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it’s just stuff

How in the world do you ‘scale down’–when your family is growing?

That, my friends, is my mission these days. To try and figure out how in the world I am going to get rid of a whole bunch of stuff so that our family of nine can fit into our next house. As many of you have read recently, we’re heading back to the East coat in May. Virginia, for those of you who asked.

(You can read about our move here if you missed it.)

We own a home there. We bought it about five years ago. At that time we had three kiddos and pretty much thought that would be it for our family. Yeah, right! We had good intentions of moving into the house after we bought it, but it just never worked out that way. Until now.

As Anthony and I ponder our upcoming move, and our reasons for doing it, we feel so strongly that the Lord had us buy that little house for a reason back then. He knew that some day we would need it. What a blessing it is going to be for our family.

Affordable. Centrally located–right in the inner city.

As we prepare to be inner city dwellers, there is so much that I need to sort out.  For one, how to scale down from a large-ish five bedroom home, to a teeny little home with zero storage.  And no garage in sight. Oh my goodness. It’s historic, and either they did not have a lot of stuff back in 1908, or perhaps they just didn’t squish nine people into those row houses.

Yep, home sweet home will be a British row house.  You know the ones? They look like this…

They go up three levels, and down into the basement.  There is absolutely no need to ever have a gym membership because the number of stairs in these homes are sure to keep any rear end in great shape.  Definitely a plus in my opinion.

We’re thankful to the Lord for His amazing provision in our lives.  I have recently had days where I have wondered if we have totally lost our minds to be ‘scaling down’ in such a big way in this season of our lives.  But you know what? I am actually looking forward to it.  I look around my home and all I see is stuff.  Lots and lots of stuff.  More than we could ever possibly need.  There is just too much of it. It’s just clutter, really.

About five years ago, around the time we bought our little inner city home, Anthony and I made a promise to the Lord.  We told Him that we would never strive to live a ‘comfortable life’.  We told the Lord that we would do whatever He wanted us to do in this life, and if that meant that we would have to be uncomfortable, or at a place where we were forced to rely on Him and Him alone, then so be it.  Isn’t that the only place he truly want us to be?  At that place of complete surrender?

I absolutely believe so.

For the last five years, I must say that we have been pretty comfortable. We’ve lived with an abundance of most things. Sure, we live very frugally, but still have had more than enough.

As I work daily at de-cluttering my life and my home, the Lord has reminded me of that little conversation we had with Him all those years ago. Time and again He has reminded me that we, as Americans, have more than 90% of the world’s population.  We sure do. We are all about our own comfort. Our homes are filled to overflowing with stuff and more stuff. Mine included.  I needed to be reminded. 

When we lived in Africa, and real poverty was in our faces daily, it was easy to remember how very blessed we were.  But living here in the USA, I forget.

I forget how the rest of the world lives.

I forget how exceedingly blessed I am.

I forget about the desperate needs of others outside of my four walls.

I forget that we are never, ever without.

If a mama in central Uganda can live happily in her little home the size of my bedroom–with her six children, and her husband–then I can absolutely be content in my little inner city home that the Father has blessed with me.

I guess it’s just how I choose to see things.

How blessed I am!

I have a heart of anticipation.  We truly do not know what the Lord is going to do in this next season of our lives. As we plant our family in the inner city, our hearts are open to whatever He wants…even if that means being a little squished.  Knowing His perfect will, and being obedient to answer the call is the only thing that can really bring me real fulfillment in this life.

He is ALL I really need.  All I long to have is more of Him…and so much less of me!

I cannot wait to see what adventures await us in the inner city.