And, seriously, it has all seemed like a blur.
Michael and I were talking a few days ago and we realized how drastically our lives have changed because of this move. It was a decision that has definitely altered our family's course for the days and years to come. And the weirdest part is we had no idea it was coming. Even when the idea to move was first an inspiration in our minds and hearts we had no clue as to the scary and amazing things that would result from this decision.
You see, if you asked us two months ago moving was not even on our radar. We actually had the conversation about how many more years we would be in our house. 5 more? 7? Whatever the number I felt like we had more living to do there. But then events out of our control (one of them an interesting neighbor, to say the least) and the realization that we lived in an area where it was difficult for our kids to go out front and play, led Michael to come to me and say "I think we should move."
When I heard those words I started crying. "Um, no way." was my response. I loved our house and I couldn't bear with the thought of parting from it and all the years of work we put into it. If you've followed our blog from the beginning you've seen the heart, soul, sweat, blood, and tears that were shed over just about every inch of our home, and then some. But Michael said we needed to open this door and walk down this path and I trusted him immensely so I opened my heart to the idea. That conversation happened on a Thursday.
|We built this bad boy. With our two hands (and lots of help). Sad to see her go......|
That weekend we drove out to the harbor (Gig Harbor) to start looking at homes. We thought this is where we wanted to live and we wanted to get a feel of the area. That Tuesday our realtor, Sue Mauss (look her up - she is amazing), came over to appraise our house. On Wednesday we went out to look at a home in the harbor that I loved, that Michael loved, but by Thursday we were both unsure about the move across the bridge and I didn't feel peace about the whole moving thing in general. I was emotional about the thought of leaving our home and I didn't know if this what the right decision.
All I knew was that God was asking me if I were willing to give it all up for our kids - if I were open to sacrificing the home we worked so hard on in order that our kids have better opportunities somewhere else. And to Him and to Michael, I said I was. In my heart of hearts I knew that my desires for my children trumped any desire of mine. So I told God I would give it all up, for my children.
That same Thursday night, while perusing Zillow for the millionth time, I came across a home that literally just popped onto the market within the hour. It looked intriguing and Sue took us the next morning to see it. In the neighborhood were tons of kids playing and once we opened the front door I fell in love. I called Michael at work to come see it. And right then and there we decided to put our house on the market. Within a few short hours our house had a For Sale sign out front and our first showing.
It's probably not the smartest thing to try to sell your house in order to get another one you love but we knew in our hearts this is what God was asking us to do. I had no clue if it would work out how we wanted but I did know that God would provide for us no matter the outcome. He wouldn't ask us to walk down this path of giving up our home and then leave us hanging. Whatever His plan, I knew it was going to be exactly what we needed. It just takes a crap-load of trust and the ability to suppress any feelings of worry or anxiety - because in selling/buying a home, there is definitely a lot of that.
We waited, in trust, for action on our house and hoped, in trust, no one would snatch up the one we wanted. Just four days after we listed we had an offer, which we accepted. And then after a long week of negotiations, unknowns, and lots of waiting and praying our offer was accepted on the home we now live in. I won't bore you with the rest of the details but of course all is not said and done until the closing papers are filed and there were many ups and downs over these past few weeks, as we knew anything could happen and we wanted to keep our hearts open in case God had a change of plans.
Moving in and of itself was an emotional challenge. We had to be out of our house on Sunday, July 21 - the day after I ran a 24 hour relay with no sleep. I was packing my last few boxes, crying all day from exhaustion and the thought of having to say goodbye to our house. Our closing dates didn't line up so we lived with some friends for a couple days and then, on Tuesday - my 30th birthday, we got the keys. Wednesday was move in day, and then Saturday I ran a mountain 50 mile race. Yup, that was a big week.
As I reflect on this whole process, I am struck by two things. First of all, how much this move has changed our lives. Our sole reason for moving was so that our kids could be outside whenever they wanted, to enjoy being kids. In our neighborhood there are dozens of kids and Avila and Max are outside all the time - riding bikes, going on treasure hunts, and learning the ins and outs of friendship. When we talk about God blessing the desires of our hearts - as long as they are rooted in His will - I can say from experience He never disappoints. We were willing to give up everything we had worked so hard for in our other home in order that our kids had the childhood we wanted for them. It took a lot of trust but I knew that whether in the immediate or distant future, he would provide for this desire in the ways He knew we needed.
And I am so grateful to Him for leading us on this journey - no matter how hard it was.
The second realization I have is how quickly this all happened. If we hadn't been ready to list our house on the spot we may not have gotten the one we now live in. My Lenten challenge this past year was to get rid of a bag of stuff a day. I'm a fairly organized person so I had no idea why this inspiration was on my heart. But I got rid of SO MUCH STUFF - papers, toys, random things we neither loved nor used. We even spent an entire weekend purging the garage and attic. I look back on that inspiration as coming from the Holy Spirit - preparing our home for what He knew was coming. This has now motivated me to make sure I am ready and diligent in all other areas of my life, because who knows what God will ask of me next. And I want to be ready, on the spot, to say yes.
It was certainly difficult to say goodbye to our old home. Every piece of trim, coat of paint, and hole in the floor has a story. The memories that home possess will be with me always. Upon saying goodbye, Mike and I hugged, cried, and knew we would never love a home like we loved that one - not because it was grand or special, quite the reverse it was small and ordinary - but because that home built our character and laid the foundation for our marriage and held the memories of (most of) our babies. Although I will say, I won't miss the dust...
Now that we are onto this next adventure I'm excited for what God has in store. I can already feel things brewing in my heart by being here. Thank you to everyone who helped us these past few weeks with your emotional support, prayers, packing and moving. (And thank you to Bellarmine for letting us store all our food in your fridge...)
Oops, time to stop writing. The kids are awake and want to know what they are asking?
"Mom, can we go outside and play with our friends?"