In January of 2011, during one of Derek's middle-of-the night nursing sessions, I had an urge to pray for our housing situation. With a new baby, Marcus' physical disabilities, and the need for more space, we felt that we had outgrown our cozy 2-bedroom condo. Not only that, but the 45-mile walk from the door to our car was becoming an increasing challenge. So I earnestly prayed for direction from the Lord and I asked him to reveal to us how He would provide for this need within the year. I normally don't specify time-requirements in my prayers, but for some reason felt compelled to do so.
In October, the Lord provided Mike with a new job, we then prayerfully decided to sell our home despite the very little equity we had, put it on the market around Thanksgiving, and then had an offer around the new year. Now I call that answered prayer!
We are now renting a fantastic one-story home that seems to meet our every need abundantly.
We are beyond grateful and let me just say that every time I drive into the garage with a car full of kids and groceries, I erupt in praise to the Lord!
But as happy we are to be in our new house, it wasn't that easy to let go of our old home. During my last round of Swiffering our floor before handing the keys over to the new owners, I had flashbacks of the past 9.5 years. Within the four walls of our condo, the Lord allowed us to lay a good foundation for our marriage and gave us 3 precious children to raise.
I bawled like a baby as I dusted the corners of the living room, realizing that it was where we spent the most of our time loving, fighting, laughing, crying, working, resting, and playing.
It was my home. I had lived in no other place longer than I had lived there. God had sheltered us both physically and spiritually in this home that I had wanted to leave for so long.
It was where we became a family.
So we did end up giving up our keys and the owners' agent probably thought I was a basket case when he found me on the phone with Mike, weeping like a baby. Audrey had a good cry too and she still has to close her eyes every time we drive by our old neighborhood. Even Marcus, who daily proclaims his love for the new house and is so proud to be the official garage door-opener of the family, told us the other day that he wants to pack up our stuff and move back to the old house because he really loves BOTH houses. He must have sensed a tinge of guilt, as if he forsook his first love.
But we are emptying our boxes one by one and settling in just fine.
It's like a new journal. Not soft, with no creases on the spine and no tear-stained pages. The binding is stiff and the paper is hard, but it's ready to record new memories nonetheless.
And as the weeks and months go by, we'll see what we've jotted down and realize that this new house is our home too.
Already our lives are a bit different. The boys are percussion-crazy.
Audrey is now requesting her Pandora stations as mood-music while she draws and colors.
We've got some backyard fruit to enjoy.
The boys have got more rooms to explore together.
And they're all spending more time outside.
It is so sweet to be here. Thankful is an understatement. But I will miss our first home. I now look fondly on how we shared our room with the big kids for months and months.
And really...our kids are happy wherever we are.
Here's to new memories!