Recently our modest, 3-bedroom house started feeling a little too small and not quite so comfortable. Let me explain.

Our family multiplied. In one weekend, we went from 2 adults and one teenager; to 4 adults, three teenagers, and a 2nd grader! We opened our home to extended family. What can I say… Call me crazy? It sounded like an adventure – I’m always up for change and a good challenge! And over the last couple of months, it’s been both.

It all started with a visit from family and a conversation about life in and around North Augusta. Add a few more discussions with a job opportunity, and a 200+ mile move was in motion. My wife and I, along with our daughter, were excited about family being closer to us. Making memories and sharing life in a new way without the separation of a few hundred miles would be great! With some thought and honest conversation, we offered our support and our home to make their move a reality.

We knew there would be challenges. Situations would be awkward. Even messy. Questions might not have clear answers. How would we navigate the logistics of two families in one house? Who gets the beds? How would we navigate eight people with only two bathrooms? Who gets the remote? Different schedules. Different habits. Different likes. It would be a challenge, but family commitment can meet any challenge!

How do you embrace, survive, and even grow when faced with challenging and stressful situations? James, the half-brother of Jesus, reminds us to

“Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4)

Here are a few thoughts on my recent challenging experience:

Remember it’s better when it’s not about you.

Selfishness is natural. Pushing away from that natural tendency is not easy, but focusing on others helps us gain a better perspective of ourselves.

Remember to be gracious and kind no matter how you feel inside.

Emotions come and go, but responding correctly to others helps us gain confidence and strengthens relationships.

Remember every moment is just a moment, it won’t last forever.

Our lives are made up of moments (some good, some not so good), but these moments are woven together into the memories we cherish.

Remember relationships are treasures and treasures are not easily found.

Relationships are easily bruised and battered, but when protected and nurtured lead us to some of the most significant joys in life.

I’m glad we faced the challenge! We not only embraced it, but we also survived it! Hopefully, we are all even stronger for it. We still like each other. We continue to talk to each other. They chose to live less than 5 minutes away. We’re even planning on getting together soon!  All in all, we are better for it, and we would do it again.