Friday, October 21, 2011

the almost house

today is the day we were supposed to close escrow on the new house. we were going to get the keys and unload a few boxes. probably take a jumping picture like we just bought a Toyota only we just bought a house instead. we even played with the idea of spending the night in the house empty. tomorrow was going to be the day a couple friends helped us move. getting up early, loading the truck, hustling to get it all done before it gets hot. 

but we are no longer moving. we cancelled our contract. 
is it beautiful?
let me explain...

when we decided to move to Fresno, it was partly because the cost of living is so much cheaper than living in San Diego, and we felt like we would be able to get out of the debt that we accrued when my husband was unemployed for 10 months after the birth of our daughter (but mostly because we felt like God was calling us here). over this past year we have payed down about half of our debt and are feeling pretty good about it.

back in April or May we started leisurely looking at homes and even made an offer on one that i totally fell in love with and did not guard my heart over. that one didn't work out and i was devastated for about 3 days. we took the summer off and when we started looking again i felt more guarded and wiser about the whole process. this house came up and we pursued. it was more than we originally had agreed to pay, but had so many of the features we loved that we decided we could make the sacrifice for it. then over the past 45 days we have encountered several increases in the down payment and it has left us with less and less in our nest egg to move into the house with. this was beginning to make us nervous as first time home owners. what if a major repair was needed and we didn't have the cash for it? what if our monthly bills were more than we budgeted for and we couldn't put as much toward paying off the rest of our debt? how long would it take for us to save up to get that extra couch and dining table to furnish the extra rooms it came with?

all these questions really started to take our peace away. making the sacrifice just didn't seem wise any longer. what we have wanted above all else is to be debt free so we can bless others more freely and be good stewards with our finances. we were beginning to believe that that was becoming farther and farther away with the impending purchase of this home.

so we pulled out.

my heart is broken because, if you have read any of the past blogs you will know, i did fall in love with this house. i made plans. i had dreams. but i still have peace in knowing that God's plans are greater than my own and i hope that us making this choice gives Him the glory.

i'm going to show you the rest of the house now. something i was going to wait to do til we were actually in it. but i feel like i need to give all my dreams to the Lord, and i'm gonna use this blog post as my journal through this process.

this is the formal living room. it's the first room you walk into from the front door. my current dining room table would be in here, along with an eventual new couch. i dreamt it would be a place to have gatherings for holidays, bible studies, early morning coffees with old neighbors, and also a work space.

this little niche is opposite the sitting window above. i dreamt that i would find a beautiful old armiore or secretary to hide my workspace, and flank it with bookshelves. i also wanted two chairs for more seating when it's being used for entertainment.

same room, view from the dining room. i envisioned the staircase wrapped in garland for Christmas, with a huge tree in the window. my husband and i would be waiting with hot cocoa as the kids peeked their little heads over the banister Christmas morning.

the family room. oh, the dreams i had for this room. family movie night. kids running in to grab a snack after playing outside. game nights with friends in the banquette area we wanted to make sitting around an eventual round pedestal table. helping the kids with homework. all the meals we would share as a family here.

i dreamt of baking with the kids in this kitchen. making holiday meals, birthday cakes, and experimenting with new recipes here. teaching my kids how to do their chores of putting dishes away and sweeping.

little a's room. i dreamt of making it a sweet little space she could call her own. where she'd spend hours reading, playing, and someday even have sleep overs.

Big A's room. this was going to become a magical super hero special headquarters for our little Batman/The Flash/Spiderman/Thor. one he would be proud to bring his friends into and also a place he could concentrate on homework.

kids bathroom. cleaning scrapes, clipping nails, fixing hair, brushing teeth. you know. normal stuff. just more dreamy.

our bedroom. this is where the magic would happen. (yes, i quoted every MTV Cribs episode just now. i know.) but for reals. we have never been good at decorating our room. it usually becomes a dumping ground for the laundry i never want to put away or storage for my 795637678 out of date Martha Stewart Wedding magazinse. i dreamt of actually making this a romantic place for my husband and i. (and also a comfy place for snuggles with the kids in the morning!)

master bath. normal stuff again. only dreamier.

laundry room. of course laundry would be more magical in this room. it's UPSTAIRS. duh.

oh. the pool. the glorious, wonderful pool. the pool that would cool us in the dead of Fresno summers. pool party's. bbq's. not worrying about friend's kids (or mine) drowning at bbq's or party's. gardening. chasing. playing.

the pinata tree. kids trying to beat their favorite character. candy falling in their eyes and on their heads giving them concussions. magical. all magical. and even dreamy too.

the patio. coffee and my bible in the cool summer mornings. watching the rain fall in the winter. maybe a fire pit and roasting marshmallows for s'mores (except my husband, he hates marshmallows. it's ok, i would eat his).

these are some of my dreams for this house. and i give them to God. He knows what's best and we trust in Him. we want to do right in His eyes and looking at our bank account with the down payment money in it, then looking at our credit card bill, we just didn't feel right ignoring the peace He took away about getting this house.

this is how the new house turned into the almost house. and you know what? there will be other houses. and i will have more dreams for them. it's what i do best.

until then, i think i'll buy a new pair of shoes, or 5. they will make me fill better.



  1. Trust in God, you will have peace and everything else.

  2. Oh Tara,
    My heart aches with yours. I thought about you guys this morning and pictured you surrounded by boxes and kids running around squealing with joy! It hurts when God says, "No" when you were sure you heard him say, "Yes". But what matters in the end is that you ARE listening to him, and he knows what's best.
    I think one of the most painful experiences in this life is the death of dreams. I remember at a particularly heart wrenching time for me, I thought of the verse where Jesus talks about the kernel of wheat dying...

    "I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." John 12:24-26

    Sometimes our dreams must that we can see beyond them.

    I love you, my friend, and John & I will be praying for all of you ;-)
    Pam <3

  3. Sorry. I enjoyed reading your blog about your Almost house. He has plans for you. Plans to bring you hope and a future. Love you.

  4. Hi Tara,
    So, I found your moving labels on a link on Pinterest. As I then stalked your blog I was delighted to see that you are moving to my lovely Fresno!!!! Welcome!

    I also noticed your faith in God and desire to seek His will. I attend Peoples church (off Cedar and Herndon Avenues) and it is AWESOME! we would love to have your family join us some day, after the move and such. Here is the link if you want to check it out
    Welcome to the small world of Fresno! I guarantee you will love it ...if you can stand the hot summers ;)

    Your new neighbor,


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