Saturday, August 31, 2013

God is moving...and so are we!

We have exciting news! This time we are not bringing home a new kiddo...instead, WE are moving to a new home! It has been such a long, frustrating journey, but we made it!

We started looking for a new house soon after we brought Laron home. We are in a small condo that is, nearly, exploding with 4 year old energy, but like most things in our life, God, continuously, works patience in us. In 18 months of looking, we have probably looked at 100 homes...but only placed two offers. The first offer was a month in and we were outbid; the second offer was a few months ago and although it was accepted, we had to withdraw based on the inspection. I was sick over it; I was so disappointed.

In January, I wrote a post called Doing More. Dreaming Bigger. I wrote:
It's more than just a home to me. I am looking for a sanctuary. A place to hold as many beds as possible. There has to be enough room for our kids to be loud and crazy and have room to explore. There has to be room to hold impromptu worship services and prayer sessions. I need a dining room table that seats ten. Because I only have a glimpse at what God is doing, I have to be prepared.
God is faithful and he continues to write a story more beautiful than I could.

Our original plan was to keep our condo as an investment and rent it out when we purchased a new home. Last week, we decided to change our strategy. We decided to sell our house on our own and listed it on Zillow. I listed it on Thursday and put a sign out on Friday night. We had our first buyer come walk through on Sunday night. Before she came, our little family gathered in the garage and prayed. We prayed for God's favor, that our condo would sell, quickly, and easily, without hiccup. The buyer walked through and asked where she could sign. She had come prepared to pay for our condo in cash and wanted to ensure we were taking it off the market.

Eek! Why are we surprised when God pulls us through?

I teared up when the woman told us that she had been driving through our neighborhood, every week, for several months, waiting for one of our condos to come up for sale.

We went to dinner to celebrate and Ty said, "Mom, we don't have anywhere to live, now!"

I was a little keyed up over the excitement of it all, but I had a strange peace. Why would God sell our condo so quickly, just to leave us homeless?

We poured over houses on the internet for two days and then scheduled to walk through four on Tuesday night. We liked the first three...but number four was it.

We knew as soon as we pulled in the driveway. During my second walk through, I stopped in front of the kitchen window. One of the boys was running down a hill and the other was swinging high in a tree swing. I cried at God's goodness.

We found the perfect house in the country, on acreage, to raise our family.

We put an offer in, but I didn't need to wait for the agreement. I knew it was ours.

Needless to say, it's been a very eventful week!

I am so excited at the possibilities our future holds. We will be living in a city, with a school district, that we had not prepared for. That can only mean one thing. God is on the move.

I only snapped a few pictures before we left, but here is our beautiful soon-to-be oasis!

Praise God!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

More Than a Story

Yesterday, we were helping out in the 4/5 year old classroom at church. We're new to the room, as we just moved, this summer, from 3s, when Ty turned 4. We like moving through the kids ministry with the boys. We want to know their friends, the girls they'll likely want to date, the parents in both scenarios, etc.

We only serve once a month, so this was just our second time in the "red" room. It has been such a blessing to see the depth of study and worship that our kids are experiencing at such a young age.

As we were settling in for lesson time, I took my perch about midway through the rows. Getting 40 4/5 year olds to sit quiet and engage is a feat! The Bible lesson was on Hannah.

My heart flipped when I heard her name. I know her story inside and out. Though separated by centuries, our cry was the same. I know her and love her and prayed her prayer more times than I can count. I shifted my weight to my toes as I listened to my friend's testimony, re-told by the teacher.

"Hannah was barren. She couldn't have children of her own. She cried out to God; God heard her cry and she became pregnant with Samuel!" The lead teacher went on to talk about the great man Samuel was...I stood aghast. I wanted to throw my hands in the air and shout, "STOP!!!!"


You can't sum the reality of this woman's heart...this one sentence! The moments of complete desperation between "She cried out to God" and "God heard her prayer" are so weighted in pain, I can feel them in the back of my throat. "Year after year" Hannah cried and begged; pleading with God. Barren is so much more than not being able to have's emptier; darker; lonelier. It's not just an empty's an empty life.

Hannah is heroic in her vulnerability and ultimate sacrifice.

I couldn't believe her story was being promoted without passion. I wrestled with whether or not to interrupt when Ty looked at me from across the room. His eyes twinkled and he gave me his just-for-mom smile. I knew he knew. He knew that I prayed for him...just like Hannah prayed for her Samuel.

I held my tongue and wiped my tears.

I know her story because it's my story.

And it's okay that a classroom of kids hears "miracle" before moving on with their day. My family doesn't just hear...we experience the miracle. Every day. And that's what makes us special.

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life...