Years ago, we attended a teaching series at our church. The topic was Abraham. Our pastor came up to us one evening and told us that the speaker was telling us our story. This was our life.
"Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father's house,
To the land which I will show you;"
I'm not comparing our lives to Abraham's life. We are just ordinary children of God trying to learn from our Father, follow His direction for our lives and learning to love others as He loves us. But, we knew in our hearts that this was true ~ wandering ~ it is our story. Our lives are guided by God and He moves us here and there and shows us where to go. We will spend our lives following His light to the next place... It's just the reality of who we are!
Somewhere along this journey we lost our way and decided we needed a 'place to call home', to go after our dreams, to settle down and root ourselves into a community. I've had a dream since I was a young girl ~ I want to farm and live out in the country. And, I've spent a lifetime trying to get there. We wanted a tax deduction and to bless ourselves financially and not continue lining a landlord's pocket that didn't even care about us. We deserved to paint and decorate our home to suit our own personal taste and feel like we'd 'arrived' because we now owned a home. We would be somebody. Other people would think more highly of us, because we finally had a home of our own (well, technically the bank owns it - but you know what I mean).
God blessed our 'desires' and we bought our first home in Marysville. With the amazing assistance of a friend, he helped us finish space/remodel, taught Blaine some basic construction skills, taught us both how to tile a floor and built us a great, new deck for very little money. When the commute from Marysville to SeaTac airport become too much for Blaine, we sold our house to a wonderful family and found our current home. It was a stretch to buy it, but great location and huge lot. This house has demanded much financial investment, our time and needs so much work! It is close to everything and we can access all the major highways easily. Perfect, huh?
Blaine and I have felt a growing stress that has really pulled us apart. Everyone is doing their own thing and we spend little time together as a family. Yes, the children are getting older ~ but something just hasn't felt right. We have no money to go on a vacation. Rarely is there money to go out and enjoy ourselves ~ Mariner game, a play, go out for dinner, etc. If we spend money in one area, it has to come from another. Ugh. Life just hasn't been enjoyable.
A couple weeks ago, I was walking around Green Lake and was telling God how frustrated I was and that I just couldn't take it anymore. He asked if He could have the house? What? I've just begun building my urban farm, we have little to no equity in the house, we're just getting to know more of the neighbors, getting a little involved in the community, we've invested alot of money into this house for repairs and improvements (and can't recover that money)... Well, yes ~ but can I have the house? Will you let 'your dreams' go again? If it's what You want - You can have the house. I came home and told Blaine. I discovered that he had been feeling the same way. If you want to have the house, Lord ~ it's Yours.
So, we've switched gears. We have a real peace about letting go. After discussion and prayer, we realized that we don't want to have debt. We also have Benjamin's school loans that come due in January 2011 and we've told him we'll help with repaying them. We realized that who God had made us to be, we'd somehow gotten off that path and we know we need to get back on it. We need to be available to Him. To stay or be ready to move on at any given time. We really want to get our lives back in line with His plan for our lives. And yes, it means we need to surrender ALL to Him. See my entry here for what I had shared earlier...
Now, it's time to focus on painting rooms to prepare them to be market ready. We've prepared a TO DO list of projects that need completing in order to sell the house. Still doing some gardening, but not planning to move ahead with enlarging the garden area. Planning to clean up the front yard, add sod and some plants to increase the curb appeal. When I am resolved about an issue, it's fairly easy for me to move forward and fully be in 'that mode'.
Except this time! I've never struggled as much as I have regarding selling this house and moving ahead with God's plan. I know the "PROS" ~ free of our mortgage, able to pay off credit card debt, able to move into a rental house that God chooses for us and into a neighborhood He desires for us to be in, able to help Benjamin with the repayment of his school loan, the possiblity that I might be able to return to school and pursue a degree, being closer to our church ~ and there is much more. However, the "CONS" are weighing more heavily on me than ever before ~ leaving Emily that lives next door and not speaking into her life as she grows up in the neighborhood, not being able to continue my dialogue with neighbors and share my 'organic' lifestyle with them, not having my own space to turn into an urban farm, not seeing the neighbors I see on a daily basis when I walk Coco (or at least several times per week), leaving a neighborhood that we care about, feeling like I won't accomplish the things here that I've shared with neighbors I want to do, having others think I say one thing and then turn around and do another, moving away from cousins that I've just been reconnecting with after so many years...
Blaine and I came to a conclusion the other night ~ we will put our lives in God's hands (again) and let Him show us what His desire is for our lives. If we are to let go and move on, we believe He will provide us with a buyer (that He has chosen for this house and neighborhood). If we are to stay, we trust that He will provide for our financial needs and enable us to have some rest in this house and some vacation time. No matter what He decides, we will praise His name and give thanks to Him in every situation. He is good.
Blessed be His Name!
So, this is where we are today. We have much happening in our lives and we're not sure where we're headed next ~ but one thing we know without a doubt: We're definitely not lost!