The Sanders Family
Doug and I have two children. Lauren, 23, who just married, is an emergency room nurse. Houston is 18 and headed to the University of Tennessee in August. We have lived half of our married life (30 years, yikes!!) in Nashville and the other half of our married life in small town USA. Life in a small town was definitely simpler and less stressful for our family. We have just spent the last few years following Houston around the country as he played ice hockey. We believe in helping our children find their passion and pursue it. We also believe that active and involved teenagers will get into less trouble than those with a lot of time on their hands--"a tired teenager is a good teenager".
We have been recyclers for a long time. Due to financial necessity, we furnished our household with things we could find at rural auctions and very rural antique/junk stores. It became our pastime and entertainment to comb the countryside looking for pieces to furnish our home. There is something satisfying about cleaning, sanding, and oiling an old piece of wood. The ultimate recycling is taking something used for 100 years and finding a use for it in your home. Each piece in our home has a story, including the day we found it and brought it to our house.
On future housing, Doug and I do not currently agree on the next step. He wants to move downtown inside the loop, or at least near it, and live near those in need. I, on the other hand, would like to move away to a more rural area and build a "green" house with solar energy, geo-thermal, wind energy, gray water reclamation, etc. Under current city codes, not much of that can be done inside the city. So, we are currently looking at options and we will hopefully find a solution that will make both of us happy.
Our life has taken a bit of a change in the last two years going from an "executive" family with one set of expectations to a ministerial family with a whole different set of expectations from the world. I think the world as a whole has always expected ministers to lead a simple life, whether they themselves lived that role or not. We continue to look for ways to keep it simple and help others to look for a more simple, peaceful way of life. What a great gift it would be if we could give simplicity and peace as well as food and housing to those in need of "benevolence". That could be the ultimate form of giving, both for body and spirit.