A week ago today, we signed the papers on our house. We were exhausted and delirious, hopeful and excited. I cried only once that day, I had fallen asleep in the car on the ride back to our former home to get a few left overs and when I woke up I saw the sweetest little family moving happily into a house that had been our home for sixteen years. The next chapter of our lives officially began....
I feel like I need to back up...way up and give a bit of background. 20 years ago I had just settled into my first apartment and was ready to start my final 2 years at Berry College. The drive I made back home on the regular to see James took me down a 16 mile country road that quite literally is God's country. It's stunningly beautiful and nestled between two ridges; fields and fields of corn and soy beans for miles, silos, and hay barns, small country churches, and beautiful old farm houses. James and I have both driven this long country road many times. We loved it and dreamed of living in this area. It was one of those dreams your heart makes but you never believe it's going to happen. Only God knows it's there.
A little over 3 years ago (June, 2015) James took a job in Rome, Georgia and began driving over an hour to and from work 5-6 days a week down this very same road. We talked about moving then except we were at the end of our process to become a foster family. We didn't want to make any sudden moves. Later that year in November, two sweet babies crossed our threshold. In the Spring of 2016, James saw a for sale sign for land on his way home from work, he checked out, called the number, introduced me to it and we began praying. If it was the land we were meant to have it would still be there in a year and we would have cash to pay for it. A year went by (now 2017) and we closed on the land, paid in full, it was ours. We still couldn't make a move as we were at the cusp of adoption, so again we waited. In the Fall of 2017 we adopted.
Our dream has been to build our home completely debt free. It's virtually unheard of and we might be on the verge of crazy in the eyes of some but hear me out. We have invested in our old home for over 16 years and paid more just in interest during that time than we actually owed. It's crazy. That's crazy. During that time the value of the home increased and so we were building equity BUT...
Here is the kicker. In our hearts God planted a seed dream for debt freedom. He has big plans for our future that don't involve us paying our hard earned money to a bank in interest for a simple loan. I totally questioned this over and over and asked God if He was sure. Then one day I had a divine appointment, a God wink, that let me know we would be just fine and that it would honor Him more to trust Him and be prayerful. That moment secured for us that we were on the right path.
Divine appointments are sometimes what it takes for God to get a hold of my heart. I had received a message from a lady in Wildwood, Georgia that had a rolling clothing rack to donate for our foster care closet we had started. We left a family visit in Mentone, Alabama and conversations about needing loans only to pull to this beautiful home in the woods. We talked with the sweet lady about her home before leaving and she randomly said, "We built our home debt free." I literally stopped loading the clothing rack and looked at her and told her that was our next dream. She said, "Just tell God that's what you want."
So, we did.
We can't explain the peace we have had about this journey, but we believe that we are meant to see this vision through. James, myself, and our 5 kids are experiencing something amazing. We are now living on our property and very comfortably I might add. We bought a huge camper and bunk house for the boys that will one day be my She-Shed/Sanctuary for writing. The hardest part so far really isn't even that hard, it's just been the learning curve for not having a Walmart 3 miles away or plenty of space for stuff.
When we pulled in last Friday to get our boys off the bus, it was the first day officially here. I hadn't met our neighbors who live across from us yet. Of course my thoughts were they probably hate us, they've been all the way out here alone for a long time and here we are with our camper and generators and campfires. It didn't take long for them to visit and introduce themselves and they are totally amazing. I'm sure Amy will read this at some point so I want you to know, Amy, that I appreciate you so much already. Our mess won't last forever and I'm so glad we get to be neighbors. All the other neighbors around us just drive out of their way to check us out, never stopping to say hello. Eventually, I'll make my way around and introduce myself. I'm sure they all too think we are crazy.
We are in a bit of a survival mode, there's lots of learning going on. We are almost finished with the bunk house, we've removed trees on the house site and are bringing in a load of gravel for the drive way. The power company is scheduled to come out in the middle of next week to hook up temporary power for construction and we are hoping to have the field line in by the end of next week. These two things are our biggest concern at the moment but we have our building permit and our house plans are being express shipped to us so we can get the footers poured. At this moment, there's not much I can do except keep things picked up, neat and tidy (as neat as you can in the woods), keep the family comfortable. I've moved several loads of fire wood so we can cook on the fire a few (or most) nights a week.
The Big's have spent every extra daylight minute working on their fort. They have managed to dig and find red clay that is perfect for molding into things and securing rocks on their rock wall. Jake made the clay into balls and put them fire for marbles. Per, biggest brother, stepped on them later in the week and crushed them. I was super disappointed for Jake. I'm sure he'll make more, maybe next time we will get to paint them and use them. They were really cool but just can't withstand 200 plus pounds of squashing. The rock walls is now about 18" high and is 2 sides of a four sided structure they are building. The muddy mess they make is worth it for them to be outside and actually learning to be productive. I have a new rule that they have to wear the same set of clothes when playing in mud so that I am not trying to get red mud out of everything they own.
We have WiFi and internet with streaming for movies when needed for down time. Sometimes momma just needs a minute to rest too. I have made a trip to down at least once a day, that's where my learning curve rests. I have to make sure I'm remembering everything I need for a few days instead of a day, our fridge and freezer are small so I really can't meal plan more than a few days ahead with so many to feed. My next project is working on menu that will work well for all of us. Ideas appreciated....