It's been a good two years.
We haven't been able to pay down our mortgage as quickly as we want to due to some unexpected financial situations. But we are still ahead and haven't given up on a super early pay off. We also haven't been able to update our kitchen so yes... we still have those metal cupboards that don't get used. But I think the smoke smell is fading. Perhaps in another year we will be able to use them!!!
There is still plenty of things "not right" with our house... but I don't really care. I love my neighborhood. I love the people. I love the ministries we are connecting with that also love my neighborhood. I love the school and the kids. I love when I walk past the playground and hear "Hi Liza's mom!" or "Mrs. Wick!" or "Hey Laura!" or "What up Laura?" I love when someone walks in my open door, sits down in my living room and tells me about their day.
I am right where I am meant to be.
In honor of my two year house anniversary I want to reshare something I wrote February 21, 2012. It was just after we had decided to look for a house to buy. It gave me goosebumps to reread it!
Yesterday I wrote about how we are finally ready to start looking for a home and I asked for any tips or advice on home buying that you might have. What surprised me was that several of you were all "Location! Location! Location!" I guess it just surprised me because it's not really an issue for me.
Now! Before you go thinking I'm all crazy let me explain myself. :)
Actually, let me start by saying that I KNOW that I am going to go about looking for a house differently than most and I understand why location SHOULD be important. It's ok if that is important to you and I in no way think that anyone else should just forget about it like I am willing to unless you come up with your own set of convictions.
I'm honestly not worried about location at all.
I've felt strongly for a while now that there is a neighborhood that we are called to. Some people do their missions outside of the United States. Some do their missions work within the United States. I believe that God will have our missions work within the neighborhood that we move to. There are families that need us.
And so I will go to whatever location God shows me.
I don't care if it isn't the best school in town. God won't just give Mike and I the grace we need but He will also give my kids the grace to not only survive but to thrive in their environment as well. It's a family mission. And as far as school goes... I'm the parent. I am the one who is responsible for my children. If the school is lacking then I just need to pick up the slack and make sure my kids are getting what they need.
I don't get the sense that God will stick us in the ghetto but I do know that it isn't going to be the prettiest, most successful neighborhood either. And I'm ok with that.
You can try to convince me that location truly is important but I'm not going to be convinced. Last night I read all the comments that came in and I emailed back and forth with a good, understanding friend who had offered up some thoughts. But here's the thing...
(If I pull out parts of your comment and share my thoughts on it it's not because I think you are wrong... it just helped me settle my convictions even more and I want to share it with others to help them understand.)
Someone said "You can always paint walls... you can't paint surroundings."
I know where she was coming from so it completely makes sense that she should share that tip. But my surroundings will simply be something along the lines of a neighborhood. Nothing spectacular. Probably some crazies. (But who hasn't called ME crazy at some point!?!?) I may not be able to paint the surroundings but the surroundings that I end up with will be able to be covered in prayer and changed by the grace and love of God!
I'm not worried about whether or not the house will sell when I am ready to move either. If I go where God sends me he isn't going to trap me there when He says it's time to move on. Plus... we plan to buy a cheap house and pay it off quickly. Once it's paid for we will begin saving for our next house. We should have nothing owed and plenty saved when it comes time to move again. I know. I know. Plans don't always work out. Either way, God's going to bless us for our obedience. I'm not worried about it.
This is an issue I am completely settled on. I have so many ideas in my head and they only fit within a neighborhood. I want to be the home where kids hang out all the time. Where they feel safe. Where they find love. (Not saying they won't be safe or finding love in their own homes.) I want to welcome in the kids who's parents are working and can't be home when school lets out. I want to use those education degrees I slaved for and help kids with their homework. I hope that I have a covered porch and that the bus stops right in front of my house so that I can invite the other parents to come up for coffee and hot chocolate while waiting for the bus to come on those cold mornings. And then just maybe we will all start talking and sharing our lives and maybe before you know it we'll be having Bible studies in the morning after the kids get on the bus.
Who knows!!! I know they are just ideas. Dreams. Thoughts. But God knows! God knows what will happen when we move where he wants us. It's an adventure that I am so excited about! I know it might not always be easy... but God didn't promise easy.
I imagine God scanning the whole earth... and saying, "I don't need the person who has a perfect background and perfect qualifications and everything all arranged and organized. I don't need [only] the woman who has her spices alphabetized and never gets them out of order. I just need a woman who will say yes. That's the woman I can use to change the world." ~Lysa TerKeurst