What a message. Thankfulness does't begin to describe my gratitude for webcasts. I was engrossed in all three hours (broken up in several chunks when life made it's demands) of a Jason Westerfield message he delivered in New Zealand several weeks ago to a handful of listeners. Jeremy happened to wander into the room when Jason said, "The only place we should be in the red is when reading the words of Jesus in the Scriptures."
It sounded like a cute little play on words, but it hit us deeply. And we believed it. And we sat on it for a few days; both of us, unbeknownst to each other. It came back up in a later conversation. We made some poor investments a few years ago that have reaped hard financial loss. We agreed we wanted to be free from the shackles of debt. We played around with what getting to that point would look like for us. We both wanted to get fierce with it, but didn't want the road to financial freedom to be long or drawn out. We have a tendency to get a little drastic at times, and, learning from our past mistakes, decided not to make any decisions right away. Impulsiveness does not behove us. Wow, those were a lot of "we"s, but I don't have the energy to edit that right now.
After rearranging different options myriads of ways, it simply came down to one reality. Moving. What wasn't an option for us was moving out of the area. We found our home, our tribe here. Never have we felt so strongly that this is where our family needed to be and we were willing to make the sacrifices necessary to stay here.
Apartment living? No. We homeschool our children, meaning our kids are home a lot more than average, and subjecting our kids to a balcony or patio was out of the question while we still had other options.
We own a 5th-wheel that we bought as a temporary home to live in while deciding whether or not to build a home on a property off the grid (and that is entirely too long of a story to go into right now). We haven't been able to sell it to break even (never mind profit) the past couple of years due to the economy, so we've rented it out, used it as guest quarters, and finally turned it into a (very nice, I might add) music studio. What if the trailer became our temporary home again? Jer mentioned staying in a trailer park... Not while our options were still open. We found several local ranches on Craigslist that offered rental of a chunk of land along with full hook-ups for trailer living. That sounded way better, but what about when Jer's on the road and the kids and I are alone on a property with an unfamiliar owner... Any more options?
Then, after sharing our situation with them, our very gracious friends offered rental of a beautiful spot on their gorgeous 70-acre spread (full hook-ups included). We gratefully accepted. And so it begins. Our extended camping trip. Our goal is to not only make ends meet, but to free ourselves from debt to eventually afford ownership of a home.
This is what living in reality looks like for us. The home of my dreams that we currently steward has been an extravagantly wonderful repose after the hardest season of our married lives. But reality is, this place is going to be sold next summer, and if we don't drastically relieve our financial load, there's no way we could afford do buy it, or anything comparable.
Jeremy has an extra spring in his step. Knowing we'll not only be living within our means, but also destroying burdensome debt brings joy to his heart. Our kids are ecstatic. Camping in the trailer for one year?! A dream come true! They (and we) adore the family (and their property) we'll be living with. They've (prophetically) asked several times if we could live with them, and very much enjoyed the brief time our trailer was our home three years ago. And me? It just so happens our friends' parents live on the property as well, and their dad tends one of the most amazing gardens I've ever laid eyes on. We're talking 15+ raised beds, vines, trees... Heaven. Not only to I get to help with the upkeep, I'm very hopeful to learn (and pass on my findings by way of blogging) from this very gifted, experienced gardener.
Although I look forward to coming back to blogging about different homemaking arts and adventures, this next month of transition will mostly include blogging about the process of consolidating our lives for our ticket to ride into financial freedom which comes in the form of a 5th-wheel. And it surely is a process. Hang on to them hats and glasses, cuz this here is the wildest ride in the wilderness!