Last weekend we met the coolest family camping.
The kids met first, as kids will do in a campground. Kate and Ezra were a perfect match, two cuties in glasses laid out on a blanket playing with their dolls. Her younger brother Phoenix, and Annie, just a year apart, took to each other like fish and water. There was a dump truck involved, and lots of giggling. At one point they were just laying on their backs in the sunshine, laughing up into the clouds.
Even the older ones, Micah and Gabriel, found kinship in their reading habits. As I listened to them talk about books, I felt the sweetness of a conversation between a boy and girl just on the edge of being too embarrassed to talk to each other.
Mom and Dad—Amber and Sundance—made the most amazing decision a year ago.
It’s not for everyone. But it confronted Shea and me, in a good reflective way. So I’m going to share it.
They sold their house and bought a trailer.
Sundance has a job that travels for weeks at a time, and Amber and the kids got to missing him. So Amber did a little research on homeschool and talked Sundance into making their lives mobile.
Usually they go where he goes, but Amber wanted to spend the summer among the redwood trees, which is how they ended up in Klamath, camping across the row from us.
All of the questions that may be popping into your head can be answered over at Amber’s blog, www.notsopermanentpillow.com.
I will tell you that when I asked if it was forever, she shrugged and said that was the beauty of it. If they are done, they’ll just go back home. In the meantime, they are together, having adventures and learning how to function as a family in a 28 ft trailer.
That was the part that confronted me. They down-sized their quantity of life to up-size their quality of life.
No big house where everyone has their own room, tons of toys and three TVs. Just one shower, one toilet and one closet.
It made me think What would it take to get my family down to one closet? The answer is a lot. It would take a lot. And that made me sad.
It’s been on my heart for a while now. Our home in Oregon is everything we thought we wanted in a home, brand new and beautiful. Our So Cal money went far in Oregon, but the truth is, we could have chosen something smaller. Something less. That would have allowed us room to travel more, tithe more, share more of what we have.
But when we bought this house last year, we let our egos make the decision. That’s a hard and humbling thing to admit. And now too much of what we have is tied up in the house.
I don’t think it was by chance that Amber and her family were camped across from us at the mouth of the Klamath River. I think God was saying Look. Listen. See what life can be when you stop trying to keep up. You already know that keeping up is not what I want. But you have to find the courage to let it go.
I’m not packing up my kids and heading off into the sunset, because homeschooling is not my gift. No, no, no.
But Shea and I have some praying and listening to do over the next year.