This is our little house...
Truthfully, I really long to live somewhere like this....
But that is not the season that the Lord has us in. And after many years, I am finally content with that.
Several years ago, we had a beautiful, big house, and a not so beautiful, big house payment. We were broke. Every hard-earned penny that my man made, went toward the house payment. There was nothing left....not even a morsel. Because we were living beyond our means, we rapidly accumulated debt. We were sinking fast. We fought.... a lot. We were constantly stressed out.... a lot. We had sleepless nights.....A LOT! Then, one day, we finally decided to sell that money sucker and downsize.
We put that house up for sale and it sold within six weeks, an answer to prayer. We never looked back and don't miss that big, beautiful house one bit. We were not able to find anything suitable in our price range, so we rented a house from some friends of ours.
When I was nine months pregnant with our fourth blessing, the house that we were renting from our friends, sold. We had to move....and fast. We quickly began the Herculean task of moving....again, and searching for a home. Did I mention that I was nine months pregnant? It's a reoccurring joke in my family that every time I'm pregnant, we move. Well, it's true.
When we first stepped into our current house, I was under whelmed. In fact, I almost threw up. It was a foreclosure, and let's just say the people that lived here before us didn't exactly hire a maid before they abandoned it. I was having a very difficult time seeing the big picture and the potential that this little house had, but not my man. Under the grimy, black film on the walls, the red paint poured on the carpets, the cabinet doors that were split in half, the mold growing in the toilets, the disgusting, fetid, smell of who knows what, he could see it, and he got a little twinkle in his eye...almost blinded us! We put in a very low offer, thinking that we would have to go back and forth to reach an agreed price, but guess what? They accepted our first low offer. (Does it surprise you that we were the only ones interested?) I cried......a lot. I couldn't imagine moving my family, especially my infant daughter into such filth. What I didn't realize is that we were well on our way to financial FREEDOM!
We would soon be beginning our DEBT FREE lifestyle!
Thanks Dave Ramsey!
We moved into a tiny cabin that was on my in-laws' property for six months, until our little house was move-in ready. My man was gone all the time, working on the house, and the girls and I stayed on the farm in that little cabin, and once again....I cried......A LOT! Actually, in between cries, it was really quite wonderful. We got to spend time with Mimi and Pawpaw and made a lot of memories. The girls will always remember that special time that we were able to spend on the farm, especially the part about having to sleep on cots each night!
Thus began the journey to the simple life....
A life with less STUFF.......less STRIFE......and less STRESS......
God quickly revealed to us that we had been trying to keep up with the Joneses for way too long. We were running, running, running, and never home to enjoy the house that we were paying so much for and most importantly never home long enough to enjoy family time with each other. He was calling us to less, and it felt freeing. We got rid of stuff.....(sigh of relief).....and more stuff.......(sigh of relief)......and even more stuff....(BIG sigh of relief!) We moved into our little house and......
Well, maybe not that Little House, but you get the picture.
This picture hangs in my dear friend, Mama Donna's bathroom. It is a constant reminder to live the simple life. (See, we're not the only crazy ones who have chosen this lifestyle!)
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith."
- Hebrews 12:1-2
So our journey continues. I would be lying to you if I said that it has been easy. We are constantly reevaluating our finances, time, and stuff. Sometimes in the midst of our chaotic lives, we look up to see that the "thorns" of this life are hiding the "simple" path and we have to clear them off to find our way once again. Sometimes, we look up and we have gotten off of the path altogether and we have to seek with all of our hearts to find the direction and the way back. And the gentleman that He is, our God is always faithful to gently guide us and illuminate the Way back to the path.
And our little house? Well, let's just say it's no longer a house, but a HOME, and this simple plaque that my sister gave me, hangs by our front door as a constant reminder to all who enter that....
"100 years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the type of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child."