Tag Archives: house drama

Room #2

Alright, I’m ready to unveil another room!

I have officially become obsessed.  Any mention with DIY, garage sales, Goodwill, flea market, design blogs, or Pinterest, and my heart is sent aflutter.  In all seriousness, it really is great to have found such a fun hobby to keep up with.  I am first a wife and mother, but this gives me an outlet just for ME!

Dining Room when we bought the house:

Dining room phase one: (such a long story, but its a TERRIBLE picture because I had to take a picture of the picture on my old phone…haha!)

 

Our dining room has undergone several changes.  And not just the original ones!  I must have rearranged and redecorated and changed the style 100 times now.  I just couldn’t get that room right.  I think it all stemmed from the color.  I loved the “Coffee Bean” paint swatch, but once it got on our wall- not so much.  I originally had reds and browns in the room and I think that added to my distaste.  Everything I tried just wasn’t working!

Then Emily gifted me a bluish/green table she couldn’t use in her house anymore, and I decided to go a whole different direction!

Dining Room NOW!

 

The blue and white has lightened the whole room so much!

Now for all the fun behind the scene details…

First, Michael and his dad replaced the carpeting with hardwood floors.

Then, Ryan primed and primed and primed because the previous owner did a crackle effect (or something) that would NOT cover!

I love this room because nearly everything was re-vamped, a hand me down, or thrifted. It is like a treasure hunt for me…SO fun! :)

The dark brown china cabinet in the first set of pictures was given to us from Michael’s Aunt and Uncle.  I painted it blue and the inside white and changed out the knobs.

The white candle holders used to be black but not after I got a hold of some spray paint! I also painted my Aunt’s green baker’s rack in the corner white!

Will I have rearranged everything again by the time this blog circulates?  Oh, absolutely.  But I have to keep life fun for Michael. :)

 

Finally

A nearly two year journey has come to an end.  We are homeowners again!

Actually, I think we are both still in shock not believing it actually all worked out!  We were so used to being outbid, or our offers getting rejected by the bank, or dealing with shady Realtors on the other end that I kind of think we both thought in the back of our heads we would be renters for what seemed like forever.

We decided we needed to start from scratch and change directions. So, our realtor who sold our house in Texas, Danyelle Daniel, referred us to another Keller Williams, Darlene Coady, to help us up here.  Danyelle sold our house the FIRST day it went on the market in Texas, so we were hoping she could find us someone on this end that could do the same in helping us buy one. :)

After putting an offer on a house, only to be be stuck in a multiple offer situation yet again and to be outbid, we started to get discouraged.  Then the same thing happened with another house.  Again.  But, then something really awesome happened.

About a week before Simon was born, I got a call from Darlene.  She said the agent from the house we were outbid on in October called her and told her their contract fell through and asked if we wanted to resubmit our offer.  How cool was that?  The agent called HER and asked for our offer before putting it back on the market.  Just the fact that we were dealing with a decent/kind agent on the other end was a whole new thing for us!  :)

We resubmitted the offer soon after.  The bank came back within a day or two and said they ACCEPTED our offer on one condition:  that we could close on the house by January 24th.  Nothing like doing things big!  Why not have a baby, travel to TX, stand in our sister/brother’s wedding, AND pack up and move within a month?  Sure!

Now here is the COOLEST part!  I think we signed all the papers maybe Saturday or Sunday?  I can’t remember.  But we had to wait for the bank to ratify the contract for it to go off the market.  Monday night we went over to show our parents the house and there was another family there looking at it.  Which meant, if they submitted a higher offer, all our paperwork would be void if the bank hadn’t ratified it yet.  I was having contractions and ready to pop, and not in the mood to lose another house!!!  I prayed God would PLEASE have the bank ratify this contract already!  That night (early Tuesday morning) I went into labor with Simon.  He was born the morning of December 15th, not even a few hours before we got the call from Darlene that the bank signed off on our contract and the house was OURS!!!!!!  What a really neat thing God did, a baby and a house all in the same day. :)  We are incredibly blessed and thankful!!

We closed on January 20th, and we have been hard at work ever since.  Michael and his dad have painted the whole house new fresh colors, and are currently installing hardwood floors in the downstairs.  SO many people have come to help Michael at the new house or help me pack and/or babysit at the current house which has been an incredible blessing. We are hoping to be completely moved in within the next couple weeks!!

Our very first visitors, Mary Beth, Erin, Abbi, and Emily! (this was the "before" picture of red paint!! It's not red anymore!! :)
Between the 5 of us we have NINE boys and ONE girl, sweet little Mae :) It got a little crazy in there!!

Where are You?

