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Friday, January 13, 2017

Trading Fancy for Freedom: Staying in our Starter Home

We bought this house in January 2007. It is what the real estate market would call a "starter house", a 900 sq.ft 1924 bungalow. We purchased this home when I thought I was pregnant was ONE baby, not twins, and we planned to flip the home in one year. The housing market crash of 2008 and following National Recession had different plans. 

I am a walking contradiction. If you’ve known me long enough, you’ve heard me complain about my “tiny” house, but you’ve probably heard me say how I also love my house. This house is my constant battle to learn contentment. Every time I think I have it, it slips away, and I get to learn it all over again.

 I have no right to complain, but I do. All. The. Time. I complain about the tiny eat in kitchen and no dining area. I complain about the small bedrooms and old floor plan. I complain about the lack of dining room & the sometimes sketchy neighbors.

I have had a love/hate relationship with this house, but it is my manna. My every morning reminder than God provides.

Yesterday in homeschool we studied the manna God provided the Hebrews in the desert. I tried to describe to the boys how the food of Egypt was no more nourishing than the sweet honey-flavored Manna God provided, it was just fancier, with spices and variety. As I read the Egyptians' groans over missing the food of Egypt, it was easy to judge them. How could they not be content with the sweet simple manna, when the fancy food of Egypt came with the high price of their freedom?

Then it hit me right between the eyes, how many times have I given up my freedom for “fancy”? My want for fancier clothes, house, or cars could easily lead us into slavery of debt. A want for a fancier, more exciting life could also easily lead me into slavery to sin, seeking pleasure and identity in anything other than the simple & nourishing life with which God has blessed me.

When many people lost their homes during the Great Recession, we were able to keep this small house because we could afford the small mortgage payments.  Smaller house payments meant I could stay home when I felt the calling to homeschool, and we could live on a one-income (a small social worker income). We also found our beloved church family only a few minutes from this house.

I’m pretty sure if the Hebrews read my post comparing manna in the hot desert  to my little modern 1st world house, a house filled with a variety of food and all the creature comforts of the modern world, they would probably throw up a little in disgust.  I am spoiled beyond belief, almost disgustingly so. Lord, never let me forget the sweet and simple miracle that is my home, my marriage, and my family.

Lord, never let me give up my freedom for the fancy.


  1. Robyn, What a great article. Thank you for sharing..we have recently given up fancy for freedom, and I won't lie, it's been a struggle for me, but all the blessings you relate, I can relate to. I have a lot to be grateful for also. Bless you!