Friday, December 2, 2016

our big news....we are going small




















A few weeks ago, I was sitting with my sister, Jenny, watching a Tiny House Hunters marathon.
As a family of six chose to move into a bus I looked at her said,
"That seems terrible to me."
She agreed.
Tiny living looks hard...and tiny.
And so it is with no small amount of irony that I share the news that
Scott and I and our 3 boys are moving in a few months...into a tiny house.
Less than 1,000 square feet.
And it is a nothing short of a miracle how it came about.

Just to give you a little background, the rents in our area have sky rocketed
since we live sandwiched between San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
Normal rent for a small 3 or 4 bedroom home goes for between $4500-$5000 a month.
Pick yourself back up off the floor. I know. It is crazy.
But living here and pastoring here is what Jesus has called us to do in this season...
so He has opened the door for us to be able to stay and do that.
It is a little door to a little cottage with hard wood floors a giant fruit tree filled back yard.
(How does Jesus know that I have always longed for hardwood floors?)
His timing is amazing, happening on the heels of Scott praying for a breakthrough for 40 days.
This house is an answer to our prayers.
Jesus is tricky like that. He always surprises us with how He sorts out our lives.
Living in an area where life is all about getting more...He is inviting us to live with less.

Going small is nothing new to me.
I have lived in small spaces before.
A narrow ship's cabin with drop down beds with my friend, Heidi, my senior year of high school.
3 different not so spacious college dorm rooms.
A bedroom at my cousins' apartment in Amsterdam that was six feet wide.
A tiny church apartment with Scott and Jack where you could sit on the couch in the living room
and open the door of the fridge in the kitchen.
My parent's basement in Washington DC with Scott, Jack and Will.
But this is the first time all five of us are going small...

My friend, Amie, was telling me about the Danish word "hygga" (said hoo-gah).
It is the idea of living cozily in a small space,
with good food and good fellowship and being content.
The Danes are said to be the happiest people on earth.
This thought is re-framing the way I am thinking about our move.

We will be leaving the house the boys have grown up in. That will be hard.
But we will be stepping into the next adventure that Jesus has for us. That will be good.
So you can pray for us. And be thankful with us.
But don't send us any house warming presents...because we won't have room for them.
Unless you want to send chocolate...I will never turn away a bar of chocolate.
And know that we are moving forward with the chant "Go hygga or go home!" on our lips.
We will be living small and dreaming big as we start out the new year.
And that is good.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

a small word for the guy at ross for less who asked me if I qualified for the Tuesday discount....





















Dear Guy at Ross....

Let's just start out by saying it has been a rough 3 months in the health department for me.
3 broken toes and a sprained foot tend to slow a girl down.

I will give you fact that my hobbling to the counter to purchase some black socks
to match my granny-fied orthopedic shoe may have been off putting.

I get it. Limping ages a person.
People who move at the pace of a sea turtle SHOULD be ancient.
Someone with pain mirrored in their eyes simply because they are trying to lift their feet
should get a discount. Just for trying.
It is okay to think that.

BUT....here...in this moment... is where you went awry.

When I limped up to the counter,
you let your thoughts actually come out of your mouth.
Has your mother taught you nothing? NOTHING?

When you asked me, "Do you qualify for the Tuesday discount?" 
The one that only 55 year olds qualify for?
You took your life in your hands.

In my mind, I almost....almost....punched you right in the neck.
I know that is not right. I know you were trying to help me save 10%.
But if we are being honest, is it really worth your life to offer a 10% discount to someone?
Because if I was 55 and wanted 59 cents off of my purchase...I would have let you know.

Luckily, Jesus lives in my heart. His presence prevented me from acting out violently.
What He did not keep me from doing is piercing you with my laser eyes
and answering back with much venom, "No, I do not qualify for the Tuesday discount!"

When you tried to back pedal about how good everyone looks these days....
you did not help yourself.
Since apparently, I have aged a decade in the last quarter of the year.
I began to feel even more bitterness in my heart towards you in these moments.

Know this.
Folks aren't shy about asking for discounts if they feel like they deserve them.
They do however become violent when those age related discounts are offered before their time.

So.
That being said.
Jesus would want me to forgive you.
I am not quite there yet.
I am not that holy.

But I will give you a few pointers for next Tuesday, out of the graciousness of my heart,
and for the benefit of all the other Ross shoppers out there who you might accost with
your rude questions about discounts.

1. Keep your thoughts about how old people might or might not be in your head...
not coming out of your mouth. Mayhem could ensue otherwise.

2. Say this instead, "Hi! Can I help you? You look amazingly young!
If you were buying alcohol,here in Ross Dress for Less where they don't sell alcohol,
I would have to card you right now!"

These words will save your life.

And maybe a punch in the neck.


Looking Younger Every Day,

A NOT-EVEN-CLOSE-TO-55-YEAR-OLD SHOPPER