Monday, January 31, 2011

Why We Are Selling Our House

The reason is simple: We’d rather invest in people than a house. With our current house payment we cannot do both long term. One of them has to go.

I didn’t always feel this way. Having a beautiful, model home used to be on my top 10 list of things that I desired for my life. When we moved into this home back in the fall of 2007 it was just Jake, I, and JJ - and little Jayla was on the way. When we built and purchased our house we crunched the numbers and we knew our lifestyle was going to have to change to be able to afford it….less eating out, less unnecessary purchases, etc. We were willing to make these changes so we could have this nice house. But we didn’t know what was coming.

Over the past two years as God brought additions into our family we began to see the value of helping people and investing in them. I learned that there is much more value in a 5 minute heart-to-heart talk with my kindergarten son who shares not one ounce of genes with me than in living on a golf course. I know that sounds like such a silly comparison, but that's really how I think about it now. God reminds me continually that my focus should be on eternity, not on the things of this world.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21)

Now I know what God was talking about.

As I pass by my front door throughout the day, that bright yellow and black for sale sign stands out in my view against the pure white snow. My selfishness is tempted to think of all that we are losing – a perfect location, friendly neighborhood and surroundings, comforts of a home we ourselves designed, the memories we’ve built here, and my mind could go on and on. But I am reminded that we aren’t doing this out of duty. God didn’t tell us to sell our house. We are doing it because there is VALUE in looking around at the faces in your household that are there only because of God’s sovereignty. There is VALUE in the process of God teaching you to have open hearts and open doors to allow outsiders to become family. There is VALUE in living a life that is sacrificial, that puts to death selfish desires for the sake of showing others the magnificent treasure of following after Jesus. We are doing it because there’s VALUE in serving the Lord. There’s VALUE even when it’s hard. Even when you give and give and give and get no immediate rewards and see no immediate fruit from your labor. There’s VALUE because you are becoming more like Christ. I don’t know what it’s like to die for another person. But I am starting to understand what it’s like to offer myself as a LIVING sacrifice for someone. And it’s worth it.

Yes our family is now half the size than it was even just 2 weeks ago. Yes the grocery bill will be smaller and yes we have an empty bedroom. But now I am not thinking about how I can decorate a guest room. Or how comfortable Grandma and Grandpa will be when they come for a visit. I am praying that God would bring someone else in. That God would use us to change someone else’s life. I have no idea where God will lead us from this point….I just know that my heart is now wide open to the possibilities of bringing more children into our home. We want to be in a position to freely say YES when there is a need and an opportunity for us to help someone who really needs it.…even if that means living in a home that is a little less glamorous. We are expectant that God will lead us to exactly where we are supposed to be when the time is right.

10 comments:

alan and steph said...

amen! What an encouragement you are to so many people (myself included)?!

Jody said...

Yes a great encouragement to me and so many others, to learn at a younger age where VALUE is. People are eternal, houses and land will pass away. Great post Janel. Thank you for being so transparent.

the crawfords said...

Wow! I continue to blown away for your perspective on living for Christ! No matter where you live, if it's living for HIM, it will be beautiful.
Just think-a whole new neighborhood gets to witness God's love through watching your family!

Tiffany DeBoef said...

Janel- thank you for constantly challeninging me with your trasparency and your heart for God! It is so true- we get our priorities all mixed up and forget what God has called us to do.

FOUND FREE IN HIM. said...

Wow, I know that you don't know me but Kendra Brekke told me to read your blog and I have been ever since. This is such an encouragement to me to reevaluate my priorities and where my heart is and to live my life with ETERNITY as my number one ambition and motive.

SamuelP said...

I'm fortunate to have found "Team Sullivan" through Lisa L's site. Your words and pictures are both challenging and inspiring. We met Jake 8 years ago when he befriended Alyson, a child in my son's second grade class, who had brain cancer. Good to know Jake (and his family) are still making a huge difference in the lives of children!

Matthew & Jennifer Pitkin said...

Thank you for always being honest, open and transparent. We are, as always, encouraged by your posts. It'll be interesting to see what God does with that extra bedroom or the next house! :)

kendra said...

you're just the best Janel, praise Jesus for the fruits of the Spirit blazing brightly through your life, how awesome He is, and how awesome are the things he does with our little lives :)

us said...

FYI.

Dr. Moore's book 'Adopted for Life' is christianaudio's FREE download for February!

Scott Robert Myers said...

That's awesome Janel!!! WELL SAID!!!! Certainly makes you think about what is really important!!! I respect the heck out of what you and Jake are doing!! Lets get this done!!! Take a look at everything on Realtor.com or Century 21's website!! Let me know what you think! See ya soon!!!