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     Originally I had lived in New Hampshire until I was 16, and eventually everyone in my family moved back except my sister and I who attended college here in Arizona. My parents and three older brothers said they moved back for this and that but in all actuality their “this” and “that” were all the same. They all struggled with the lifestyle we had witnessed throughout our time here in Arizona. Consumerism drips from the ceilings and the sun begs you to shop, dine, and be seen.Houston and I almost left for the mission field shortly after being married. We had always said that if God called us we would pick up and leave. We wanted to be willing more than anything. That was our greatest prayer. Also, we wanted a minimalistic lifestyle, or as others may call it “The Simple Life.” I thrifted most of my clothing throughout all of college and taught myself how to cook with inexpensive ingredients. This was important to us. We wanted our priorities to reveal more than what our money could buy. Houston desired to have a sustainable homestead and to not make or spend more than what was essentially needed. There’s so much excess everywhere it was overwhelming to us.That all sounds great, until you have to apply it. Our first year of marriage we held firm, but as our income continued to grow so did our “needs” and expenses. Our lives began to mirror that which we had never wanted. It was so easy and tantalizing. All we had to do was say yes.     Saying no has been the hardest part. Saying, “No, we don’t want to raise our children in this environment or surrounded by this lifestyle” has definitely been less popular than saying yes to all that everyone else had planned for us.

And that’s what we were learning as we’ve shared the big news with friends and family. We are moving from Arizona to New Hampshire. We need seasons, land, and a lifestyle that isn’t run by consumerism. I want my children to go barefoot in the summer, to hear the crickets in the grass, and to want more for their lives than money can buy.

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