Thursday, April 26, 2012

We have a new house!

One week later, they finally accepted our offer for the new house.
We went back and forth every day on the price and the conditions...
but I think we've finally nailed down the details of the contract.
Tentative moving date: June 11th. Right after school ends.
It will certainly be a busy summer.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New house?

This morning we officially put in an offer on a new house, the one we've been referring to as "Mike's favorite house" for the past three weeks. Twelve hours later, at 9pm, we finally hear back from the sellers. The realtor tells us that they aren't willing to budge on the asking price. This house has been on the market for OVER 300 DAYS! You'd expect them to be willing to work with us. What happens if Mike's dream house is $5,000 more than we think we can afford? What does that mean, and where does it leave us?

Throughout this whole house-hunting process, I have been praying for wisdom and hoping that we don't become selfish or greedy by asking for too much. I am still hoping and praying for these things, but even more so now that I'm realizing how quickly things can change. I am trying hard to go in the direction that God has mapped out for me and my family. But this mission is especially difficult when Mike and I are convinced that we should be going completely separate ways!

Money comes and goes so fast... I don't want to have to focus on it. I want us to put time and energy and resources into things that have lasting value. Like children. New generations of kids growing up to love God and each other and the world around them. Church planting and kingdom building. Sharing the truth of God's love with friends as well as strangers. Memories and unique experiences. The kind of things that are really priceless.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

To Be or Not To Be...

Shhh... don't tell anyone that I told you this, but....  I almost bought a pregnancy test today.

That's right: A pregnancy test.
I was going to take it in the morning, because it has been almost five weeks since my last period (I think today is cycle day 34?). I've never gone 5 weeks between periods, unless there was something wrong, or maybe if it was immediately following a miscarriage. True, I've only had three cycles since I quit breastfeeding Noah, but they haven't been more than 30 days long. And I know there's a less-than-one-percent chance that I could have gotten pregnant this month. But I also know that God sometimes has very strange and unexpected timing, and that He can do anything He wants, so there is always that possibility, that the unthinkable might happen. I realized the possibility this morning, so all day long, I've been running to the bathroom and checking the TP for any signs of blood, second-guessing every tiny twinge or make-up symptom I might have. This evening I even went online and checked one of those due-date predictor calculators, based on my LMP. And you'll never guess what it said: December 24th. That was Aliah's due date!

Anyway, I don't have to worry about any of that right now, because I've started spotting and am getting cramps, so I'm fairly certain that my period is on it's way.

Still, there's nothing like a tiny pregnancy scare to make you realize that maybe you do want more kids, someday, after all.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"It's showtime."

We have had five showings since Sunday and I have been running ragged, completely stressed out and impatient, because I have to keep the house spotless and ready to be shown at any time. Even if it's the middle of mealtime, even if someone is sick, no matter who might be sleeping or how many kids are at my house, I have to be ready to pick up and leave at a moment's notice. And wash every fingerprint off the windows, and hide every toy and crumb and dirty item of clothing or shoes, and clean up every speck of dust, too. Then lock every door, shove the kids in the car, and go. Somewhere, I don't know where, just... away. Then come home and find something to do that doesn't involve too much mess or loud noise, and isn't something that I've already packed away and put into storage. It is really wearing on me. To the point that I am becoming Mean Mommy and Whiny Wife.

Fortunately, God answers prayers, because I won't be doing that ANY MORE!!!
This morning we woke up to the news that BOTH of the potential sellers who toured our house yesterday have made an offer to buy our little house. One of them is willing to pay full price, no stipulations, no questions asked. It's only been on the market for sixteen days! This is so amazing. We'll be working out all the details throughout the day, but in the meantime, I think it's safe to say: WE HAVE A BUYER!!!

Thank you God, for hearing and answering our prayers.
I'm excited to find our new home, and see what God has in store for us at this new place.
I will continue to pray for wisdom as Mike and I make big decisions in the days ahead.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Cleaning and Expecting

For the last three days, I have gotten up two hours early and spent that time cleaning, scrubbing, washing, organizing, discarding, and putting things away properly. Along the way I am sometimes thanking God and preparing for our day, but my thoughts and motives are primarily about getting our house to look spotless for any unexpected visitors that might want a tour of our home.

Then the kids wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast.... while I am frantically going behind them and cleaning up every crumb, speck of dust, each dropped sock or toy or out-of-place Lego piece, etc. A friend walked into this house yesterday and said "Wow. This place doesn't even really look lived-in." Well believe me lady, we are still living here. It just takes a ton of work to make it look like we don't.

Now it's 2pm on Saturday and I keep expecting a phone call, but no one has called about the house since Monday morning. Am I anxious and expectant? Am I too impatient? I think the correct answer is "yes."

I think I am expecting God to meet MY goals on MY timeline, instead of waiting for Him to do His work.

I am still convinced that He has big plans for our family, plans that involved sacrifice and change, but Mike isn't quite seeing the same big picture as me (yet?). Right now he is convinced that moving to the next county, rather than staying in Durham, and "sacrificing" by staying at a job that he doesn't really like, is the sacrifice I must be talking about. And he thinks the "big plans" and "change" must refer to the foster care & adoption classes we plan to take later this year. Even though these are changes and plans, I think that God is asking something more than that from our family. I'm just not able to explain it in words or see it clearly yet.

I need to trust in God's good plans for us, and rest in the promise that they are better than anything I can dream up on my own.

On that note, I'm going to go read Proverbs 3 now, while the little kids are still taking a nap.

If you read this, reply by telling me what you're doing this weekend.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wisdom & Clarity

Taking baby steps. One foot in front of the other.
I am slowly becoming more bold about witnessing to people.

Today I realized that I was able to mention prayer and God in three different conversations over the past 24 hours, all to non-believers/non-religious-practicing people. God is working in me, and I think it's actually beginning to show. I felt His presence with me this morning. I know that He is close to me, looking out for me and my family.

I am continuing to pray for wisdom about selling our house and buying a new one. I don't want us to be greedy or worldly in our goals. Yesterday we toured 4 or 5 houses. Mike fell in love with one of them. It's just inside Orange County. It has 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a sunroom, a huge garage, and 3 acres of land. He could be happy living there forever. But God is not calling us just to be content and stay inside our own little comfort zone for the rest of our lives. He wants us to live our lives for Him. And that often involves sacrifice. For us, that might mean moving away from our best friends.

I don't know what exactly this means that He wants from us, but I know it is something big.

I am just praying for wisdom and clarity.