Many of you have asked, "How is the sale of your house going?" And, ashamedly, I have to admit that it is not... not because the market is terrible, or our Realtor isn't doing their job... but because we took it off the market. And, my shame doesn't come from our decision, but in my lack of time to sit down and blog about it.
When I started this blog, I committed to keeping it pressure free. It's not chronological, and has very few photos of our kids. It's not an online scrapbook, but a random assortment of thoughts, insights, and tasty recipes ;) Most importantly, it's an online testimony what God is doing in "our world" and the housing situation is a "biggie."
The Hubby and I believe God called me out of the Real Estate business-- at least for a time-- and asked us to trust Him with the details, including our financial situation. As we looked around our home, and dug into an incredible study ("The Gospel in Life" by Timothy Keller) with our small group, our eyes and hearts were turned more and more from the selfishness of our comfortable life, and more towards the needs of the people around us. Our home is lovely, welcoming, warm in the winter, cool in the summer... but it's also more house than we NEED. As we dug deeper and deeper into God's Word, we felt convicted of how much more we could do with our (His) money... and how much less we could live with (and simplify our lives!) So, last fall-- November-ish-- we listed our house for sale.
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction." -1 Tim. 6:6-9
The showings were plentiful. Our house was ridiculously clean, and yet our kids could still make messes here and there, without getting into too much trouble. (Prepping for a showing, as a former Realtor, with two young children, is tireless. I have some thoughts on that... here.) We had a good amount of traffic, but no offers, and Christmas was just a few weeks away. Besides the holidays, my bigger concern was the weather. As I always told my clients, once it starts snowing, things in the Real Estate market tend to slow-- if not come to a screeching halt! So, after much prayer, we decided to take our house off the market and continue to trust the Lord with the details-- and the funds ;)
Meanwhile, I had a chat with my cousin who asked if we had considered renting our guest room. Considered- yes; Seriously- no! That night, I read a blog about a family of 7-- in a 3 bedroom home-- who put all 5 (yes, FIVE) of their children in one room (the master bedroom.) The parents lived in one of the other bedrooms. Brilliant! We could live in our guest room and rent our master to a young couple-- it could be like a little suite. But where to find this couple?
The next day (talk about bam-bam-bam), a friend in small group mentioned that he had gotten an email about a recent Bethel College graduate who was looking for a room to rent. (Really, Lord? You're going to piece this together this quickly?!) I got the email, touched base with her Dad, and had her over to check out our house within the next few days.
It was less than a week from when we took our house off the market, to when she committed to renting our guest room.
"You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance." -Psalm 66:12
Then came all of the weird connections. She's from Lafayette- where I grew up. She has family in Plymouth- as do we. She had been to our home previously-- for the final year that we served the college ministry at our church.
God was farther ahead of us than we could have imagined!
We prayed for God to fix our financial situation, and allow us to do more for His Kingdom. He answered, not how we expected, but far better than we could have even asked.
We are still in our home... not having to prepare for showings amidst nap times and snowstorms. We are still in our home... enjoying the amazing neighbors that we have. We are still in our home... not having to pack, uproot and unpack our children's lives. We are still in our home... a place that we pray is used for ministry, not just comfort and shelter. We are still in our home... living in community with a beautiful young woman, who has a heart for Jesus, is incredibly patient with our children, and can appreciate all that IN-25 from Rochester to Delphi encompasses.
"Perfect submission all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest;
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with His goodness, lost in His love."