Tuesday, August 17, 2010

stepping outside the comfort zone

The other day, as we were driving back to Virginia, I was thinking how over the past few years, I have really striven to live SIMPLY. And yet, at the moment, we're not really living very simply at all. While I am glad to be back on the east coast, this move has genuinely complicated our lives.


As it stands, we are buying a larger house, that will require more maintenance and absorb considerably more of our income than our house in San Diego. Which ultimately means that we will need to work harder to make more money so that we can support our larger and more expensive house. Some might consider buying a bigger house = progress and success!

And maybe I'd believe that, except ... for a few months now I've been wanting to write about a movie Charlie and I watched (on loan from Judd and Debra) entitled, "Hearing Everett." I had planned (before everything got all crazy) to host a giveaway for this movie on my blog, with the request that the winner forward it on to the runner-up and so on and so on because this was, by far, the most thought provoking film I've ever watched and everyone should see it.

But things did get all crazy and now I'm transitionally homeless so I'll just encourage you to go rent (or buy) a copy and watch it when you have a moment. (But don't be surprised if I still host a giveaway in the next six months.)


Anyway. The movie documents the true story of a Christian husband and wife, and their six children, who sold off everything they owned and moved to Mexico so that they could minister to deaf children. This movie was so unbelievably powerful, I watched it four times. And then, with Judd and Debra's permission, I loaned it to at least another 20 people.

Now, back to the issue at hand.

Although we withdrew our offer two weeks ago on the house with the creek, we resubmitted a second (identically priced) offer - which was was also accepted - on the exact same house, last week. So we're once again in escrow and scheduled to close on September 3, give or take seven days. Hopefully, we'll close ON September 3 because our furniture is pulling in to town that same day and if escrow hasn't closed by then, I'll be trying to figure out what to do with a big rig chocked full of our furniture.

(I wonder if they'd just let us sleep in the truck?)

(After 38 days, I really miss my own bed.)

Yesterday, we had our "new" home inspection which was very unlike our "old" home inspection in California, which went so perfectly, the only issue that the inspector noted was purple paint on the stucco of the house (Thank You, Henry). Yet, as a result of our "new" home inspection yesterday, we'll be having a host of other inspections this coming Friday including but not limited to electrician, HVAC, septic, mold and plumbing.

With the information that we currently have in hand, we're looking to spend a lot of money on a wonderful house, that needs much work. We suspected all of this going in to it, and we're prepared to a degree. But it's still tough for me, because I'm so conservative when it comes to finances that I really feel like I'm stepping outside of my comfort zone on what I'd like to spend. Then again, hopefully, this home will be an investment for us, because I'm confident that we'll make the place beautiful, and we DO need a place to live, and this IS a great location, and we HAVE a growing family and hey everybody, Thanksgiving at our house! And yeah.

This is progress.


But then, I can't help but think about Ed Everett. And how his young family lived in an open sided BARN in a foreign country, with cows chewing cud directly over his children's heads and how his newly constructed house burned down to the ground and they were desolate and they had nothing - except each other and their faith and everything worked out magnificently in the end. And now, 40 years later they have and are changing numerous lives for the better.

So before we take this giant leap, I'm just pondering what's the purpose of it all?

Specifically, what is my purpose in life? Should my energies and resources be directed to fixing up this old house that will benefit only me and my family, or should my energies and resources be directed in to something more globally humanitarian?


Globally Humanitarian. The thought of it sounds good and those black and white words sure look nice on my computer screen. But the truth is, I don't know if I could do it. I'm going OUT OF MY MIND living in a fancy hotel.

And there aren't even cows here.


  1. I struggle with these same things. Right now I am overwhelmed with all that our family consumes and how much we live for ourselves. It is a daily battle to not live for ourselves and we're still figuring out how to do that. We have a long way to go.

  2. But you are changing the world with your children. Raising them to be productive members that CHANGE society.

    *Speaking of movies that changed you....Life of David Gale. Graphic but solidified my stand against capital punishment.

  3. You have my sympathies....

    We moved from NY to the Cape last year (also a company relocation). We closed on our new house the same day my mother in law died.

    The movers were kind enough to stay in a hotel (the truck with all our worldly belongings parked in the hotel parking lot) for an extra day (with compensation from the relo people). They were awesome movers! Our furniture was delivered the day before the funeral.

    The kids (4 & 5 at the time) seemed to adjust pretty well. We on the other hand have just finished going through all of my mother in law's stuff and listed the house yesterday.

    It is a long process and I feel for you. Hotel living is not all that glamorous!

  4. If you haven't already, you should listen to "No Impact Man" by Colin Beavan on books on tape (maybe a good way to pass the time on one of your upcoming cross-country drives...?)

    He and his family attempted to live with no environmental impact for a year. It's a fascinating story, and so motivational.

    Plus, there are tips in the Appendix for how you can make small changes to live more mindfully.

    See Kristina's post about it over at Lovely Morning too...http://alovelymorning.blogspot.com/2010/08/less-impact-project.html

  5. I know you saw the John Adams movie/series. Remember his quote:
    "I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain." You are giving that to your children.

  6. You kill me! When I'm particularly stressed about a party or a get together I start obsessing about other things (like christmas ). Take a breath! You've got a mother of a self-inflicted guilt trip going on!

  7. First the house, then globally humanitarian. We can strive for both but it still means we must provide for our own before we can provide for others.

    I'm one of those people that wants to save the world, however as many people are we are in great financial difficulties at the moment. At this time I can't spare that $2 or $3 dollars I would give to a homeless person, or sponsor a child, or, or, or ...
    When times are better I'll go back to my old ways of giving but now it's about making the mortgage payment and putting food on the table.

  8. Ever read "The Purpose-Driven Life?" You might enjoy it, because it can help you figure out your purpose. It's in a small-chapters format, so it's great for a daily devotional-type reading.


  9. Our house went on the market today. My anxiety is b/c we don't have a REAL plan for if/when it sells.

    Get out of CA? closer to family? Stay here and love the weather, but hate the taxes. What to do....what to do.

    Sound familiar?

  10. Read the book Radical... can't remember the author & I'm NOT getting off this couch to get it. Humph.. It's by a christian author & totally, completely worth your time. I love it and I think you will too.