Church Girl Blog

Downsize

by | Mar 20, 2018 | A HOME Life | 10 comments

It all began with images and dreams of death. I couldn’t shake them. At one point I saw myself in a casket from over my right shoulder; my hands were folded as I lay in repose in the stillness of the grave.

I wasn’t afraid. As I explained these to my mentor, she remembered a time in the past where the pattern was similar. She reminded me last time it was heralding a new beginning, the start of a new season. I began wondering what had to die in me; God was prompting something huge.

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My home isn’t here on earth (Photo Credit: [email protected])

I remember thinking, as I was laying in bed one morning earlier in the month, How could I ever leave my home? I even said aloud to The Elder, There is NO way we could possibly move from this house. There’s just too much stuff to manage and I love this place. We’ll live here until we die.

See, we had the house just the way we wanted it. I had carefully curated every piece of furniture, painting, and kitchen tool for years. It finally seemed like we had a “grown-up house” after twenty-five years of “playing” house. We are proud of where we live and used our home for all sorts of ministry in the ten years we have lived in it.

Over the next month, something was making me feel unsettled. We’ll call it a movement of the Holy Spirit. As I began looking around my house and in my garage, I began to see things in a different light.

The minivan, the one we had for ten years that faithfully carried us from Baby-dom into Teen-dom, seemed like a giant cavern now that my littles weren’t so little. The Man Cub will be driving soon, so I won’t be shuttling him as much. It will just be Little B and me and six extra empty seats. Honestly, I was all alone and lonely with all that space.

I sold the van in six hours to a lovely couple with “two under three” and one on the way. Joy came knowing that young family will be blessed by that van for all its worth!

Was this the key to ending my season of death? To give away the things I loved that had served me during such special seasons? Maybe.

My closet was next. Honestly, as a stylist and a former #ClothesHog, you might be surprised to find out I really don’t have that many things in my wardrobe. Each season I comb through my closet but this season I was super-critical, getting rid of pants, shirts, skirts, coats and shoes that were duplicates or just not practical. There were a few sentimental pieces I finally let go of; I’m embarrassed to say, though they still fit me, they were from my college days long ago! I loved them and they had served their purpose, but I had to move forward. Someone else could be blessed with what I had held onto for too long.

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Where are we willing to follow Jesus? (Photo Credit: [email protected])

Moment of Transparency:

I place a lot of emotional value on THINGS. I remember WHEN I received something or WHERE I bought it or WHO gave it to me. I use things like touchstones, to recall times and seasons and places. When I sell or give things away, it feels at times like I am giving away my memories of the past. Anyone else do this?

But Scripture tells us to “forget the former things, do not dwell on the past” and “forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, pressing on toward the goal” in front of us. (Isaiah 43:18-19, Philippians 3:12-14)

Really, we can’t take our things with us when we go. All we take when we pass from this life into the next is our faith and hope that becomes reality when we stand before Jesus Christ and the LORD Almighty on the Day of Judgment. When I’m gone, all I leave behind that matters is how I loved people and shared Jesus with them. My dynasty is my children and the people whose lives I touch in some shape or form for eternity, not some vintage clothing from the nineties or a mid-century side table.

So we’re selling our grand and beautiful house, too. Although I love my home SO much, I am willing for it to go, too, because

I
love
my
Jesus
that
much
MORE.

It’s going to another young family, one that will stretch and grow and enjoy all the love and peace and joy that we prayed into these four walls. And they will be blessed abundantly by the neighborhood and the people who live here.

In releasing my grip on the blessings God has given us for a season, these become new blessings to those who receive them. What dies to us becomes life for someone else.

We are moving to a smaller, more sensible ranch in the event that we need to begin caring for aging parents. We couldn’t serve them in our present location. Plus, this transition, this downsizing and simplifying in order to more fully live life together as a family, will be a new adventure for our family. ADDED BONUS: There is a new mission field for us now in a new neighborhood.

Watch out, Lincoln Hill! Here we come. #jesusineverything

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“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ~Matthew 6:19-21 (Photo Credit: Natalie Halma)

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10 Comments

  1. B

    Good job Momma!

    • Leigh Mackenzie

      We’re going through this one together, aren’t we, Dear B?

  2. Terra Heck

    Seems like we’re sort of in the same season! I’m not moving, or planning to, but have been making a huge effort to get rid of clothes and other “stuff”. It’s been super hard for me, especially since I hold so much attachment to clothes. But, I admit, it felt good to purge and donate the items to someone who can use them so much more than me.

    • Leigh Mackenzie

      Right on, Terra!! Keep going. We’ll make it together.?♥️

  3. Anonymous

    I absolutely ❤️❤️❤️This Leigh! You know how you get that lump in your throat & your eyes start to fill with tears because I can so relate! this is VERY encouraging! God puts the same Scripture in my heart often “behold I’m doing something NEW” So many emotions allowing God to wreck the roof of MY identity that I sort of created myself Growing pains is what a sister called it . Im 42 &2 of my kids are young men. Time to focus more on God & my identity in HIM! Interesting what happens when you’re no longer distracted by running kids around( consumed even putting them before Tom) now it’s just me in this house God & my husband a lot of times so he brought to my attention( which I fought for a bit?) “ Tae it’s time ! Time for you to do 12 Steps AND FINISH “ So now allowing him to wreck that roof of going deeper& shedding light on my junk which is going to bring freedom! God is showing me I’ve been in a lot of emotional bondage and realizing people &my husband (bless his heart) cannot make me happy. That happiness and joy has to come from Christ and sadly I was getting my joy from my kids& being stay at home mom
    Telling some of my sisters the other day I feel like I’m going through deconstruction which is good which doesn’t “ feel “ so good all the time but it will produce growth . thank you so much for sharing God’s Word, your heart& bring transparent. ❤️You lady

    • Leigh Mackenzie

      Oh, Tae! I feel ya! Deconstruction is ALWAYS SO PAINFUL but once those walls are down, it’s such a relief. Rest in the fact that Christ loves you deeply and that your sister here is going through a similar process. Take heart! By the blood of Jesus, we will overcome.

  4. Francine Rivers

    Excellent blog, Leigh. I will be pondering “What dies in us can bring life to someone else.” We decided to downsize. Or rather I did. Rick made a list, firmly convinced I’d never find a house to fulfill his hopes. But God led us straight to one that wasn’t even on the market. Everything happened quickly and smoothly. We moved in October. One year later, in October, the home we’d lived in for 16 years burned to the ground, along with 5700 other homes and business buildings. Nothing left of our old home but the front stone steps and paver-driveway. Everything else was reduced to ashes. (Thankfully, the new owners made it out safely.) Rick and I see “our” decision to downsize differently now. So do others who knew how we struggled with the decision.

    • Leigh Mackenzie

      I guess we’re living the same storyline, Francine; I’m just a year behind you! Thankful for your safety and for the family who was in your old home. ♥️

  5. Virginia Scally

    One of my favorites! Great revelations-now I must follow!

    • Leigh Mackenzie

      This has been one of the harder seasons…the BIGGEST PURGE. An entire household. And a car that people “knew me” when I drove it. Others identify me by what I drive and where I live. God identifies us by the blood of Jesus—that’s it. These things are just temporary; I have to keep reminding myself of this and have eternity in mind instead. ♥️

      Thanks for commenting! I’ll be praying you through it, too…

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