Good morning! As basketball season continues, projects aren’t getting finished like planned (and that is COMPLETELY FINE! We are enjoying this time so much and would NOT trade it for the world!).

breakfast collage

Have I mentioned how much I love these guys? And Saturday mornings together? And that I love how much they love our boys?

In the meantime, I thought I’d repost a couple of old posts that really stung for me.

This re-post is from August 1, 2013. We were in the middle of finishing the Yellow House, Cray was still a tiny baby and Kuy had just turned TWO! SO, yes, we were crazy!

But, as our little blog grows, I want you to know more about us, who we truly are and how we arrived here (and WHY our dining room was almost entirely thrifted and our kitchen was so cheap).

Restless Arrow Christmas Tour (3 of 13)

And because after my post Saturday on Instagram, I realized I had posted that same Jen Hatmaker quote in this blog post over a year ago. I think the summer of 2013 is when it all truly changed for me. We were bleeding money gutting a foreclosure and we had two kids under two while trying to sell our current house. Mass chaos. All.the.time. Naps were taken in car seats. Babies stayed with neighbors, families and friends. We were beyond blessed but beyond exhausted.

But Saturday mornings gathered around this table make every minute worth it.

August 1, 2013

Disclaimer: This post is not really about a dining room table.

“He must become greater; I must become less.” (John 3:30 NIV)

The Back Story: On Monday, I posted about the experience I wanted with my kids that God wants with us. Maybe I should have said I started this blog to write about me instead of this house. That sure is what has taken over.

Truly not my intention to be about me at all, but somewhere along the way I have found myself changing.

I want simple.

I yearn for less materialism, less budget mania, less frills.

But how do I get over that when I’m moving into a bigger house?

I truly truly truly wanted a bigger house for more people. Honestly, I just want to be able to say, “Hey, let’s have it at our house.” Or, “You need somewhere to sleep, come on. Sleep at our house. ”

I want my boys to be able to invite friends over and to have their wedding receptions in our backyard.

I want to be able to leave my house to my grandchildren so they don’t have a house payment

But as I type this, I realize. We could have done that anywhere.

I wanted this house for me.

It has been a three year journey and we are so close. We are almost to the end. Why am I overwhelmed? The amount of money we’ve spent? The summer that flew by remodeling? Poor babies being hauled around? I try not to let the guilt take over.

Yet, somehow through this, I’ve wanted less of me and more of Him. I’ve seen Him work miracles in this process. For little old me. He worked miracles tonight when we bought our appliances and the guy kept chipping away at the prices. He was with me because He took away my farmhouse sink. sigh. It was excess.

He was with me when I bought a dining room table. Is it weird that I’ve started praying about my shopping ventures?

Again, I’m not a shopper but I love a thrift store. When I started praying about shopping/ thrifting just last week, I truly analyzed and decided what purpose whatever I loved would serve and where I could use it.

Fast forward to Monday night when my electrician said, “Hey, you need lights for every room….”

Enter The Dining Room Table Saga….
I stopped by Goodwill for a light (because who knew I needed a light in every single room?!?), and saw this amazing table with, wait for it….cane.back.chairs. Price tag for all eight chairs, two leaves and the table?

99 bucks.

Done, right?

Nope, I snapped a picture and went about my way (with a $6.99 brass lantern).

I met my mom with Kuy after my “quick” trip all over town to find cheap lights (I know…more trouble than it’s worth) and showed her a picture of the table. She said, “Did you get it?” “No, I said slowly. “It was $99.” She stopped. “Amber, the chairs are worth that!”

I get home and showed Russ the picture. He said, “Did you get it?” “No,” I said slowly. “It was $99.” And deja vu. Same answer from him.

So I did what any normal person would do and called Goodwill. The nice lady said the table had been there a couple of days so I should be fine because they couldn’t hold it unless I paid for it but tomorrow was senior day and they got there early so I better be careful.

Wait. Hold the phone.

“Senior day? “Yes,” she said nicely. “They can get 25% off”.

I hung up politely and called my sweet and wonderful mother because I knew exactly what to do. The plan was perfect so I proceeded to ask her to take Mama (my 89 year old grandmother) to Goodwill to let her buy it the next day (of course I’d pay her back!)!!!!!

Mom and Mama

(my sweet grandmother and mom)

I was going to get the table and eight cane back chairs for $75! Did I mention they were cane back chairs?!?!

When I called Mama to inform her of this plan, she just laughed and said ok (because she knew they were cane back chairs…kidding.).

So do I really want simple? I did all that for a dining room table for Heaven’s sake!

What is it that I want?

This I’m certain of. Less of me. More of Him. But what am I willing to sacrifice to get there?

What do you think? Too much excess? Is the simple life for you?

This is all Amy’s fault because I started the book she recommended, Seven, and my mind can’t stop spinning.

I leave you with this and want to know exactly what you think about simplicity.

“I’m tired of calling the suffering ‘brothers and sisters’ when I’d never allow my biological siblings to suffer likewise. That’s just hypocrisy veiled in altruism.”

Here’s the kicker:

“I won’t defile my blessings by imagining I deserve them.” Jen Hatmaker

Deep breath…

(Update: The cane back chairs didn’t truly fit so I gave them to my BFF and they look amazing in her house! Love how God works!)