Vacation, Soap, and Contentment

We’ve finished our first month in the trailer!  Included in that was a vacation to our Nation’s Capital, Washington, D.C.  It was a wonderful trip and we had been wanting to take the girls for a long time.  It was definitely this radical change to our lifestyle that ultimately made it possible.  I will cherish the memories that we made on this trip.  It was one of our best vacations ever!

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IMG_7622.JPGIt’s really funny how many things you don’t consider when you move to a smaller space.  As I started packing up things in our bathroom back in May I found so many bath items!  Soaps, shampoos, lotions, body washes, band aid…  Some were from hotels or giveaway samples.  Some were clearance sale items from whatever semi-annual sale I attended last. Plus I apparently have a thing for Star Wars band aids.   I even found a few things that were duplicates because I would forget I had something, or couldn’t find it when I needed it. (this same thing happened in the kitchen, by the way.  Black beans and salt, anyone???)  Not that there is anything wrong with having a backup soap or deodorant, but no one really needs 3 industrial size bottles of aloe lotion.

At one point I made a decision.  I would pack all of that up and bring it into the trailer with me.  No soap left behind!  And I would USE.  IT.  UP.  No buying an item if I already had something identical or even similar.  Now, in this tiny camper bathroom that hauntingly reminds me of an airplane bathroom with an added shower, I have 2 regular house bathrooms full of health and beauty overflow.  It’s crowded in there.  And it is overwhelmingly obvious that I had too much stuff in my bathrooms.  The funny thing is, that I had an entire cabinet in the girls’ bathroom that was empty and I thought I was doing pretty well!

So far in this month I have finished up a bottle of body wash and I’m almost done with another, emptied a sunscreen bottle, a shampoo bottle, a tube of toothpaste, and a few bandaids.  I’ve only had to purchase one toothbrush and some deodorant for Nick.  I’ve put a few things in my shopping cart and then snapped back to reality and put it on the shelf.  Saying no is hard.  Sometimes you have to learn to say no in the little purchases.

I am constantly hit with the realization that I have so much more than I really need.  And sometimes I find myself craving more.  It’s ridiculous the lack of contentment that I find myself in at times.  Totally contrary to what the Lord has called us to.

In Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)  Paul talks about contentment –

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.  For I can do everything through Christ,  who gives me strength.”

Can I be content with living in a camper?  Right now, yes.  What about tomorrow when I am introverting hardcore?  What about when my kids are fighting and have no place to separate, or when Nick isn’t feeling well and doesn’t have a quiet place to retreat?

Can I be content when things don’t turn out the way I thought they should?  When life isn’t going according to my carefully laid plans?  Am I content then, or do I become a ball of mush in the corner that is pretty much useless to everyone?

Sometimes it comes down to deciding you want to be content.  Going through life constantly consuming and never satisfied like some sort of zombie doesn’t really sound all that fulfilling.  I want to be full.  I want to be content no matter what situation I’m in.  Whether I’m living in this camper or living in a house.

Either way, it’s home.

Vacation, Soap, and Contentment

Our Summer Adventure Begins

Summer:  A time for lazy days, popsicles, beach visits, and if you live in Florida – profuse sweating!

This summer things will look a little different for us.  The last day of school we came home and began the process of moving out of our rental home that we LOVED.  It was definitely a place that God dropped into our laps right when we needed it and we have enjoyed living there the last 19 months.  In the last few months, the Lord has been speaking to us about changing our financial situation, downsizing, making space in our minds and wallets.  Emptying our plates, so to speak.  So at the beginning of May we decided to leave our rental home and live for the summer in a 29 ft camper trailer:  with 2 kids and a cat!  Borrowed trailer on borrowed land thanks to parents who love us and friends who have learned the beautiful gift and art of expanding love.  (seriously, that’s a whole other blog post).

We have been moved out of the house for nearly 2 weeks now, but with all the hullabaloo and getting set up, etc. we have only been in the camper for about 4 nights.  So far, things are going well with only a few minor hiccups.  We are learning how to get around one another.  I am learning how to not step on the cat.

There are of course privacy issues and a severe lack of alone time with everyone being in such close quarters, but so far no one has gotten on anyone’s nerves.  With a mama that’s a HUGE introvert, that’s a big deal.  I’ll be blogging more soon about things we are learning, enjoying, hating…and the list goes on.  But today I’ll just give you a little picture tour of our Home Sweet Home.

 

We start with the dining room.  It has a nice window, and the far seat has storage underneath that the girls put toys in.  They also have much of the storage above the table (not pictured) for books, toys, backpacks, etc.  I think about 1/2 the stuff in here is theirs!

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Directly across from the dining table is the kitchen!  There is a small fridge and freezer at the far end.  Stove, Oven, Microwave, 3 drawers and a cabinet on top and bottom.  My coffee stuff takes up most of this space right now and I am still figuring out where to put everything so there isn’t so much clutter.  It’s a process.

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Next up is the bathroom.  Again, we still have some clutter and my current problem here is where to hang our towels.  We have a lot of  command hooks in various places around the camper, so that may be what we need to do in here.  Other than it being tiny, it’s functional and we haven’t had a lot of problems.IMG_7545.JPGIMG_7546.JPG

Up top is a loft for the girls and on the right you can see some of the storage that is above the kitchen table.  They have their bed, some toys, and 3 drawers that they put their clothes in.  The curtain pulls shut for some privacy for them.  They seem to like it up there.  They like to stick their heads in the skylight!  You can see one of the cuties and my husband sitting on the couch playing the Wii!IMG_7543.JPG

Which brings us to the back room.  We have a couch and small tv set up in here.  It’s really meant for storing motorcycles, but since we don’t have those, we’ve made it into a livingroom.  I didn’t clean up in here before taking pictures.  It seemed pointless.  It’s not pretty, but it’s cozy and functional.  Behind the couch are stored cleaning supplies and extra clothes.IMG_7549.JPGIMG_7548.JPG

This is the bedroom…and Mr. Bean.  There’s a little ledge on each side along with two drawers, a teeny closet, and a little shelf up top.  As you can see, I do some work here.  I switch it up between here and my kitchen table on getting work done.  I’ll probably hit up a coffee shop or two here pretty soon on days when I need some serious uninterrupted time.  IMG_7547.JPG

 

So that’s it!  I also threw in a bad picture of my one decoration from the house…my beloved painting that has been almost prophetic since I got it in March!  This is a daily reminder to me that God’s thoughts and ways are higher than mine.  I didn’t think 6 weeks ago that I’d be living like this for more than a few days.  God had other plans.  What those plan entail for the summer are yet to be revealed here.  So I invite you on this journey of crazy with us!IMG_7550.JPG

Happy Trails, adventurers!

Our Summer Adventure Begins