Thursday, March 22, 2007

Changes

Will and I have been doing a lot of thinking lately. The Holy Spirit had already been convicting me of my time on the internet. Too much of it. At the cost of spending time w/Him and w/my husband in the evenings. I've tried curbing it, but it's an obsession. Checking blogs-finding new blogs, writing posts, reading comments, writing comments, etc. And Ella still has no scrapbook-just one that's online. And that's not exactly what I had in mind. I need to spend the time while she's napping to work on that among other things. As much as I'll hate to lose the contact w/my wonderful family and friends, we're cutting back on this technology for now at least. I keep reminding myself, there's always the library. Internet is free there if I just have to have my blog fix or research something. And I may occasionally update my blog from there, but probably not much in the next few months as we have lots to do...

Will and I have been praying about building on his family's old home site.(I'm not saying the name of the city for safety reasons.) Most likely, Will will be working at his old job-yes, that would be a good 50 minute commute-but there aren't any geotech firms where his family lives. He's going to try to get them to agree to just a 4 day work week (working 10 hours a day); that way, we'll see him more than we do now. But the best part is I'll have family nearby for support, for adult interaction, etc. I sooooo need that. I get quite depressed here by myself all day--thus why I turn to the internet so much! I'm quite excited about Ella saying in the near future, "Mom, I'm going up to grandma's!" And to top it all off, she only has a quaint, beautiful country lane to travel to get there!

So, how did we come to this conclusion. Actually from reading
Better Off
Flipping The Switch On Technology

By Eric Brende

I highly recommend this-go pick up a copy from your library today! Will's wanted to do something like this forever but I haven't exactly been on board. But after reading this book and seeing how Eric and his wife had a much better quality of life living on a farm and having a close community, I wanted it so much. Eric (an MIT graduate) and his wife Mary actually have an experiment-live among the Minimites for 18 months (no, not the Mennonites or the Amish-he actually made up the term "Minimites" for them as they are even stricter than the others and use no machinery whatsoever.) They've even invented their own contraptions for threshing their wheat and for getting running water in their homes. What Eric found was that this community actually had more time on their hands for socializing than we do w/all our modern technology. It's such a fascinating read because it it reveals how we don't need so many of the things our cultural dictates as mandatory.

In one passage I particularly like from the book (from the chapter, "The Sounds of Silence"), Eric is reading The Education of Henry Adams one evening (by kerosene lamp light, of course) and finally understands why he could so easily read the book now but yet had not been able to get past the first few pages while in college.

[Henry Adams] had lived within a culture whose movements were still largely limited by the speed of horses; the ambling cadences of his writing preserved this pace. Having taught medieval history at Harvard besides, his verbal nuances hearkened back to an earlier epoch still and seemed to echo from the deep wells of time, the vaults of the great cathedrals.

This was the secret: to grasp his meaning, you had to be living it. Not merely your thoughts, but your various daily duties, the material accoutrements by which you performed them, had to fold together in a quiet rhythm, an interconnected unity.

And this explained not only why time moved more slowly but also why we had more of it, why we were able to relax and read the way we were doing right now; in the absence of fast-paced gizmos, ringing phones, alarm clocks, television, radios, and cars, we could simply take ou time. In being slower, time is more capacious. The event is only in the moment. By speeding through life with technology, you reduce what any given moment can hold. Buy slowing down, you expand it.

Shortcuts lead to emergency mending sessions in order to piece back in what was cut out, to lengthen what was shortened: Computer users, cramped in a cubicle all day long, jogging around the block. Bureaucrats and financiers, zooming ahead along their career paths, then reversing gears to attend school concerts, ball games, and parent meetings. Captives of the technological environment fleeing for brief weekends to mountain, beaches, and rustic cabins.


So true, don't you think? I could discuss this book forever, but I need to move on; otherwise no one will finish reading this post b/c it will be too long.

So back to our decision-for us moving to *** is the closest we have to farm life and family, so that's why we're doing it. We want to have a big garden and maybe chickens and goats in the future. We're planning on building a wood house-similar to that of the mountain cabin. We wanted a log one, but then checked out the prices-way too high, so wood it is. We want something rustic but we also want to finance the least amount as possible for only 15-years and put extra on it every month to have it paid off in 10 years or less. We want a simpler life. We've been looking for ways to cut back on spending b/c ideally the less we have to spend every month, the less Will has to work and the more time we can spend together as a family. We've already cut back on car insurance (almost $400/yr savings-yes, we're still covered, but found things we were spending that we didn't need) and of course, the internet ($43/month). The next will probably be cell phones and Dish-but right now we have heavy penalties for canceling before our contract is up, so we're waiting several more months on that.

I'm scared about this new adventure but also excited. I'm glad God didn't give up working on me. And whenever I get exhausted from trying to figure out all the details, God gently rebukes me as I sing to Ella from The Lullaby Bible-her new favorite book!

(To be sung to the tune of All Through The Night)

Hush my child,
Cease your worries,
God cares for you.
He feeds the birds
and clothes the lilies,
God cares for you.

Soft the lovely birds are winging,
Sweet the flowers who hear their singing.
Twilight falls with hope still ringing:
God cares for you.


Thank you for your prayers-please continue. We're still waiting on details to be worked out w/Will's job and then of course we need to get this house ready to sell.

P.S. I'll be posting one more time before we close out our account.
P.P.S. I failed to mention how I found out about Better Off. It was by reading this post on Amy's blog. The irony does not escape me. :-)

7 comments:

Elise said...

