After moving a few weeks ago, we have been slowly but surely unpacking boxes, getting settled in, and making our house a home. That last factor is the most important to me - our garage might have extra boxes for some time, and we might not have pictures on the walls yet, but I want to feel at home where we are. Part of the challenge has been figuring out where to put all of our stuff because in full honesty, we chose to downsize dramatically from our last home.
This decision for me was a long time coming. I grew up overseas in a tiny apartment with 5 other family members, never having more than one bathroom. While I would not recommend that for most people we made it work, and I know that is one of the reasons we are still so close to each other. Getting married and moving to a new city was a dramatic life change for me, but one of the biggest changes was buying a condo.
By no means did we live in extravagance - I worked at a church, Nathan was an engineer, and we purchased a house well within our means. But it has always been on my heart to give and to go so we could serve other people and after a few life and job changes, we were no longer as free to be generous as we had been at first.
We tried for a long time to sell our home for a lot of different reasons and when it finally sold we talked a lot about what we wanted in our next home. We knew we were going to rent somewhere and we had some ideas in mind, but we had to nail down our priorities before we figured out the location, budget, or anything else. Thankfully we were on the same page and it became an easy decision - we wanted to downsize so we could live more freely in other areas.
We loved our first home. It had granite counter tops and a closet as big as some people's bedrooms. But now, settled into a home that exactly fits everything we need (and bonus - we have our own yard!) we are so very happy. We love our neighborhood, we love our new home, and we are so content. By no means are we living in an unsafe area or in a house so small that we have made ourselves miserable. But in shifting our priorities and our focus, we know our lives will look very different than the typical 'American dream.' And we are more than ok with that.