I promised to share the story behind the house. The one pictured above? Yeah, that house. Tomorrow morning my hubby & I will sign the papers to purchase it. We move in next week. However, I need to back up a bit to give this story it's full due, so you may want to put your feet up and grab a cup of coffee or tea. It may take a few extra words to do this story justice.
July 17, 1993
Hubby & I with my maternal grandparents
Way back in 1993 when hubs & I were mere babes and decided to get married, we simply jumped in with both feet. As young people are want to do....we figured it would all work out...somehow and we were in love and that was all that mattered. Yeah. I know.
We never had any talks about if I would stay home with the kids or, even for that matter, how many kids we wanted! It was only nine months from the time we first met until the above photo was taken and we said "I do....until death do us part." Needless to say we had a lot of hard learning to get through.
But we did it. And it was hard. But that's another story....
When our first kiddo was just shy of three years old, we bought our first house. Our dream house. The one where I told him he would have to use dynamite to get me out of it. We had been married six years at that point and had moved at least that many times.
Our new home was 4000 square feet - including the full basement. It had five bedrooms and five bathrooms. It was in the country. We had about four acres of land. It was huge and we loved it. Just the three of us.
At the time we were both working full-time and our young son was going to daycare. That was the only way we could afford that big house - two incomes. For some reason I never questioned that. I was raised by a stay-at-home mom. My mom didn't go back to work out of the home until I was in high school. She stayed home twenty-five years to raise her five children. But for some reason, I never thought that this was an option for me. I went to college to get a degree and entered my career simply assuming that was were I would always be.
Thankfully God intervened.
I was about six months pregnant with child #2 when I heard God clearly saying to me..."Stay home and raise these children." Unbeknownst to me at the time, he had also placed this on my hubby's heart. So we began talking about what we would need to do to make this happen and both came to the same conclusion.
Our dream home - the one we had been living in for only 18 months at that point - would have to be sold.
And I was completely okay with moving again which is how I knew this was from God.
One Monday in April we signed the agreement papers to sell our home. We had an extended closing time due to the situation of the couple buying it. On Friday I gave birth to our second son. When he was a mere three months old we moved from that lovely 4000 square foot home to a four room apartment.
However, this made that sacrifice all worth it.....
My two boys - circa 2001
Our adventures in being frugal and saving began. Our goal was to become debt-free, but it was not one we worked at very hard until three years after moving in to that tiny apartment and adding son #3 to the mix. That is when my hubby found Dave Ramsey and our journey really started.
We made yet another move - what I truly thought would be our next to last move. We moved home. What I mean by that is we bought a trailer and placed in on the family homestead - the property where my hubby grew up. We lived right next to my in-laws and my hubby's grandparents. It was a fantastic place to raise our boys and we all loved it.
The trailer we lived in was suppose to be short term. We thought we'd be there no more than three years and then we would be able to build a house here. We planned to settle here. We never planned to leave. However, it's been eight years and we still live in our 14x70 trailer with three growing boys.
And God had other plans for us - ones we never saw coming, but isn't that God's way?
Just last year my hubby had an opportunity come up that we had not anticipated. His boss was moving on to another job and offered to sell the company to my hubby. Wow and that doesn't even cover all the emotions we felt. In fact, my poor hubby was so overwhelmed by it all he never slept that night. And let's just say that pulling an overnighter in your late 30s is way harder than doing so in your early 20s!
God continued to work the events in our lives and my hubby became the proud owner of his own business in November 2011 (for those who would ask - he is a civil engineer and the company is an engineering/surveying company). We thought God was done.
I started to realize that one of my fears of hubby now owning a company was coming true. He was gone a lot. We live 60 minutes one way from where he works. It makes for long days. And when one is in charge of everything, sometimes those days are super long.
However, our three boys need their dad more than ever now because they keep insisting on growing up. As much as I teach them, I simply can't teach them how to be a man. That's their daddy's job.
Ages 11, 8 & 16 - September 2012
So we began talking about moving - again. However, the benefits began to far outweigh any cons.
And God nudged us along again.
In April I hosted a "sheep shearing party" and lots of friends came to watch, chat, and enjoy the fantastic spring weather. During the course of the day I was talking with a friend about how we were looking at potentially moving closer to hubs work to cut down on his commute and increase his time with the family. And another friend overheard. And she listened to God's prompting.
Late that afternoon, after most folks had left, I received a call from another homeschooling friend - one I see rarely but always enjoy chatting with - because she lives an hour away.
It turns out God was working in their lives too.
She explained why she was calling...they wanted to sell their house. Well, they didn't really want to but felt God's prompting to do so. She had heard we were looking to move to that area and proceeded to give me the run down on the home. Oh.my.gosh. The house seems to have been made for us.
I listened to all she had to say and wrote furiously trying to jot down all the important things....
- four bedrooms
- three bathrooms
- 2200 square feet
- a full walk-out basement
- central air conditioning (which is proof God truly cares for all the little things a person wants - I hate heat!)
- all located on 146 acres (and this is not a typo) just a mere ten minutes from hubby's office
It seemed to good to be true but I assured her I was at least interested and I would talk to my hubby. I fully expected him to say there was no way we could do this, but he began to research it. And we realized we could do it.
But let me share a bit more of the back story....
Our friends were indeed selling due to God's urging. They have been feeling called to missions. Not just any type of missions, but a traveling missions where they would need to live in a RV - with their four young children ages 2-11. However, her hubby has a great job with the government (wildlife biologist) and loved his work.
So he began to pray..."Lord, is this if your will, make me hate my job." And the Lord answered him. Within a few months of praying this, his job changed enough so that he no longer enjoyed it.
However, just to be sure he prayed this..."Lord, if this is your will, eliminate my position." And the Lord answered. As of October 1st, his job is gone. They are being relocated to North Carolina.
There is more to their story, but it's their story to tell and not mine. But if you think of it, please pray for them as they have many obstacles to overcome to eventually get to the mission field as well as moving their family from Maine to North Carolina this weekend!
God continued to make a way for both families. We managed to complete the sale of the home without real estate agents and good relations still intact between us. In fact, we have enjoyed many evenings visiting while we worked out the details. In fact, my hubby remarked that the only sad thing about this whole process is that we are just getting to know them so well and they are moving! We have a lot in common and would have enjoyed spending time together.
The entire situation is still extremely surreal to me. Even though I am now surrounded by empty bookshelves and full boxes I know without a doubt that this is where God wants us to be.
I, for one, am excited to see what is in store for our family in the coming years as we enjoy our new home and, most importantly, the extra time as a family.