Adventures in Downsizing – Day 8 – The Long Weekend

It’s Wednesday, and the long weekend is almost over. I should say, our long weekend’s project is almost done.

IMG_3988.JPGOur goal was to complete stripping the wallpaper out of two rooms. We have a little less than three-quarters of a room to go.

Have you ever stripped wallpaper before? This was my first time.

Initially, it seemed fun, tearing off large sheets of the top layer was like peeling a sunburn. Who doesn’t enjoy that?

But then came the less enjoyable part, the wetting, and scraping of the bottom layer. It’s messy and time-consuming.

It’s one of those “one time DIY is enough” things. Why anyone would choose to wallpaper is a mystery to me.

So, we have a small bed-wide section left to do, once we move the mattress, etc. (We’ll be sleeping in different places tonight, something we’ve rarely done if we’ve been in the same building.)

Next, we’ll paint the now-bare walls, and fix up a few other items, and the house will be ready for show. We’re planning on an open house on the 21st.


Last year’s paid landscaping

Here’s the lesson in all of this. We’re going all-out to get everything shipshape in a couple of weeks. I have to wonder what if we’d just improved over the six years we’ve been here?


I’m finding the work not difficult, it just takes times. But I’ve never been much into home improvement – the most I’ve done was paint a small bathroom and add some paper trim at the top of the walls of a light-house-themed kitchen. But those rooms were both in brand new construction.

This house was built in 1960-something. It needs a lot more TLC. More than I/we care or are able or can afford to give it.

Barb and I are very much excited about our prospects for moving to a townhouse.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Kitties insisted on keeping the sink



Adventures In Downsizing, Day 1

Adventures In Downsizing, Day 1
The “Weebs”

(October 2nd)

In my post on the Daily Prompt for Tentative, I wrote that my wife, Barb, and I had decided it’s time to downsize to a no-outside-maintenance-and-close-to-the-grandson townhouse.

In many ways, this kind of “foundational” move parallels that of my spiritual formation over these last nine years, and, I see, can be the cornerstone of a blogging adventure, as well. It’s a healthy source of building material to share about God’s story and our chapter in it.

In other words, I’m going to post about it. I invite you to read along!

Matthew 7:24

Therefore, everyone who hears these words and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who builds his house on the rock.

That “tentative” post was inspired by my struggles with finishing, with following through all the way on commitments. I’ve learned that “recovery” is just as much about forming generally positive behaviors as it is about overcoming the destructive ones.

Plan, now do.
Commit, then complete.
Faith, with action.
Patient, yet urgent.

WiRE logoToday, two WiRE devotional emails from (a devotional for men), fit perfectly with this: (1) “Persevere(ability)” and (2)”What’s the bold move?”

(1) “Like [Jesus], we too must bear up against the pressures of the world, and not only for a while, but until the very end of our days. Though any one trial or temptation may be short-lived, there’s always something out there capable of our destruction…

“Perseverance isn’t innate; it’s learned… manufacture some pressure and train yourself. Push your limits physically, mentally, and spiritually… You’ll simply learn what you’re made of.”

(2) “When we move boldly in faith it demonstrates – with our actions, with our lives – that we do trust Jesus…

“For each of us there comes a time when we just must take action, must take risk. There comes a time when our faith mandates that action and risk are the only real options. And that’s when things begin to happen – big, breathtaking things – not because we seek them but because byproduct of lives that reflect faith.”


Just Do It!

I should say here that this has already been proven to me, time and again.


When we moved back from Colorado, we made it a leap of faith, dropping our current jobs and just going. Within months, income was flowing again.

IMG_3477The same goes for this house. Twenty years ago, we gifted equity to Barb’s sister, Jan, so she could buy one, and in 2011 Jan gifted equity back to us so we could literally be neighbors.

These six years have been blessings.

But for us, it’s time again to be bold. My motto used to be “waiting for something to happen.” As a believer in Christ, it is becoming “with Him, I am making something good happen.”

A Modern Martha and Mary

A Modern Martha and Mary

Do you know the Bible story of Martha and Mary?

IMG_2989Jesus visited the home of two sisters. He sat and taught – doing His thing. Mary chose to “sit at his feet and listen.” Martha busied herself tidying and preparing – complaining about no one helping.

Who was right – or acted in a better way? Here’s my modern take on the lesson of this tale.

First off, the characters in this drama today would be Marty and Mary, or Martha and Mark, or Marty and Mark. The teaching applies to everyone, anyone.

IMG_3273Historically,  it was more notable – almost shocking in the 1st century – for the actors to be women. Jesus was emphasizing the discipleship of all people.

Second, neither sibling was doing wrong. Both were ‘working’ at good things, learning and providing food. Jesus simply pointed out that food for thought was the more important at this time.

I mean, how often do you have The Messiah in your house?

IMG_3189Third, it’s the attitude, not the activity, that Jesus was trying to stress. It was perfectly fine for Martha to get dinner together. Her lack was in speaking out against what her sister desired in that moment.

A righteous evening would have gone like this:

I imagine how my extended family gathers for special-Sunday dinners like Easter or someone’s birthday. Let’s say Jesus shows up.

IMG_3188We’d be at my brother-and-sister-in-laws’ house. It’s always immaculate, no pre-cleaning needed. Dan is into hospitality and cooking, so the appetizers would already be out and there’d be plenty of time to socialize. The main course would almost be ready.

Jesus might speak now or just meet the folks and impress with how much He knows about us, hosts included.

IMG_3290Eventually, it’d be time. Everyone would help swap in the dinner dishes, and we’d pick our spots.  Good food and some light conversation would be served.

As the eating winds down, the serious talking builds up. Again, it’s all hands clearing the table (or as many can fit in the not-overly-large kitchen).

We then play a sort of social musical chairs, switching every now and then to catch up with everyone. There’d be dessert. Yum.

IMG_3279.JPGI can hear Jesus gradually getting the whole group’s attention. He’d’ve grabbed the spinny chair that’s right in between the dining and sitting halves of the room. He’d slowly turn every now and then, catching eyes intently.

After a while, His voice would be the only sound, into the wee hours…