Proverbs 30:8-9 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
That was the verse I attached to the photograph of the house I printed off the computer last year when I was dreaming of downsizing and finding balance in our lives and finances. I was dreaming of having a house that was completely paid for, with land for a big garden and some livestock, in an area where my children could have more opportunities for things like hopping on bikes to go fishing. Just wistful dreams, mind you. But I put the picture of the sweet little house (advertised for sale as “the Lord’s house”) into my “God jar” as a visual representation of what I really hoped my life would look like: simple and deliberate, free from debt, in balance and pleasing to the Lord.
This jar is where I put little strips of papers with what I just need to give to God. It helps to do the physical act of writing it down and putting it where I can see it. And anytime I worry about anything at all, I can just pray about it and remind myself–and again see it in full visual view–that I have, in fact, given it to God. I got the idea from Julia Cameron.
As it turns out, that little house belonged to (not a surprise) a godly Christian man. And that we had actually met him once before when he visited our church and he remembered us. And that he and my husband after reconnecting had many good talks about living that kind of proverbs 30:8-9 kind of life. Finally, that man offered us a lease-to-own option, to allow for us to have the house as ours while we sold our current one, extracting–we hope–a good down payment to complete the purchase when all was said and done.
I still am rather stunned by the whole course of events, but here we are. That little house I stumbled upon has become ours. I still keep asking the Lord, “Really? Really?”
Meanwhile, my current house is a wreck. Trying to navigate the first trimester AND pack up an entire household into boxes is, shall we say, challenging. Knowing that I’m moving into a space a third the size I currently have for living and storage is also tricky. Part of me is thrilled; I guess I am a bit of a practical minimalist at heart and I’m quick to throw out anything that isn’t really necessary (which, face it, is most of what we have). The other part is sentimental; I’m not very quick to throw out family heirlooms or furniture, no matter how much I can’t see where it’s all going to go in the new house. I’ve made peace though: one garage sale here, and one later there for the stuff that doesn’t fit! What better way to meet my neighbors?
So the beds are pretty much constantly unmade these days.
And the dishes…well…they get a few meals in before they’re washed.
And oy, the boxes upon boxes upon boxes. Thankfully, we’re moving them out of the house and into the garage. That will make our house easier to show for potential buyers and the move itself easier, too. We can move when the new-to-us house is ready; it needs insulation and walls upstairs. For starters.
One difficulty I’ve had is what to do with all of the unfinished projects I have everywhere. At first I thought I ought to finish as many of them as possible, to make the transition more orderly and to better organize. But then…really…I hardly have the time to finish up these things during NORMAL life…and I’m supposed to finish them while pregnant, packing for a move, fixing up an old house, and changing locations? Yeah…right.
I am, however, hoping to finish these kitchen towels. I’m about halfway through, and I can’t imagine trying to move my loom with a working project on it.
Other projects I have that I’m trying to get into some order are things like pasting into my art journal all kinds of papers that I had in piles all over my desktop.
I’d like to finish sewing up some leather journals I made while I was in Portland last month.
And–bother–the piles of recipes I’ve clipped over the years, to organize “someday”. Do I just plop the whole mess into a box to do “later”? Or toss it all?
One thing I can’t toss is the miscellaneous hand projects I have going: binding a quilted table runner, embroidering an apron, knitting a scarf, appliquéing wool felt…plus odds and ends of mending. Maybe, I think, once my current house is on the market and I’m waiting for the other house to be ready for us, I can work on these lovely things. Maybe.
Don’t even ask me about schoolwork. My older kids are pretty much on independent studies, and my younger ones are “taking a vacation” like the mass of public schoolchildren counting the days until summer break. I was thankful to get “unsolicited advice” (her words, not mine!) about letting the schoolwork go for right now. I was more than relieved to box most of it all up! I did keep MY schoolwork out, thinking, again, maybe, I might have a chance to pick at it.
So that’s where we are right now…crazy busy getting our house ready for market and packing, packing, packing. I do feel the *deadline* of getting everything sold here, ready there, moved and put away and organized before autumn, when baby is due. But I suppose that instead of stressing over it, I would do well to get out another scrap of paper, write “transition” or some such onto it, and put it into the jar. Don’t you think so?