I Have a Confession to Make

Hi, my name is Lora, and I live in a mobile home.  That may seem like a strange way to introduce this topic, but sometimes I feel like people think I belong in a self-help program due to where we live.  As I was talking to a friend today, this topic came up and we began discussing some common misconceptions.  She shared that she used to feel that the stereotypical person who lived in a mobile home was someone who was poor, unhappy, and had no hope of a better life. She doesn’t think we fit the stereotype.  Many also hold to the redneck view of those who live in mobile homes.  It also seems that some believe that where you live is directly linked to your IQ.  My hope is to share my thoughts on this, and clear up some of the misconceptions.

Living in a mobile home is not something that was thrust upon us like a rare disease. It was a choice. When we sold our house in Louisiana and were planning our move to Houston, many things played in our decision to buy a mobile home, not the least of which was price. The idea of having a high mortgage was unappealing to us. We also had plans to move to the country one day, and having a mobile home would play into that.  For the last 7 years, we have lived in a very nice mobile home park near Houston.  There are many parks that are run down and trashy looking, but those are not for us.  Our park is a very safe and clean neighborhood. It has many of the same rules as the surrounding neighborhoods and their HOAs.Alternative housing is becoming quite the trend, and there are many unique and cool options. I’ve probably considered each of them at some point. Underground homes are safe from storms, and keep a constant temperature. Strawbale homes have great R-factors and are quite lovely. Rammed earth, and papercrete homes are inexpensive. Container homes are inexpensive and unique, and yurts are just plain cool.  I have considered all of these.  In fact, the other day I was telling Gene all about my current choice. When he suggested we just move our mobile home to land and be free in clear in a few years, I balked, saying, “I don’t want to live in a mobile home for the rest of my life.” After he went to work, I felt very convicted about what I had said. Why was I willing to live in a yurt or a container home, which you must confess are quite unconventional, but not a mobile home? I realized that I was allowing other people’s stereotypes to dictate my choices.  Alternative houses are cool…mobile homes, not so much, at least in the mind of others.

You would be surprised at how many express pity for us. Four of the five girls share a bedroom, and are quite happy doing so, though some people don’t seem to understand this. One time after a few families had gathered at a friend’s new house where each of their children had their own room, I was asked, “Does it bother your girls to be at someone’s nice house where all of the children have their own room?” At first I was confused by the question, then I assured my friend that it didn’t bother the girls in the least. Afterward I began to doubt. What if it really did bother them? what if they felt like poor, neglected children? So, I sat the girls down and asked them the question as it had been put to me. Their faces were priceless. They were completely befuddled as to why I would ask such an absurd question. I explained it to them, and they stated emphatically that they had no problems.  They couldn’t understand why they should want what someone else had, instead of what the Lord provided for them.  I have also had people say that they hope I’m not uncomfortable at their “house” since I don’t have one.  It doesn’t bother me in the least to be at someone’s “nice” home… until they begin to pity me.

As a family, we look at our circumstances not in comparison to those around us, but in comparison to those within the world. A large percentage of people in the world would be praising God if they had a home as nice as ours.  We have two bathrooms, running water, & A/C.  We also live in one of the safest environments in the world.  As Christians, should we be making our standard the standard of the west? For that matter, should we compare what the Lord has provided for us to anyone else?Last Sunday, Pastor Voddie preached from Matthew 6.  He talked about how we should not allow our worldly possessions to rule us and be the focus of our concern.  In his sermon, he told of a person he spoke to in Africa who thought it must be terribly hard to be a Christian in the U.S.. They felt that all of the material possessions would be a great distraction from the things of the Lord, and limit our ability to focus on Him.  This was a very thought provoking statement for me.  I don’t know how many times I have asked the Lord why He blessed me so much to allow me to be born in America.  This person’s statement made me re-think my feelings, and look at material goods as a hindrance instead of a blessing.  In American Christendom, I have seen the tendency to lift up those within the church who live affluently (in many cases beyond their means) and put them in positions of leadership, thinking them to be spiritually superior, all the while not considering the person of low estate to be a person of character and integrity.  It’s as if they believe that being a success in business equates Spiritual success.  Isn’t that the opposite of how we should be looking at things?But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position; and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering  grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away. James 1:9-11  

I am thankful for all that the Lord has provided for us.  He has given us a sound roof over our head, walls to protect us from the elements, and much love to fill the rooms of our house.  We are blessed beyond anything we deserve.  I don’t want anyone to pity our circumstance. We are happy and content where we are.  My name is Lora, and I contentedly live in a mobile home.

5 thoughts on “I Have a Confession to Make

  1. Lora,
    Just came into your blog and was touched. It brought back memories…I too lived in a mobile home on and off through the years. My three sons were raised in a mobile home and I remember crying when we had to move and leave it for good. Your girls are fortunate to have such a caring mother and believe me most of their favorite memories will be of growing up in that mobile home. It provides comfort and closeness for them that a big house and “room of their own” can never give them. I will venture to say that they have a bond and closeness that will be shared deep into their adult lives.
    People who have never lived in a mobile home have no idea of what they are missing out on, don’t let them get the best of you or make you feel less of worth. You are doing a wonderful job of raising your family. People really get next to me when they try to make other people feel below them. Living in a house isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, I know way to many people that are sinking in their marriage and life due to the cost of a house payment.
    Our sons are grown and out on their own now and we live in a house but it wouldn’t hurt me one bit to have my old mobile home back. Don’t get me wrong I was happy then and I’m happy now, that’s what life should be about….being happy with what God has provided.
    Didn’t mean to be so long …. :O)

  2. Julie,
    Thank you so much for the words of encouragement, and you didn’t go too long. I think you are right about the close bond the girls will have as a result of our living in a mobile home. You have to learn to get a long when you live in close proximity to each other, and don’t have the ability to run away to your own space. It forces you to have to face your problems and deal with them.

  3. Lora,

    This I read back when you wrote it and meant to comment but time got away from me.

    Today I linked to it because I think others can benefit from your perspective in to housing issues. We all tend to let the world dictate our actions and ignore the Lord. We often are more concerned with what a friend might say than what the Lord will say about the way we live.

    Thanks for sharing such insight.

    Berean Wife

  4. Christina,
    Thanks so much for dropping by. I am thankful that you found the post encouraging. I have needed to re-read it lately, just as a reminder to myself.
    Your blog is lovely, did you design it yourself?

  5. Thank you so much for this post.
    I, sometimes, find myself falling into a false perspective,
    as we live in a base housing duplex.
    It’s been an ongoing lesson of learning contentment
    as I’ve been a military wife.
    What an encourgement, admonition, and reminder this post was!

    ~ Christina

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