If you know me at all, than you know I love a good story. So it will do everyones heart good to know that at the end of last year Brett and I decided to take the Large Adult plunge and buy a house. And that that particular decision has resulted in, what I think, is a doozy of a story….soooo….If you will allow, I would like to tell you the WHOLE story in ( probably 3) parts….it will be worth it, I will mention the Sound of Music at least once and spoiler alert there will be a happy ending.
It is important that we go ALLLLLL the way back to 2003 for the beginning of this story or I don’t think you’ll fully appreciate it. So lets go back in time to 2003 when I was at University in New Zealand and I was on an ( perfectly enough) Easter Retreat with a bunch of my friends. As with many of these types of things, we would rent out a ( ridiculously beautiful because such is everything in New Zealand) camp ground for next to nothing, we would all sustain on Cheesy Sandwiches ( melted cheese on toast) and Tomato Sauce ( ketchup, but better) and French Toast for the mornings and we would study the Bible and worship together and play touch Rugby during breaks ( not me, but you know, OTHER PEOPLE). It was idyllic. I know I learned a few things in my classes in college, but if I could give my kids a college experience than THIS PART would be the part I would include. Annnnnyway, during one of our Quiet Times, when everyone found a sunny corner to sit by themselves and spend time with the Lord, I had one of the most direct conversations I’ve ever had with Jesus. It was as Clear as a Bell. And what the Lord said to me came from 1 Kings 8, where Solomon dedicates the Temple to the Lord. When I was reading it, I felt strongly that I was suppose to have a house like this. Nope, not a house incrusted in gold- although that might be very Caesars palace of me- but a house that was open for people to come and get what the Needed. If the “skies felt closed up” to them, they could come to this House and find clarity, if they were “sick and tired” they could come for rest and renewal. It they were lost, the could come to find their way. It would be a House where people could Be….
I was very excited about this future goal, but at the time I lived in a small dorm room, so it was clearly a “future” type thing…but it stuck with me for many years until 2006.
In 2006 I was sitting in my apartment having a much anticipated “Define the Relationship” conversation with a Holy Hot Guy ( a HHG if you will) who I very much wanted to date ( yes, it was Brett) and who I was very excited he was finally making his move. He was slow to speak in just about all situations and so the conversation was going…well….not as I had expected. Instead of going all Rom-Com on me and professing his undying love and devotion Jane Austen style, he was giving me an ultimatum of sorts. It went something like this: “I’ve been learning a lot the past few years about the importance of Discipleship and Community in our Spiritual growth and maturity, and therefore I will probably always want to allow guys ( *cough* cough* don’t forget the girls, Brett!) to live with me if that is what is needed, and if you can’t handle that….”
I’m not sure if I let him finish. I was SO EXCITED that there was a guy sitting across from me who not only loved Jesus but also had the same “open house” policy ( which, incidentally is kinda hard to find in this particular society) that he might as well have been quoting some sort of soliloquy about my sparkly eyes. And so….we got married. RIGHT. THEN. Just kidding. But we did get married and we did have a very open door policy. In our 8 years of marriage we have had countless people stay in our house for long and short periods of time. The longest I think was about 7 months, and while it hasn’t always been as “totally amazing” as my 2003 dream would have imagined ( Read: Dirty Dudes lounging on my couch. ) it has been exactly what it was suppose to be.
When we moved to San Antonio we moved into a pretty great house, and I truly believe it is where we were suppose to be these last 2 years. And while the house is plenty large ( definitely considering my limited cleaning desires) it did lack in the “set aside” place for people to stay with us. Sure, we’ve been able to house short term guests but I feel like for people to really feel comfortable-particularly since we’ve added two small people who don’t know the meaning of “privacy” into the picture-we needed a set aside place for visitors.
SO….see?!?! Look!! I’ve finally made it back to the Point At Hand!!! When I made my prayer card for 2015 . I wrote “A House big enough for People”. And I knew that meant, an extra room/bedroom set aside from the others for letting people Be. And so I began to pray this prayer as we began to search for a house in earnest….And I knew it had to be a God thing for such a house to exist for us because 1. Brett and I don’t like debt. 2. We aren’t made of money. So basically we knew “mansion” was not going to be in our price range….
Stay tuned for Part 2 of The House Series!! ( wherein I will discuss one of my Biggest Fears, and we’ll be reminded yet again of God’s sense of humor)