Wednesday, August 24, 2011

So Discouraged...

Isn't is crazy that you can go from posting about answered prayers to being so discouraged in such a short amount of time?  My last post updated about how God was answering our prayers so specifically and now I am asking myself if I really ever even heard from Him.  They say when it rains, it pours...let me explain...

First of all, our buyers were in such a great rush to get closed on our house...gotta hurry and get this done.  Then we noticed a slowing down of the process.  We finally discovered it was on his lending agents end with a failure to order the appraisal in a timely fashion, etc, so finally it gets done.  Well, guess what...the appraisal was not completely kosher for several reasons, and did not appraise for our asking price.  Well, the buyer had offered to pay closing costs and had bundled that into the amount he was going to mortgage.  When this happened, he said he could only do what the house appraised for.  So, Charles decided that it was really okay because there are some things that need to be done to the house and overall we would be saving so much by moving (gas cost, hazard insurance on the house, etc) that it was ok.  Let's move forward.  Well, I felt like I had been punched in the gut with the amount of a loss we were taking, but ok, whatever, let's move forward.

Next, we were told it was only a matter of days once the appraisal was received that all should be wrapped up and we could close.  Apparently not.  It is as if all progress has come to a complete halt.  Why?  I don't know.  We tried to contact the lender and she had a cow, so our buyer insisted we only contact him for questions.  Well, guess what.  Now he won't return our phone calls.  Guess what else.  Our contract on the house in Prattville runs out in two days and the listing agent does not want to give us an extension.  Why?  She does not believe in for sale by owner transactions saying they almost never make it to the closing table and she has a point to prove.  Can you feel my stress?

Allow me to continue.  My van is in the shop.  Gonna cost over $500 to fix.  Our upstairs air conditioner broke.  Thankfully, that was only $150 but the culprit was a spider.  Yes, a spider.  I have never seen a spider worth $150.  And the one thing that really matters is that my Nanny (my Dad's mom....who I am very close with) is not doing very well health wise.  The doctor told my uncle today that they need to find someone to stay with her 24/7. 

Big sigh.

I want to wallow and whine (which I know that sounds like what I have been doing) but then I am reminded that this is not a storm.  A storm would be your child having cancer or your husband being in a car wreck and becoming paralyzed.  This is just a trial.  It is all about perspective.  Things could be worse.  Some of my most precious friends and family have reminded me to "Count it all joy when we face trials of many kinds" and that this is what life on earth consists of is hardships and that is one reason we can look forward to Heaven.  And even though Charles is just as stressed as I am, he even said this morning that Ella and Leah never wonder if we are going to provide them their next meal or will keep a roof over their heads, they just trust us to.  And didn't God say that with us being humans and we give good gifts to our children how much more will He give to us...yet we worry.  There is a southern gospel song that says "my God's been in time, on time, every time for me."  I try to keep singing that to myself.  Also that He can move mountains.

I guess the scariest thing for me right now is that I am questioning whether I missed Him.  This has all been covered in much prayer and now it seems to be falling apart.  I just can't seem to understand and I feel so discouraged.  Things were moving along so rapidly at first, half of my house is packed in boxes.  How sad to have to unpack them.  I really thought this was part of the way that God was going to use to bring me home and now I question whether I have misunderstood Him on that point as well.

All of this sob story to say, please keep us in your prayers.  Please pray that we will not lose heart and that we will just trust in whatever it is that God is doing in our lives.  Pray that we will grow in our faith and trust in Him and that we will endure all the while giving Him glory.  I am reminded of the movie Facing the Giants when he said "we are gonna praise Him when we win, and we will praise Him when we lose."  I know that I exist to bring honor and glory to the Father.  It is my response in this trial that will matter.  He does not exist for me, I exist for Him.  I just want to understand.  Or at least to have a sense of peace and not anxiety.  Again, we covet your prayers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Answered Prayers

My God is sooo good!!!  He is so active in our lives and it is so humbling to think He really cares about all of the details about little ole' me.  I feel like I have so much to say, I hope that I can get it all said without seeming like I am having flight of ideas :)

Back at the end of February we placed our house on the market.  Not sure if this is exactly what we should do or not....seemed as if there were just as many reasons to stay as there was to go.  To stay:  this is our dream home, the river is our front yard, it is like being on permanent vacation, my parents are right next door, I grew up next to my grandparents and I want my kids to grow up next to theirs, the country feels safe, and did I mention it is beautiful here?  To go:  gas is crazy expensive and it seems like I often live on the road, play dates are rare for my kiddos as everyone thinks we live on the other side of the earth, we need to be closer to activites since we are going to be homeschooling, Charles wants a home he can easily maintain (this one is so high off the ground), and most importantly, we would like to take our equity and downsize in order to bring me home.  So we decided to do for sale by owner...that way if God wanted us to sell, He would send a buyer.  I prayed so specifically.  We live next to my mom and so I knew that whoever would come to live here needed to be great.  I prayed that they would be Christians...not just "good people," but Christians.  I also prayed that they would be close to my parents' age so that they could establish a friendship with them.

Well, God came through as always.  The family that is buying our house are Christians.  And, I envision them being great friends with my parents.  They have an 18 month old granddaughter so they have that in common, but they are also just so down to earth.  Charles and I have said that we could not have hand picked anyone we would rather be here.

So, where do we go?  There are a couple of lessons here.  First of all, Charles and I thought we would probably have to buy an older home that would probably need some work in order to stay in the price range that we set for ourselves.  Nope, God brought Ephesians 3:20 to life for us.  We never imagined that we would be able to buy a brand new home, but we are!  Also, it happens to be in a neighborhood that Charles has had his eye on for a couple of years now while it was being developed.  I was always so opposed, but did go and look and loved it....a little lesson in submission and allowing my husband to lead.  In addition, I was nervous about downsizing so drastically (800+ square feet), but I told God I would be willing to do whatever it takes in order to come home and I will.  My grandparents raised families larger than ours in houses much smaller than the one we will be buying, and everyone turned out just fine.  I believe it is yet another of the current cultures lies that the bigger the better and the more we have the happier we will be.  Serving God and my family is what is going to bring me happiness...not the size of my house. 

Now, we wait.  We are waiting on the appraisal and from the powers that be in this situation, and we are told that everything should be closed by the end of the month.  The girls are excited but are we all.  Excited to do something new but sad to leave this house and MawMaw and Papa.  We are only going 35 minutes away, and our home is where our family is...not the structure itself.  I am just not a fan of change in my personal life.  I like to be settled.  I like routine.  So my feathers are a bit ruffled but I just continue to pray that God would help me to "be anxious for nothing" and guard my heart and mind with His peace.

So, please continue to keep our family in your prayers as we go through this transition.  I just thank God for His provision and His faithfulness.