My God is so big, so real, so in control, and so Great. I know that without a doubt. I know that because when I do see His hand in my life, I just stop and stand in awe of all that He is and how much bigger He is than me or my circumstances. But there are times in my life where thing after thing goes “wrong” and I find myself crying out to God asking, “Where are you?”

Now, I know God can handle my doubts, questions, accusations, and cries for help. For through Christ: Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16) And I know that He isn’t going to just hand me all the answers and not allow anything bad to happen in my life. I know He wants me to continue to seek Him and know Him all the more. I know that every little thing that happens is to make me stronger and mold me to be more like Jesus. But it still can hurt!

A year later, God has closed the door on us buying a house. I became confused because we believe God had so clearly lead us to move to the inner city of Aurora. But He brought us to that place in our hearts for a reason, and with all that I have I’m trying to have peace and know that He still has purpose in that, it is just going a different direction than we thought.

I’ve been studying Jesus’ life lately because I want to be more like Him. I think sometimes our culture and religion confuse who the real Jesus really is, so I decided to study Him so I can make sure my life lines up with His and nothing else. Something I’ve found is that what looks impossible (or even just a waste of time), Jesus turns into blessing.
Luke 5:4-7
4When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down[a] the nets for a catch.”
5Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
6When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.


I‘m sure the disciples thought that letting down the nets after they hadn’t caught anything all night was pretty absurd. But they did it anyway because Jesus said to, and they reaped immediate blessing for their obedience.

I do think its pretty absurd that after a year of home searching and all its ups and downs, the heart changes Michael and I had about moving into the heart of Aurora, and the passion we had to follow Christ there, that He would all of a sudden change course. But in reality, I believe He didn’t change course- we just can’t see the whole picture like He can. We just have to trust His best.

A lot of times I just need to sit and cry and ask God to listen to my fears. And He does and I do feel His presence! I claim these promises on a very regular basis:
Deuteronomy 31: 6
6 So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”


Luke 12: 6-7
6 “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins[a]? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. 7 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.


Luke 7:13
3 When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said.

Jesus, You know my pain, You see my pain- and You are filled with compassion. Thank you.

My Woman’s Group at The Orchard just started a Beth Moore study Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman. (Never done a Beth Moore study before- she sure is intense! :) )

She said something that really hit home for me:
for when the Red Sea doesn’t part…”


“[The book of Esther] extends a vital perspective on the providence of God.   Merriam Webster’s definition of providence,  ‘God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny.’  Holman illustrated Bible Dictionary adds, ‘in so doing [in His providence] God attends not only to apparently momentous events and people but also to those that seem both mundane and trivial’….indeed, so all encompassing is God’s attention to events within creation that nothing…happens by chance.


“I’m hoping for us to grasp that no life is free of troubles, regardless of religion, race, or nation.  In fact, as Job said, every life is full of it. When we trust our lives to the hand and pen of an unseen but ever-present God, He will write our lives into His story and every last one of them will turn out to be a great read. With a grand ending. And not just in spite of those catastrophes. Often because of them
.

So write away God! Write away.

Not simply heart tuggings- my heart is pounding right out of my chest

God has really brought me to a deep place in my relationship with Him.  It all started this summer when I was really faced with the  unknown things out of my control, having to choose to really put my faith in action.  I really feel God was leading me out of complacency and into a deep, meaningful surrender.  So many things have been flooding through my heart the last few months, and I just really didn’t know how to put it into words.  I still really don’t, but I’ve been wanting to blog about this for some time now.

A lot of the stirring inside me has been the direct result of what God is doing through our church home, The Orchard.  God has really ripped up my heart through Scott’s teaching and leading.  We have been doing a series called, Not Like Me, and Michael and I both really feel like this series was created specifically for us!  We have been so challenged.

At the close of the series today Scott asked three questions.  The verses he presented us with resounded in my soul and I felt God calling me to action.  Not just part of my heart, but my WHOLE heart.  All of it.  To me that means, my everything- my time, my talent, my treasure, my family.  All of it should bring Him glory.  That is all that really matters.  That is the heart of the gospel.  To bring Jesus glory.  So I thought about those questions…I wanted to respond to it and not just go about my life as usual.

James 1: 22-25 (NIV)

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

1)  Where is your Nazareth?

John 1:45-46 (NIV)

5Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”

46“Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip.

Nazareth was not looked on as a great place, it was really looked down upon and avoided.  But it is from Nazareth that God did a beautiful thing- He brought out of it the Savior of the world.  For me, I feel like my Nazareth are the places that I am afraid to take my kids, or where I am afraid to go alone.   It is the area with not the best schools or nicest houses.  It is where everyone tells me to avoid because I can do “better”.

2) Where is your Pain?

