew Up With People In My Basement

Sunday breakfast with the C family. A highlight of every week.

A beautiful family in Haines has taken me in lately to live in their basement. Another family let me live in their library. Another woman lets me call her closet my own.

I am overwhelmed with gratefulness for this. This is one of the most basic of needs, having a safe place to sleep at night.

"For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you brought Me together with yourselves and welcomed and entertained and lodged Me..."

Matthew 25:35
Amplified Bible
(the Amplified Bible is my favourite translations right now)

We're taught, as Christians, that our way of expressing our love for and serving Christ himself is by loving and serving others.

I have been grateful as people have taken me in for whatever reason they have.

I'm not sure how to transition this into my childhood, but I was raised with always having someone in the basement. There was always someone living there. We had a bathroom and a bedroom. We also had a storage room that we eventually cleared out to be another bedroom. And, in 2009, we built some walls, installed a kitchen, and turned it into an independent apartment.

Who has lived in our basement?

We had the mother and her three children living with us for a while when I was quite young. They were going through a divorce and needed somewhere to stay. I know it was a tight fit and hectic at times, but it worked. It was cool to have one of my closest friend down there!

There was the rockin' awesome lady who lived in our basement for, I think, up to two years as she battled Lyme disease.

We've had different single men and and women.

Missionaries have had short stays there.

My cousins lived there for around two years.

Some folks have lived there for free, others paid rent.
But there always seems to be someone down there.

So now, I guess it's my turn to live in someone's basement. After 21 years (off and on) of living with someone sleeping below me, now I get to be below. I'm grateful I had my parents set that example for me, of opening up your home to others who need a place, and I'm grateful to have others now open up their homes to me.

Side note: If you have never lived in someone's basement or spare room, it's a wonderful growth opportunity. I first experienced it in 2007 as an exchange student where I spent a year learning to fit into three families and their ways. Since then, I have learned to live with seven other families. It is very humbling, as really, the entire situation is a gift to you and, while you help out best you can, it's hard to actually repay them for what they are doing for you and you have to learn to just be grateful and know that you can't repay. You are also never in a position to make any calls or big decisions also - the place is never yours. It can be a bit uncomfortable, as well, as you frequently feel like a guest - like you never get to really settle in and let your guard down. It's not like my Seattle-home where I feel completely at ease. Not to say the people haven't been welcoming - they are all wonderful.

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