Please excuse my belated posting as of late. Life has hit high speed for our family with all of the MANY year end activities at Bethel, my piano recitals coming up this weekend and prep for those, and some of our favorite Bethel students graduating this coming weekend - whew! So I may have several posts in my head but I'm just not making time to get them out at the present moment ... so this is technically my Tuesday, May 18 'grateful' moment.
The date of May 18th is significant to our family. It was on that day in 2007 Ross and I signed the papers and closed on our new home. We had some definite drama regarding the search for our first home. The nasty building company who shall remain nameless that we first were going to go with misled us and our wonderful relators into thinking they could have us in a brand new town home by June/July but they put us on a building schedule for end of August/September which we didn't figure out until we had put earnest money down and lots of questions had been asked by us and our realtors of the person we were working with ... to make a long story short, we drove up at least 2 different times and sat in front of our 'to be' home just talking things through and trying to make ourselves feel comfortable with the situation. When the move in date ended up getting pushed way back, we were very upset and feeling very misled so we ended up backing out of our contract (although we hadn't officially signed anything) and leaving our earnest money behind because the whole deal just wasn't feeling right.
Within the same weekend, our realtor took us to see 2 brand new Rottlund town-homes in a neighborhood called Club West, very close by to the first one. We fell in love with the first Rottlund spec house we saw but someone else was already putting money down on that house, so we put our names second on the list and first on the other one whose colors we weren't as fond of, in case the people with the first one didn't get approved. Sure enough, their deal fell through and we ended up with the first house and it couldn't be better for us. We felt immediate peace even just walking into the space. We felt like it was 'us' from the moment we walked in the door. We were immediately able to picture where our furniture would go and other simple things that really make a big difference - things we didn't feel with the first house. We were also able to close on the home by MAY 18th which was only about a month after we first saw it. Rottlund also gave our realtors a signing bonus which they in turn generously gave to us to help make up for the loss of the first earnest money - Jon and Rick Olson were AMAZING realtors - so much so that we recommend them to everyone and anyone we know! My parents bought their house through them and Angela, our first roommate, also bought her house with them. They even went to court with us when we filed against the first company (BAH - see what a crappy deal that whole thing was?!?).
So, the story of our first house taught us many things for which I am grateful:
#1 Always trust your gut instinct ... I now call this "Holy Spirit promptings" ... if you don't feel at peace about something, there is a reason!
#2 It's worth losing money (even lots of it) in a busines deal to feel more at peace about a BIG decision.
#3 If you feel like you're getting 'schmoozed' by a sales person - you probably are - WATCH OUT! (The woman we were dealing with would always ask to hug Ross and me ... WEIRD)
#4 Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your OWN understanding ... in all your ways acknowledge HIM and He will make your path straight! There were lots of things we didn't understand at the time we were going through the drama, but being in this house, in this neighborhood has been a huge gift to us. I think of the miles I have put on the trails in this neighborhood, the hours we have played in the parks, the times we have cooled off in our pool, the proximity to Bethel and major highways and so much more and I am SO very grateful!
#5 This home has not only provided for us, but it has been a haven for others as well, and we hope to continue to offer our home back to the Lord to see how he would like us to use this gift from Him to serve His kingdom purposes. If it hadn't been SUCH a "God thing" kind of story, I'm not sure we would have considered using it in the ways we have been able to ... "As for me and my HOUSE, we will serve the Lord" - I realize I am interpreting this as my four walls AND my family/household, but I think that's okay! :)
I have nothing but deep gratitude for the lessons that brought us to this place ...