Part One: House One and the Day I Lost my Heart and Mind

(The photos in this post are of house #1 and the house I am writing about in this post)

This is part one of a twenty part story but I promise to only make it three parts. I am kind like that.


Part One: House One and the Day I Lost my Heart and Mind


It was a regular day. That means I was procrastinating the real work I needed to do and I was looking at for nothing and everything all at the same time. I am a realtor’s daughter which means I have grown up with a love of housing, open houses, random home searches in towns I don’t even live in, I take a vacation and instantly start searching for local property and figuring out if I could live there based upon random Zillow searches.


In the midst of my procrastination I came upon a previously viewed mid century that I decided at that moment we should look at because maybe it had potential I just couldn’t fully realize yet. Please keep in mind that we weren’t really looking for a home and this was just me procrastinating real work. Kelly agreed to look at it and in my quick search to find a local realtor I saw a home that had just been listed within the past two hours. This wasn’t just any home…it was MY home. It was THE home I had waited for all my life. I am not prone to exaggerating or high emotions AT ALL.



When I saw this home I burst into tears and had never felt this emotional connection to a property (let along photos of a property) in my life. Unfortunately for me my husband Kelly was on an hour long conference call and he was not about to risk his job for his antsy and hormonal wife. I had no choice but to take matters into my own hands (keep in mind he wouldn’t get off the phone and the clock was ticking). I instantly texted about 20 local friends asking if anyone was interested (or knew of anyone interested) in buying our house. Yes, I did. I then proceeded to find a local Realtor and set up an appointment for that day.



When Kelly (finally) got off the phone I told him to sit down and just look at the house. I told him this was our house. I knew it didn’t make sense, we weren’t looking for a new house, the bedrooms weren’t’ right etc.…THIS was our home. Kelly agreed and said we should set up an appointment. I told him he was so lucky to be married to me because we already had one and we needed to leave in 30 minutes. I like to think of myself as proactive.


We took the kids to look at the this mid century, untouched, masterpiece surrounded by 2.3 acres of woods and we made a full price offer before leaving. We hadn’t called our bank, thought it through or have a buyer for our home. It was our home and that is all we knew. The next day the final offer was submitted, we wrote the owners and gave them a photo of our family, we had our loan approval and we had a buyer for our home.  Did you read that…we had a buyer for our home.  All of this within 24 hours. This home was everything that we didn’t even know we were needing. It was rest and dreaming. If God’s hand was ever on a decision in our life this had to be it.   Right?


Two days later we were told that the owners had taken another full price offer. I couldn’t process the answer over the phone that we didn’t get the home. I truly didn’t understand and acted like I could still change the outcome. I cried like a heartbroken teenage girl. I was devastated. I don’t think my family knew what to do with me because I had never reacted like this outside of death or my parent’s divorce. I felt with everything in me that this was our home and that this wasn’t how the story was supposed to end.


The next day I called our lender and he told me he couldn’t believe we didn’t get the home because the other lender said we were the stronger offer. I asked him how often do loans fall through and he said everyday, all day long. I asked him to go ahead with our loan as if we were buying this property. I wanted to be ready when they called. This is truly how sure I was that this home would be ours.


I also called our Realtor and asked her to put in a backup offer with first right of refusal. She called me back saying that wasn’t necessary. The owners had already been offered multiple back up offers and they wouldn’t take any other offer but ours if the the first deal fell through. I felt like once again that God was making a path for our family and connecting us with this home. The buyers for our home were willing to wait and so we waited. For six weeks we waited.


For six weeks I cleaned out our home, sold so much stuff, prayed alone and prayed with others. What I haven’t told you is that at the beginning of the school year I had told our children that this was going to be the year that we prayed for such big things that when they happened only the Lord would get the credit. We prayed for loved ones, for our business (I have a totally cool story about that for later) and for things in our lives we wanted to change. As a family we felt like we were in the midst of something big that we hadn’t even prayed about or for. I asked the kids to believe in big things and claim big things. We continued to wait.


I headed to France to teach the Living Studio Normandy and waited and prayed. I came home from France and waited and prayed. One night Kelly asked me if I wanted to watch a movie and I just asked if we could drive by the house again and just pray over it again. He kindly agreed. As we were approaching the home we noticed lights on and for the first time the For Sale sign was gone. Our stomachs dropped. Had it closed? What was going on? This was suppose to be ours, right? We called our Realtor right then and asked if the house had closed. He asked us to hold on and he would get back to us.


It had. It had closed. It was over and it wasn’t ours. None of this made sense and all of this felt so real, so big, so ours, so a part of something bigger and it was “just a house” so why did it hurt so badly and how could we have been so wrong. And how were we going to tell our children? Our friends? Our family? We had been so sure and now we just looked liked crazy freaks that had claimed something for 6 weeks that was never ours.  Wasn’t this going to be something so big and amazing that when it happened only the Lord got the glory?


