God has been working on me. A lot. I could almost stop this post right there. (Ha, some of you would probably like that!). Anyway, I have been blogging off and on about our adventure in listing our house for sale and our subsequent discovery of a beautiful, run-down and worn-out pre-foreclosure that my heart has been longing for ever since I laid eyes on it. And, therein has been the problem. I think my heart started longing for it a bit too much.
When we listed our house, it was entirely on a whim. I have a crazy habit of scrolling through realtor.com to look at what is out there, especially as I have been bitten by the DIY/decorating bug in the past couple of years. We noticed that there were some homes that were larger than ours for the same amount of money (or a little bit less) thanks to the sadly booming short sale/foreclosure market. Will and I did put some prayer into it and felt like we should just give it a shot and see what God does- a couple of days later we talked with the agent whom we worked with on selling our last home and voila!, we had entered MLS territory.
What started as an informal adventure grew into an ache and desire to somehow acquire this home that Will and I both felt was like our dream home. It wasn’t normally what I would have pictured for myself, and it needs an incredible amount of work, but the potential is enormous and the location would be perfect for our family. Since it is located in a neighborhood across the street from our church, we would often go by and pray over the house and for whomever is meant to live there, be it us or another family. I had it planned out in my mind’s eye- the front and back yards, the beautiful front room with the two bay windows, a room for homeschooling…knowing how attached I was becoming to the house, I also began praying that God would help me keep my desires in check and remove them altogether if need be.
All that to say– one day, six and a half months into the process of having our home listed, I was outside pushing my 1 1/2 year old in the swing under our big, beautiful old oak tree in the backyard. My 3 1/2 year old was sitting on the bench swinging her legs and waiting for her turn. I drank in the moment with all five of my senses and felt contentment wash over me. I felt something lift inside, and knew then and there that God has answered my prayer. Not in the way I wanted, but in the way I needed. While I still love the house that we had been praying over and I would still love to live there, my overwhelming desire for it is gone.
It’s ironic, because before we started this process, I was reading Max Lucado’s Cure for the Common Life– I even wrote a post on it here. There was an anecdote he shared that has stuck with me, and I remember thinking about it after we listed our house and vowing to keep it in mind. It was the story of a farmer who decided to put his farm up for sale. After he wrote out the ad describing his property, he sat for a moment, realizing that he already had everything he was looking for.
When we bought our current home, we were aware that it wasn’t in the middle of town. We knew that sometimes the 20 minutes down I-40 to get to town would feel inconvenient and longer than it really is, especially with two young children. And we knew that there were things we would someday want to change about the house- like adding on a sunroom or screened porch, adding on more square footage for our bedroom and bathroom, and so forth. But, we also knew we loved our lot- it is surrounded by old oak trees, other hardwoods, a very nice size, not too close to neighbors, and our house is situated on a small, pretty hill. We can easily see the stars and it is quiet enough that I can hear the orchestra of a myriad of creatures at night. It is a small neighborhood with just one street that ends with a cul-de-sac. The house is quite pretty, isn’t cookie-cutter, and is certainly large enough for our needs, especially with our current family of 4, and will be large enough whenever we grow to five (God-willing).
So yes, it is still for sale, for another month or so. But I’ve settled into it in a whole new way, and more importantly, this process has helped me settle into God’s will in a whole new way as well. It’s been painful at times, but He’s using it for good.