06 October, 2007


"Simplicity is an ongoing process, a joyful experience of detaching ourselves from what is less important and attaching ourselves to that which is more important." -Barbara DeGrote-Sorensen

Okay, I have had several people ask me about the yurt idea and I think I am ready to try to work through this on paper(or on the keyboard).I hesitate to write about it as it is really difficult to explain this and then have people not really understand it, and therefore think we are doing something for reasons other than the ones we are. But, I guess I will try to explain and you can ask the questions if you have any and then we'll get this all cleared up.

We do want to live a life that is more simple. We have been reading books, looking at different ideas on how and why this should be a workable mentality. We have also been praying and do feel God's hand is in it. The book I am reading right now, " 'Tis a Gift to be Simple, Embracing the Freedom of Living with Less" by Barbara DeGrote-Sorensen and David Allen Sorensen, is really where my heart is at with this process. It is written by Christian authors who practice what they preach. I will just have to include quotes, because they say it much better than I could try to paraphrase. The reasons we would make this change are many but this one is the biggest, because we believe that, " simplicity is more than time management. It's more than holistic health. It's more than quality time versus quantity time, self-care versus social reform. Simplicity requires us to become more focused- to serve one God instead of many"(preface,x).In understanding that it is so easy to become so entangled by your possessions that you would begin to place your need for them over your need for God, this change should be easy to understand.

But this is not the only reason that we are going to step out from under "the American dream" and are going to "move down". Financially it would be so incredible that our income not be consumed by house payments, mortgage insurance, cable bills, among the tons of other extras we add to our already stretched load. We do plan to sell our house this next spring-summer season and rid ourselves of the large portion that it consumes of our monthly finances. We do not need to own everything that we can afford!! It would also be amazing if Brad could work less and we could give more time to ministry. If we could live more affordably he would not need to make as much, and that opens up a whole new realm of options that are amazingly exciting. So, I guess I see the financial freedom and I want it, and why not take it if it is available?

Another HUGE reason is the boys, we would like to get a place out of town, where they have room to explore and play, and can work with Brad and I on growing many of the things we eat, taking care of the animals (so far we have the 3 cats...but I mean like goats, dogs and chickens...). We want them to see the incredible stuff God has created and to experience the amazing joy and work involved in taking on responsibilities. We would pretty much for sure homeschool, or participate in a charter school that were close...but there is time to think about that.

We are also very interested in "off the grid living" or a more living a sustainable lifestyle, and impacting the world around us less dramatically. But, yes...we will want hot water, plumbing, a toilet inside the house, and some sort of heat. We could grow some of our food, but let's not get too carried away and commit to more than we can handle. We do want to simplify our diet as well. Less complicated, more local stuff. Yes, we will still be eating meat...I am married to Brad, the boys wouldn't mind though...they LOVE tofu. So, yes the more we could grow the better, the more we could get off of our own land the better. And I will secretly try to eat less meat! ahha...(or maybe now not so secretly!). But, we have looked into solar power, batteries to store energy, composting toilets...and all the crazy new stuff that is out there that is available.

However, the complete absolute most utterly main reason we are going to make this change is that we want our focus to be on what really matters. We want God to be where we find our value, not in the things we own, the size or beauty of our home, the job we work at or what kinds of cars we drive. When we add things to ourselves we have to question why, and if we feel it increases our value (our inner value or how others would value us) than we better understand our value is not coming from the right place. When our value comes from the Creator...we will act accordingly, by placing him in the place of utmost value within ourselves.

Recently someone at our church said something that stirred in me. They said something to the extent of: "when you are madly in love with someone you will do anything for them, you will not constantly question them, you won't put up walls and walk carefully...because they are madly in love with you too". I realized that that is SO incredibly easy to do with God. I realized that falling out of love with Him caused me to question things that I had never questioned, and wonder about things I never even cared about. I began to look at the Bible more analytically, diagnosing if I could find an obvious flaw. This is not something I had ever done...but something that crept in slowly, beginning with philosophy classes at Oregon State University on how "the Bible as fiction" was the only true way to view this " Christian literature". I guess it is easy to loose the child-like faith that can understand such amazing things. Okay...I have veered off from sustainable living... and just so you know...I did not backslide..or start smoking cigarettes or anything...just got a little skeptical, which is probably way worse.All this on the yurt life is ramblings....and I just wrote it in case you are interested. I am being pretty open and vulnerable here...just so you know. But, isn't it through our weakness and vulnerability that he is made known. I think so, that is why i do it, if not i really wouldn't. leave comments...ask questions...GO FOR IT!!!


Ellyn Canfield said...

I am proud to know you guys. And, selfishly , I'm all for it so I can have somewhere that is not covered in concrete and flourescent lights to visit!

ps. i am glad to see we are double-teaming someone on the "sparklepuff"

MamaP said...

This is great. I really enjoyed reading this post. I can't wait to see what comes of it.