This is part three of a twenty part story but I promise to only make it three parts. I am kind like that.
Part Three: Finding Our Way Home
There was a calm that had come over my heart in the midst of the waiting. It wasn’t there all of the time mind you…this calm I mention. The other residents of my heart worry and anxiousness would appear when I forgot what I knew to be true. Does that ever happen to you? The spiral that can happen when you forget what is true? These months of excitement, disappointment, open doors and doors slammed shut I had felt the strongest and the weakest and sometimes in the same day. Sometimes moments a part. When I say calm I guess I mean a knowing. A knowing. Maybe that is a better word. A knowing that wherever we landed it would be good. It may look different than I had intended but I trusted that my eyes can only see right in front of me…but the Lord could see miles down the road.
It was during these months, days and hours that I was coming to know and really believe that no one spot of land was the promise. The whole thing was the promise. The dream, the unknown, the stepping out, the friends that surrounded us, my family believing in something bigger together, the songs that calmed my heart, and the prayers that were spoken while I was all alone. Wherever we were supposed to land would be the right place for all of the dreams and needs not even spoken. They say it is the journey and not the destination and this could not have been more true for the journey we were on. The journey was changing our hearts and dreams and faith. During this last part of our search for our new home, land and studios my precious friend Sheila Atchley said it perfectly. The only way we would have missed what the Lord had in store for us was to…STAY PUT. That is good stuff right there. We would have missed it all if we would have been too scared to get out of our comfort zone, price zone, dream zone.
Our home was under contract and we were cleaning out, packing up and trusting that either a home would become available or that we would find a month to month rental until our home was found. This was hardest on Kelly and the kids. This unknown of where we were going. I on the other hand was open to a different town and even state. This was not shared by the rest of family but I just asked the Lord to open my eyes and heart to wherever this land and home and studio was for us. I knew at this part of the journey that it wasn’t about where we landed but what the Lord would do with what we landed upon.
There were days when I did nothing but look for properties in the Pacific Northwest and then also search the towns around Nashville, Tennessee. I think I was driving my family crazy with all of my internet searches and crazy ideas. We had continued to look at properties and I have to tell you that there were a few that were incredible dream homes…just not our dream home. It was a few weeks before Christmas and new properties being listed had come to a screeching halt. Except one.
There was a listing for a home and land that would become available after Christmas. The home was a Spanish style, lots of windows, high ceilings, a modern layout, all the rooms we wanted and more, 7 acres, and a workshop. When I shared the listing with Kelly I was almost reluctant to show him because it lacked the wood burning fireplace that was on my must have list. Kelly loved it from the moment he saw the photos and wanted to go see it right away. The home was not officially on the market yet and we were the first to see it.
As we were driving to the appointment I was excited to see that we were headed to an area that was outside of town and along the west side of the highway. This is an area with rolling hills, buttes and amazing views of the mountains. As we came over one of the hills I turned to Kelly and told him I couldn’t believe we had never been out here and that an area this incredible was just outside of town. It was truly one of the most stunning areas I had ever seen.
The home was nestled in a valley with a butte on one side and the mountain range behind it. It was surrounded by trees and lots and lots of snow. This was one of many properties that we were looking at covered in snow and no idea what the land really looked like.
I liked the home enough to come back with the children but Kelly was completely in love. In fact, Kelly liked it better than any home we had looked at to date. This was harder for me because I had deal breakers in my head and heart and the biggest one was a wood burning fireplace.
The next day we were scheduled to see the home a second time but this time with our children. I knew how much Kelly loved the home and I could also feel how much I was being resistant to it. I only wanted what the Lord wanted for us in my head but my heart was pulling me all over the place. I only knew to ask the Lord to change my heart or to change Kelly’s. I asked my mom to come out to the house with us also. I trust my mom’s wisdom and because she is more likely to be conservative with pricing I felt like her opinion was needed. Little did I know I was about to be sabotaged.