1 Corinthians 1:18, 22-25  (The Message)

8For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 22-25While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”

I realize that to some reading this, you may think I am crazy, and that is fine.  I have struggled with the doubts before wondering just how “real” this Jesus can really be.  I understand the scepticism.  But also know the real, tangible power of Christ in my life and ultimatley the fire burning in my heart and my soul as He brings me deeper.  That is something that my critics cannot take from me.

3) What is in your hand?

Exodus 4: 1-5 (NLT)

1 But Moses protested again, “What if they won’t believe me or listen to me? What if they say, ‘The Lord never appeared to you’?” 2 Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?” “A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied. 3 “Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back. 4 Then the Lord told him, “Reach out and grab its tail.” So Moses reached out and grabbed it, and it turned back into a shepherd’s staff in his hand. 5 “Perform this sign,” the Lord told him. “Then they will believe that the Lord, the God of their ancestors—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—really has appeared to you.”

Many of you know our house hunting woes (but really, they aren’t woes.  We are grateful that we are fortunate enough to have the means to be able to purchase a home and to be house hunting…)  What looks like loss, Michael and I really feel like has been gain.  When we chose the house in Montgomery, we were looking for the best schools, the safest neighborhoods, and really the nicest house we could afford.  All the “appearances”.  When we lost the bid on the house 5 months later, little did we know what greater purpose God had behind it!

It was just about the beginning of the Not Like Me series and we were really bummed about losing the house.  But then God started tearing apart our hearts.  Why were we looking in the areas we were?  Because we thought God could protect our kids in those areas only?  Because we wanted to be around people “like” us?  Because people in our lives were telling us to avoid certain areas due to demographic and stereo type?

The journey God has brought me on has really forced me to address all of these issues in my heart.  Really, the number one thing God wants from me is my heart.  He wants me to know Him and bring Him glory in everything I do.  So what do I do primarily?  I am a wife and a mother.  If my sole purpose is to bring God glory so that the others around me will see a glimpse of Him and hopefully fall in love with Him as well, then won’t He take care of the rest?  Isn’t God sovereign no matter what part of town we live in?  Aren’t Trevor and Elliott ultimately in His hands no matter what school they attend?

So Michael and I have changed our home search.  We are looking in Aurora, the very place most have lead us away from.  I want to come along side other moms and love them.  Really just love them.  No matter where they are coming from in life.  I want my boys to embrace diversity and see beauty around them in everything.  I want us as a family to have one mindset- to bring Jesus glory by loving people like He did.

They showed a video today at The Orchard in which our pastor, Scott, and his friend Caleb took us to a part of Aurora that is looked down upon.  A lot of the kids are in broken families and just want to have an adult presence in their lives to truly love them.  Caleb said something that really hit home, he said, “This is where Jesus would be.  This is where He would be hanging out all the time.”  And Scott said, “What really gets me about that is that, yes, this is where Jesus would be…but yet it is where I am not…”

I want to be where Jesus would be and where He is at work currently…I want to embrace the little children that aren’t ever embraced.  I want to show people the real Jesus that isn’t judgemental and doesn’t discriminate.  When I die I want there to be Christ followers and those that don’t know Christ to say, “She loved people.  She lived her faith that she proclaimed.”

So I am praying for a home in Aurora, right where God wants us, so He can do mighty work through our family, so that people would know Him, and He will be glorified.

“….So what could I say?
And what could I do?
But offer this heart oh God
Completely to you

So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the one who gave it all
So I’ll stand
My soul Lord to you surrendered
All I am is yours…”

The Stand by Hillsong United




Dust off, Move on

Woah, I’ve been on a blogging drought it seems!  Hmmm, where to start…

We lost the house.  Yes, the house we put an offer on May 16th.  The bank oh so kindly responded to us on September 22nd with an unrealistic counter for us, so we had to let the house go.

It was hard, but at the same time we are thankful for closure.  We can pick up, dust ourselves off, and move on.

My mom sent me this forward email that gave me a good laugh and is spot on in dealing with these darn banks.  I’m going to share it with you.   :)

Part
of rebuilding New
Orleans caused residents
often to be challenged
With the task of tracing home titles back
potentially hundreds of years.
With a community rich with history
stretching back over two centuries,
houses have been passed along through generations of family, sometimes
making it quite difficult to
establish ownership.
Here’s a great letter an attorney wrote to the
FHA  on behalf of a
client:

You have to love this lawyer
A New
Orleans lawyer sought an
FHA
loan for a client. He was told the
loan would be granted if he could
prove satisfactory title to a parcel of
property being offered as
collateral. The title to the property dated
back to 1803, which took
the lawyer three months to track down.  After
sending
the
information to the FHA, he received the following
reply.

