TRADING THE CONVENTIONAL LIFE FOR THE UNCONVENTIONAL.

A coworker once said to me, “I never pictured you driving a vehicle like that!” (a bumped and bruised 20-year-old Ford F150). Well, looks can be deceiving, right? I’ve been navigating a new season in my life, and the truck is just a small part of the journey. I’ve chosen a new way of living, and it’s a bit unconventional.

Last year my husband, Matt, and I were living the conventional life—a life people can relate to. We lived in a comfortable house in Frisco filled with lots of pictures, family heirlooms, and things. We drove newer cars on our lengthy commutes to and from work every day, took our boat out on Saturdays to relax, and went to church on Sundays. We had a daughter living at home and a son living away at college. We were busy and had our fair share of bills. People can relate to this kind of life. But we were being stirred for something different.

Every Saturday morning Matt and I had coffee on our back patio overlooking a peaceful, nature-filled golf course. That was our favorite part of our home: the patio. Of course the view was beautiful, but the truth is, we cherished the quiet atmosphere together and our great conversations there more. Our conversations about the stirrings began there. “I feel like we should sell the house,” I said one morning. I wasn’t entirely convinced but felt a strong prompting from God. And my sweet husband reassured me, “It will be okay. It’s just a house. And it was a great home during this season of raising our children.”

After a lot of Saturday-morning coffees and prayer, we were led to give up the conventional for the unconventional. Today, my family of four resides in four different time zones. My children are in Colorado and Italy pursuing college degrees, and my husband and I have two jobs in two different states—we rent a room in each state, we put all our possessions in long-term storage (after selling two cars, the boat, and our house), we’re paying off the college bills (Dave Ramsey–style!), and one of us boards a plane every four days! Although it’s not optimal, we know it’s just one chapter in our unfinished story. At first, I think people didn’t know how to feel about our choices. They half-jokingly called us “homeless” and “crazy” because there really isn’t a conventional label for our lives right now. But in truth, we are living with family and friends who care deeply for us and fill material voids with generous friendship and love. And Matt and I still get to drink our Saturday-morning coffee together!

This season has taught us a priceless lesson: when we are released from the material things we thought we valued, we become truly grateful for the essential things—relationships and time together. And you know what? We’ve already forgotten about our things in storage. It’s true what they say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” Someday, we’ll open up our storage unit and it will be like Christmas; we’ll experience joy when we see all those things that represent so many memories that we forgot about for a season. Meanwhile, we continue to listen patiently for what God has for us next, and He continues to bless us.

I’m proud to drive my bumped, scraped, and bruised 20-year-old Ford F150. It’s a reminder in this season that I want something more than material possessions. I want what is essential. I’m convinced it leads to freedom—to be ready when He calls.

 

“Seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” –Colossians 3:1–2