Danielle and I have discussed moving off and on for the past few years. After Danielle’s trip to Thailand last summer, we decided that we were staying in the states at least for a few years. That decision ramped up the “should we move” discussion.
Understand, we like where we live now. We have owned this house for over 15 years. It is comfortable for our family of three. We don’t “need” anything more.
However, you might wonder how buying a new home fits in with my minimalist lifestyle philosophy like I talk about in the post—The Minimalist Guide to a Missional Lifestyle.
I think you will understand after I explain some of my priorities. I call them priorities, but I guess I could call these motivations.
- Land. Ok. Still not with me, I bet. I have a few reasons for wanting some land to live on. One is a selfish motive. The others not so much.
- As a child I spent a lot of time running around my grandparents property. They had about three acres, but several more surrounded those three. Shhh…don’t tell my parents, but I climbed through the barbed wire fence and went exploring through the pine trees and oaks enjoying all kinds of make-believe adventures. I want my son to enjoy the same kind of adventures.
- I want room to experiment with different ideas like aqua-ponics. Why you ask? Help missionaries develop a business platform. Many need a business platform so they can legally stay in country. Agricultural businesses are very common.
- I want room for secondary living space. What I mean is a 1-2 bedroom apartment that is separate from our living quarters. Two reasons for this:
- If either of our parents, or another family member ever needed a place to live, I want to have a place for them. I don’t foresee that happening, but you never know what life brings you.
- The more probable reason for having the secondary living space is for missionary families who are home on furlough. As one who has been on the field working with long-term missionaries and working for a few years as a missions pastor, I have seen first hand that one of the challenges missionaries have is finding a place to live for the time they are on furlough. This is a tangible way I can support those who devote their lives to foreign mission work. And, see the second reason for wanting land.
- Slower pace. I am tired of the busyness of suburbia. We bemoan the fact that our families are overcommitted, but we keep drinking the Koolaid. The priorities for where we live—good schools, safe neighborhoods, close to entertainment opportunities—they feed the busyness. The lifestyle we seek ends up being what stresses us out and pulls us apart. I don’t want that for me or our family. So, I am looking for a place to live that will reduce the temptations of an over-committed life.
- Sense of community. You are wondering how will I do that if I move away from suburbia onto a piece of land by myself. Well, I am not planning on doing exactly that (see reason 1.3.2 above). Also, we are in discussions with two other families about buying a large parcel of land and subdividing it into separate lots for each family. (writing that down makes it sound both crazy and more real) The three families have eight children combined all under the age of 10. The other day the entire gang looked at a 70+ acre property. It was both amazing and humorous to see all the kids running around exploring while the different personalities of the adults rose to the surface. We have a lot of logistics to work out, but one common thread is a desire to live life together.