As were driving back to the property and coming over that hill I tried to hide my emotions but I had tears at the beauty of the area. I don’t know why I wanted to hide what I loved about this place but I could feel myself protecting, hiding and even downplaying parts of the home and property. As we walked through the house I could tell that Kelly was being quiet and just allowing everyone to “be” in this space to make decisions separate from his love of the home and land. I found my mom as she was walking through the home and as she turned to me she had tears in her eyes. She was overwhelmed by the land and views. Benjamin desperately wanted to talk to me and wanted to pull me into one of the bathrooms. I was certain he was going to tattle on his sister for something and I was honestly not in the mood. As he took my face in his hands he let me know that he loved this home and wanted this home to be the one. In fact, they all loved it. They all loved it more than any of the other homes. This home and land was their favorite. All of them.
Sabotaged I told you. Just be warned that when you ask the Lord for clear answers and to change your heart where it needs to be changed…he brings out the big guns like a tear filled mom and your littlest’s hands on your cheeks. As we walked out on the land there was just peace. Peace in my head and peace in my heart. In fact, it was overwhelming peace.
This home was just a reminder that dreams, homes, land and studios are not just about one person. The Lord’s heart is for everyone and His love is perfect. This home had everything that each person needed and many things that everyone wanted. It was space for each heart and yet the lavishing of a view beyond our dreams. This third home was the room we really needed, a view that we would have never had with any of the other properties, an investment that wasn’t there with the other two homes, a place of rest and dreaming for Kelly and myself but a place of gathering for our children.
So we put an offer on this third home. We put an offer in on a Friday night and we were told we would hear back on Monday. I hated waiting. Waiting meant someone else could make an offer or for some reason our full price offer would not be good enough. Things had gotten so strange over the past months that we didn’t even honestly know what to expect anymore.
Sunday morning we got the call that they had accepted our offer. We asked our Realtor if we could go to the property and just make it real. After so many other offers we just needed to go out there. We needed to walk around and take the time to celebrate and pray over what was coming.
After we made an offer on this property our Realtor was contacted by the seller’s agent of the second home we had placed an offer on. The inspection had not gone well and they were wondering if we were still interested. They didn’t want to fix the items that came up on the inspection even though the other offer was significantly higher than ours. I can’t even make this stuff up. This is where the Lord’s mercy is so overwhelming. We were protected the whole time.
This third home was on the best land, had the best view, had the room that we needed, incredibly solid and well built, we are surrounded by a whole community of horse property and beautiful homes, the studio will be ready soon for me to create in and host workshops, the most awesome floor plan and so much more. This home was not only what we wanted but what we needed.
The only way we would have missed what the Lord had for us would have been if we stayed put. How many times have I missed sweet gifts or areas to grow because I didn’t want to get out of my comfort zone? How many times did I give up before blessings came because it was too hard, too confusing or too unknown?
We have only been in this new home for three weeks now but we can’t believe this is our home. This is our land. This is our future studio. We see our views and tear up. We catch our children over and over saying how much they love the home and they are so thankful we are here. We are smitten. It was all worth it. Every. Single. Thing. Our whole day to day life is bigger, bolder, and more beautiful because we were OK with being uncomfortable and walking through the dark for awhile.
I know this is “just” a house. Not sickness or death. I get that. But sometimes even “just” a house can change your heart and dreams and help you move one step closer to each other, the life you want to live and your faith. I hope the Lord keeps us in this house until we have grand babies and beyond but if He doesn’t I want to have the strength to be an adventurer and to again and again step out of my comfort zone knowing His best is where my heart longs to rest.
[These are not the best quality photos but it gives you an idea about the inside of the home. As soon as we closed on the house we had painters come in and paint the whole interior. Everything was painted white and most of the windows have a black trim. We have slowly changed out all of the lighting and you can see glimpses of what we have done so far on Instagram.]
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