Laura - I am so excited for you! This is something I've always longed to do - but God has not deemed it time, yet. I will be praying for you and Will as you go through this process, that you would listen to God's leading, and be content in all things.
Living simply - something that would bring happiness to everyone if only we all did it, yes? :)

Elizabeth said...

Laura,
What a huge decision! I'm so amazed and proud of you: I've talked about doing the same thing in the future, especially if we're able to have kids, but God hasn't led us there yet. Growing up, I always wanted to build a house by my favorite huge oak tree, close to the horse pasture. We actually considered it before this move, but the timing isn't right. One day, we may be your neighbors though!
I LOVED going to Ma Ma's growing up. Jim and I would run away to her house, and always played there. Did you know we had Friday night music weekly, without fail until Ba Ba died? You should re-instate it!
I'll be praying for you and prasing God for his work in your life. How awesome to trust him completely for everything! It is what we should always do, and yes, material possessions don't mean anything and shouldn't. I share your love of blogging, and too look forward to my move so I can give my time for more important things/people. I think we both just do whatever we do 100% and moderation is so hard, right? I'll also be praying for you as you iron out the details. I can't believe we'll be close enough to do tea parties and dress up!!! Yipee!
I'll also be praying for peace and understanding as you'll be so close to inlaws: that is never easy, but with God's help, it will be. I love you and will miss you online. (you could sneak to my mom's house, she has internet and LOVES to play with kids...)
Your soon to be closer friend,
Elizabeth

Erin said...

Good for you and Will! Living simply is so rewarding. It saves money, the environment, family relationships, etc..

You can do it! So glad God has called you to do this.

Love ya, Erin

rcsnickers said...

okay, I commented yesterday but blogger or my connection lost it! Anyway, here I go again.

I love living simply... nothing is better. Glad you and Will are making this deicision and God is leading you this way. I think moving to the old homestead is perfect! If you decide to build your own house like we did my MIL is really excellent at perfecting houseplans for people. Let me know! She loves doing it!!! I personally love living right next door to inlaws!!!! We are away from towns and cities. Quite country area. We both feel it is worth driving 45min to work than living right next to everybody.

Will you get rid of the internet all together? Well maybe you can also hop online at Laurance and Kimberly's -- they have it now!

Glad you will be closer to all your family. Plus it will be easier for us to see you when we come up that way!

Let us know how we can help you guys! Will be praying for ya.

Letisha

Emily said...

I'm excited and happy for you and, like I told you on the phone, I never would have guessed this was in the works! I know you will love being in the country with the freedom to be alone with your thoughts, to see things grow, and just have space. I think it's a great decision and I'm praying everything works out. How great it will be for Ella to get to know her grandparents and great-grandma. And Boosie will have L & K's little guy/girl for a playmate... actually she will have lots of playmates with all the relatives her age!
I'm so glad someone can use the property. I was disappointed when L&K couldn't, but I guess that was for a reason! I hope everything works out with Will's job and that you can sell your house soon!

Laura said...

Thank you all for your wonderful understanding and wishes for our future homestead. :-) And most of all, for your prayers.
We're excited!

Elise-yes, that is the big thing-contentment and if I could just realize (and never forget-that's the key) that it is only found in God, I'd see how few things I really needed. Thank yor for your prayers as we try to live simply.

Liz, we do hope to reinstate music night; Will's told me how much he enjoyed those times. And how much he wished they had moved up there sooner so he could have had more time w/Ba-Ba. And I am so excited that we'll be closer to you and Kris and to Jim and Abbie. You hit the nail on the head-I do tend to do things 100& or nothing and moderation is hard for me.

Erin, how wonderful to hear from you-I will miss that about the internet-especially w/y'all so far away-phone calls aren't exactly an option-at least not that often. But I'll check in on you through L&K's computer. :-) I have to know about those twins! And I am becoming more aware of environmental issues too-we're seriously considering going cloth or perhaps diaper-less w/our next child. (not just for environmental reasons, of course). I'm sure you've read about the diaper-less idea-they practice it in other countries. It would be time consuming so I'm not sure-I'm going to be reading a book on it soon, but we definitely want to at least move away from our 100%dependency on disposables.

And yes, Letisha, we are going to completely go internet-less, at least for awhile. We need the break (especially me) from all the information! :-)
But like I said, when I have time, I'll check in on all of you at the library's computer. I definitely don't want to lose touch and I am excited that when y'all visit L&K, you can visit us too! I might just be calling you re: your MIL and house plans. :-) Will's going to be drawing up some soon but we may need help in tweaking some things. Glad you love living next to your inlaws and that you feel the commute Daniel has to travel is worth it. That gives me reassurance.

Emmie dear-yes, that is actually one of the prime reasons we're doing this-to be closer to relatives. Any issues that I have to resolve b/c of living next to inlaws will be worth having Ella close to her grandparents/great-grandmother. They have so much wisdom to share w/her.

Love all of you so much!

Nene said...

Laura, so sorry this post is coming so late...been taking care of a sick little one the past week and we're still not over it (you know it's not much fun).

What a wonderful new adventure you are about to go on! You and your family will be in my prayers as you make all these changes. I'm so excited for you and I hope you enjoy the beautiful country. Please keep me posted if you can. I would love to hear from you when you have time and I'd love to see pictures of the new home and of Ella as she grows so fast. (Emily and Elizabeth have my email address.)