Hands and house

Hands and house

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The home that God brought

  I have been meaning to write about this for over a month now but life has been so busy that I just haven't felt like I had the time or mental capacity to do it...but I don't want to forget the amazing things that God has done!
   For years, probably 6 years we have had a love for the Hood River area. We have tried three different times on our own steam and resources to move to the area, to buy something, rent something, anything! There has always just been something about this area. But every time we have put a foot forward God made it clear that the timing was not right. We even, at one point made an offer on a big fancy house in the mountains only to thankfully have another offer come in that allowed us to bow out at the last moment...and to finally find peace at the closed door.
   So, when we were driving back from the orphanage last December and I felt like God was telling me to do two things, I kinda shook my head. The two things were: go back to the orphanage and bring others and to pray about moving to Hood River. By this time Doug had been transfered to Hood River for work, our church was there and Ravenna and Parker went to Chrsitian school in Hood River. We had become involved in a small group for families with young kids at church that we absolutely love and mostof those friendships again were in Hood River. It was about 45 minutes from where we lived and we spent hours upon hours in the car driving up and down the Columbia Gorge getting to and from Hood River. I'm not complianing about the drive itself because it looks like this: 
We absolutely loved where we were, especially being just a few mintues from grandparents but, more and more God kept putting it on our hearts to pray about moving to Hood River. So we decided to just pray, that's it, not search, not push, just pray and watch what God would do. We didn't want this to be about us forcing some sort of decision.
So, after a short time, Doug was at work when a colleague walked up and asked his advice about renting a house out, "Because we are thinking about moving and renting out our house in Hood River." Hmmm...Doug listened and explained that we might be interested and a few days later drove with the guy to see the house only to discover that it was literally right next door to friends of ours from our small group! I had never seen the house but told Doug that I was sold!

Then, I started to worry about a few things:
* We needed to rent our current house out (which we had never done)...and our current town was much smaller with a slower rental market
* It had been a long time since we had rented a house and, this seems so petty but I love color on walls. I started to worry and pray about this. Knowing it was a rental house (that I had not seen but had said yes to) I was trying really hard to be ok with the idea of all white walls (Doug couldn't remember if they had color). Seriously this is such a small thing but for some reason it really affects me)

So, we kept prayng and quickly found a sweet woman who wanted to rent our house. I madly started packing and 2 weeks before we were supposed to move we got a call from this woman saying, "I have great news! I found a different house to rent!"
We were crushed. we had 2 weeks to find new renters. How in the world was that going to happen in our small town where the market was so slow????
Doug and I had a quick phone conversation and he went to call our future landlord. I prayed and worried and prayed some more...and got this call back from Doug, "You'll never believe it, just 5 minutes before I called our landlord a man walked by his desk at work and said he was thinking about moving to Stevenson (our town). He would like to take a look at the house tomorrow." I emailed him some old pictures I had taken of the house for Georgia's dossier and went about my day.

Well...the next day came and he took a quick look at the house while I was away taking Georgia to preschool. I happened to mention the whole thing to my friend who owns the preschool and asked her to pray.
To say we were hesitant about finding another renter would be an understatement. We prayed for someone that we could trust. Only God could do all of that in such a short time frame.
The very next day I got a call from that friend saying, "You'll never guess what call I got...one of my best friends just called asking me to be a reference for her in renting your house!"

Yep. The guy who just happened to walked by our landlord's desk was married to one of Georgia's preschool teachers best friends. Her sister happens to be one of the most amazing chrsitian women who taught preschool to our older two kids!
The couple who are now renting are house are an amazing Christian couple. The wife said yes to the house because she saw a picture (one of those old ones) of the girl's closet door. They have chalkboard paint on them.
Can you see it???

She said "yes" because the door had "Jesus" written on it. She just knew it was the right place! They have met with their pastor and are planning on starting a small group right in our old home!

And here I sit...in a house so beautiful.... it was owned by a woman who was an artist! Every wall has incredible color on it, colors that match our artwork, our furinture...it is crazy. The girl's room is a light shade of pink even though they never had kids! And the yard is whimsical and wonderful. Parker sits out there and plays and watches the trees blow while Georgia stands at the fence yelling "Sahale!!!!!!! Sahale!!!!!" to our friend's daughter on the other side. We feel like we have time to slow down and be a family, to deeply be involved with friend and with church, to just savor our kids right now where they are at.

All of this just stuns me. After all of the times that we tried to move, tried to push and make things happen. God had planted the idea in our hearts but we tried to take control. When we finally stepped back and just watched and prayed, He made it all happen without us really moving a finger.


stephanie said...

Again you have inspired me to keep pushing on to hold tight to Jesus and of course have left me in tears ;)

Scott and Sharon Ankerich said...

What an amazing story of God's providence and we all stand amazed again. He is SO good to us. I happened to glance at your header and there sits a little house. Isn't God creative??? So happy for you all!!!
Blessings sweet friend!!!

Tara Anderson said...

I cannot tell you how much I LOVE this story!!! Soli Deo Gloria!!!

Miller Moments said...

I was so excited to read this post until I got to the end and there were no pictures of your new home!!! Of course, I can't wait to see it in person next month, but I would love a few pictures now too! :)

Susan A said...

I loved hearing about this, amazing!!! :)

I'm just starting to learn to listen to the burdens on my heart and just give it back to Him in prayer, if it is from Him, He will confirm in one way or other so that we know it is from Him... (Hab 2:2,3)

Your story reminds me of "watch, and be astounded" (Hab 1:5b).


You are so blessed indeed! :D

Renee said...

Oh, this is amazing, Shannon and such a beautiful beginning not ending to a journey to Hood River. Praising God today and taking your story to heart as we have decided where to retire but have not found our way there yet. My health took a downward spiral for now, and it is on the back burner...Clearly it is necessary for us to get out of the way and "Look at what Jesus will do in His perfect timing!" I just love when Jesus speaks through the stories of others.
Enjoy your new beautiful home!!

Ben and Rach said...

That's a great story!! Very cool! Our story of moving here is similar. Crazy how God works!

Jill said...

That's awesome. Thanks for sharing, Shannon. God does work in amazing and perfect ways.
Jill :)


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