As of November 13th, John and I are officially living in our first home – one we own, not rent! : -) It has been a long, tiring process getting settled into our new abode, but there seems to be a light at the end of, what just a week ago, seemed like a very dark tunnel.
The fact is when we were shopping around for a house, we weren’t really in love with the one we ended up purchasing. There was another home in the same neighborhood we preferred. It was smaller, but still brick (which we like) and wouldn’t require as many cosmetic updates. On top of that, it would be less money. We viewed our first home as a “starter”, so the size of the other home didn’t really bother us. We also didn’t want to pay the cost of the larger home, so to us, the smaller one was a win-win. It was settled….or so we thought.
Seeking wise counsel, we took both sets of our parents into the 2 homes and left with the same consensus — for a myriad of reasons, they liked the bigger, more expensive one. Great. We, however, were definitely on the fence. We got to the point where we were confused on what we really wanted, and the whole growing-up-and-buying-our-own-home thing didn’t seem so fun anymore. After all, we didn’t “have” to purchase anything. We were blessed with an awesome, Christian landlord who didn’t want to see us go, anyway. When we were just window shopping, the process seemed fun. At this point, though, I was ready to get off the never-ending Ferris wheel
Through our confusion, we continually sought God’s wisdom on the home He would have us purchase. We told Him we wouldn’t buy either house, that we’d just wait, if that’s what He wanted us to do. We sincerely said, “Lord, not our will but Your will be done.” As we were daily praying, something funny started to happen. Every time we would go back to the homes, our opinions started to change. We saw things in both homes – good and bad – that we never saw before. It was like the lights were turned on, and all the imperfections in the smaller home, and all the potential in the larger home, were magnified ten times over. Our “love” for the other house seemed to dissipate, and our hate (yes, at one point I hated it) for the home we now live in seemed to disappear.
Feeling as if God may be leading us to purchase the larger home, we decided to seriously consider putting in an offer. We individually and corporately prayed about a dollar amount we would not go over. God confirmed to both of us the same amount. The offer was turned down once, and when offered again on the condition that this was our last offer, and we would walk away, the seller agreed to the price – $8,000 less than the current asking price; $18,000 less than the seller wanted a year ago.
Now, a month later, we’re moved in and completely out of our condo. Most of the once stark-white walls have been painted, though the scary, creme trim still exists (for now). The scary, glued on mirrors from the 60s that covered my dining room and one spare bedroom are gone. I finally got my red wall (LOVE IT). The “peninsula”, aka very long island, in our kitchen is slowly growing on me. The wallpaper in the family room has been replaced by a whole new wall (fun, huh?) that is covered in inviting, light green paint. Nautical decorations have been replaced with pictures of the two of us and decor gifts from our wedding. Boxes are almost unpacked and, like most new homeowners, are credit card bill is rising. No, the house is not exactly the way we want it, and there’s still plenty to do, but it’s ours.
Yes, this is our home. This is where we’ll make new memories and welcome new members to our family. This is where we’ll grow closer to Jesus and each other. This is where we’ll entertain family and friends. This is where we’ll grow a little older, and Lord-willing, a little wiser, too. And one day, we may move and leave this house, but as long as we are together and abiding in His love, the next house will feel like home, too.
Baby, thanks for making me feel at home.