Thank you so much for all of the heart-felt questions. I was humbled by them. As promised, here are the questions and their answers in a more readable format. Be blessed!
Was downsizing for your family harder than you thought it would be? Or it easier ?
Great question! I would say that overall downsizing has been easier than I thought it would be. The actual “living in less square footage” part of downsizing hasn’t bothered me at all. When we had our bigger house, I always felt like we lived in 1/4 of it (like kitchen, living and bedroom) and that the rest was space that was unused but had to be cleaned, heated/air conditioned, etc.! So right now, the 1300 sq. ft. we have in our beach cottage is more than enough. The bigger ajdustment has been giving up some of the nice things that came with having a bigger house-our rental house did not have a garbage disposal. Basic thing that I really missed having. Our beach cottage does not have a garbage disposal, dishwasher (!!) or air conditioning, and these have taken some adjusting to get used to for sure. Overall, it has been a journey through which God has really sustained me and given me peace and a happy heart. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
It has been so beautiful to read your story and see God’s goodness in your life. It seems in my own story I have a hard time seeing God’s goodness until after the fact. I guess what my question for you would be is how you seem to expect God’s goodness and trust Him so fully? I always seem to get stuck in this place. Any advice for a girl a few steps behind you on her journey with the Lord?
Carrie, I really appreciate your question. A few years ago I was in a similar place. . . I have come to expect God’s goodness because of 2 main things:
1. I really spend time reading God’s word (the bible), and try to focus on it like a personal love letter to me from a Father who loves me. There are so many promises of hope and a future that God makes to me (and all of His children) and I am learning to not just believe *in* God, but to *believe God* and take him at His word. Read both Jeremiah 29:11 and Ephesians 3:20. 🙂 Memorize them and hide them in your heart. Also the whole book of John is a testament of God’s love for us. I grew up going to church and became a Christian when I was 9 years old but I didn’t start really digging into God’s word until I was in my 20s. It has transformed my life. Aside from the bible (which should always be first and is the most transformative), the book Believing God by Beth Moore was a big help to me in this area.
2. I learned to look back at God’s faithfulness during other difficult times in my life and realize how faithful God had been to me in each of those circumstances where I really expected the worst and felt abandoned-I could look back and see how things worked out according to His will and for my best. He had a perfect track record so to speak 😉 I know that life does not always work out the way we would want it to -loved ones die and people get cancer and children are hurt and we live in a broken world 🙁 . . . this seems to defy the promises made in Jeremiah 29:11 and Ephesians 3:20. While I certainly do not have all the answers (1 Corinthians 13:12), I believe that in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), but that we may not see that goodness in all situations during THIS lifetime, but that we will have to wait for the next chapter in heaven. And that Jesus himself knows what that is like.
I just stumbled across your blog this week, and just read through so much of it. What a beautiful story. I, too, and struggling with what “the world” says and what the Lord is calling me to for a fuller life. Along with prayer, what did you do to get from the “dream” to the “harvest”?
One of the things that has really helped me in my walk with the Lord is to remember that the word “holy” translates to “set apart.” I try to meditate on this throughout my day some of the time. There is such a difference between doing things according to what the world says is best or ok and according to what God says is right. The path is narrow and few find it, but it leads to the land of milk and honey!! You don’t have to look around very hard to see that a lot of people are unhappy and unfulfilled and basically lost because they live according to the world’s standards and false promises of what will make them happy (stuff, drugs, sex, etc). When you start to live for the Lord, you are fulfilled in an intimate consuming way and He blesses you richly.
If the only chocolate you have eaten your whole life is tootsie rolls and then you get a taste of Godiva, you never want to go back to tootsie rolls!!!:) I am learning to listen to the Lord’s calling and follow his will because, quite frankly, life is BETTER!!! and I don’t want a tootsie roll life. I don’t want to miss out on anything that He has in store for me.
I too have so enjoyed following your journey. I can totally relate to the, “it feels like we were really only living in a 1/4 of our house”…now that our oldest is in college and in an apartment of her own and the youngest a senior in high school…this big house sits quite empty most of the time. I also am so inspired by your faith, and positive outlook. But, I guess my question to you having downsized and really thought through things when selecting what you could take and what had to be left, are you finding that you are enjoying living with less and find more meaning in the things you did decide to keep? I am currently trying to simplify things in our home, and feel that the things we keep should only be the things we truly use and love.
I had to stop and really think before answering this. I would love to be able to respond that I am loving a simply life with only my favorite things- but I’m not there yet. I feel like this smaller house is quite full in the same way our bigger house felt quite full, there is just less stuff in this smaller space, so in that regard we are making progress?? I am continually working toward that goal of having a simplified home. I dream about it and can feel what it would be like and I too, really really want it. My biggest obstacle is my husband, who is more of a “keeper” than I am . . . with each move we have really let go of a lot of stuff but I keep purging every week and certainly have dreams of just grabbing a box and scaling each room down to the bare bones. My favorite book on this topic is Tsh’s, from the blog Simple Mom. I highly recommend it, it is so motivating!!
I love the story of how you waited for Winn and especially how God gave you that awesome assurance that He did have a child on the way for you! Do you feel assured that He has more children for you or are you just waiting to see what His plan is? I ask because you have mentioned having more children.
Jennifer, We would definitely like more children, but I have always tried to be careful to never think of Wynn as part 1 of say, 2 or 3 kids . . . I haven’t felt Him give me any answers yet, but at this point i have every reason to hope that we will have another (or more!). I pray the same for you!!
