Friday, May 6, 2016

New beginnings

My husband has farming blood in him.  He's brought up the idea of moving to the country more and more frequently over the past few years.  I, in turn, dismissed the idea as impossible.  Yes, it would be nice to have more land for the kids to play in.  But...I like being a part of a neighborhood, I like nice-looking manicured lawns, I like being five minutes away from a milk stop, or a diaper stop, or an oops-I-forgot-I-needed-that-ingredient-before-I-could-make-our-dinner stop.  And what about ticks?  Snakes?

About a year ago, he started browsing properties, showing me ones he liked here and there.  We even drove by a few.  But seriously, we have seven children.  Do people with seven children ever move?  How is it possible?  And we love our house!  Our pretty red house with the white pillars out front.  Newly landscaped. New pretty kitchen.  And friends for the kids literally on our front doorstep.

After the new year, there was a shift in my perspective.  I'm not sure what caused it.  Looking back, I'd say that God changed my heart on the matter and I was much more open to the idea of moving.  Brian had found a house he'd been watching that he really liked the looks of - ten acres, and what got me interested was the huge area for entertaining on the main level.  Complete with a basketball court.  Because every living room needs one.  So, we went and had a look.  It ended up needing quite a bit of work done and was not what we were looking for in terms of bedroom configuration.

This opened the door even more to considering a move.  Well, that and the fact that we were now expecting our eighth child.

We met with realtors about the value of our property.  We told them we were leaning toward building because we couldn't imagine finding anything that would fit our family's needs.  There were properties trickling onto the market, little to none meeting our criteria.  We told the kids, who of course started telling everyone that we were MOVING when they found out we were meeting with realtors, that there was a 1% chance we'd move within the next year.  We ended the meeting with the realtors telling them that we weren't going to be ready to do anything for a year or so.

A couple of weeks later, around the end of March, a highly interesting property hit the market.  Looking at it, I thought, that was exactly how I would have liked our house to look if we chose to build.  We called our realtors and arranged to go and take a look.  We stood in the kitchen after the walk-through and told him it was too bad we liked it so much because our house wasn't nearly ready to go on the market, then we'd need to sell, then we'd need to hope that this property was still available.  In a market where houses were going very quickly, I was not optimistic.  I mentally let the house go, not wanting to get attached to something that was such a slim possibility.

After prayer, talking it through, and a lot of endless thinking, we decided to push hard to get our house ready to sell.  We painted, replaced light fixtures and knobs on cabinets, and cleaned EVERYTHING.  In a week.

And then we put our house on the market.  Testing.  Praying with purpose that God would NOT let our house sell unless He wanted us somewhere else.  Meanwhile, the other house was still on the market, and we decided to put in an offer, contingent upon our property selling.  Our offer was still being considered when our house officially went on the market, last Thursday, April 28, around 2:00 p.m.

An hour later, we were getting calls from realtors requesting showings for that evening.  I'd cleaned the house the evening before while the rest of the family was at church, so we were in good shape there.  Did some touching up and planned for a dinner out with the kids.  We ended up having 3 showings at the exact same time.  We actually sat in the van around the corner and saw that three couples were simultaneously looking at the property.  Late that night after returning home, Brian received an e-mail from our realtor stating that he'd gotten two offers from those showings.

The next day, we were officially presented with both offers, both of which were above asking price, and decided to accept one of them, seeing clearly that this was God's direction for us at this time.

Right around the same time that we finalized those papers, there was mutual acceptance of our offer on the other property.  Now without the contingency of us needing to sell our home.

So, not only did God provide clear direction and answer to prayer, but He also provided us with a bunch of mercies we weren't even praying about - we needed to prepare the house for showings exactly once.  A huge blessing with that many hands and feet constantly getting things dirty.  We had a quick sale, which allows for a quick closing date, far enough out from my due date that I will still have the energy to pack and unpack and plenty of time to get settled in before baby and before another year of homeschooling starts at the end of August.  AND we're not even technically in the country, just on the edge, but with a good chunk of land and trees and plenty of adventure for the kids to discover.  The roads are even paved.

It's going to be so hard to leave.  So many memories of little feet walking, new siblings arriving, and even tornadoes!

We're trusting in God's plan and the future only He can see, and rejoicing in the many undeserved blessings He's shown us through this process.



Unknown said...

Praise God from whom All blessings flow!

Judy Westrum said...

What a joy to read the story of how God led in this next time of placing you in His world for His glory!