let’s give ourselves away

This post isn’t going to be profound. Or complete. It’s 7:00pm, and I haven’t started dinner.

There will also be disclaimers. Like this one.

Disclaimer: Yes, our family is doing some awesome things with our lives these days. But 1.) we can’t take an ounce of the credit. And 2.) it is absolutely not all love and happiness and unselfishness around these parts (TRUST ME).

I’ve said before that I struggle with sharing stuff about our lives. I never, ever want to come across as, “LOOK AT US! We buy used underwear and eat grass and LOVE PEOPLE FROM COUNTRIES YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF!”

(I also do not want to live in fear of people mis-reading me and not understanding my heart.)

But I absolutely DO want to come across as, “HEY! You know all that stuff we’ve been told all our lives about The American Dream and what it means to Be a Good Christian and This Is How You Have to Do Things Because Just Because?”

LET’S QUESTION THAT. Just the littlest bit. And then the next littlest bit.

Maybe money and security aren’t everything. Maybe wanting less is the key to contentment. Maybe loving the poor and hanging out with people from different countries and having fun that money can’t buy WILL BLESS YOUR SOCKS OFF.

My kids still fight and whine. I still worry about bills. Gabe still struggles with anxiety and road rage. I still HATEHATEHATE chewing/swallowing noises (among others–I will probably blog about this soon).

We are not perfect, nor heroic. We’re just kind of giving ourselves away, and God is giving us back more than we can wrap our minds around.

We have chosen a path less traveled, and it is KILLING US WITH ITS AMAZINGNESS.

And I want EVERYBODY to experience it for themselves.

11 thoughts on “let’s give ourselves away

  1. Rachelle

    “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” Matt 16:25
    Dying to self is hard and for me, ugly and a daily choice. But when we do God blows the doors off of our old self-made belief system! And that is where I find life abundant!

  2. Addie

    to be honest, sometimes Im really jealous of your family – I want to get to that lifestyle but I dont know how, and honestly, sometimes Im just not willing…. but I want to be… I think it would be interesting to have a weekly post to help people like me along the way – just one small thing we can do that week to get us closer to becoming less dependent on our stuff – but it will have to start off small b/c Im one of those people that has to do everything at once, so if its something big, then I will probably fail and quit altogether (just being honest there), so maybe if you could lead us in small steps, we could follow? I know you are busy, so you might not have the time to do this, but Id love some direction… 🙂

    1. Marla Taviano

      Funny you should ask that, because I just told Gabe yesterday that I’m contemplating doing another blog series in May about having less stuff and more time/money to love others. 🙂

  3. Nina

    I like living at abbey lane and now that i’m use to it i don’t like at ALL having a lot of money and not going to the thrift store and not being vegan and i would die if i couldn’t have beans at all! (Beans are my favorite food!) And i really want to go back to Cambodia and i dream of going to Thailand ( Even though we already have been ) and Australia! and after all living in a apartment is sometimes actually fun! :)!

    Love, Nina.

    I wrote this comment on Norah! 🙂

  4. Lauren

    I love this so much!! God is challenging my family’s heart lately too and giving on up on the american dream to be more disciples for him and enjoy our lives together more. I’m not 100% sure how that is going to look but I know we are willing to step out and were just talking about this today. Step 1 is selling our house so we aren’t attached to where we live as we feel we may be moving soon anyways 🙂

  5. Jill Foley

    I love this post!

    Our family just got back from a trip to Thailand and as I watched my girls hand out gifts in the middle of a Karen idp camp just across the Burma border, I thought….THIS is way better than any trip to Disneyworld or Disneyland. Disney’s not bad…just not the dream I have for my children. I want to give them the world – the good and the hard. I want them to know and understand that most of the world do not live like us. We are blessed so we can bless.

  6. Kathy Carlton Willis

    Marla, thanks so much for this! The best part of being a barefoot girl is knowing it’s because God has blessed my socks off! Giving ourselves away is so rewarding I don’t want to go back to trying to live the American Dream. Living a God-Dream is W-A-Y better! I’m sharing your post!

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