I'm pretty sure I'm not using the right term when I say that we are going off the grid, but I like the way it sounds. :) In fact I'm pretty sure going off the grid is something the Amish do and we really have no clue about. I will feel like we have gone off the grid this week though, as our cable and Internet access at home are turned off in the wake of all this downsizing/simplifying stuff. Good thing we will be out of town. :)
My closet is looking pretty bare after getting rid of half of it, then loaning out a bunch of maternity clothes. Most of my wardrobe of late consisted of maternity clothes! :) Our list of bills is looking bare as well after getting rid of the YMCA membership, cable and internet, and pest control. Hopefully we will enjoy saving the $200/month and I will enjoy having fewer clothes to have to sift through to find something to wear in the mornings. :)
I'm still not sure of the big picture behind all this, I'm just obeying God one day at a time as He directs me in the little things. The "stuff" is getting really easy to let go of. It doesn't have much emotional significance to me. It's actually quite a blessing to give things away. I'm even getting used to life without the gym. But now God is getting me down to the real nitty-gritty of letting go of the bigger stuff- the emotional stuff I'm holding onto with such a tight grip my knuckles are white- my plans of how I think life is supposed to go.
I was reading through the Bible Story book to the kids at breakfast this morning, and we came to the one where Jesus talks to Peter after He has been resurrected. He asks Peter three times, "Do you love Me?" Each time Peter reassures Him that he does. This version pictures Jesus right there at the lake, pointing to the boats and nets and fish that Peter knows, and asking, "Do you love Me more than all of this?" I actually choked up as I was reading it to the children. I acted like I just got choked on something. :) But it hit me hard. I felt like He was asking me the same question right now in my life. "How much do you love Me Julie?" He says in His Word that if we love Him, we will obey His commands. We are to love Him more than anything- more than our plans, more than our homes, more than our children, more even than our flesh. Maybe part of this process of letting go is to show me all the stuff that I'm loving more than Him. That stuff that hurts to let go of? Has to go. The Bible also promises that if we try to hold onto our lives we will lose them, but it is in giving up our lives that we find them. Every time I find myself trying to hold onto something or control it or manipulate keeping it, I have begun to literally hold up my hands to heaven and say, "It's Yours, Lord. Take it."
Bro. Jimmy's sermon on Sunday reminded us that there is no resurrection without first a death. He said that God's pattern in our lives is always death, resurrection; death, resurrection; death, resurrection. I know that with everything He puts to death in my life, there is a resurrection of something better.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead!" 1 Peter 1:3