November 26, 2018 · Personal
When we told the salesman at the furniture store we were in town celebrating our 13th anniversary, he was in complete shock. No sales-pitch stench lingering in the air. His reaction was genuine and just what these old souls needed to hear in that moment. I wanted to hug my new friend right then and there for thinking we were not old enough to be married that long. May you sell many many couches, Roger. You deserve it. *wink*
What Roger didn’t know, and what may have even shocked him more than us being married as long as we have, was that we were in town shopping for a new couch for our very first home.
Hold up. I need to type that again. OUR VERY FIRST HOME. GAH!!!
A home that we have waited 13 looooooong years for. Patiently…aaaaand if I’m honest sometimes impatiently…waiting for the day that I could decide paint colors and flooring options and make decorating decisions without the approval of landlords. A house that was totally and completely just…OURS.
Every year that passed where I was living in a place that wasn’t mine? Was part of a plan. A bigger picture. One I had to trust in, knowing He had the full view when I did not.
Renting gave us freedom. Freedom for my husband to go back to school. Freedom for him to take as much time as he needed to pursue and build a completely new career. Freedom for us to take time off of work to grieve after Owen passed. Even freedom to never have to miss a month of fertility treatments because of a broken furnace.
Some people in our lives may have thought we were straight up crazy for 13 years of renting. “Throwing money away.” This thrift-shoppin’ girl never throws money away. What I AM willing to do, is go against the grain if I feel He’s asking me to. Fully and freely, I will sacrifice my desires for His, knowing His timing is perfect and His plan is flawless.
For an entire year, we house-hunted. The house we were renting even sold out from under us and we spent four of those months living with family. Our couch, TV, bed and John’s office in a single room. College dorm living 2.0.
Like any house-hunters, John and I had our list of deal-breaking features versus the things we “want” but don’t necessarily “neeeeeeed.” My #1 dealbreaker? This house had to have LIGHT.
I have spent the better part of the last decade of my life photographing other people’s families in their homes. What I have captured for them, thanks to the magical dance between light and a camera shutter, are priceless pictures. Cherished moments. It would finally be MY family getting pictures in this new home. Light was imperative.
I almost compromised. I almost settled for houses that were poorly lit but checked *almost* all the remaining boxes on the list. There were moments of exhaustion and discouragement over this past year where I began to wonder if we were supposed to just pick one. Were my expectations for a house with light too high? Was “good enough” really what I had waited 13 years for…?
But we just didn’t have a peace about any home we encountered.
Until this house.
All I can say about this home is that it was perfectly crafted…for US. Every detail big or little is exactly what my heart desired in a home. God blessed us more than I ever imagined with this house. He checked off every need AND want in a home, because He cares about both.
I tear up if I talk about how well He knew what we wanted in our first house. He gave us things we didn’t even know to ask Him for. I love it when He does that.
This quaint little home of ours is a full-on, brick-covered blessing after 13 years of obedience. Seeing His hand on our lives through years of renting gives those years so much purpose. Now, our renting chapter has closed and we are officially homeowners. We even kept the pen used to sign all those documents…you know…to help it all sink in. Haha!
I couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate this milestone than making this year’s Christmas ornament a replica of this past year’s biggest gift. As we put it on our tree for years to come, may we be able to tell our kids how we have grown in the Lord in the years leading up to this place.
How God uses what we think are the insignificant, in-between, simply-passing-through phases in our lives to build trust and character. Those moments, too, have so much purpose.
How He often calls us to go against the grain…for His glory and for our growth.
In July, I officially got a light-filled house stuffed with Light-filled stories of His hand in the midst of it all. With my camera ready and our future family awaiting to grow up in this home…it’s finally my turn for memories.