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what we learned from not having a house

July 14, 2009

The reason for the blog break last week was that Jana and I were busy doing this…

Signing the mortgage and getting the keys

Signing the mortgage and getting the keys

And moving into this…


We’re so excited about our first house, but I think I can honestly say that I’ll treasure the lessons God taught us during the last year of living with my parents and “having” a 10×10 bedroom more than I’ll treasure the house.  This year changed us.  There were nights with some tears and a few uncomfortable things (our bedroom door was 3 feet from my parents’ bedroom door… wink, wink), but I wouldn’t change ANYTHING about the last year because of what God has shown us.

We learned a ton of stuff this year, but the dominant theme of the year was this:


More than anything else I want to shout from the rooftops that having more comfort, more stuff, more space, or more privacy will not make you happier.  Only having more of Christ in your life will make you happier.  The story of Jana’s and my life has been us thinking…

  • “We’ll be happier when Josh has a job that can support us.”  Then..
  • “We’ll be happier when we make more than $27,000.”  Then…
  • “We’ll be happier when we don’t have to live in a condo.”  Then…
  • “We’ll be happier when Josh can move into a pastoral role.”  Then…
  • “We’ll be happier when Jana can move into a ministry role also.”  Then…
  • “We’ll be happier when we aren’t living in a 10×10 bedroom and have our own house.”

All of those things have been blessings when they have come.  None of them has made us happier.  The funny thing is that in some ways we “had” less this year than before – we took a pay cut, moved away from familiarity and friendships, lost a bunch of money by selling a condo during a recession, have been busier, and didn’t have our own place for a year.  But I think both of us would say this was one of the happiest years we’ve had. We’ve gotten to see God working powerfully around us in The Bridge and been forced (sometimes against our will!) to seek his presence in our lives… and THAT has actually made us happier.

I guess this year forced us to see the truth of passages like Matthew 13:44-45 and helped us understand that doing THIS isn’t lunacy… it’s genius.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Eva Howard permalink
    July 15, 2009 8:58 am

    Josh and Jana – It sounds like you learned the hard way like the rest of us. Welcome to the real world.

    Like most of us can testify, God will take everything away from you and you will find yourself with nothing but Him. And it is then when you realize that He is all that you have and He is all that you need.

    Matt. 6:33 ” Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”

    Aint’ GOD good!!!!

  2. Beth permalink
    July 15, 2009 9:46 am

    In being a believer in Christ and trying to be in and following his will, I have found that first I have recieved overwhelming, unexplainable joy. With this joy has come happiness. Even in the tougher times when life isn’t going the way I want it to, the joy is always present. That to me is Christ living in me.

  3. Marianne permalink
    July 15, 2009 12:20 pm

    Thanks Josh for this powerful insite. Your blog often reminds me of things I “know” but don’t think on often enough. This was another of those times.

  4. Kathy permalink
    July 15, 2009 12:55 pm

    Josh – all I can say is that Jeff and I have been blessed beyond measure by having you and Jana in our lives. Thank you both for all you do and for all you have taught us by what you live AND what you speak. It’s so exciting having you guys closer. Now we can truly say “Welcome to Spring Hill”!!

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