Community garden

Friday, 10 June 2016

The life we value.

Sometimes I look at my life and I just feel tired. 

Knowing we are at the beginning of a big haul.  I look at my friends posts on face book about building their new big brand new home, or their beautiful homes that a team of tradies has come in and renovated for them, the expansive space and the fact each of their kids has their own room.  I feel like I would quite like that!  

I look at the holidays, or the shiny new cars, sometimes the shopping trips with bags from shops I can't really afford to buy from. 

Then I look at my life, with its little old cottage, all 5 of us sharing a bedroom.  A kind of chaotic house in full swing of renovations.  Knowing my beautiful Grant will come home after working a full week of work to spend the full weekend renovating. 

Sometimes I wonder why we are doing it.  Why don't we embrace the big mortgage and buy a beautiful finished house?  What are we putting in fences to grow veggies?  Why don't we just buy them and save ourselves the hassle?  Then if we didn't have all this work to do we could spend our weekends doing things together. Going out, watching movies, going to the beach. 

And then the voice of realism speaks into the green eyed day dream that's taking over my mind.  It reminds me we can have time OR money.  Not both.

Every choice we make has a cost.  Either financially or time wise.  There are other costs of course.   Like emotional, physical and spiritual costs which need to be given their due weight and consideration. 

I remind myself that if we were to have that big beautiful home, I would have to work.  A lot.  We wouldn't have those wonderful weekends together that exist within my imagination because I would be working every weekend to pay for the house we would hardly get to be in together.  We would never be able to afford to buy a farm one day because it would mean our mortgage would be over 30 plus years.  And a 30-year mortgage would mean we were near 60 by the time we paid it off, and well it’s not ideal to go into farming at 60 years old.  A dream requires sacrifice. 

In this modern, fast paced world we are not so good at sacrifice, discomfort or even contentment for that matter.  There are things you can buy today to ease the sensation of nearly all those things, I'm quite sure.  But to be able to sit in them and find some kind of peace?  Now that is a gift and a skill of immeasurable value.

So in this life, as we work towards our dreams - we choose time and trying to live simply, within our means.  Time for me to be at home in this season.  It is not easy, and it is not without its frustrations.  We take on as much work as we can ourselves because we have chosen to have time in our lives, with our young family.  Not money. 

The space we get from trying to live simply means we can give to worthy causes.  To help others.  not as much as we would like perhaps, but a good amount considering our budget.  If we had a bigger, fancier house or a newer car this would not necessarily be the case.  It may not be the biggest, the best or the most beautiful little cottage around.  But it is enough, in reality it is more than enough.  The fact we even have such incredible choices in our lives means we are richer than most.   

The best bit about me being at home is that I can do some of the work that's in my heart of hearts.  Working within various outreach ministries in the church.  Working with beautiful troubled kids who need people to mentor and walk with them through these formative years of their lives, the kind of work that can only be done with time and presence.  We can and are setting up a new ministry in our town to our support families, to give TLC to beautiful Mums who are doing their best with their little ones.  One day soon I hope that includes a community garden.  It allows me the time to study ministry, to deepen my knowledge, my faith and my understanding of God.  (well ok, I am not managing my study as well as I would like, but I try and I do love it when I can eventually get into the groove.)


If it were not for living simply, for making the choices we have, I would not get to explore whats in the depth of my heart of hearts.  What I truly believe I should be doing with my life.  My life would be richer financially perhaps, but poorer spiritually.  Our family would spend less time together. 

So as I take another look around my life I shake away the lens of the green eyed monster and I look through the lens of truth.  The reality that choosing this life means we are able to live out and work towards the things that are on our heart of hearts.  We get a deeper life.  Perhaps a more challenging life in this season.  But it is far richer in all the ways that truly matter to us.  So I look at the little old cottage and see her beauty.  Not just in what she is going to become, but in what she allows us to give as a result. 

May you see the beauty in your life this long weekend, though the cracks and the crumbly bits.  Blessings for a safe and happy long weekend for those in Australia. 

Much love,
Emma

xx

17 comments:

  1. Beautiful post Emma.

    I think most of us simple-living-minded folks occasionally look at how the conventional people live with a bit of envy - having a nice house, a nice car, shopping, holidays etc.
    The thought of having a brand new 4 bedroom house with an ensuite (yay private bathing with no toothpaste painted all over the sink), a nice big fancy kitchen, a big fancy car all appeal to me as a human being.
    But then I remember what is just common sense to me - I love my smaller home (it's quicker to clean!), the kids LOVE sharing their bedroom (mostly) and would be lonely having their own rooms, my kitchen is just dandy and is not too big, but bigger than many in some newer homes. My little car keeps going and I don't have a payment for it.

