WHY WOULD A FAMILY OF FIVE GO TINY?

We left off with my husband FINALLY being ready to take the plunge of going tiny. We weighed our options and came up with the reasons why we wanted to live tiny. I guess this was us double checking that this was truly what the Lord wanted.

Our top 4 were: to be FREE of debt and time, to build better relationships with our children, and to be more mobile.

If the LOVE of God is in OUR HEARTS, then it is not possible for us to ignore the poor in the world-DAVID PLATT(1)

We knew that not having debt meant that we could give more money back to the Lord. We could tithe more at church. We could give more to organizations who help spread the love of Jesus. We could randomly pay the bill for the elderly lady at grocery store. We could help the family who lost everything in a fire. We could simply GIVE BACK MORE!

If the LOVE of God is in OUR HEARTS, then it is not possible for us to ignore the poor in the world-DAVID PLATT

We also knew that we would have more TIME!

Many would say that time is our most valuable asset, more valuable than money. I have to agree! If my husband was not working at his job then he was doing projects around the house, mowing the lawn, or keeping up with the landscape. I felt like my time was tied up with cleaning our 1700 sq ft home (plus our full basement which housed a bedroom, laundry room, AND a toy room).

We knew by having a tiny home we wouldn’t have the responsibilities that homeowners have. We would not have to worry about caring for a lawn and landscape. If something broke in the house, it would be a MUCH smaller project.

We knew going tiny would open up time for spending with each other and being able to focus on our gifts and talents that the Lord has given us.

So many times we hear of kids not wanting to hang out with their parents or parents who complain that they do not have a relationship with their children. They complain their kids want to be with their friends, play video games all day, or do anything BUT spend time with them!

This is NOT what Joe and I want for our family.

We want our family to communicate and enjoy spending time together. I am not saying that if your child plays video games or spends more time with friends that you are a bad parent or are raising children to be isolated from you. I am saying that we felt that changing our lifestyle, being in TIGHT quarters, would only benefit our family in this way.

Another benefit (in our eyes) was that our family would have little space for toys and STUFF. Now days, the majority of kids grow up in their own bedrooms, their toy rooms are massive full of hundreds of toys that they may only play with a few times. Don’t get me wrong again…I am not saying it is a bad thing that kids have their own room or a huge toy room full of toys…because this WAS us!! But I have always been the mom who rotates toys every few months and my kids were never satisfied. We knew our kids would use their imagination more as well as find many different ways to play with their toys if they only had few to play with.

We also saw many benefits of having our home on wheels. We have been a family who moves frequently and this seemed like it would be easier than packing up our home in boxes, renting a U haul, loading it, unloading it, and then unpacking everything. (This actually came in handy in January 2017-will explain later).

We liked that having a home on wheels allowed us to travel with our WHOLE HOUSE!!! If we wanted to spend the weekend at the lake, we could just hook-up and pull our house there. If we wanted to go to the parents’ house and visit for a week, we just hook-up, and park in their driveway when we arrive.

We saw many benefits, but these were our top 4. We knew we were making the right decision to go “tiny.” So next came…

The biggest decision…WHAT kind of house do we want?

…A true Tiny House On Wheels (THOW) OR a Camper…??

We CHOSE

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A CAMPER!!!

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It fits our need of being able to travel frequently and offered better layouts with more storage. Maybe someday this will change our minds, but for NOW a CAMPER it is!!!

Really, God? – Our Story

In March 2016 I went on a missions trip to Sierra Leone, Africa. Many would say that a mission trip changed their life….and I am here to tell you the same! I mean it literally changed my life! But it didn’t just change MY life! It changed my family’s lives as well.

My trip lasted about 11 days and consisted of visiting an orphanage, a preschool, and 4 churches, all of which I was able to love on the children (we know that is my favorite) and share Bible stories with the people in the villages.

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Sharing the story of Adam and Eve in one of the villages

 

During this trip, I was able to meet Idrissa (E.D.), a little boy that my family gets the pleasure of sponsoring. This was such a powerful moment. E.D. along with all the other orphans always came running down the rocky hillside as they saw us coming up. You were greeted with hugs and smiles from all 10 orphans. I couldn’t help but notice that despite the significant loss that these sweet children endured, they still had smiles on their faces. I spent the remainder of my trip analyzing how these people could be so happy while living in a country with EXTREMELY low poverty.

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Me carrying Idrissa (E.D.)

The people in the villages gathered around campfires to cook and spend time together. Toddlers ran around naked or in diapers made from rags. Little boys usually had only pants to cover their legs, those typically being inches above their ankles. Little girls had dresses three sizes too big that they were constantly hanging off their shoulders. Children discover ways to make toys out of trash and earthly items. The people of Sierra Leone utilize the resources that they have to create what they need. They do not have the money to just go buy new if something breaks.

One thing I noticed was how free they live. Yes, many men have jobs and the women tend to the children and the gardens, but they care about relationships with each other. I WANT THAT!

I am a stay-at-home-mom to 3 beautiful children but I feel tied down to running them to gymnastics, or cheer leading, or AWANA club, or a friends house.

I WANTED FREEDOM!

I came home and was EXTREMELY overwhelmed by the stuff in my house, the stuff in my yard, the to-do list on my desk, the places I needed to be, the useless stuff in Wal-Mart, the amount of waste I was creating! VERY OVERWHELMED.

I returned home on a Saturday and got up and went to church on Sunday. The service was about our dreams and how God is not too small for our BIG dreams. I sat there trying to understand my trip and how I could incorporate what I learned into my life here in a world that is full of STUFF. During time of prayer, I was just praying, “God, use me! Show me what you want!” AND HE DID!!!……MY FAMILY of FIVE living in a TINY HOUSE!!!!! Ummmm….really God???? I love our small 1988 Class C camper but to actually LIVE in something like that???…YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING???

I spent a few days keeping my vision to myself, trying to ponder it and pray over it. When I finally told my husband his words were, (and I quote) “Kayla, that is insane! This cannot be normal to feel like we have to sell everything and move into a tiny house or a camper! You need to seek counseling or reach out to someone who has experienced a mission trip!” I, too, felt like it was absurd, but it wasn’t ME! It was God! And sometimes he calls us to places that seem ABSURD!!

I still wasn’t sure the sole purpose for us to sell everything and live tiny, but I knew since it was from God, I didn’t need a reason. So I started researching tiny homes and watching Tiny House Nation® on FYI™, I tried to plant little seeds for my husband to pick up on. He finally started feeling like okay maybe I wasn’t crazy and I was on to something.

A few weeks later, we went on a camping trip. Shortly into the 4-hour drive home, my husband randomly says…

“Okay! I am ready!”

Me-“Ummm Ready for what??’

The husband- “to sell our house and move into a tiny house. Probably a camper though.”

OHHH the excitement I felt! I muttered with a smile, “Thank you Lord!!” because I knew 100% He changed Joe’s mind!