June 10, 2014

God's Grace Is Sufficient by Sharon Espeseth

My husband and I are seriously downsizing. Both Hank and I have come from humble, homesteader beginnings. I could show you the houses we each lived in when we were young, but it would take time to find and scan the right photos. Since time is in short supply, I will forgo the images and let you imagine our little houses on the prairie. No yard light, because we had no electricity. You will see the outdoor toilet in the background.

We both worked hard during our single and married years. I was a teacher and Hank was a business man plus a Hank of all trades. We raised three kids. Then in 2000, just before the grandchildren started coming, we designed and contracted for the building of our dream home. Lovingly, we chose the colours, flooring, cupboards, and if I do say so myself, it turned out well. Ours is a comfortable place, a good place for entertaining family and friends. 

During this past fourteen years, our two daughters were married and our six grandchildren were born. This is the only house our young ones know as Papa and Nana's house. Hank and I decided some months ago that it would be better for us to give up some of our earthly possessions and find a smaller place to live. I'll spare you the details, but those of you who've downsized will understand that it's an operation easier said than executed.
Treasures: Papa and Lacey

Discouragement enters the picture and we sometimes ask, "What were we thinking?" But we both know we've gone too far to turn back, and we also know that the new owners wouldn't appreciate our staying here, so we forge ahead. We've packed up antiques for a sale. Our kids will get some of the furniture and family treasures they are attached to. Life will go on.

Last night I agonized over some of my family and teaching treasures--cards and letters from students and parents--and special e-mails from loved ones. A serious amount of this had to go. Today I'll tackle my writing files, another tough job. I may need to reread Marcia Laycock's devotional, "A Pack-rat's Epiphany," from her book Abundant Rain. Here she laughs at herself for keeping a hand-written, musty-smelling, mouse-chewed draft of her first book-length manuscript. Marcia also quotes the words of Jesus in Matthew 6:19-21 where he reminds us to store up our treasures in heaven rather than on earth, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

In the midst of my muddle, I was following the renewed debate on abortion laws, or the lack thereof, in Canada, and I felt called to write on this topic. I asked a few friends, including a few InScribers for prayer support as I grappled with the topic. God granted me the grace and focus to research and write on this vital topic, even though I was limited to short time frames. It's gone to a publisher, but I need to follow up today. Would you please pray that I find a suitable publishing home for this story?

With apologies, I admit I've had to cut out reading and commenting on InScribe blogs this month. I miss this part of my day, so I will definitely get back to reading all of you when we get more settled. 

Togetherness in tough times and in good times
I am thankful that our downsizing has not been due to a financial crisis, an earthquake, or flood. It is a decision we made ourselves. We've put our hand to the plow and we cannot look back, but we know God's grace is sufficient for us. We are also fortunate that we as a couple can accomplish this feat together.


  1. Thank you Sharon for sharing your heart. Downsizing is clearly a very challenging thing to do, but what a noble example the two of you are setting in pressing onward and clearly placing your riches on heavenly things.
    Day by day for the glory of God!

  2. Sharon,
    Thanks for sharing. I can imagine this day will be very challenging for us...It is a little ways away but really time goes so quickly. The exciting thing is that God has a new exciting chapter for you! God bless you.

  3. Hi Sharon,

    What a great look into your lives. Thanks for sharing. Please contact me when you find a publisher as our Pregnancy Care Centre would be sure to want to read it.

  4. Thank you, Melanie, Loretta, and Janis, for your understanding and encouragement. I'll be working further on the publication of my story on abortion, and, Janis, I will let me know when I hear something positive on this. Blessings on all of you too, Sharon

  5. This must be very difficult - parting with treasured items. It reminds me of the 12 piece setting of china that my husband's uncle and aunt gave us just after we were married. I never would have imagined how often we have used it to share a meal with friends and family, as we did again today. I think you are wise doing your downsizing now - like you said, it is better to do it now than to wait for a crisis. You are blessing people with your treasures and they will be used to bless others over and over again.
    Also, good for you writing on the abortion issue. I will definitely pray this story finds a home. It is much needed in Canada!


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