Downsizing: The Struggle & The Peace That Comes With It

c84a6afcdb3e11e29a1a22000ae80024_7I have gotten lots of questions from friends and family about why we had to move. And the answer is, we didn’t HAVE to move. God convicted our hearts on how we spent our money and we listened to Him.

We have always had a roof over our heads and food in our fridge. God has ALWAYS provided for my family. The problem wasn’t God’s provisions, it was how we were using them. We had kept praying for more money, raises or more photo work for me. But over and over again we felt God saying, “You have enough”, which can be frustrating at times. “Enough” really?! We had bills and loans we couldn’t pay and with a growing family, “enough” didn’t seem good enough to me. I wanted MORE! (kinda sounds like a spoiled little kid)

However as I kept struggling with God about money, I had to ask myself, “Who’s in control, me or God?”. Well I had been in control for the past 10 years and my finances weren’t in good shape, maybe just maybe I wasn’t doing it right… shocker!

We kept getting convicted by this verse:

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:23

We were not being faithful with the “few things” we were given. That was a tough realization to come to. So, my husband and I really dug deep and prayed about what we actually needed. And to our surprise there was quite a bit that we didn’t need and could live without or with less. The BIGGEST decision was, we didn’t need our big house. We were renting a home that was far bigger then we needed. We LOVED our home, we LOVED the neighborhood, we LOVED the school our daughter was at, but we didn’t NEED it. We could live in a smaller place, with less utilities and less rent, and have more peace and could dig out of our debt. But this was NOT what my heart wanted. The idea of moving, changing my daughters school and selling our things, was NOT what I wanted. However my husband and I both felt like this was what God wanted. He wanted us to do more with “enough”. So we did it, but it was not easy.

Isn’t that the struggle? What I want vs. what God has planned for me? The more I looked into our finances, the more I noticed that things we spent money on were because “I wanted” it. Kinda smacks you in the face, I’m a Christian “It is not I who lives but Christ lives in me”. Yet I was living an “I” life. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has this problem!?!

Even though it was hard we did it. We made the decision to downsize to a small place, which meant selling more than 75% of our belongings. Our new place would be half the size of our current home, have less than half the storage space and wouldn’t have a garage or yard. Which meant selling my children’s play yard, toys and most of our furniture. Although this was heart wrenching for me, we did it. We pulled everything out of our home that we didn’t NEED or absolutely love and had a huge garage sale and whatever didn’t sell we were going to give away. I can’t tell you how hard it was to see almost my entire house in my drive way, and watching people paw through my things like they were worthless. I had to hold back tears as my children’s baby clothes and toys were thrown about and sold for 25 cents. Even though it was hard it was worth it. By the end of that garage sale God blessed me with sweet peace! We were doing what He wanted, we were being wise, even though wisdom can be hard.

1485c5c4e3a011e2ae4022000ae911aa_7God was faithful every step of the way, He brought people to buy our things, He sent a wonderful charity to pick up over 40 boxes to be donated and provided us with the money we needed to move! It’s amazing what happens when you do what God wants!

We moved in July and it feels good. I love our little place and don’t miss the things we sold. Now I wish I could tell you that we have complete financial freedom or that we magically became millionaires over night, but we didn’t. We have something better than all that, we have peace. We are learning to live on “enough” and still need to tweak some things, but we are on our way.

What I have learned through out this hard process is, God does a much better job at taking care of my family then I do. So I need to daily surrender my life and my family to Him and He will take care of us. This is a daily struggle, one that God and I play tug a war at often. But let me tell you, it’s so worth the peace that comes with surrender.

What do you need to surrender to God today?

 

3 Comments

  1. John Wylie (@ivoryjohn) on August 20, 2013 at 11:00 am

    This is beautiful 🙂

  2. Sandra Christopher on August 20, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Thank you for your transparency. May the Lord bless you for your decision to obey Him rather than go with the flow of today’s materialistic culture!

  3. Josh Avery on August 24, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    This is an eye opening experience for sure, I have none of the struggles you face and still I feel convicted somehow, what we need is not nearly what we want, and only surrender and surpass that feeling, thank you.

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