Not knowing this life that was awaiting me less than 2 miles from our old house, nestled on the other side of the mountain was a home that looked anything but grand. A simple cottage, comfortable and an ugly kitchen. A Bosch dishwasher, marble counter tops, double ovens, two Kohler sinks... I was going to give this up for laminate counter tops, a mini dishwasher and a stainless steel sink that could hold about A dish? Well, I did. Finally did. We went from 3500 sq. ft to 1200 sq. feet. I purged and gave away our stuff and the children's. God had moved, He had convicted me it was time. My children have not missed one toy. I have no regrets about what I didn't give away, more about what I've kept and shouldn't have. I have never felt so light nor free. Our friends are in our home, often. People want to come here, they stop by and we are filled with life. Our home is full of life, literally, and deep joy, the kind you feel in your bones. I don't miss the Bosch dishwasher, nor the Kohler sinks, at all. It has shocked me a little, although I will say I miss my garbage disposal. My house is clean and my dishes are done and I jump on the trampoline (with the banshee's) with no guilt of "I should be cleaning one of my 3.5 bathrooms", because I only have two and my old master bath was the size of our kitchen now, if not bigger. My new ones are the size of my old closet. In giving up, I gain. Bigger is not better, folks. It does NOT bring happiness. I have realized how little I truely need. What a gift.
Less is more. It is true, at least for us. CJ almost two years ago, took a new job. He had started a side business and had some clients and a company from Atlanta opened an office in Birmingham and wanted him to merge his clients with them and come to work for them with a chance to have his dream position without the hassle of owning his own company. Drawback... he would start out with 1/2 of what he had been making at his previous job. He did it. Between Real Estate being in the tank and him taking such a pay cut our income was now 1/4 of what it had been. Oh. my. Rice and beans (not really) and valley's and fear (yes really), BUT God has been so gracious. We are back to almost what he was making, and even if we weren't God has always, always provided for our needs. The whole point of this is, in doing this he works from home and it has taught us so much about what is important in life. He has been home with our children, eating lunch with them, engaging them through-out the day and me. It has been a gift that I know not everyone gets to do. We have decided right now, even if it means just eating beans this is what our family needs. God is good.
One last thing. The simple life. Life in community...I can not tell you how soul filling it is. I could list all we do and all we've done, but it's too long and would bore you. I have put maybe 5 miles total on my car this week. We wake up in the morning and walk with our neighbors to school. We walk back home. Hudson is telling me constantly, "Mom, I STILL feel like I am vacation." Children, multiple children, are in my house daily and I welcome the dirty feet and the wrecking of toys and the laughter that rolls through the hallway. My friends come over, they just drop by, the neighborhood kids just walk in my house....and we love it all.