About a month ago we sold our dream house and down-sized into a rental. We lost a lot of money, I guess you’d say.

We lost about 1,000 square feet. Lost that big soak tub. Lost my walk-in closet. Lost our garage. Lost our double-sinks. I guess we lost the tax deduction for mortgage interest too.  Now that I think about it, I guess we lost a lot.

Maybe that’s why I feel so much lighter. Why I feel so free.

What happened? some asked. Lose your job? Unforeseen financial challenges?

Nope. Nothing’s changed except our hearts. We read a little story about a Kingdom:

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

Discovering hidden treasure makes us so excited we do crazy things.

We find crazy joy.

Because that’s what we’ve found in the midst of all this loss. Found this crazy joy of kicking the American dream to the curb and racing back to that field to dig down and unearth that treasure. The Kingdom of God. And while of course we’re not once-and-for-all cured of consumerism it sure feels good to give it a good blow to the gut and send it reeling for awhile while we rejoice at all this treasure we’ve found. This blessing of giving away.

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

No shoulds or oughts in that statement, just a fact, a promise, a law in place and it whispers to us: This is where to find joy.

Does everyone need to sell their house? Certainly not.

But there is a treasure and there is a joy awaiting us any time we “sell” our earthly pursuits so we can “buy” eternal pursuits. Little choices, every single day. Every day we have a hundred opportunities to say yes to heaven. To heap up treasures there. To believe, really believe, that our citizenship is not here.

That today is not our glory day.

But today is a glorious day filled with a thousand opportunities for good. For blessing. For joy. There are millions of beautiful people waiting to hear the Good News. There are millions of children waiting to be sponsored. There are a million chances wherever we are now to give for the glory of God.

Joy came to the world through a gift of grace. It continues to come to the world through our gifts of grace. That gift can be a smile or a check, a warm bowl of soup or a cold glass of water.

So many blessed opportunities. Pray through them. Pick one. (Or ten!) And go for it. Then brace yourself because joy will come to your world.

Your turn! What has been a joy-filled giving experience (giving or receiving) that’s touched your life? Please share with the rest of us — cheerful generosity is contagious and we want to catch the joy! Thanks for reading …

By Kari Patterson, Sacred Mundane

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  1. 1

    Oh wow thankyou, I loved reading this! Oh to be more like Mary! Melie. x

  2. 3
    Katherine says:

    Loved your post… :~)
    God’s kingdom, His gift of Joy to us… those are the greatest treasures we can seek after!

  3. 5

    We had our house
    Repoed. I thought I was gonna die of embarrassment. We moved to an apt that was 1/3 the space of our house. We have been here for a year and our less is up. We have been looking and found a townhome that is almost the same size as our house. It even has a professional stove! I do wish we still had our huge dinning room table, hutch etc. But now this is even better because we don’t have to fix anything. God is the God of second chances. We serve an awesome God.

    • 6

      Amen, Sunny. There is joy ANYWHERE that God is. And He is anywhere. I pray He showers His blessings on you in this new little space and fills it with HIS PRESENCE. Merry Christmas!

  4. 7

    Isn’t it wonderful how our perspective can change so dramatically when He takes us places we never would have imagined? It begins with our willingness. Amazing!

  5. 9

    Just beautiful!

  6. 11
    allison says:

    I love this! I appreciate the perspective of giving that is so much for than tithing–it’s entrusting it ALL to Him. What an adventure, to embrace the ‘theology of enough’ rooted in the ‘gospel of abundance,’ as Shane Claiborne says. Thank you!

  7. 13

    WOW! I love this. We put our dream house up for sale a few months ago and are trying to sell in order to downsize. Not because we have to, but because our hearts have changed too. We love to give and we want to free up extra money to give it away. I am so encouraged to know there are others out there doing the same! THANK YOU!

    • 14

      Kelly! Awesome!! That is so cool to hear … I know it’s not what God has for everyone but it IS exciting to take that leap of faith and adventure, isn’t it? I pray for God’s perfect story, His timing, His new digs for you … that His presence would be with you all the way. Bless you, girl!

  8. 15

    Receiving joy and grace? Right here. Right now. This message was exactly what I needed to hear.

  9. 17

    How beautiful, I just loved this! Amen and amen!

  10. 19

    Love it!…Our family has had a hard couple of years, but God has been so faithful in His provision for us. Just last week we recieved a Christmas card from far off friends we haven’t seen in ages with a walmart gift card in it. There was no explanation. It was simply a gift of love. :)

  11. 22

    Hi Kari,
    My husband and I are doing this very thing! We just sold our dream home (that we DON’T need) and moving into a little home and I am looking forward to it. And I am at peace with it. And you’re right it was very freeing. Our mansions are in heaven that will far exceed any dream home here on earth. Now we’ll be able to focus more on helping others. Praise God!
    Merry CHRISTmas,
    Sonya

  12. 23

    Joy comes through repentance! I repented and pleaded with the LORD to please use me as His vessel and WOW He never ceases to amaze me EVERYDAY!
    We have a property He told us we are going to live on – it is $3 million dollars…. we are waiting on Him to provide but have acted on it and are in the process of moving schools etc AND this property will bring 1000′s to the truth and God’s word – back to the PURE 10 commandments! Back to the true Sabbath day – Saturday!
    We are about to see some amazing things in the body of Christ world wide – ask the Spirit of God to teach you in all things. Search His word as He leads!!!
    We are to give our home to others in our church as well!! It is all just amazing.
    The LORD is preparing all things, the time is short! We must take our eyes off earthly things and look to the LORD whilst there is still time!!

