I really want to press forward and tell you what's going on now, but looking back at the Empty Buckets Blog, there is so much we left out. I really need to figure out how to add admins so other people can write here. I tried, but I am computer illiterate.
I will go back later to fill in more....
Earlier this spring the Empty Bucket family got together, for what now, I cannot remember. It must have been April because it was Vicki and Darryl's anniversary and Kathy's birthday. Kathy made dinner for us all and I wish I had a picture of us all crammed around her table. It was wonderful! I think it was one of the first times we had all been together since our trip to El Salvador. It felt like family again right away. Some how the idea of us all having a life group together came up again and everyone seemed ready to do it. Life had beaten us all up a little and the last time we all were in a life group together we all were left a little lost, I think it is fair to say.
On my family's part, we have been severely lacking community. We finally joined a small group at church, but everyone lived far enough away that getting together during the week just wasn't really realistic. E.J. and I were craving more. I don't even think we told our EB friends that our small group from church had essentially, I think maybe just a week before this dinner had basically imploded, I think I'm supposed to say it dissolved but that's all I have to say about that. Any ways, we were looking for people to really do life with and to grow in Christ with.
Our EB friends/family are people who are like minded already and it seems like God just made us all available to be able to join together again. Things haven't been perfect, we have had and still do have some things to work through relationally, but have had several meetings about what community together might look like.
It only took a few conversations to get to a point of, hey, we really should combine resources and start a debt snowball again and, hey, maybe you guys should move in.
Not everyone is ready to move into one house, not that we have a big enough house to do that, but we are almost all ready to live interdependently again. We still believe that God can do more with us together than apart. I think some of the others will join us one day in a larger community house, when life circumstances change a little. But for now just two families will combine and we have already started the debt snowball, starting with someone not living in the house. We really want to make sure we are more intentional this time about getting together and serving together and staying on mission, all of us, not just the families living together.
I think we all, inside the house and out learned some things from the last communal living project. I think that I maybe didn't learn the most, but changed the most. I ended up just being in a bad spot. I was a stay at home mom of a 3 year old boy watching the world go by, in someone elses house. I think our cats lost 10 pounds and I found 40. Our cats and other things just became a distraction and the opportunity to live in the little white house again opened up, so we took it. Rent is cheap enough that we could still participate in the debt snowball, so over all it didn't feel like we were bailing on the whole project. It also didn't feel like we made a mistake by moving in. We felt like we were being obedient to a call God put on our lives to simplify and invest in others to further his kingdom, and moving out was just an open door to peace in my heart I guess, and we took it.
At the time my parents lived down the road and Jack and I especially, stopped by there quite often. If I were healthier person, I guess I would have signed up for a MOPS group or found some friends with kids, but I never really did that.
After our EB life group stopped meeting, pretty much because no one could ever really make the commitment to each other to keep it going, E.J. and I were pretty much left without community, and found ourselves to be pretty lonely to be honest. Not to mention, we moved our selves all the way back out to the country. But I think having only one child, leaves room for a lot, and not a lot of other people have as much room.
WOW, I guess I made it back a ways after all.
As I said, the new debt snowball started and the first debt on the list is already gone, praise the LORD. E.J. and I and our son Jack are moving in with Dawn and Brian and their little guy Parker the weekend of September 20th. No pets to complicate things, sadly we lost both of them this past May. As far as my mental state, well, I'm still a stay at home mom but Jack is 6 now and goes to school full day, and I am able to participate fuller in the world instead of watching it go by.
We are also all starting to meet again regularly and are looking to grow together in Christ, by simplifying our lives and living in community together, and being an example to others.
I am taking our first trip of belongings for the storage space in Dawn and Brian's house, I didn't start going crazy buying new things when we moved out of the Vann's, so we still have less to move that ever before, but it will still be a process.
Dawn has started ridding herself of some things as well. She took all of Parker's old baby things to a mom to mom sale and even was able to give a lady a ton of clothes for very little cost, to take back to Mexico.
Please pray for opportunity for us to be able to bless others in this simplifying process, and pray that our hearts will be open to what the Lord has for us.