What we were about to learn was that this house was only the beginning of getting out of our comfort zone and believing for bigger things for ourselves, our family and our business. It was also going to be that time when the Lord used a house so amazing that it made me lose my heart and mind to put us on a new path that we weren’t even looking for.


You can read Part Two HERE.




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  1. barncandy

    Oh Jeanne I just can’t stand it!! I also use Zillow to look up homes I can’t afford and don’t need but I KNOW that THE house is out there!! On a tiny lake…. a few miles away… near the golf course my dad was a caddy on when he was 12… I KNOW IT! Anyway, please hurry and post the follow ups!! I am DIEING!!

  2. Cassandra E

    I don’t know what to say but that I am learning what it means to want something and what it means to ask God. How does he move? At the end of the day, the more I know, the less I know; but it’s another day closer to him. Looking forward to the next part.

  3. ruthie

    good way to leave us hanging (even thought we know you have a beautiful ending!) . can’t wait for part 3

  4. Peggy McDevitt

    Loving this story and can’t wait for the “rest of the story”. I know how it eventually turned out and am so happy for you all. Yes God is good.

  5. Barbara Marie

    Oh Jeanne, I laughed and cried and cheered your “belief process” throughout this post… you have a way of telling a story with true authenticity that resonates within me. Even though I know the outcome, I look forward with delight to your next post.

  6. Cindy

    Jeanne, you didn’t know this, but you were supposed to be my new best friend when my husband was looking to take a job in Denver and we were going to move to Colorado. I had been reading your blog for some time and have some mutual friends and thought well Jeanne Oliver lives there, maybe we could be friends 🙂 Well, that job fell through and I still let my mind wander often to the idea of living somewhere in Colorado. So when I saw your post about moving, I thought OMG there goes my new bestie! However, living in Illinois, I always dream of other areas and struggle with leaving family, friends and my creative career path here. I too pray for guidance as to the next place, step, answers in life. I cannot wait to hear about your new found path!

  7. Becky

    I’m on the edge of my seat to hear the rest of your story! I’m amazed at how God moves…all for HIS glory. I too, have told my family and kids THIS is the year God is going to come through so big that ONLY HE can be our answer. HUGS

  8. Constance

    Okay – you are driving me mad!!! I too LOVE looking at houses and have a dream to live in Cannon Beach, Oregon some day! I KNOW THAT I WILL LIVE THERE SOMEDAY – MAKING ART AND PRAISING GOD AND SHARING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST ON HIS AMAZING OCEAN BEACH!!!! But truly, it’s enough for me to have to deal with my own craziness… I can’t deal with yours too!! Just tell the whole story PLEASE!!! Ha Ha!! 🙂


  9. Cindy T

    I’m so glad you are deciding to get back to writing on your blog—‘cuz you are an amazing, engaging writer! Loving your story so much!!!

  10. Krista

    Can’t wait to hear the rest of the story! Was on the edge of my chair reading it! I also love looking at houses online and touring model homes, and I dream of someday living somewhere that brings me peace, serenity, beautiful weather and being able to fulfill my dreams. Seems we’re all praying to God for something big in our lives this year!

  11. Sue

    So exciting. Can’t wait for more of the story to see what God did. Gives me so much hope in Him for the best direction.

  12. mishkablack

    I look forward to finding out what this experience has brought to your life and where it will go next. Loved this post! How funny how sometimes are intentions are felt so strongly we are sure they must be realized and the humbling reality of what is meant to be yours will be yours and what you wanted wasn’t meant for you. More will be revealed so please share. Thank you.

  13. Jean McGee

    OK Miss Cliff Hanger……I don’t know that I can hold my breath long enough to learn the next chapter….. 🙁
    I prayed for three years – where do YOU want us to move…….HE had it allllll planned and worked out…..have been here for over 12 years and we K N O W this is where GOD wants us. Be patient – HE is not finished 🙂 🙂
    Jean McGee

  14. Denise

    Agh cliffhanger. Can’t wait for the next installment. My husband says blessings are sometimes wrapped in struggle paper. Finish the story.please.


    This story is so close to my heart. I am on Zillow, not only, everywhere we travel, but at home I am always looking for our “meant to be” journey and home. We are in the process of moving, but not sure exactly where we will land when we leave Ca. I think
    creative souls have a way of letting their heart lead them, along with God’s hand.
    Of course, my family gave me a T-shirt that says “darlin’, where in the WORLD will
    we move to TODAY”, as my husband will say “everyday, is a new adventure”?
    I love your stories❤️

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