The Art Of Downsizing (Big Family, Small Living, Vol. 1).

We are excited to introduce a new category called “Small Living” to Confessions Of A Parent. This past year we were convicted to start living smaller, even though we have a big family. A couple of times a month, Kristin is going to share different moments and highlights from our experience of living small with a big family!

Here’s a question: Do we need all the material stuff we have? The answer is, we don’t. Even though we label certain possessions a need, we really just want them. The problem for most people is that they have their needs and wants confused. That’s what we discovered last year!

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This year we decided to make a big change. Our family was living in a 4000sq foot 6 bedroom house. Seven years earlier we had left behind a modest 3 bedroom farm house for what we hoped would be a better future. We had acquired everything we thought we needed but we were lacking the most vital thing, our relationship with one another.

We were in the midst of a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality. Slowly we were becoming aware that the Joneses didn’t exist and if they did they would be as miserable as we were becoming. We had lost touch with one another. In an effort to copy the American dream we had lost touch with the dream that our family was founded on, each other. One day in early January in the midst of 14 straight days of blinding snow, we sat around the kitchen table enjoying each other’s company. Mike and I looked at each other and said. What if we change? What if we could go back? As it turned out God’s timing was and always is perfect. We still owned the tiny farm house and our renters were planning to move in a few short months. We both took a deep breath as we looked around at what we would be leaving behind and agreed, “let’s do it!”


So we went from this… this

…to this

Over the next few months we started to get excited about this new adventure. The first step was to purge! And purge we did. Along the way we gave so much stuff away, and sold so many belongings, we actually lost count of how many van loads.

Here are just a few of our downsizing moments.

We took over 100 bags to Goodwill.

We took over 100 bags to Goodwill.

We lived by the motto: If you don’t use it or love it ~ get rid of it!

The third trip to Hazardous Waste Disposal. Seriously, did we really think we  were going use all this old paint?

The contents of one of our three trips to Hazardous Waste Disposal. Seriously, did I really think I was going use all this old paint?

One of the highlights of this project was finding out that some friends of ours were starting the process of adoption. They needed items for a fundraiser. We had just the ticket: a quad stroller and about 100 more bags of stuff!

$500 quadruple stroller, glad not to be in that phase of parenting anymore!

$500 quadruple stroller, glad not to be in that phase of parenting anymore!

Purging was just the beginning of this new adventure as a family. With each item we let go of, the freedom began to fill us.

In Matthew 6:20, Jesus says, “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moths and vermin do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal.

Question: Do you have a big family? Or, have you done what we recently did and downsized? Share your story! You can leave a comment by clicking here.



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