    There are many things to be grateful for, and while everyone else is going around spending like millionaires, you and I both know we have a warm home we can enjoy with the people we love, and not have to worry about being able to afford it. (Because we all know that the 'Joneses' are drowning in debt in their fancy houses and cars.)

    Like you, I also wish I had more time and energy for Bible study... if you ever come up with a strategy to make time while raising 3 young kids, let me know!

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    1. Oh I know, to not be barged in on by boys constantly would be amazing!

      No fail proof strategies I'm afraid. If it comes simply to reading the bible daily youversion is a great app, the bible in a year is a good manageable plan to read. :)

      For me its getting assignments done. But like anything if it is a high enough priority I can get it done, just sometimes with a young family it gets pushed down the ladder.

      xx

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    2. The best strategy is to take a concept or a verse and see how often you can apply it during that day to what you are doing, saying or thinking. Study for studies sake is useless.....practical application to life and emotions creates wisdom. Fast.

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    3. I don't think time ever spent reading and sitting in the word of God is wasted, nor useless. Its very important to understanding how the stories are interconnected, and the messages throughout the bible.

      I am formally studying at collage, as for me that is what I need to do for my future. But there are many ways to study, in small groups, independently or formally. Each are valuable, it depends on what resonates with you. That's the great thing about faith, there is many ways to live it out. :)

      xx

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  2. This is a lovely post Emma. You sound like you are (mostly) content with your life, while aiming for your goals.
    Don't forget that there may well be many others who look upon your lifestyle with envy too.
    Keep being true to yourself and you will live a fulfilled and complete life, one that is just right for you.
    cheers Kate

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    1. Yes, very much mostly content, I'm not sure if there is very many people who are completely content 100% of the time. I think it always takes effort to be aware of where we are at and a desire to re-focus. :)

      xx

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  3. Contentment with Godliness is great gain!! Can't remember where the scripture is (Timothy)?
    The path you have chosen will be well worth it, in ways that money just can't buy.

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  4. Good memory you have! We are designed for a simple life. Xx


    1 Timothy 6:6-11(NIV)

    6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.


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  5. Emma your post really spoke to me within my heart of hearts. I've told you before of my home reno and how long it took. Hubby and I never increased our mortgage. I was 41 when we paid out our mortgage. We had friends who seemed to have everything. I am now 52 and semi retired and my husband is fully retired. We live very well on a very limited income because we own everything. Those friends who seemed to have everything are a very long way from even thinking about retiring. Hang in there. Our way of life can be difficult in this 'everything now' society, but you are showing your children and those others you will mentor through your Ministry, that waiting and doing for yourself is so rewarding. You and Grant are my heroes,

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    1. Naw, thank you so much Jane, your comment really touched my heart and gave me great encouragement.

      It is sometimes hard isn't it? I just have to remember that when we eventually sell the shop, we should be debit free and be able to buy our little farm cash in hand. Then all this hard work will have paid off. And we will be perpetually broke farmers. ;) haha! broke but happy. :)

      xx

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  6. Emma, enjoy your time with your boys while they are little. Before you know it they will be grown up. These years are very precious.

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    1. Yes very true Nanna Chel, The last 8 years seems to have been both slow and fast if that seems possible!

      xx

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  7. So true! You are aiming for the better part and doing God's will. I always wanted a nicer, larger house...but I knew that if we did that...some day I might have had to go out to work and I never wanted to do that. I am very old-fashioned and believe the highest calling a woman can have is raising her children, with quantities of quality time. I bet it is healthier on the stress level too, to stay home. Andrea...p.s..I'm going to be 59 and our mortgage is paid off...and the time went with a "blink of the eye" it seems!

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    1. Well done you! Yes time does have a strange habit of flying, even when it feels like its crawling doesn't it?

      How wonderful you stayed at home with your children, I bet they have amazing memories of that time. :)

      xx

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  8. This really resonates with me too, we are so lucky that I am able to stay home with my two kiddies while hubby works hard for this to happen. We know we have less income than others that we know of, but we have more in other ways. We have our own home (with mortgage), minimal debt and simple needs. We have many friends who also have flash things, but also with flash loans for those things!
    I have days where I just want to go out and buy new clothes, new toys for my kitchen etc, but we prefer to spend that sort of money on decent food for our family.

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