We moved into a neighborhood full of kids. We see lots of ministry opportunities. Anna now has a street ministry (on our street). She calls it her skateboard ministry. We had a lemonade stand over the weekend, and kids came out of the woodwork. We had so many kids playing, riding bikes and skateboards, passing frisbees, and basically having fun in front of our house, it resembled a circus. I watched everything carefully and made sure that nothing inappropriate was going on. Wow, I felt like I was on recess duty again. But this time, a lot of the kids were my own.
My kids have told me of problems between some of the kids they’ve met, and I heard some girls talking about a kid who committed suicide and another who overdosed because her dad said she was worthless and wasn’t even part of the family. The girls were discussing this as if it were just a topic of gossip and nothing serious, just kind of exciting. I was appalled. I started to see that there are some serious problems among the young people here and their families, and maybe God will use us to bring some light to them.
I’m being careful to keep my kids home and safe. I’m warning them of potential problems and praying that God will give me wisdom and protect them from all harm. But I believe that God is saying that the children have been prepared and are being used in ministry to the children of this neighborhood – under my watchful eye.
So some of the story is unfolding. God put us in this particular neighborhood for a purpose. It looks like some of my children are being thrust into ministry. We’re figuring out new ground rules and routines so that this new ministry doesn’t take over our family life or expose my children to the things I’ve been protecting them from all these years. What a balancing act this is. I need lots of wisdom for this new season.
We got the house that has about the same amount of space we’ve had in our present house, but the rent will be $350 less a month. Praise the Lord! I’m so excited to know where we’ll be moving to. It is the house that looks a lot like this house that we’re moving out of. I posted a picture of it here
We have loved living in this house. It has been a sanctuary for us. We have had some good family times here. We were able to spread out and relax and enjoy different activities without irritating others who wanted to do something else. In Kansas City our house was so small that there was no way we could keep it from looking cluttered. But we have been able to keep this one looking really nice. And our next house might be even better.
And with the money we save each month on rent, we are planning to buy a van so that we can all go places together. Yay! We haven’t all been able to go anywhere together for 2 years now. I can hear the zoo and museums calling us.
Our new house is in a more rural setting than we’ve been in for the last several years, too. We’ve really been praying that God would give us a house in the country and some land, but this will be a nice step in that direction.
I need to get busy making this house as nice as I can for the owners who have been so kind and generous to us. Thank you again to all who prayed for us during this difficult time.
But we still don’t know which one yet. We have been given the go-ahead for a house that is bigger than this one, about 3,200 sq. ft. But there’s another house that we’re waiting for final approval from the owner. The rent for this house is $300 less than the bigger house. So we have put it before the Lord that if the owners of the cheaper house don’t call us by 4:00 tomorrow, we’re going to sign the lease on the bigger house.
We feel very good about both houses, but if we can get the cheaper rent, that is definitely what we want in order to be good stewards and to be able to get another vehicle and the furniture we need much more quickly than if we take the other house. But it’s all in God’s hands. We’ve given Him plenty of room to intervene and to stop us from making the wrong decision. We haven’t done anything in a hurry or out of desperation or fear. We have calmly reasoned and prayed about what we should do. And I know that God will put us in just the right house in the right neighborhood where He can use us, and His light will shine through us, and it will be a safe and nurturing place for us to raise our children during this season.
The owner of the house we’re in has been so awesome and understanding. He knows we’re waiting one more day for the cheaper rent and he is fine with that. So he is working with us on the timing for when he can get into his house and start ripping up carpet.
I’m so grateful for the prayers and kind wishes for us. I stand amazed at what God has done for us and taught us again about waiting and resting in Him. Tomorrow I will post about which house we get. Stay tuned!
We are still here and still waiting. There are 2 houses that we have applied for. Other people have applied for them, too. I don’t know how they will decide who to rent the house to, but I hope our urgent need will cause someone to give us a higher priority.
We liked both houses pretty well. There are different advantages and drawbacks to each one, but we could make either of them work. The one is bigger, but the subdivision seems more crowded and sterile. The house has some neat decorative touches that I really like. The other seems more homey, and it’s in a small town, but still a subdivision. OH, there’s a walking trail across the street from this house. I would really like that! But I would be happy with either one. I just want to know where we’re going to live next!!!
I think the Lord has kept us in this house a little bit longer for several different reasons. I walked to the fellowship meeting across the street from our subdivision Tuesday night and enjoyed talking with some fellow Christians who really believe in living by faith. The pastor has quit his job and is going to do full-time ministry for the “church” from now on. I hesitate to use the word “church” because I don’t like the way church is usually carried out. This group of believers has the same ideas about living the Christian life as a body of believers as I do. Their vision is to reach out to the lost and share the gospel and also to minister to the needs of hurting people, believers and non-believers. They don’t want to just get together and meet like a social club.
So I got to talk with the pastor and his wife, and I’ve talked with some of the others there, and I really think we could connect with them. If we hadn’t lived here this extra time, I wouldn’t have had a chance to meet them.
We are also getting to know our next-door neighbors better during these final days here. I’ve found out that the lady next door is very sweet. She is so kind and patient with my twins and Emma. She let them water her plants the other day and gave them candy to share with their brothers and sisters. She came over and gave me some clothes yesterday. Its nice to know that we lived next to a nice person all this time. It’s too bad we didn’t know that while we lived here!
Just the last 2 days, I’ve taken advantage of the track that’s very close to where we live, and I’ve walked around it in the morning before the kids get up and before it gets too hot. Why didn’t I do that the whole time we lived here? I was unable to think clearly until now, I guess. Long-lasting Mommy Brain.
But I can see that God kept us here a little longer for several reasons, and I shouldn’t have gotten so upset when things weren’t working out in MY timing.
He works all things together for our good. He’s so good!
The owners came by the house today. As soon as I heard the doorbell ring, I knew it was either them or the sheriff. I opened the door and the man introduced himself as the owner of the house. I told him, “I’ve been trying to get us out of here.” His wife jumped in and said, “We just came to let you know it’s no problem.” I could have kissed her. I invited them in and apologized for the disorder and chaos. They knew that it was because we’re trying to move, so they were fine with it.
They said that their brother-in-law had come by earlier to check things out. He talked to Gary and just said he was a friend of theirs. He must have given them a favorable report, because they came to set our minds at ease about not having to immediately vacate the premises. Their stuff is still on a ship somewhere and they’re staying with their brother-in-law. I was so relieved. I felt like crying. I told them of the problems we’ve had finding another house, and they were very understanding. I did give the wife a hug. They were absolutely amazing about the whole thing. They were grateful that we had been good renters who always paid our rent on time and didn’t tear up their house, so they were happy to give us a little more time.
So now we have 2 more weeks to locate that perfect house that God has in store for us that no city or county or state can keep us out of!
By the way, we did find a house that just came up that looks promising. It looks a lot like the house we’re in with the same square feet. The outside looks almost identical in color to this house. The shape looks similar, too, just with the garage on the opposite side. There’s no basement, but there’s a loft area. Gary and I have been arguing about whether we need a basement. That just might be the answer to our conflict. I want us together more, he wants the extra space. It only has 4 regulation bedrooms, but it’s not in Belleville or O’Fallon, so we might be all right. And the rent is $350 less than we’re paying now.