Home Making

We Love + Promote Renting


There’s definitely a pressure felt by many to arrive at the life level of HOME OWNER. It’s exciting and a big accomplishment, but I wonder if it’s all it’s cracked up to be? It’s so permanent and consuming.

There’s so many great perks that I think a lot of people are missing out on or don’t seem to appreciate while renting. And how sad would it be to push your finances to the max (or beyond) to strive for what we think is what we’re supposed to have at this life stage and miss out on the freedom and joys of renting?!

I want to own a home one day, I really do. But until we do we’re loving the renter’s life.

From garage kitchens to rooftop dining, we’ve had some unique and unforgettable living spaces that all share common memories of eating with dear friends no matter how hot or cold, small or large.

Want a little peak into the last 5 years of the McAuley living spaces?

holyandhappy.comLivermore: Coolest situation. Like the kind you pray for and then God really gives it to you. This town house was in sweet downtown Livermore, 5 minutes away from my work and completely furnished with cute grandma furniture (like the goose above the sink ). Having it furnished was a huge plus because we were moving in a year to the Philippines so we didn’t want to have a lot to store while we were away. This was the perfect setup.

Cebu: I’ve seen closets bigger than this sweet apartment but Brad and I loved it. Sure it was tiny, but we got to experience some city living on the 12th floor with stunning views of the sunrise every morning. The best part was our rooftop. Having it just the floor above us made for easy access for morning jogs and hosting dinners with friends. The pic above was our entry way/living room/kitchen/workout space and behind me was the bathroom and a small bedroom off to the side. The end. Tour done.

Brentwood: This apartment felt like a mansion after Cebu. This one holds a special place in my heart as Brad and I hosted many small group studies here because 1. we were so excited to have a space big enough to do so and 2. we were reunited with our college community of friends and used this season to re-energize.

Pleasanton: Agh. This place. By far-THE-best. And we’re back to a small (and BONUS-converted garage) apartment slash living space thing. But can you beat downtown Pleasanton?! (HINT: the answer is no.) It’s even famous for it’s charm and antiquity. This is where I felt like the season Fall still existed. This is where we made that first big step into pet ownership-it was a big deal for us. We were like actual friends with our neighbors. I could go on and on with how good Pleasanton was to us. But life keeps moving and Brad’s new job in San Francisco was definitely an answer to prayer so that also meant another move was near in our future.

And that’s how we ended up in Castro Valley. This is rental #5 and we’re still so happy with the choices we’ve made along the way. And here’s why:

1. There’s freedom in renting.

We all hope to plant ourselves somewhere, someday. It’s natural to want to have a home, invest in the community and build your life there. And when that day comes and you sign paper after paper to own that house, the permanence will be there. And yay! if that’s what you want but for now, if renting seems to be the only option, enjoy it! There’s so much freedom and way less responsibility as a renter.

Yes, there’s the financial argument that the money your spending every month is going out the window and into someone else’s pocket. However, big picture, God will provide the money you need to live where He places you per month or per house. I admit this is a simple perspective, perhaps naive, but we’re not wrapping ourselves up in those green dolla bills. This currency belongs to the Lord and so if we’re still supposed to rent, God will provide the money to rent and to also buy a house in due time.

Having a smarty pants husband also helps so as he occasionally monitors the housing market, and makes his colorful graphs, by the looks of that rising jagged line , it’s better for us to still rent while we pray for the housing market to crash, (but not as bad as 2008!).

2. The Gospel goes more places.

The more you move, the more opportunity to share the Gospel. I admit Brad and I have not been completely faithful to this concept per place but the opportunity is there. As we move, we’re seeing God move. We become closer to Him as he guides us to the next community of people He wants us to love. That’s exciting all on it’s own!

There’s countless opportunities to meet and bless people, including your landlord. While your needs and requirements for a quality living space lay heavy on your heart, get excited about where God may be leading you next as a renter!

Aaaaand God often totally knocks your socks off when you are put in that tough situation of looking for a place to live and then BAM! Awesome place, with perfect rent, with sweet landlords! At least that’s been our experience time and time again and I have no doubt He’ll do the same for you.

P.s. Craigslist is your friend. It’s not scary. It’s AMAZING.

3. Built In Shopping for the perfect house.

After five moves, we’ve gathered what we like and don’t like so when that day does come to search for a house, we have a much clearer idea of what’s important to us. Like not having any windows in our dining area actually kills my joy, so that’s a must. A screen door is also very desired but we can live without a dishwasher and garbage disposal because we learned to live without them in Cebu, and still do!

So before you rush or overwhelm yourself with house reality woes, consider renting as a wise, blessed option. God will provide what you need, wherever, and just enjoy the surprises along the way, friend ♥️