I am sitting here in a sea of a mess. Boxes, toys, home decor strewn amidst moving boxes and plastic containers.
In 4 to 6 weeks, we will be moving from a 2400 square foot house in suburbia to a two bedroom apartment in, well, the Bay Area. We are leaving our beautiful backyard filled with a crab apple and cherry tree we planted ourselves, our daughter's Make-A-Wish playhouse, a hammock, and our beloved patio furniture set. We are leaving our three bedroom house, our playroom, Martin's "man-cave" (office).
Today, at drop off, a mom said to me, "We need to talk sometime. I am having a hard time understanding why you would make such a drastic change."
And I'll be honest. The last two or three days, I have been wondering the EXACT same thing. Why are we doing this? Why are we giving up all of this comfort and security? What are we going to do when the girls get invited over to hang out at a friend's beautiful home and all we have to offer is a 2 bedroom apartment?
Isn't the standard of success and contentment directly related to one's property and assets?
At the beginning of May, we had the pleasure of traveling as a family back to the Czech Republic. All of Martin's family currently live there. We had a fabulous time. One afternoon, we had a wonderful home cooked lunch with Martin's grandmother in Cheb - a town on the border with Germany. Babicka has lived in this same flat for over 45 years, where she and her husband raised Martin's father and aunt. The flat consists merely of two rooms and a hallway. Period. The kitchen itself is about the size of our master bathroom. Martin's grandparents shared one room, Martin's dad and aunt shared the other. Period.
It was during this trip that Martin and I began a conversation - you know - one of those ongoing kind, that never really ends, but becomes such an integral part of your life together. And the core of this conversation centers around contentment. If Martin and I were honest, we would have to say that over the last four to five years, our discontent has grown.
Is there such a thing as too comfortable?
Is it possible that there is a level of comfort and stability, especially in this country, that could actually be harmful ?
Over the past few days, since returning home from the Czech Republic, I have been grieving. I have been purging my home of stuff, letting go of it all. And I thought for sure my predominant reaction would be relief.
Instead, something unexpected and embarrassing has happened. That dreaded "why me?" snuck in. I have found myself grieving over the loss of stuff. I have found myself feeling resentful that we cannot afford more, nicer, more. And these prevalent and unwelcome emotions have caused me to be an unattractive wife and mom.
I have this devotional book that I love, in fact, I have the iphone app, too. :) It is called Jesus Calling. Here is an excerpt from yesterday::
Accept every event as My hand-tailored provision for your needs.
When you view your life this way. the most reasonable response is to be thankful.
Do not reject any of My gifts; find Me in every situation.
And coupled with that, I got an email yesterday with this challenge - to live one month on the salary of roughly 1.3 billion people worldwide. Can you guess what that is?
$1.25 a day.
(Go here to try the game:: www.live58.org)
Wow. Attitude check. Entitlement check. What-the-heck-is-my-problem check.
So, our family is committed to living more simply.
I am excited about the possibilities.