What Smallish means to us

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Small is severely relative, and “intentionally living small” might mean something different to everyone. One person might see it as undesirable because they imagine limiting the possibilities of what they want to do with life; living small might mean not fulfilling their dreams. Someone else might see it as not driving that fourth car very often.ย  Read on to see what Smallish means to us…

Abiding in a space our family doesn’t get lost in.

We’d prefer that our children learn to live in harmony together in close quarters instead of relying on more space to keep the peace. For almost five years, we were very happy Shoebox dwellers. Read more about our “backwards” downsize here.

Making financial decisions that fit our ideal debt-free lifestyle and limited budget.

We’re not quite debt-free yet (Update: YES WE ARE!). ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s our aim to learn to be content with what we own, as well as learning to use our money wisely. In short, it’s OK with us if we’re never crazy rich; we’re not going to pretend like we have more than we do. We like saving money by finding treasures of deals, making our own food or cleaning supplies, shopping thrift, thinking outside the box.

Maintaining a minor environmental footprint.

We think that God did an awesome job crafting this planetโ€”we like it a lot. So, as much as possible we want to lessen our impact on the environment in everyday decisions. We are interested in (although maybe have yet to dive into) alternative energies (I SO wish that meant harnessing the power my two-year old has to run and jump for hours on end), recycling, walking a lot, gardening, and lots more.

Note: Small footprint is not to be confused with having small feet.

We don’t. Caveman wears a 13; I wear an 11. Our poor children will probably have to have custom-made footwear by the time they’re ten. Of course, since we won’t want to shell out the cash for custom kicks, that means they’ll be the ones with guitar boxes n their feet. We just figure that we’ll teach them to swim at an early age. With those paddles, one of them is bound to become the next celebrity Olympic swimmer.

Because “intentionally living small” will mean something different for everyone, we feel compelled to clarify what it does NOT mean for our family:

Living small does NOT mean that we have a small outlook on life.

Actually we would argue that joyfully living small can only come from a wider perspective.ย  We have taken time to travel and observe the way people live around the world. Often times, their existence is much smaller and (dare I say?) much happier than many people who have the luxuries the first-world offers. We want our children to grow up with a global mindset, and that means traveling internationally as a family with the intention of seeing the many different cultures and how they embrace life.

Living small does NOT mean that we are insignificant.

We may choose to live life more modestly than others in our culture, but we believe that small is an honorable goal. In so many ways, less is more.

Living small does NOT mean that we should have a small family.

We believe that children are a major blessing– we’ve seen that first-hand in the past year and a half of being parents to an exuberant redhead and now his tiny brother. What a blast! We trust that God will provide all our needs as we accept the little gifts He nestles into our fold.

So there you have it. We hope to see you around and we’d love to know what does “intentionally living small” mean to YOU?

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6 Comments
  • Chris Carroll
    July 23, 2012

    Finding your thoughts and practical decisions on point as Karla and I explore the value of contentment as a couple and walk alongside couples and families who visit us at Poet’s Glade. When do we have enough? Reading of your convictions and perspective is helpful for us and we’ll gladly share your blog with others looking to live simply and experience life abundantly.

    • Evelyn
      July 23, 2012

      Thanks, Chris. Enough is certainly elusive, isn’t it? Looking forward to hearing your feedback and counter thoughts as you comment. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • SarahK
    August 3, 2012

    wonderful thoughts! As I move into a new season of life with an up and coming husband (yay!) it is good to think about living smallish. What does that mean to us? What would that look like? How can we make decisions to lessen our negative impact on the world around us? All very interesting thoughts! SO excited to continue to learn more ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Evelyn
      August 3, 2012

      Great thoughts, Sarah. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kristin
    July 28, 2015

    Over the last few years, I’ve downsized from a 2,000 sq ft house to a single tiny bedroom and now to combining households with a man who loves STUFF (particularly button down shirts). I find it totally freeing to only hold on to what I really need and those very special items that are irreplaceable… and I’m working on convincing him of the same outlook. For me, this means I can spend my money on the things that are most fulfilling – traveling to see family and friends, investing in a growing business, saving up for a little one. STUFF is now annoying to me – just more to dust, find storage space for and move around. Limiting our material possessions frees us to do more in life!

    • Evelyn
      July 28, 2015

      What fun to see your recent journey in perspective to stuff and space. You’ve got a great road ahead and I’m so excited to see how this next season unfolds in so many areas!!! xoxoxoxo

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