There it stands. I gaze at it and am in awe of the God who brought us to this very place. Could it really be mine? No, it is HIS. My artistic heart is eager to throw up curtains, spread out linens and candles, claim the walls with photos of our memories. That would make it feel like home, right?
No…I really only want to live here, if HE is present. If I can feel His Presence sweetly wafting through the rooms, caressing each person to enter the doors. To come in and know without a doubt that this is HOLY ground. What is a home, except where we worship Him together as family and friends, align our hearts and desires with HIS, hold ourselves to a higher, more Godly standard, and most importantly, shape and mold the little ones to desire Him with all their hearts and possess traits that resemble our awesome Creator? YES!, that is HOME.
And with that definition, I suppose I’ve been home all along. Not a step of this Kansas City “adventure” has been without the Lord’s presence. He’s walked this road with us – all the turns and valleys, even though it was hard to feel Him at times.
“Home” has had many different appearances and locations for us in these last three years.
Photo: Our First Home in Colorado
We started here: Prince Charming was laid off from his job in Colorado and was able to secure a new position in Kansas City. Here is my blog about leaving our home three years ago in Colorado: Blog: There’s No Place Like Home (click)
After 3 months of separation, with Prince Charming living and working in Kansas City, and Boo and I packing up the house and living in Colorado, we just couldn’t do it anymore. The house was still for sale without a buyer in sight…but, we needed to reunite as a family again. So, Boo and I joined Prince Charming and lived in the basement of a gracious family in Olathe, Kansas for a month.
Photo: Our First Apartment in Kansas City
One month later, we moved here: My blog about living in a one-bedroom apartment, infested with cockroaches. We learned later, we would witness frequent gang fights in the parking lot and even had a shooting two doors down from our apartment. Blog: Saying Yes to An Adventure With God (click)
Life was tough to say the least. Boo slept in our closet in a Pack ‘N Play and we struggled financially to maintain a steep mortgage in Colorado and rent in Kansas. Yet, even there, I remember sweet memories with my family and many intimate conversations with God. I also remember not being very happy with Him here – wondering why we had to deal with cockroaches, a house that wouldn’t sell, and grieving the distance from my family in Colorado. I didn’t understand – I know I wasn’t very patient or gracious. I know I wasn’t resting in the Lord as I should’ve been. I couldn’t see the big picture yet and all I knew were the strains facing us in those very moments. I hurt deeply. The loneliness was incredibly painful. I agonized over losing my life as I knew it and my family in Colorado. I was tired of the strain. BUT…the HALLELUJAH was yet to come! I get it now – I can SEE better now. My faith and trust in an Almighty God has grown. He is good…sooo GOOD.
Then our house in Colorado was under contract in May of 2010. We secured a nice duplex with an extra bedroom for Boo and headed back to Colorado to finish moving out of our house there. We signed our side of the closing papers. ONE HOUR later, the closing papers we JUST signed were in the shredder. The buyer was having difficulty securing their loan. We panicked wondering how we would pay for renting our new duplex we had just secured plus continuing to pay the mortgage on our house that was supposedly sold. Panic!….But WAIT…PRAY. Twenty four hours later, our future buyers agreed to rent our house at our current mortgage amount. STOP…and PRAISE! Truly, we serve an amazing God…why do we ever doubt Him?
Photo: Our Duplex in Kansas City
At the end of September of 2010, our home FINALLY went to closing – 13 months after we put it on the market. Life in the duplex has been so good. I hang photos on the wall, we play in the wonderful backyard, Boo is growing and changing, and is so much fun. We make MEMORIES. We LIVE life. God’s presence is close. I commit to a weekly Bible Study with her and find regular times to have my devotions and prayer time with the ONE who has cared for us so sweetly, who has calmed the stormy waves of our lives. I love talking to Him. He’s such a good friend and there are no sweeter moments in life than those spent talking with God.
Prince Charming has a good job here; we’ve found our home church and are enjoying new friendships. I could live life here. I still miss my family terribly, but I could commit to living here. I’m beginning to see why He brought us here in so many ways. We’ve grown in our marriage, as people, as a family. Stresses and strains on our marriage that we faced in Colorado have been distanced – the great God of the Universe holds them back, protecting His children – no longer allowing them to take the same toll on us. We have had to learn to depend on each other and God so much more than ever before. Growth as people is evident – we have learned to respect each other more, commit ourselves more to the other, and have expanded our definition of what an unconditional love really means. We have learned to CHOOSE each other. We haven’t arrived at perfect and still have a long way to go, but PRAISE GOD for allowing the challenges and obstacles as we strive to grow closer to Him and to each other. I believe He will continue to reveal His purposes in bringing us to Kansas City as time goes on and we seek Him with all of our hearts.
We have started to dream again. Of the future, of planting roots, of a more permanent home. We begin saving aggressively to put feet to these dreams. We begin searching online for a possible home. I want ‘A’, he wants ‘B’. I want ‘black’, he wants ‘white’. We struggle to find a middle ground. Perhaps it’s not our time to dream, perhaps we were wrong. We continue to pray, yet see no clear answers. We take a step and go out house hunting with our realtor friend. House #3 is so wonderful – I allow it to begin taking root in my heart. We get back in the car. He has the same silly grin that I have. Could it be? Did two opposites find common ground? We talk over the top of each other gushing about all the things we loved about it. Then, silence. Hesitantly, I offer that I could end the house hunt right now. He agrees. Really? Could it be? We head home after viewing a few more homes and decide to pray over House #3 for awhile. One hour later, our realtor friend calls and says another offer is on the table for that house and would we want to make one today too? TODAY?! We begin to pray on FAST FORWARD. A big neon sign right about now would be GREAT, Lord! There was no neon sign, only two hearts fully aligned in prayer and in mind. We make the offer. It is accepted and after some strain, our loan is approved. The home is set to be ours this Thursday, September 27th!
Our current duplex is much smaller than our house in Colorado and we were unable to unpack most of our boxes due to space constraints. I am excited, yet overwhelmed, at the possibility of using and seeing so many of our things that have been stored away for 3 years in our garage. I struggle to remember all that is out there, and am convinced that a giant yard sale will be in our future! Oh! The ability to paint a wall, to plant a tree, to carve our initials on this home and make it OURS! To spread our wings and enjoy life to the fullest!
Photo: Backyard of our new house (will need landscaping!)
YET…those material things can wait…
My FIRST step over the threshold of that house will a prayer of PRAISE to my Savior –
The SECOND step will be that of confession and repentance for any lack of Faith I have expressed in this journey –
My THIRD step, now well into the entryway of our home, will be that of dedication to the Lord. OH to live and breathe in a house that is truly HIS HOUSE. My heart yearns for this – that the memories, conversations, and moments in this house will be glorifying to Him. That He might use this house for HIS Glory.
OR – is it JUST a house? What does the Bible say about this?
When my feet hit the floor in the morning ~
Psalm 59:16 - But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; For you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
And at night, when I go to sleep ~
Psalm 63:6 ~On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 ~ And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Proverbs 24:3-4 ~ By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.
Joshua 24:15b ~ …But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Psalm 127:1 ~ Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.
This house is YOURS, Lord – I will enter that front door knowing YOU will be THERE – I will look expectantly for YOU!
I know I will be standing on HOLY GROUND!