The Lord Has Different Plans for Us

So much has happened in such a short amount of time. Even the past couple of hours has brought about a lot of confirmation of things. Let me go back, I’ll try to keep this simplified.

As some of you know, the home we were buying just south of Topeka the inspection came back bad… roof damage to the home and guest house, foundation problems on the guest house, mold in attic and basement and electrical problems as well. It was a pretty extensive report that revealed a lot of neglect on the maintenance on the home. We felt that for the price of the home it was time to pull out.

We then found a home in Holton, Kansas – a community that we love. The home was priced well, on 5 acres and we just loved it. The first sign of trouble happened when we made an offer and they came back stating that they decided that they wanted to just give us two acres as they wanted to sell the other acreage as lots. We decided to not buy the home when we found that the listing was inaccurate as well due to an error.

Our time here hasn’t been favorable. The place we are staying at is kept up well and the inside feels homey but we’ve had many situations in the few weeks we’ve been here:

School boys throwing rocks at our vehicles and not stopping while we asked them to do so. They called our children names. We called the owner of the home here when they started to try to break into one of her sheds. She got them to stop but a few days later their grandfather approached my husband. My husband got scared as he could tell that he was coming over and it wasn’t to be friendly. He shared that the boys told him that he was videotaping them and cussing at them. My husband shared “I’m not a cussing man, I’m a man of the Lord so it must be someone else.” This seemed to subdue the man but still…

A pipe bomb scare about 5 blocks away on Kansas Avenue… they shut down the entire block and later found it to be a homemade fire cracker.

Fighting, yelling and drunkenness in the back alley behind our bedrooms… for a couple of hours one night.

Someone got arrested right in front of the home last week.

A few nights ago the kids ran in saying they heard gun shots.

Lots of adult shops and other places like that around here… we are just not used to all of this.

When we first got here, I was in such culture shock I could barely drive in the city. When a car would come from a side street, I would put my brakes on as it scared the dickens out of me that they were going to hit me. Silly, but we’re just not used to the city.

We have looked at homes all over Kansas and are a bit surprised at the taxes and insurance. Our home was insured in Oroville for $640,000 (though we didn’t pay that much for it) because they said they couldn’t build it for less than that. They would not insure it for less. The insurance was going to be more for the home in Topeka than it was there and for a home under $300,000.  : (  Lots of dead ends and disappointments… many homes in bad, bad shape for $200,000 or less. Not all, but most.

Five years ago we tried to find a home to buy here and finally decided to rent and then had trouble renting… we were about to and they sent us to the home to check it out. The landlord came over and shared he’d be by to “check on us” every month. We didn’t rent from him and felt it was time to go elsewhere. After the home in Iowa we came out to Kansas AGAIN to look at a home to buy in Phillipsburg. The floors were so bad that you could roll a ball from one end of the room to another without pushing it. We’ve really, really tried here – three times in five years. My husband believes the Lord does not want us in Kansas. I agree. So where then?

We are going to stay in some cabins for a month in Missouri near some of our dearest friends, next week on the 28th. We may not have internet there. It is a place to rest and regroup and to continue in prayer about what the Lord wants in our lives. It’s a furnished vacation home so she will only allow us to stay a month. We wanted to stay longer but it’s just not going to happen. Next, we are going to visit some dear friends in Pennsylvania… you all know who you are.  : )  : )  Dan…. Susanna…. we’ll talk to you very soon. I’m sure Matthew will give you a call tonight Dan.

Then we have some other very close friends in Maine. Yes. Maine. They are in Princeton and we have known them for about 9 years. We have been approved to rent a farmhouse in Lubec on the ocean that is furnished and has 3 acres for only $800 a month until June 1st…. starting in January. We should be there in the middle of the month. A place to rest for a while and visit with good friends. They assured us that the highways are usually kept very clear, despite what we’d all think of Maine. We will keep tabs on the weather conditions and the roads and if they are anything short of clear we will stay in a hotel until they are. So, don’t worry Mom.  : ) Remember, Oroville is way North near Canada, Maine is too… just more cold and more snow, but four seasons there.

Our children are very excited to meet more new friends. We have met with some friends already in Kansas when we first came here. I’ll share pictures before we head to Missouri. This Saturday, we are going to have dinner with a very dear friend. We are both torn up over having to depart as we both had different plans than this but we both know what it is to follow the Lord’s guidance… and sometimes it’s painful.  : (  Jaelle, is a dear friend and I will miss her… especially when we have to leave.

