Friday, June 6, 2014

A House

We had no idea it would happen this quickly, and yet, I am not at all surprised. In all of our big moves, God has been the director, the provider and the orchestrator and in His hands things seem to flow effortlessly into place.

It is not that we have been without struggle or hard labor in the process, but that each new phase of the move sort of shows up before we expect it. 

Imagine you are traveling someplace familiar: to a relatives home, perhaps. You have travelled to visit this loved one on several occasions and you've pretty much memorized the route and the time it will take you to travel this route. But the turns you know are coming along the way get there moments before you expect them and the roads are a bit less bumpy or crowded...this is the way this move process has gone so far. We have a perception of steps and time this journey will take, but things come to fruition before we even consider worrying about them. 

The hardest parts are all being covered for us by God's power and grace. What a ride this has been!

Anyway, not a week has even passed since we arrived in Texas and not only have we accomplished many transitional pieces of the puzzle -- mail is now forwarding to our post office box, I am quickly learning my way around, C has found a less-crowded route to work and we are settling into some daily routines here -- but today, we have put an offer on a house, in a neighborhood we really love. 

The last two homes we've lived in have been brand new builds. I love the newness of a new house. I love the possibilities and the freshness of the spaces within. I enjoy knowing that no other person has taken a bath in our tub. I'm peculiar that way, I suppose. Unfortunately, brand new houses have some downsides, too.

For instance, there is too much flat white paint. I love color on the walls, but when everything needs color, it makes it quite the challenge to find a direction. Where do I start? Additionally, new houses have less character. Every day brings a story of something getting broken or damaged and when your house is brand new, those first mars on the wall or stains in the carpet are painful. We add character in time, but like my love for old family stories, there is something charming to me about adding to stories instead of always beginning new ones. 

Our first purchased house was an older home. It wasn't perfect (just thinking about some of the wallpaper we had to remove!), but it had character. We didn't worry as much about those first bumps in the walls. It also had some additions the made life in the house better -- things we would not have or thought to ask for in a new house, but things that seem perfectly natural for a home that has been lived in and tested. In our first house, it was the sunroom. It was my favorite space. The previous owners thought to add it and it was just perfect. I can't imagine that house without it. 

This new-to-us house that we have fallen in love with is an older home. Not only are we striving to cut monthly living expenses by having a smaller home than ours in New Mexico, but I'm ready to have another house with some character. Some stories of its own. 

The house was built the same year I was born (the year C was also born).  It is positioned well, behind a long curving road and then four quick turns. All through the neighborhood there are trees and grass, there are children riding bikes home from the community pool and there are couples walking their dogs. Just the drive there feels...comfortable. Heart-warming. Simpler, as I think upon the days long past when kids roamed the neighborhood without cell phones and when neighbors looked out for one another -- not because there are meetings and signs posted about it, but because it's the loving thing to do. 

I don't pretend to convince myself that people in this neighborhood are different from others in our contemporary world, but what I like is the friendly, less-transient feeling of having neighbors who do care about these older homes and the stories they carry forth through the years. 

Our new neighborhoods were populated with people from everywhere else. No one was particularly invested in the community because frankly, they don't believe they'll be there very long. Case in point, on the street where our home in New Mexico sits with the for sale sign out front, there are five other homes for sale all around it and at the same time. This is just the one street! Who knows how many others have posted their signs on other blocks around the neighborhood?

And the house has the right spaces for us. Sure, the kitchen appliances could use an upgrade and we would love to install a swimming pool out back and maybe enlarge the master bathroom, but overall, I find this house to feel (and smell!) just right. I love the blues and grays on the painted walls. It's different from our other houses, but I was ready for a new color palette. I love the open spaces and the cozy ones. I love that we'll have our master on the first floor. I'm looking forward to finding the right spaces to hang my grandmother's rotary-dial telephone and where I might once again display my giraffe collection. 

And the park around the corner! So many climbing structures and large grassy areas. But best off all, there is a lake and a pier. I can't wait to walk there to visit my family who will be fishing from the pier or to sit there looking for alligators or birds and watching the sunset. 

My excitement about this house comes not only for the affection I feel about the physical features, but from the possible memories we will make there and the continued story that the house will live on. 

We didn't know we would find a house in the first week, but what a relief it has been to feel confident of God's place for us in Texas. I trust our Lord that He will make a way and that we will be able to come to agreement with the current homeowners soon. I trust that our God is already way ahead of us on the financing arrangements and the sale of our New Mexico home. 

I am not afraid. Things are going well, just as The Lord planned. 


  1. Well, it does look beautiful! Plans have changed, and I'm sure there is a reason. Keep on trusting. I'm sure there is something even better in store for you and your family.

    I love you, Mom