I’m always curious as to what other people’s average days are like. What is a TYPICAL day like for you? Please be honest and tell it like it is! 🙂 Not that you wouldn’t but so often in interviews or on other’s blogs there days always seem so perfect…how can that be… or maybe they are?? All I know is my average day is nothing close to perfect or exciting. The reason i’d like to find out is I often feel like i get nothing done and I’m always on the lookout for how people spend there day and get so much accomplished. I have an 11 year old and a 14th month old and I’m lucky just to get laundry, a quick clean of the house, and dinner on the table (oh..and 30 minutes on the computer! )Thanks and I SO love your blog!
Hi Kathy! I have wanted to write a “day in the life” post with pictures for some time now. Hopefully I will get around to that soon.
Before the move I had a pretty consistent routine for weekdays but our weekends were “whatever goes.” Since the move we are just adjusting to a new town and new environment and doing work on the house, etc. so our days haven’t had much consistency to them at all.
Before the move my weekdays went pretty much like this:
up with wynn in the mornings (8ish) after cuddling/nursing in bed with him for probably 30 minutes (heaven); breakfast together and coffee for me; we would play on the floor (books, puzzles, trucks, blocks, etc), then I would log some internet time/do random housework while wynn would play or watch Praise Baby (his favorite)and I would try to convince myself that I was not a bad mommy for the internet time 😉 then i would take him running in the jogging stroller and we would come home and shower (me) and tear apart the bathroom (him). My husband would come home for lunch and pretend that the house looked nice and tidy (and not like a toddler bomb went off) and that I was the best wife in the world and we would have lunch together the three of us (generally something I put together 2 minutes before he walked in the door). Then after he went back to work, Wynn and I would lay down in my bed together for his afternoon nap. Somedays that would go like clockwork and other days it would take me 2 hours to get him down for his nap so I would just improvise and try not to sweat the fact that I have never been great at getting him to sleep!! I would usually do whatever housework I had to do during the first hour of his nap, and then I would almost always lay down with him and read and/or nap for an hour. HEAVEN. After his nap (usually 2 hours), we almost always had playtime outside and then worked on dinner together until my husband came home from work at 4:30. By that time I usually was ready for some solo time. In general I would try to do a quick pick-up of the house in the 20 minutes before he got home so that he was coming home to a nice house. Other days I considered he was lucky that I had survived the day and not had a toddler-induced meltdown, so I just welcomed him home to a messy house and me still in my pajamas at 4 p.m. Our evenings usually consisted of making dinner together, dinner together, walks outside in the evening, etc.
The biggest time saver that I have experienced was cutting our cable over a year ago. The only tv we watch now is dvds. I rarely ever sit and watch tv, there are just so many other things I would rather be doing!
Ok… may I ask one more question? When I write a comment and then try to post it via my google account it doesn’t let me. What am I doing wrong?
I have no idea, I am sorry it is giving you problems!
Do you have any plans to go back to work outside the home to your previous career, or has God shown you that your new career is to work at home (being Wynn’s mum!)
Hi Melissa! No, I will not be going back to work as an attorney while Wynn (or future babies) are young. Being a wife and a mother is such an important ministry to me and I can truthfully say that I haven’t missed working outside the home one single day since Wynn was born. It has been an adjustment, however, becoming a 1 salary household!
Oooh, I love this! (and love YOU!) As I sit over my cup of coffee to chat with you, I’d love to talk more about your transition of “less is more.” As we are about to cut our income in half to chase our own Harvest, I’m battling my worries with prayers and God’s Word, but would love some of your practical advice! (and sure do wish you were really on the other side of my coffee cup this morning!) xo
Matthew 6:33!! 🙂 This is the continual refrain in our household. A nice savings account balance helps for peace of mind and emergencies, but really, Matthew 6:33.
Isn’t being a mom simply the best?! I love to gain wisdom from other moms who love the Lord, and I’d love for you to share how you teach/talk to Wynn about Jesus. What does that look like in your home?
Do you have The Jesus Storybook Bible? It is my absolute favorite! I actually started reading it before Wynn was born and I get a lot out of it!! Wynn is too young for it yet, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned it. 🙂 Wynn is still pretty young (17 months), so right now I pray with him at bedtime and mealtimes and talk to him about Jesus in simple ways, like if we are outside I might point out a flower and say “see the beautiful blue that God made for us!”
I also sing him worship songs and he likes to watch the Praise Baby dvds. I am looking forward to hopefully homeschooling him in the future and teaching him God’s word. I have several friends who homeschool and they are such an encouragement to me!!
I’ve prayed for 15 years for a spouse and God hasn’t blessed me with a husband, yet He hasn’t removed that desire from my heart. So my question is this: Have you ever had a “long term” prayer go unanswered? If so, how do you continue to be persistent in faith that it will come to pass? You seem to have a steadfast assurance in what God has placed in your heart and that it will come to fruition.
I am humbled by your question. I cannot right now think of anything that I prayed and waited on for 15 years-I think your faith is amazing. I highly recommend my dear friend Stephanie’s ministry in this area! http://livininaboysworld.blogspot.com/2011/04/help-us-spread-word.html
I do know that God’s timing is not our timing and that 15 years seems so long but to the Lord may be the blink of an eye and that if He has made a promise to you of a husband that He will fulfill that promise, and that if for some reason marriage is not His plan for you, it is only because His plan is bigger and better than the one you can imagine for yourself. I don’t know if that provides any comfort, I pray that it does.