Friday, November 28, 2008

home sweet home

It was bittersweet.
We were, after all, finally beginning to realize our dream;
but we’d taken a few steps backwards to do it.
We fell in love with our Fort Smith house
the very first time we saw it.
Interestingly enough,
that was a Thanksgiving weekend, too.
We’d looked at several houses in our price range
(what we considered our price-range, not what the bank said it was!)
and they were all junk!
We were getting a bit discouraged.
Our realtor told us he had another one in our price range;
it had just been listed.
It hadn’t even hit the books yet.
We drove by

and it looked really nice from the street.
Tyler said it must be a real dump inside
since was actually priced less than any we’d looked at,
and we shouldn’t waste our time looking.
I rationalized,
“It’s awfully nice on the outside to be a dump on the inside…”
And so we looked.
As Providence would have it
the lady who owned the house
didn’t leave like homeowners usually do
when their house is being shown.
Which turned out to be a really good thing!
We reminded her of her family
when they first bought the house over sixty years earlier.
She could picture us in her home
and she liked what she saw.
We’ve always been grateful.
But there was always a yearning for
‘the country’.
Land and trees and water for the kids to explore.
Room to grow as much as our food as we possibly could.
(this has proven to be far more difficult than we ever imagined)
Enough space that our kids could build a house on the property
if they wanted to.
After years of dreaming
paying off debt
fixing up our beautiful, solid old house
adding to the family
we finally decided it was time.
Tyler found the place online.
There were no photos of the house
but the land looked pretty good.
He figured we’d be able to add on to the house,
'cause it was rather small.
(less than 1,000 sq ft)
I thought
the fact that there were no pictures of the house was telling…..
Turns out
I was the one who was right
for a change.
We drove up on a Sunday in late May after church.
We had a list of several places to look at;
we looked at this place first
It was quite unkempt
and the house
(from what we could see)
was absolutely horrible
but the land
had potential.
It was everything we were looking for.
When our realtor looked at it with us
He said, “You can bulldoze the house.”
Most of our friends thought that would be a really good idea;
it really was (is!) a dump!
But we figured we could live in for a year…..
While I stayed home with little ones,
Tyler and the big kids came out here several times a week
to work to make the place habitable for humans.

All together,
they put in over 1,000 hours of work.
and it still wasn’t even remotely nice!
Three years ago
with the help of some dear friends
we packed up our beautiful house in Fort Smith

brought all of our ‘stuff’
that we didn’t think we could bear to part with
and began to call this tiny dump of a house
Somewhere between buying the house in July
and moving in in November
we had decided that we would not be living in the house
for just a year
after all.
For years
we had been telling our children to avoid debt.
We calculated with them how much money could be saved
if one would wait a few years,
be diligent with saving
and buy a house with cash.
At first
we justified planning to go into debt to build a new house.
I mean,
we did have a fairly large family
and we were jumping in in the middle of the game,
not just starting out.
But God was dealing with both Tyler & I…

Tyler came to me one day as I was cooking dinner.
I’m sure he was dreading telling me what was on his mind.
“I’ve been thinking.
What would you say if I told you
I thought we should live in the house longer than we planned ?”
He expected a fit, I imagine.
as God has been so faithful to do for us,
He had already been working on my heart.
I'd been wondering how was I going to tell Tyler
that I was pretty sure we weren’t supposed to borrow
to build??
The road has been a bit (ok - much -) rockier
(and longer)
than we’d anticipated.
Many of our friends think we are nuts!
It would be so easy to walk into a bank,
get a loan
and begin building.
Instead, we choose to be faithful
to the path
we believe God has laid out for our family.
And so
we celebrate three years in our 'new' home
(at the same time,
We really hope
that three more years
will find us in our new, new digs!)


  1. wow hun. i know how much you loved that house in i also know that the Lord must have really been calling you to move on, for you to do so. i am happy for you!! it may take longer than you expected..but it sure sounds like, to me, that you can see the finish line, while still at the beginning of the race. i wish you so much happiness on that blessed piece of land!! i know your home will be beautiful again too! :D

  2. Great post. Wow, three years. I can hardly believe it. I love you guys' house (I know, I know, I've never lived in it, much less even spent a night in it!); it's not pretty, but it's beautiful.

    You guys are an awesome example to me in your commitment to follow the Lord's leading. "There's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." I love ya'll!

  3. Whoops, I must correct myself (actually, my wife caught it) - I forgot that I have spent a night in the house, a couple months ago. Getting daft in me old age...


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