Those particular verses have nibbled at the edges of my mind over the past months as hubby and I have shopped for a new home. Way back in January, we thought we'd found our dream home—a beautiful 8-bedroom Victorian that had gone into foreclosure. After a four-month yo-yo ride with the mortgage company, even though we loved the house, we grew seasick and began looking elsewhere.
In early May we discovered an "English cottage" built during the Depression, set on six beautiful acres that included ponds and a mini forest. Gorgeous! And so unique. It even had a barn that could be hubby's workshop. It had been sitting empty for months with no activity. Certain we'd found our replacement for the Victorian, we made a bid...and the very same day, so did another couple. Their bid exceeded ours, so once again we lost a house we both really liked.
You have to understand...finding a house we BOTH really like is not easy. We each seek different features that are important to us. And the ones he seek tend to be contradictory to mine. (Have you ever heard the adage "opposites attract"? Sometimes I think it was based on Don and me!) Consequently, after getting struck down twice, I really wasn't up to searching again.
I thought about those verses from Philippians. Had we lost out on these houses because God wanted me to just stay put? Our current house is nice—it lacks many of the features I considered part of the "perfect" house (and possesses most of Don's), but it's nice. Maybe instead of wanting more, I was just supposed to be content with a house I considered "little" rather than "much." Did a lot of praying about it, too. Finally decided no more active seeking. I'd wait for a house to come to me...and if one didn't come, I'd just be content.
The last Sunday in May, after church, hubby said something he never says: "Let's go walk through a few open houses." After I picked myself up off the floor, I searched the paper and found four that looked interesting. One was only a few blocks from where we're living now so we hit it first. Don immediately headed for the backyard, where the ad promised a pool, and I climbed the stairs to check out the second floor. As I rounded the bend on the staircase, I burst out laughing and muttered, "Somebody saw me comin'..." The bathroom at the head of the landing was done in shades of purple. My favorite color. The bedroom adjoining that bathroom matched in decor. Perfect.
I stepped into the master bedroom and chuckled again. More purple! A deep rich eggplant and dusty sage—a beautiful combination. A third bedroom also waited upstairs, again with its own private bath. My heart skipped a beat: each bedroom with a private bath. Definitely one of MY features. I headed back to the main floor and couldn't find Don, so I meandered around on my own and began tallying up the positive points of the house: Living room with French doors leading onto a spindled, screened-in porch; a family room with a fireplace; a formal dining room; a HUGE utility room and spacious kitchen with lots of cabinet and counter space and a large pantry...
Don wandered in from outside with a big smile. "It sits on a double lot! And not only is there a swimming pool, there's a hottub out there." Together we investigated the basement where a beautiful snack bar (more seating for guests!) separated two large recreation areas. A fourth bedroom with a private bath and a nice-sized storage room completed the basement.
"Well," I said, "this was fun. Want to go check out the others?" So we did. And after looking at the last one on our list, Don suggested returning to the first one again. I wanted to know why. He said, "I liked it. I want to see it again." I stated all the negatives: No shop, no acreage for him; no open winding staircase, Victorian gingerbread, or attic for me. We decided we wanted to go back anyway. We had twenty minutes before the open house would end, so we hurried over. And by the time we'd walked through it a second time, we had both decided we wanted to make an offer.
Now remember, we'd made offers before. Twice. And both times we got shot down. I jokingly said, "Well, third time could be a charm...or it could be three strikes and we're out." But we called our agent, made a bid, and the next day the owners countered with an amount we were willing to meet. We said, "Yes."
So...in less than a month, we'll be moving in to our new home. There's space for the grandkids to play inside and out, and guestrooms (not 8, but enough) for family or friends to come stay. Although it isn't a 100-year-old Victorian or a rambling house sitting on several acres, it's a warm, cozy house that feels like "home" to both of us. I realize that a lot can still happen—maybe this house won't really be ours. But I have no apprehension at all this time. If we move into it—wonderful; if we don't—we'll survive. Maybe that means I've learned that lesson of contentedness?
Below is a picture of the house we will soon call "home." Although it doesn't possess all we thought we "needed," it has "much" in both of our opinions, and we feel very blessed.
God bless you muchly as you journey with Him! ~Kim
P.S. -- If you're on Facebook, I posted several pics in and out of the house, if you're interested in houses. Feel free to visit my page there...and befriend me if you haven't already! :o)