Friday, June 8, 2012

Learning to Live Without

Simplicity. It's part of the name of this blog, and it's a lifestyle that God has been leading us to for years. I guess we haven't been working hard enough at that lifestyle because God has intervened in our life in a big way the past couple months.

1. He has taken away the security of a home: We could be forced out of this rental at any time due to the landlords having to sell, and there are no feasible rental options for us. If they are affordable they are too small and won't let us rent, or if they are large enough they are too expensive, and the few that do come along even close to what we need do not allow pets.

2. He has take away our TV. This I'm not too upset about. I knew it was creeping it's way in far too much again recently, and frankly was a little relieved to see it go. No fight there God.

3. He has taken away our van. Now, if we lived in town, or close to family this one might not be such a struggle for me. However, we are a 15 minute drive to town or the nearest grocery store, we are at least 20 minutes from the nearest hospital, and I'm due to have this baby in less than 2 months, this will mean that IF we can find someone to come pick me up and take me to the hospital when I go into labor it will likely take an hour to get there, and hubby will not be able to be there as someone will need to stay home with the kids. My stepdaughter comes up at the end of this month and we won't be able to pick her up let alone do any activities outside of the home as a family this year, no swimming, no camping, no going to my parents for lunch, no getting groceries, picking up milk or diapers, taking the kids to special appointments, getting them to the hospital in case of an emergency, and we will have no way to get our large family to church either.
My husband is refusing to go into debt for a vehicle or owe anyone for a vehicle, (which I get biblically the not wanting to go into debt thing) but is this really a possibility? To live without a vehicle with a family this large (6 and soon to be 8) for years this far from town and in this day and age? We would not be able to save up enough to buy a vehicle with cash for years.

So, is God teaching us simplicity? It seems He is slowly teaching us how to live with nothing but him. He is weaning out the unnecessary, and what we deem as necessary, and leaving us with only the most important things, Him and each other.

If this isn't the lesson I really hope we figure it out soon, this tired mama is wearing out fast.

Any advice or personal stories on how a large family can live without a car these days I would really appreciate it.


  1. Jessica, Your sweet spirit shines through even in times of tremendous emotional strain. My heart goes out to you as you live in a rural area with no vehicle. We managed for some time with one vehicle and that took tremendous juggling, missed time with friends and relying on others for rides. I have no advice to offer as several times in the past few years I have sat in my car in the parking lot of the grocery store and cried. There are many mouths and so little money with which to purchase food. I did pray for you and your family's housing and vehicle situation and will continue to do so. Funny how we refer to it as "all I can do" when it is the best thing we can do.

    I wish I could connect you with my MIL. They raised 9 children on a very small income (my FIL is hard working and even has a masters in agronomy, but job losses and a poor 1970's economy were tough to overcome). Somehow, they made it. My husband has many stories of how the Lord provided exactly what they needed at the 11th hour. One that I remember is they were out of money and within in one day of running out of fuel oil in the Minnesota that constitutes an emergency! The family gathered around the table to pray. The next day there was cash left anonymously in their mail box for the exact amount need to fill the tank. Amazing!! There were other times when her mother's heart was burdened almost to the point of breaking and I know she must have been weary with the struggle to survive. Leaning on her Saviour is the only way she made it.

    I will continue to fervently pray that your housing and vehicle situation are settled before the arrival of you newest blessing.

  2. Miss Erin,
    Thank you so much for your prayers and kind words. You're right, prayers really are the best thing we can do for each other. Your MIL's story was so inspiring and a reminder that God always does come through exactly how we need.

    After a lot of prayer and scripture study on debt we did decide that if done wisely we could afford to purchase another vehicle, and found a van with the very specifics I've been praying for for a year. We're still waiting to hear if we get it or not. It has a few things that need fixing but if it's meant to be God will make it all work out.

    Thank you again for your inspiring words.

  3. You are a wonderful, faith-filled woman of God, because not everyone can speak the way you do with the troubles you are going throug. I only have 1 son, and have been blessed to live in the city, right now in my parents rental apartment, but I know what it's like to not have a car. I haven't had one to call my own since 2010. But let me tell you a story of my cousin who lives in Guatemala. She and her husbands are pastors to this small church in a very small and poor city. His work alone is the work of God, so he doesn't do anything outside. She has 7 kids, and when I met her (because my family is soooo big, there are cousins I haven't even met, or haven't seen since I was little)her 2 year old had a bad ear infection, spreading to the outer ear. He couldn't even walk, because he was so malnourished, the only thing he ever got in his bottle was black coffee because they couldn't afford milk. But her spirit remained high and praised God through it all. So if she made it out, where those 3rd world countries are extremely poor, you will too. God will provide. He is taking something away, to give you something better. Find a way to get to church. Be faithful and He will see you through. There's a better van waiting for you. And you will have it soon, if you just wait on the Lord. I know waiting can be dificult, but keep your prayer life alive,and you will overcome everything.

  4. I am new to your blog, so I might give suggestions that will not work. Camping - you have 3 acres, camp there, kids just love the adventure of planning it and will appreciate home so close (bathroom, etc). I grew up in similar circumstances and we loved it. Hospital - neighbor, church friend, ambulance. I love to help others, believe me there are those in your community who will help also. Teach your children to forage. Its summer homeschooling, they will feel empowered and so will you. And, its fun. We loved doing it as kids. And, its food for the table. Lunch with your parents - perhaps there could come to visit you. You could all picnic outside. You can sit and supervise the girls. The girls will pick up on your excitement and sense of fun and love of life.

    Anytime you have a list like this post think of a way to solve it biblically. Living in community regardless of how far apart you are is a biblical premise.

    You are doing a great job, your girls look happy and healthy in the pictures! God bless you and keep you all!