For the love of... less stuff, more simplicity and God's sovereignty

Lots for sale! What a whirlwind month we've had. In a crazy turn of events, we suddenly have found ourselves moving, again. Gigi, five, will now be moving into her sixth (for a hopefully-very-short time) and seventh homes in her short life.

We are ready to put down roots in a home for a while, to say the least.

In fact, we thought that's what we were doing here. Oh, how we've enjoyed the space here (and the relatively affordable rent to go along with it). It wasn't our choice to move this time, and that's hard. Circumstances out of our hands (ie our landlords' situation) are forcing us to leave this house at a time when rent is high and availability to rent or own in our neighborhood is low.

We have constantly reminded ourselves of God's sovereignty through this whole process, and seen His hand at work as we searched and found a condo nearby (the only one), on our good friend's street, in our price range, and put down an offer that was accepted, in an unbelievably fast six days.

Then we hit the speed bump. Nothing every goes off without a hitch, huh?

We made plans to move out despite the end of escrow not being yet in sight. We are in limbo as we await some government paperwork to be shifted around and hopefully taken care of, and pray our seller doesn't find a way to back out due to the delay.

And so for the third time in our married life will move back into the home of my parents. We did it for a short few weeks once before kids, then for ten months with Gigi, and now with all five of us, for hopefully just a few weeks. We are beyond grateful for parents that live relatively close by who are willing to take in all of the craziness that is our family.

Collector's item right here.

Today was the first monumental step in the moving sale. The Garage Sale. By far the biggest amount of junk we have ever parted with at one time... and as we piled the last of the leftovers into the truck to drive them to the donation drop-off spot, it felt darn good. We are downsizing significantly, space-wise, and you know what? We're excited about that.

Letting go of stuff has been so freeing for us as we've purged this time more than ever and felt drawn to a little bit simpler existence.

We are strongly fighting against a culture that tells us more, more. Get more for your money. Get more bang for your buck. Move where the big/cheap/new houses are despite how that would compromise your values.

We refuse this. Some think we are financially unwise, but we are trying to follow the Lord and not the world. For us, we value shorter commutes (and more family time), living in community where we feel called, and following our passions, even though that means barely being able to afford a small condo with a simple patio.

We drive around our neighborhood and see open two-car garages piled high and wide with STUFF, much like our own. I pray, Lord, help us detach ourselves from all this stuff. Now that the sale is over, I still wonder, what else can we get rid of that we don't really love?

Born and raised collectors, this has been a long transition and journey for both David and I. We still want to continue to simplify. Through the process of going through stuff, we have often have reminded each other of a monumental lesson we learned from my friend Tsh's book:

"Sometimes, we associate sentiment with an object because we think it holds a memory, when in reality, it's just another thing... Get rid of the things that are just things-- they're not useful, and you don't really find them that beautiful. By tossing them, you're not tossing the fun memories. Your memories remain, even if the objects are removed."

See you later, creepy porcelain dolls. Good-bye, myriad gymnastics medals and ribbons (even that one precious first place ribbon). Adios, painstakingly-collected bottle cap collection.

I did save my American Girl doll to give Gigi in a couple of years. And when David's pog collection didn't sell, we downsized their storage container and saved them to play with. We still have a LOT in my opinion. But we feel better about what we do have.

I'm seeing a little glimpse into God's sovereign plan for us to move in just the pleasure we've been taking in simplifying. The up-till-midnight-packing-every-night-part I'm not that happy with, but in a few weeks it will be done and we'll be playing Settlers every night with my parents while the kids are snug in bed. ;)

Just picked up from the library... Devoured about 60 pages last night.

I devoured 7 by Jen Hatmaker a couple of weeks ago and immediately forced it upon David--I'm trying to convert him to be a reader-- with an emphatic, "You must read this!!" It was inspiring and encouraging and entertaining, especially for where we find ourselves right now, re-evaluating ourselves, our stuff, our priroities.

I highly recommend it. I've probably said this before, but I highly recommend Tsh's book, Organized Simplicity, as well, as it provides a lot of encouragement, but also a lot of how-to for those who want to get started in simplifying.

And Carlos, would you please come pick up the double-wide dresser that's waiting for you in our driveway? Our garage sale ended four hours ago. Thanks, buddy.