on a mission to embody grace and compassion in all relationships

Dreaming Anew

Friends have asked about the process of us putting our home on the market and moving into Birmingham.

So why are we open to selling our home on the lake that we love so much?

Not long after I built my house in 2002, I was at peace with the idea that I would be single for the rest of my life.  Seriously.  With no children from my sixteen year marriage, I dreamed of living on a lake and inviting friends to visit on the weekends.  I would create my own extended family and go from there.  I went from sleeping on the floor in a one bedroom apartment with no furniture to building this house six years later.

After moving into my new home, Mary and I met a few months later and all my priorities shifted.  All I knew was I wanted to be wherever she was.  I was ready to move to NC where Mary lived and let the lake house go.  We married eighteen months later and surprisingly Brendan and Kiki wanted to move to the lake.  Six years later our two children are beginning their sophomore years in college, and Mary and I are looking to downsize, own less, and simplify our lives.

A new dream helps me to be open to moving into the city of Birmingham.

I wrote about my simplicity journey this Spring.  But what exactly do I mean now?

I dream of the day when I can:

  1. Live close enough to walk or ride a bike to work after commuting one hour each way for eight years.
  2. Own one car.
  3. Downsize from a 4BR/3BA home to 2BR/2BA condo and own less.
  4. Cut our mortgage in half and eliminate all of our debt in the next ten years or less.
  5. Invest more time in family, friendships, and hobbies outside of work.
  6. Be more extravagant in giving away my resources to be more congruent with my faith values.

I could go on. But that is enough for now.

And speaking of now, what do we do in the meantime?  After all, we do have to wait for someone to buy our house in a tough market.

We all live in the “meantime,” the now.  I’ll write about that in my next post.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear you have downsized your life, or how you are living more simply.  What does that mean to you? How have or how are you doing it?



  1. Lynn Pace

    Best wishes, Malcolm and Mary! It is a joy to downsize, to have less of a load to carry…I find I can BE more fully…frees one for the essentials.


  2. Cathy Brown

    Thank you for sharing your simplicity journey here. I’ve been inspired by so much of what you’ve written; especially, today! You graciously [and freely!] offer ruminating-worthy lessons; concepts. I appreciate how your insight has enhanced my own.

  3. Malcolm

    Lyn and Cathy, thank you for your encouragement to share about this journey toward simplicity. We are open to seeing what happens!


  4. kathy thomson

    I love your and Mary Bea’s blogs. I also am so drawn to living more simply- but I’m also very caught up in “everything”… so I appreciate your honesty so much. It is truly a journey we are on.

  5. Malcolm

    Kathy, thank you for reading my blog and my wife’s blog. I am glad to hear we are not alone in this journey of living more meaningfully and simply. I have a long way to go and appreciate the encouragement along the way.

    Peace to you,

  6. Joy Resor

    Dear Malcolm,

    I bought Mary’s wonderful book yesterday as we were leaving Kanuga and finished it today, which led me to her web page and to your blog.

    You asked about others living simply, and I will share a bit. I moved to NC in 2007 to a BIG house on a mountain nearby of my husband’s dream, and our marriage ended in 2008.

    I rent a wonderful, cozy, cottage in walking distance to so much of the town, and I chose not to buy a tv. Feels like my new simpler life is SO MUCH richer, deeper, and calmer in myriad ways. Less truly is more. How I wish you and Mary a buyer for your lake house and the simpler lifestyle you desire to live into.

    Many blessings,

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