You guys made me giggle!! Thank you for all your guesses!! I loved reading what some of you do without and have done without or would do without!
Maria, you are too funny! As I was reading your comment, I didn’t realize it was you and thought, “Wow! Who is this lady? She’s like living without anything!” Then I got to the part that you live in Africa and was like, “Wait! Who? Ohhhh I know you!! I’ve even been to your apartment! You!! Sweet friend!” True enough, you missionaries live without it all! One more reason why you all are our heroes!! (PS….. Give Moriah and Emmy hugs for me and know that we pray for you guys and love you bunches!)
Zan Mei – you are doing without in rural Ch*na as well?? Wow. I love it! Not sure why you are there, but praying for God to meet your every need! And not having so many things does seem to make life more simple in an odd sort of way, doesn’t it?
So here goes on your guesses….
The microwave? Well truthfully, I despise it (sorry all you microwave lovers!)…and never, ever use it. I would remove it except it would leave a gapping hole!! When I can figure out a free (or inexpensive) way to have an exhaust for the stove and not have a gapping hole, I’m going for it! But for now, yes, we still have a microwave.
The dishwasher? We have lived without one at different times. I personally, like you Kat, love to talk or just think while washing dishes. But the reality for our lives is that there are so many of us it’s just not that practical. We use primarily cast iron for all our cooking and baking which requires us to wash the cast iron always by hand without soap, so we still manage to do lots of hand washing! But we still use the dishwasher and for our family of 11 and it just seems like we will be for awhile.
The stove/oven? I love to bake and I love to cook so I couldn’t imagine not having my stove and oven! The kids have also gotten so good at cooking and baking as well. So it’s definitely not that!
But what we have been doing without is our DRYER! Through a series of crazy circumstances, that are way too long to explain, we ended up not being able to use the one we have. The night it became unusable, Dw was packing to leave for Africa the next morning. And clothes soon were drying everywhere! This is the same time that the kids began to break out in chicken pox. It was kinda’ crazy!
With him in Africa and no viable way to make the dryer work, I got to thinking….I love, love, love personal challenges and wondered if I could manage without a dryer – ever! I decided I was “going for it”. My personal version of “Little House in the city of Phoenix” – surely making Caroline Ingalls proud!
After cleaning up clothes that had blown all over the yard (which I found annoying) I ordered drying racks off of Amazon and they have been perfect! I tried just having two, but that wasn’t quite enough so I ordered a third.
Eventually, since the dryer was unusable, while Dw was at work one day, I asked the boys to help me move the dryer out to the garage so I could fit the sorting rack in where the dryer had been. The sorting rack had been in a tiny closet under the stairs near the laundry area – which was very impractical.
This is a win/win as the little closet (where the sorting rack had been) freed up made space for our War Room! (If you haven’t seen the movie, you must! It will inspire you to make a War Room in your home! Here’s an idea: With Christmas around the corner, buy it for all your kids (and everyone else you need something for) and watch it together! We’ve watched it as a family a few times and the kids frequent the War Room in our home!)
Anyway, for now, this family of 11 has done without a dryer for almost 4 months. As I mentioned yesterday, it has required a bit more organizing and planning, which in many ways makes life seem much simpler. There is no “mad dash” to get something washed and dried to go somewhere in a short amount of time. This requires all of the kids to plan as well.
We do not own many clothes, which also keeps life much simpler. Kinda’ along the idea of “something to wear” and “something being washed”. This mama of many treasures loves the simplicity of it all. Maybe we will have a dryer again one day, but in this season, I rejoice. It’s been a beautiful simple blessing!