(Actual reply from FHA):

“Upon review of your
letter adjoining your client’s loan application,
we
note that the
request is supported by an Abstract of Title. While
we
compliment the able manner in
which you have prepared and presented the
application, we must point
out that you
have only cleared title to the proposed collateral
property back to 1803.
Before final approval can be accorded, it will
be necessary to clear the
title back to its
origin.”

Annoyed, the lawyer responded as
follows:

(Actual response):

“Your letter regarding title
in Case No.189156 has been received. I note
that you wish to have title
extended further than the 194 years covered
by the present application.
I was unaware that any educated person in this
country, particularly
those working in the property area, would not know
that Louisiana was purchased
by the United
States from France , in 1803
the year of origin
identified in our application.  For the
edification of
uninformed
FHA bureaucrats, the title to the land prior to U.S. ownership
was
obtained
from France, which had

acquired it by Right of Conquest from
Spain. The
land came into the
possession of Spain by Right of
Discovery made in
the
year 1492 by a sea captain named Christopher Columbus, who
had
been
granted the privilege of seeking a new route to India by the
Spanish
monarch,
Queen Isabella. The good Queen Isabella, being a
pious woman and almost as
Careful about titles as the FHA, took the
precaution of securing the
blessing of
the Pope before she sold her
jewels to finance Columbus ‘s
expedition…Now the Pope,
as I’m sure you may know, is the emissary of
Jesus Christ, the Son of
God, and God, it is commonly accepted,
created
this
world.
Therefore, I believe it is safe to presume
that God also made that part
Of the world called Louisiana. God,
therefore, would
be the
owner of origin and His origins date back to before the
beginning of
time, the world as we know it, and the FHA. I hope you
find God’s original
claim
to be satisfactory.

Now, may we
have our damn loan?”

The loan was
immediately approved.

Being Thankful

“I’m learning to welcome pain, and not to dodge it.  It’s one of the most valuable of lessons.  Pain has a refining work to do in us, if we welcome it.  It teaches us what is temporal, what is superficial, and what is abiding and deep.  I’m trying to let pain do its work in me.” (Luci Shaw, June 1986)

“New studies on the brain show that thankfulness and fear cannot exist simultaneously in the brain…There have been times in my life, especially after my husband died, when all I could say was “Help me, God.” That is a form of thankfulness, because it recognizes God’s sovereignty.  And when I did that, I found that fear was pushed back, because my soul was recognizing that while I did not understand why,  I was still turning to God, still falling into His arms.” (Dee Brestin, Ecclesiastes: A Woman of Contentment)

This has really helped me lately.  I am trying to list off the things I am thankful for because then it overshadows the things that are going wrong, and ultimately I have a better attitude and I continue to hope.  Though we might not be in our home yet,  I am thankful for family that has opened their home to us, and I enjoy the big family nights in their house.  Though my patience is tested hourly by two preschoolers, how thankful I am that I have my two children to laugh with and cuddle!  Though I get frustrated with all the mundane tasks to my stay at home job, I am SO thankful that I have a husband who is alive and well, who works hard so I can stay home, and genuinely loves and cares for me and our children.  See, I already feel better this morning! :)

My wise sister sent me this verse this morning and I loved it…

“When troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4

Limbo land

So here we are on June 20th and we still don’t know -for sure- about our housing future.  I’m praying for peace and contentment with whatever the next month or so has for us.  I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and I know only God can calm my restless soul.  Will you pray for me (us)?

My mom’s close friend in Texas died last week after giving birth to her fourth child.  Last year at this time she was giving birth to her third child who was born still born.  If that doesn’t put things in perspective, I don’t know what will.  While it is a little bit nerve wracking to not have a house yet, I am beyond blessed to have my life with my husband and boys.  I’m trying to take every little blessing in my life and turn it back to praise.

Lord, thank you for life in You, thank you for my amazing husband who makes me stronger, and thank you for my precious little boys who make all the mundane tasks worthwhile.  If I have nothing else but You- I am well.

From A Woman of Contentment by Dee Brestin:

Just becasue we do not understand God’s mysterious ways does not mean that He has lost control or that He does not care.  J. I. Packer in Knowing God, says that in order to teach us to walk by faith, God ‘has hidden from us almost everythng that we should like to know about His providential purposes…’ Every single one of us is going to face pain, and for some of us, it will be disastrous.  I don’t know why God took my husband, but I cling to His goodness.  I have come to understand, as the passage today says, to ‘resolve to live by faith.’  I know God is good, I know He has a plan, and even though I live with pain, my soul is being enlarged.  I am so thankful that God will make ‘everything beautiful in its time.’  (Ecclesiastes 3:11)