Sunday, February 15, 2015

So, we're buying a house...

I know, it's crazy exciting! And surprising because we thought we might end up renting from my parents forever. But, they have decided that they want to downsize and buy something that is smaller and just right for them in this season of life. Ben and I are excited for them to finally be empty-nesters after 33 1/2 years of having at least one child living at home.

I never thought that we would find a house as fast as we did. I was imagining a long, thoughtful process of looking at older houses in need of TLC and imagining what they would look like after we rehabbed them for the next 5-7 years. Being huge fans of Nicole Curtis and Addicted to Rehab, we assumed that this was the plan for us.

This also felt more comfortable to me financially. The idea of purchasing a house after years of renting felt terrifying in the seriousness of its financial commitment. I think that I secretly hoped we would keep renting because it felt safer than risking purchasing a house and having to depend on God to provide the finances for our house payment. I know, I know. God regularly uses my finances to help me stay in a position of utter dependence on Him and I keep trying to wriggle out it because I would much rather be in a position of dependence on myself. I guess I should have guessed that a house was coming because it was the next logical leap of faith and trust financially.

Our first two houses were foreclosures that needed tons of work. I felt comfortable with the price tags, but wondered how there would ever be enough time in the off-season for Ben to accomplish all of the work that they needed. Then we saw 2211 Oxford Street and it was love at first sight.

This house is absolutely adorable and move-in ready. I could not believe that every single room had some feature that captivated me. Built-in's. Window seats. Crown molding. And tons of natural light, my most favorite house feature. I had a moment standing at the top of the stairs. I was looking out the  enchanting, small, rectangular window and I realized that I was feeling the same way that I felt when I tried on my wedding dress for the first time. I swirled in place a little bit, trying it on for size, and then I knew: I could live in this house.

This process has actually been a lot like other big decisions that I have made. I always want to make big decisions carefully and gather information thoroughly. But, then my intuition sweeps in and I just know that I know that I'm ready to make my decision. Choosing to go to Centre College for my bachelor's degree. Working at the French International School in Chicago. Wanting to marry Ben the very first day I met him. Knowing that we had found our very first house on only our third showing.

Then, as usually happens, I started to doubt myself. What if my intuition is wrong? This house is at the top of our budget. What if it is too expensive and we can't pay our bills? It only has two bedrooms. What if we can never sell it again and we have to live there forever, cramming our future children into every nook and cranny and transforming the sunroom into our bedroom? What if we make the wrong choice and God punishes us?

Ben and I prayed and had long conversations about desire and wisdom. We were both feeling such a strong delight in this house and that stirred up strong desire to purchase and own this house. We wanted to hear from God and follow wisdom in making this important decision. As we prayed and waited, we made plans to see other houses. Despite our best efforts, we could not stop thinking about that little house we had fallen in love with. Other houses we saw just didn't compare and our hearts were not moved. Finally, we realized that God was speaking through what our hearts were feeling. We felt His father heart moving toward us and giving us peace about purchasing the house, coming to believe it was a good gift that He wanted to give us and that He would provide for it financially.

We close on March 11 and we remain in this posture of awe, excitement and some anxiety. Ben has poured over the home inspection and cannot wait to start maintaining our very own home with love and care. I keep looking at the pictures online and imagining my life in that space.
 
I think about taking off my shoes and coat in the cute mudroom.

Drinking coffee with Ben in the yard or screened-in porch.

I imagine bringing a baby home to the little bedroom and giving kids baths in the little tub in the blue bedroom. I think about walking to my sister's house in the summer or running a few blocks over to be along the river.
I think about playing the piano there and making new neighbor friends.

I don't know exactly how we are going to pay for our house each month, but I believe that God is faithful. I believe that He knows the exact sum of our monthly bills and that He will provide every cent that we need. Beyond that, I believe that God cares about our dreams and our desires. I believe that He hears our prayers and responds.

Still Counting Gifts:

  • #1064: My business has held steady since December, averaging 25 clients a week again.
  • #1065: I am really enjoying my work. I feel God calling me deeper and stretching me through the clients that He is sending into my practice. He is helping me to extend His invitation to true joy in the midst of great suffering to people who are hurting.
  • #1066: My sister and I are running a half-marathon at the end of May! I never thought I would do this again, but she has persuaded me and I'm getting excited for another long-distance event.
  • #1067: Karyn has me doing yoga and I actually really like it. Who knew that was possible?
  • #1068: I finally got rid of those ten pounds that have been plaguing me and refusing to move!
  • #1069: I'm eating really well and feeling amazing.
  • #1070: Celebrating Valentine's Day with senior citizens yesterday. (I went with a group of 8th grade students from the Rotary Academy to visit Wesley Willows and we had a great time!)
  • #1071: I led a song, by myself, this morning and didn't die. To the contrary, I'm growing in my skill and confidence at playing the piano and leading songs.
  • #1072: I can drink coffee black and enjoy it.
  • #1073: Our Florida vacation is coming...and I'm so excited!



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