  13. 24

    THANK YOU for a wonderful post too!!
    Taste and see that the LORD is good – AMEN!
    Happy Holidays!!

  14. 25
    Beth Williams says:

    I love Christmas for the giving–but to give out of joy! I love helping those less fortunate & buying a few items to make Christmas/life more comfortable for others gives me great joy!

    This year our church had the priviledge of sponsoring a Cancer family. This family has 4 kids 2,5,11 & 19. The grandfather, father and 11 year old all have cancer.

    • 26
      Beth Williams says:

      I love Christmas for the giving–but to give out of joy! I love helping those less fortunate & buying a few items to make Christmas/life more comfortable for others gives me great joy!

      This year our church had the priviledge of sponsoring a Cancer family. This family has 4 kids 2,5,11 & 19. The grandfather, father and 11 year old all have cancer. The mother works for the housing authority when she can. I was able to get gift cards for the 2 oldest & 1 from wal mart for the parents. Some people actually paid their electric bill for a month. The total of all the gifts and money was almost $1,000.00. The mother was in tears. Such a good feeling!

  15. 27

    What we believed to be empty, is filled…finally. But how can something be filled until it is empty? And how can we empty that which we hold more dear than the full treasure He promises until we understand? His kingdom is upside down. Full by world standards = empty IF IT IS OUR only gauge of worth. Empty by worldly measurement = FULL when it is His ruler. Thank you for sharing your journey dear one. I in some measure have been the receiver of the love you pour out of your filling of the REAL abundant life He has filled you with. Merry Christmas precious one. Debra

  16. 28
    Angie W. says:

    I love making mix cds of worship music and giving to others to bask in. Its on of my favorites…

  17. 29

    Beautiful Kari! Thank You for sharing!! I so love your heart!

    God, give me eyes to always see your Eternal perspective!!
    “… and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.”

  18. 30

    Hello Kari, loved your post, freedom and joy flow out of each word. Years ago we sold our home, almost everything we own was given away and we entered a venture of living by faith as we went to Bolivia, S.A. with New Tribes Mission. took our two children and God proceeded to change our lives for ever. Seven years there, three years out of missions to help our home church, back in missions serving still in the states then we took a huge step heading to Papua New Guinea since 2004, again living by faith. Now we are back in the states to continue to do ministry with New Tribes in California, again living by faith.

    We owned no house, a few pieces of furniture that will not go to Ca with us, just a few boxes of books and some house hold goods. Once again we are starting by scratch, living in an apartment and my sister we are free…no mortage to be saddled with along with insureance, taxes, and upkeep that is never ending. Our heart desire is to help people and it’s much easier to do that without so much to distract us. Others are a little concerned with us that we are not buying now that we are in the states…it would seem the right time…low interest…so many houses for sell…..but our hearts love the freedom that comes living with out a lot. It can be exciting to just watch God work when only a miracle can be the answer for you have nothing in your power to help yourself.

    What a giant step of faith you have taken, praise God He will never fail you my courageous wise hearted sister…keep walking in faith and He will use you in a great way. and all who view what He is doing will wants some of that joy also….Great post, inspiring, challenging…

  19. 31

    And the joy you feel radiates right out of you! Thanks for spreading your joy & your heart! You make us all look to Christ to mold & transform us.
    As I look back on this year and the areas where we were most generous, it seems our hearts were on our local community. There were lots of opportunities to give away clothes/toys/food/strollers to local centers as well as to individuals. There was even 1 opportunity to anonymously pay off a layaway item for someone & that was long before it became popular to pay off layaway–isn’t the phenomenon at Kmart great?
    Anyway, it looks like 2012 will be the year our hearts are stretched internationally since Matt just 100% out of the blue announced we should sponsor a child. Who knows what will come next? Looking forward to it though!
    Love seeing where God takes you! Thanks for sharing!

  20. 32

    This Christmas season, a joy-filled experience has been sharing the love of Jesus to a lonely, broken lady by simply being there for her and showing we cared (and doing this with my children). Great post. Thanks for sharing, Kari.
    Have a Christmas filled with the joy of Christ!

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  1. [...] that’s why I feel so much lighter. Why I feel so free. … {the rest over at (in)courage … thanks for reading!} [...]

  2. [...] wrote a new post for {in}courage, up today: “How Joy Comes to Your World.” She begins: About a month ago we sold our dream house and down-sized into a rental. We lost [...]

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