Sacrifices & the cost of living simple

Sacrifices, we’ve all done them; some are easy and some, not so easy.  In an effort to move closer to our dream of living on our farm, we had to sacrifice.  The first sacrifice was selling our home that my husband and I built together.  It took us 10 years to finish the home and then in the 10th year, we sold the house.  While we are extremely excited about moving to the farm, the decision to sell the house was bitter sweet.  We dreamed that house together, worked endlessly on it (through the rain, snow and the heat!) and made some wonderful memories there.  Did I forget to mention that I left my dream kitchen behind…..that was no easy task!

Now 10 years later, our dream home has been sold and we are one step closer to our farm dream (you can read about our dream by clicking on the “about us” button).  But, before we can move into the farmhouse, there are some changes that need to take place.  Currently the farmhouse is being rented so we had to give the tenants a notice to quit and allow them the time they needed to find suitable housing.  In the meantime, we needed a place to go!  Where would we go?  We had to find a place to stay, somewhere safe, affordable and enjoyable for the Sherriff.  We wanted something out in the country, but what could we afford while juggling the bills for repairs at the farmhouse?  Let me introduce you to my new/temporary home, aka- the love shack.  My husband, being the thrifty man he is, found us a little piece of “heaven”!!!  And yes, you are seeing correctly, I’ve got my own little mobile home.  Isn’t she a beauty?

Now back to sacrificing, I signed the purchase and sales on this home without ever seeing the inside of it because I was at home with a brand new baby and put my complete trust in my husband.  My husband is extremely handy and I knew that he would make this house safe and clean for us.  However, I must admit, I was still extremely skeptical, nervous and not to mention a tad embarrassed about moving into this mobile home.  My concerns lie with the fact that most of our society today judges by what’s on the outside; what kind of car they drive, how big their home is, what brand of clothes they wear, etc, etc.  I also live in area where mobile homes aren’t really accepted and most people (if the truth be known) would not be caught living in a mobile home.  What would my family/co-workers think?   How about the neighbors?  Would they welcome us?  But I had to keep the end goal in mind- the farm and our new life with the Sherriff.  I was quickly reminded that God is in control of every area of my life and that brought me comfort.  Now that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t secretly praying that we would be able to somehow move straight into the farmhouse and avoid the mobile home entirely- after all God can do anything, right?  But that my friends, was not part of God’s Plan; and for that I am thankful because this little love shack has taught me some very valuable life lessons.  I would like to share with you some of the things I have learned by living here. 
·         I have gained more time because I’m not cleaning, organizing & maintaining a large house.  And, because I am not spending all this time on a house, I’m able to spend more time with my husband and little boy!
·         I have learned simple is better.  Our yard is just simply grass now; perfect for the Sherriff to play in.  We no longer have to worry about him damaging the manicured lawn that we once had.  In fact, the Mayor built us an outdoor fire pit which we have enjoyed eating several dinners by…it’s great!  All these things equal simple fun in our household!
·         I have learned to live with less.  Living in this small space has forced me to get rid of clutter and things I was not using.  It’s amazing how very little we need to survive, and how much clutter one can accumulate over the years!  Living with less is also less stressful, except when it comes to kitchen counter space.  However, having less counter space has helped me to be more creative in using other things to help me get the job done.  For example, using the Sherriff’s highchair or putting a cookie sheet over the top of my stove has given me extra counter space.  One thing is for sure, I will certainly have a greater appreciation for my kitchen at the farm after living in this small kitchen.  When you are passionate about cooking and baking like I am, counter space is a must!
·         I have learned to be frugal.  I now think twice about what I am purchasing because I don’t have the extra room and don’t want clutter.  Please note I am not a person who purchases unnecessarily or even on impulse, but I now ask myself, “Do I really need this? Can I find something else that I already own to do the job at hand?”  Now don’t get me wrong, I still purchase things I want, after all, the farmhouse does need a turquoise cow shaped butter dish & creamer (see below)—I just couldn’t resist—how cute!

·         Living here has also saved us money.  The cost of heating and cooling the “love shack” is significantly less than our old home which also keeps us more comfortable throughout the season and easier on our wallets.
·         Living here has truly been a very humbling experience for me.  For example, the Sheriff’s daycare is literally across the street, and it only took a few days for the entire staff to learn that we are the family that now occupies the eyesore across the street!  Or how about the daycare parents that see me pulling in the driveway or fetching my mail while they are driving by??  And how about this past Christmas, the mailman tooted his horn informing me that he had a package for me, so I went running out of the “love shack” only to come face to face with a former employee, who did a double take, but did not say a word.  Due to these humbling experiences, I am reminded daily not to judge as none of us really knows what someone else may be going through, for we all have our own struggles.  Be compassionate the next time you see someone who may not be living as you think they should be.  For God’s Word says “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Matthew 7:1-2    
·         Lastly, I am learning a whole new side of me when I step out in faith and trust God with all areas of my life.  It’s amazing how much a life can be transformed and how much one can learn when they step out in faith. 

As I gaze out the back window of my love shack, I can see the extremely large house that is located behind me.  I am quickly reminded of the house I left behind and it is with a grateful heart not regret, that I can look at the love shack and breathe a sigh of relief.  I turn my attention from the window and into my 647 sq foot house and see my little boy playing with his cars on the floor; healthy and happy because his Mama is able to spend more time with him.  

In conclusion, I thank God daily for my beautiful, cozy, “love shack” as well as teaching me to appreciate and to be content with what He has given to me. 

In case you are wondering what my family thought about the “love shack”…..they love us regardless of where we live.  My co-workers…..well, not all of them know, but they will after reading this post!  And the neighbors—well, it’s been 8 months and nobody has even looked our way, let alone introduce themselves.  I too am wondering what they think……    

Until till next time y'all.....