For many years I have created lists of New Year’s Resolutions. The goals varied from the fairly typical, such as eat healthier or maintain a consistent Bible study, to some that perhaps not many people would venture to accomplish, like completing a marathon (oh yes, I am that crazy person. I enjoy it too…).
As the New Year came in 2013, our little family was busy visiting Chris’ family in Virginia. While I had ideas rolling around in my mind regarding what I could strive to attain in the coming year, nothing actually was put down on paper. Almost like a free ride.
There was one singular goal, however, that stuck with me. Chris and I talked it over and decided that as a family we would try to accomplish one thing.
We both genuinely desired this for our family in so many ways. We wanted to let go of material possessions that really weren’t needed. We wanted to clear our schedules of all of the “extras” that take time away from meaningful relationships. We wanted to get back to the basics and lead our family in an atmosphere free of distraction and clutter. To focus on Biblical principles and application personally, as well as a family. To even free our diets of much of the “clutter” of junk and processing
We made strides. In all of it, though, I was shy to share our goals publicly. I knew that once we voiced our hopes we would have to truly commit in ways that were challenging for all we desired of a simple life.
We began to de-clutter little by little. After much research, trial and error, we truly have a healthier means of eating in our home. But much else was left untouched in hearts that were struggling to release our own preoccupations and selfishness. So in the meantime I have spent time thinking hard and praying about how to let go of so much that clamored for our attention without much action.
Well, friends, as the saying goes: Be careful what you wish for!
Eight months later and the Lord is giving us the biggest adventure and opportunity of a lifetime (so far) to downsize and simplify. Due to recent events we are obligated to let go of much that we have held tightly in recent months and years.
Some of this is painful. For me, the most difficult is certainly putting our home up for sale. Our lovely place of belonging, comfort and family. Where we have poured our hearts for the last three years. A place I love deeply. The home in which we have established our family. Where we brought our first child home and hoped to bring our future children to grow and thrive. My heart breaks a little.
Then I am reminded that the roof under which we gather and rest our heads does not define our home. Home is established in the love and fellowship of our family and friends. I believe we can have the same beautiful community in a tiny apartment as we have experienced in our treasured house. Perhaps more so. We will soon find out!
There are other belongings we will be releasing soon. Some of them are almost comical to ponder. Such as the couch we bought earlier this year. It was the first time Chris and I had purchased a couch together rather than receiving a hand-me-down. It brought us such excitement and pride. But as we discussed moving into an apartment we realized that it was completely impractical to bring our nice, new couch when the old one with the unattractive pattern that sits hidden downstairs in the basement has a hide-a-bed. So while we have anticipated the day when we could let go of that baby, here it comes with us. And the new couch will be sold in a garage sale…
As Chris often says, we need to hold onto everything with open hands. That way, if and when the Lord requests us to lay it down it won’t be like prying it from our grip. Rather, we can give it up as a pleasant offering.
The more we contemplate this era of our lives, the more we are convinced of how wonderful it can be. Already we are immensely thankful because for the first time in our marriage there aren’t multiple jobs clamoring for our attention to make ends meet. There is freedom in letting go. Our family time is sweeter and our faith is growing. The special “treats” we enjoy are delectable because they are more rare. We are being refined in our perspective of necessity and desire. So while I am certain that we will struggle as we pursue this new course of life, I am more certain that we will find solace in the providence of our Savior. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
As a side note, if any of you happen to know a family who is looking for a home in the North Spokane area, please have them take a look at ours! We absolutely LOVE our neighborhood. This is possibly the most difficult part of moving because we have such amazing neighbors. Seriously. Our hope and prayer is that the family who moves into our home will love it the way we have and truly bless the community with their presence, as we are certain the community will bless them. Please be praying with us that our home sells quickly! Here is the listing if you happen to know of anyone: http://www.mlsfinder.com/wa_sar/kw_179/index.cfm?action=listing_detail&property_id=201322475&searchkey=75de57b5-ba1d-717c-0831-8b476aae0908