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
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. :-)