Friday, September 5, 2008


Wow. How time flies. Was my last post on this thing really in JUNE? I have lots of excuses:

-We moved. Packing. Sorting. Garage sale-ing [totally a word!]. Purging. Unpacking. Sorting. Nesting. Exploring.
-I had a birthday.
-Drew had a birthday.
-We went on vacation.
-We had our 10 year wedding anniversary. Incredible.
-Logan had a birthday.
-There is this thing called "Mama Manifesto" that sucks up every ounce of my free time. Every. ounce. I do not know how you blogging people maintain more than one blog and post every day. (and by "people" I mean Kristen.).

So, enough with the excuses. I am back and I want to try and diligently post at least a few times a week here.

There is so much good stuff going on in our lives, but I want to devote this post to updating on the move.

Here is my perspective on the last few months...

All of it is good. I can totally see God's hand in how he has led us to this place and I am so thankful. We are learning so much. Truly, I do not miss my old house. I miss a couple of features. The back yard is one such feature. Sure was nice to send the kids out to romp around while I fixed dinner. But, on the flip side it sure is nice to maintain only a 10 foot by 2 foot planter. Seriously, it is nice. I also miss my kids being in their own rooms. They wake up earlier and take a bit longer to nod off, but it is actually really sweet to see them living in "community". They LOVE it. Oh, and I miss my beautiful dark wood floors that were hand distressed and so stinking easy to care for. The flooring here is driving me mad. Absolutely bonkers. Two minutes after I mop it looks all footprinty and smudgy. And, it is cherry flooring so it gives off this pinkish hue. Logan loves it.

One thing that I have recognized is that God has taught us to live in today. To focus on our daily bread. Especially when we were in the midst of trying to sell, stressing over whether we would be able to make our mortgage payments as the market plummeted further and further down. What a perfect time for us to learn this principle. And, how freeing this principle is. Look at today. Do the best with what you have today. Love your kids today. Eat the food you have today. Pay the bills you can pay today.

It defies the planner in me. But, it has been so very good. And the result has been that we have learned what it is like to be at peace while you are in the midst of a storm. You see the waves coming - oh, but those are tomorrow's waves and I am here in today.

We are also seeing so much joy flow through our family as we choose to be thankful. I don't miss my old house because I am choosing to live with my eyes open wide to all that is lovely and amazing around me. I love the trees in our neighborhood and constantly say it outloud because it just makes me feel more joyful, more thankful. And more joyful and more thankful means less resentful. There is no room for resentfulness in this thankful heart.

And, I have got to say, the purging, oh the sweet purging! It is so good. If I were suddenly made president of the United States, I would institute a "National Day of Purging" where everyone goes through their home and gets rid of stuff that they do not wear, use, touch, fit in, or even look at. This country would be a happier place. You just "feel" lighter. I got rid of so many toys. My kids have not even noticed. Boxes and boxes of nick-nacky framey kind of stuff that did nothing but clutter up my world. In this small space it is really imperative that we have as much clear and open space as possible. And, even though we have moved from 3 bedrooms to two, it all feels bigger. Go, purge!!! You will feel so good.

I feel thankful to be renting. Thankful for less stuff. Thankful to be in a less stressful place financially. Thankful to be in our safe neighborhood. Thankful for all the trees around us. Thankful for the bike paths. Thankful for the great schools. Thankful for the smaller house. Thankful to be with my family. Just thankful.

While we were away on vacation, dear friends of ours stayed in our house. They are an amazing family with 4 kids, aged 3 - 10. That is a whole lot of kid-ness (uh uh, it is too a word) packed into this bite sized house. Their house was having a bit of work done and the timing was perfect for them to stay here. Here is a family with an awesome 5 bedroom home, amazing backyard with a play structure, and play room in their home. Their oldest child, a girl, mentioned to her mom that she loved being in our little house more than their big house because it meant that the family was all together. She said, "Sometimes, in our house, I miss everyone." I think she is probably right. I keep reminding myself that I am thankful to be bumping elbows with this crew I have under my roof.


nicole viola said...

thanks for sharing and encouraging. I have to say that I'm a little jealous of your contentment and of your simplifying and purging... but more than jealousy I feel encouraged and inspired! I look forward to your more-frequent posting! :)

Ali Bray said...

Thanks, Nicole. Believe me, the contentment piece is still a struggle for me. I am fighting it daily. I know it is where God wants me to be. Peaceful. Thankful. Holding things loosely. Not clutching. Freeing up space in my heart, home, mind for what He has for me. It is always a struggle, but totally worth the battle!

Thanks for checking back. I struggle with thinking about both of these blogs...most of my non-family, non-wife, non-mom brain power goes straight to Mama Manifesto and I need to train myself to record the stuff that does not seem to fit there, here.



Jon and Melissa said...

We are in a similar situation with our family but for us it has been 2 years since moving out of the OC thinking that our problems will be solved if we get out of the rat race, live simplier, have more family time, etc. But we still are sturggling as the job market is horrid here then the economy makes it even worse. But God is faithful. Just as we are about to come to breaking point. He has given my hubby and I new vision and revealtion to our situation. I am in a place of thankfulness for the things he has given me, a husband who loves and serves the Lord, 2 beautiful, healthy, happy kids. Everything else is just stuff, things. I have roof over my head today, food today, power today. That is all I can look at. Not tomm or next week like the hyper-planner used to look at. I just need to be content w/ today and be thankful for that.I also feel that I am not alone in this journey, God has placed people in my life for encourgement and reading this post gave me just that.


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