Let me give you fair warning that this post is quite lengthy. In order to give a full account of our house search, I did my best to keep from writing a book! I encourage you to stick with me in hopes that you will know more about why this blog is here today. Let's do this!
One of the main reasons I wanted to keep this blog going, after almost a year of it sitting here, was because I have become pretty passionate about sharing how I am working towards making our new home a safe and restful place for our family and guests. A big reason why we thought this was the "perfect" home for us was the fact that it fit many of the ministries we are pretty passionate about. One of those being having people over.
In our first home we didn't have much room in the kitchen or living room for guests. Yes, we had a pool in the backyard, but the winters were a little more complicated. Imagine 15 teens sitting on a 12x12 three season porch. Yikes! When we lived in Philly we lived in a sizable town house that had a ton of bedrooms, but again the yard was itty bitty and the living area a little cramped.
Last January, once Chris knew when he would need to move up here to NY, we found a realtor and set out to find a house. She was pretty eager and claimed that she would find us a house within the week. I thought it kind of crazy but went with it. We had been a bit discouraged about the prospects. Every time we would find a house we really liked, in our price range, the houses would go off the market. Literally within minutes. We would be like, "WHY?" but then would claim the promise that God had something better in mind that fit our needs perfectly.
While Chris was working, I would meet with the realtor and check out house after house looking for something that fit the bill. Not knowing the future and feeling inept at communicating with our realtor what we really wanted, I begged God for wisdom in the car between houses. I shared more on that in a past post (link below).
After that, the pieces kept falling into place. Sometimes slowly and quietly. Other times it was loud and precise. Initially, when Chris and I walked through our now home, we did not want it at all. Everything about it yelled WORK, OLD, and MESSY. Without even taking a further look in the basement, we left the house. As we drove down the road both of us started to really think about the prospects of the house, privately. I was thinking about how it had separate rooms for each of us to have an office, several bedrooms and baths, and wish list items like lots of windows and a wood stove. I began to think about the potential the house had and peaked over at Chris. He in turn looked at me with what appeared to be the same expression I was feeling inside. We both blurted out that we kinda liked the place. I really started to think about how inspiring it really was! It even has a cabin!
After that we put in bids, prayed and waited, submitted counter offers, waited and prayed. Each step of the way we made sure to let things pan out on their own, knowing that God would open and close doors depending on where He thought we should go. It was nerve wracking and I certainly had a lot to learn about waiting on Him. Looking back I was a little more anxious than I should have been.
We later learned, from the owner, that it took her about 2 years for her to get the house in her name after her mother passed away. She hired a lawyer to work through the paperwork to ensure that the home was hers, seeing as how her brother was no longer living and she was the only living relation left. The lawyer sat on the case and did nothing. A few weeks before we started the process of finding a home, the owner decided to get another lawyer, who in turn fixed the issue within a couple of weeks. It went on the market only days before we saw the listing.
We felt impressed by God's timing, His wisdom, and encouragement throughout the whole process. Moving to NY wasn't easy but living here is a real gift. Even after moving in we have seen God's provision. When purchases need to be made for updates, regular maintenance, and getting ready for winter, He has been gracious to provide us with not only the funds, but wisdom to know what to do with it.
I look forward to sharing with you more of what has worked and clearly didn't work in making our house a home. It isn't just about the four walls and a coat of paint. I also want to share thoughts on how we treat one another, ways to take care of our bodies, and how we can be more hospitable. Are there ways that worked for you to make your home a safer place? Please share!