Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home for the Holidays

This morning at church we sang the song Everlasting God by Chris Tomlin.  As I sang the lyrics, "Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord" I couldn't help but get choked up.

For the last seven years Nathan and I have been waiting on the Lord.  In many ways.

Okay, I have to back up now... let me start at the beginning of this story.

A few months after Nathan and I were married, we decided to purchase our first home.  We were so excited to become homeowners at the tender age of 23.  We felt like we were making such a smart and sound investment.  

Unfortunately, we purchased a one bedroom condo.

The next year, we were pregnant with Beau.

Two years to the date of purchasing our home {we needed to avoid Capital Gains taxes, after all}, we sold it and moved into an apartment.  Beau was 5 months old.  I had quit working to be a SAHM, and Nathan was in the middle of switching careers, so needless to say... we were a little uncertain of our income.  We thought we would just rent for a year, until we were in a more stable place, and then purchase our next home.   

Enter the Real Estate Boom of the Century.
Four and a half years later we moved out of that apartment, but we were in debt and still not in a position to purchase another home.  So we found another rental.

Please be clear that I am not complaining.  We loved our little apartment, and enjoyed our time there... but we wanted space for Beau to ride his bike and friends for him to play with.  We love our current home.  Love.  We have amazing neighbors, including my sister and her family.  We have a nice little yard, a garage, and an office for me... all things we didn't have in the apartment.  

But we have longed for a place that was ours to call home.  A place where we could paint the walls, plant a garden, and know that we were there to stay.

For the last seven years Nathan has kept a watchful eye on the MLS.  He could tell you about any and every house in our city that was on the market.  But the time has never been right.

Then a couple of months ago he found a house on a friend's street that seemed like a really good fit for us.  Unfortunately, it was a short sale, and the multiple offers {including ours} are still being considered by the bank.

But since we had gone to the trouble of getting ourselves pre-qualified, and realized that we finally may be in the position to buy a home, we decided to look at a few others.

We were able to qualify for a loan, and decided to take some money out of Nathan's 401K for the 3.5% down payment that we would need.  

Then we found an AMAZING, too-good-to-be-true FHA loan with a 2.75% interest rate.  

Then, we found our dream home.

We put in a very low offer, thinking the owners were going to shut us down super quick.

But they didn't.

Instead, they countered back an hour later at a price that was very close to the amount that we had agreed was our max.  So we countered back.

Then we waited.  Again.

Late that evening they came back with their best and final offer... the exact price that Nathan and I had agreed on.  We just stared at each other in disbelief, really feeling like God had just wrapped up our dream home in a beautiful shiny bow and said, "this is for you, my children."

This last Friday afternoon we closed escrow.

I have been hesitant to share this information, for fear that someone out there will misunderstand our situation and send me another nasty note.  But I cannot miss this opportunity to sing the praises of our Lord, who once again has so faithfully and generously provided for our family.

But just in case there are some people out there that feel the need to chastise me for holding a fundraiser for our adoption, and then announcing that we have purchased a home... let me just save you the time by telling you that nothing you can say will make me doubt this gift from God.  And... a few things:

1.  Nathan and I both agreed that there was no other explanation for us finding and being able to purchase this home than that God had very clearly laid it in our hands.  

2.  As I said, we were able to take money out of Nathan's 401K for our down payment, so we have not had to take a single dollar out of our checking account.

3.  My amazing friend that is paying for our adoption is well aware of our purchasing this home, and makes no judgment because she knows us, she knows our situation, and she knows that we now have a bedroom for that sweet little baby that we will very soon be bringing home. 

This year has been beyond overwhelming to us in so many ways.  We have seen the fruit of God's faithful providence in our lives, and now see purpose in seven long and painful years.

This season, at a time when we are remembering that God loved us so much that He sent us His son, we come before our almighty Savior so humbly grateful for the amazing year to come... a new home, a busy business, and a long-awaited baby on the way.

Now, if it will just stop raining long enough for us to move our stuff the 7/10 of a mile down the road... that would be great!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thoughts from MAAY Customers

The other day I got an order for a journal.  The woman ordering it, was getting it for her niece to use as a prayer journal.  I thought that was such a lovely idea.  But even more lovely was the note that she asked me to include in the package.  It said:

"Use this journal to write down the things that inspire you and the countless ways God has blessed you.  As you continue to grow as a woman, remember there is no Testimony without the Test."

I am tearing up again just thinking about how true those words are.  

I am thankful for the trials that I have experienced in my life, because they have given me the opportunity to share God's glorious faithfulness with others. 

On that note... I have some {big news} to share soon.  It's probably not what you think.

Stay tuned.

Monday, December 13, 2010

10 days is 9 days too many

My husband is home.  All is right with the world.

He has been gone for the last 10 days on a fly-fishing trip with his father.  We knew when this trip was planned that it was going to be the absolute worst time for him to be gone... but when your dad offers to pay for a 10 day luxury fly-fishing trip to New Zealand... you go!

Beau and I did not like it.

It is the longest that Nathan and I have been apart since we got married, and the longest that he and Beau have ever been apart.  

It kind of sucked.

Not that I didn't totally respect them already, but I have a whole new respect for military wives, single moms, and women whose husband's travel for work. 

I like having my husband at home.

Now he is home.  I am happy.  I'm not letting him go anywhere for a while.  

{Please remind me of this posting, when need be.}

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holiday Boutique at Oso Grande

If you are in the area... come see us today at the

Oso Grande Holiday Boutique
at Oso Grande Elementary School in Ladera Ranch

12:30pm to 4:30pm
{although keep in mind that school gets out at 1:05pm, and you won't be able to get into the parking lot anywhere close to that time}

Mention that you are blog follower and we will give you 10% off your order placed today at the boutique only.