So, while this may all sound irrational and irresponsible as sometimes things do with the Lord, we have actually gone back and forth for a long, long time about whether to just go buy a home in Kansas or go meet and spend a good amount of time with our friends before seeing what the Lord wants before settling down. We have struggled and prayed about this month after month for a couple of years – quietly, between the Lord, my husband and myself. Deeply, fervently and not hearing a clear voice on the matter from the Lord as we sometimes do. So we cannot help but think this is the way to go now. The doors keep closing in Kansas… but they are open somewhere and for some reason. Marriage for our children in the future? Something else pertaining to people and associations? These are big things we’ve gone to the Lord about for a long time.

We have tried to get into vacation rental homes since leaving Washington State, about 25 times. Always a decline – (probably due to the amount of kids we have to adults). Thank God we were able to get into this place here for a while, though it’s been very hard here… other than having a wonderful, Christian landlord for a month. The only place we could get a place for more than a few days is 30 minutes from our friends in Missouri and a short lease near our friends in Maine. You would have had to see the rejections and rejections over and over again to understand how we are seeing these doors swing open wide. The woman who wants to rent to us in Maine, she shared with my husband a couple of hours ago that she was going to rent to a couple with one child and one dog but “would rather rent to our family with eight children”. It sounds like their dog was all over the place and the child as well. What a beautiful thing to hear! But, once again we are seeing the Lord in this. We were praying all weekend and so many things have come to fruition. IT’S NOT BORING TO BE A CHRISTIAN. Sometimes it painful but not boring. So, we are nearly just starting our journey….

Milestones

Two days ago, Benjamin just being shy of his 16th month, pulled himself up in his playpen that he sleeps in at night (as we’re in transition during moving). He then proceeded to pull himself up at least four more times that day with various furniture. Yesterday he started to lightly sidestep around furniture and even turned to step from an ottoman to a chair just a foot or so away as Dad had some food for him. Progress, progress…  : )  I’ll add a picture of him later today.

Our Move From Washington To Kansas

Our last day at our home in Oroville, WA was spent moving in a flurry. We had three hired men come and help load the ABF trailer, our sweet neighbor Rosie brought over some cookies, cooked chicken and some apples from our other neighbor Carol. I was so grateful for this as I didn’t want to really take the time to make lunch. When the movers were gone, the house empty and the kids loaded into the SUV and truck, Matthew and I went back in for one last look. I went from room to room and when I got to Benjamin’s room I started to cry. This was my baby boy’s room and I was overcome by emotion. I went to the kids room next door where some of our kids slept but all of the kids had made into their playroom during the day. I wept. It was so very hard to leave because at the moment those rooms signified our children and what they mean to me. As we drove out, Matthew told later that he looked in the mirror and saw the home and prayed and thanked God. I was sobbing in the SUV ahead of him. I am glad we are gone, very grateful. Whenever I refer to something from that house my mouth says the home in Westport… it’s like it skipped over the home. I can’t remember it much and don’t want to. What mattered to me there was our children and our neighbors…. dear, sweet neighbors. It’s so hard to make relationships and leave. You never know what people will mean to you when you meet them but you sure know what they mean to you when you part.

The next morning after spending the night in a hotel, we went to sign at Baines Title and Escrow to be released from the home. We then drove down the 97 to Redmond, Oregon and visit with my mother – Grandma Pam. We had a wonderful time with her that evening and the following day at the park where we spent 4 1/2 hours there. p1030341

It was a beautiful day and the kids enjoyed playing while we all chatted and had lunch together.

p1030322

Even Benjamin enjoyed his time at the park. p1030332

Here’s a picture of the kids and I with Grandma Pam… p1030331

Another with the kids, grandma and my husband… p1030338

My mother saw this as a good shot – the twins (they may have been in trouble and having to sit down). p1030324

Hot kids from playing all day…p1030325p1030326p1030343

Sweetie taking a nap in the warm outdoors. p1030346

My mother and I hadn’t seen each other since the year before so it was hard to say goodbye. I cried. We had spent some good time together and I think with us getting older, our relationship means more to us than it ever has. After driving East for a couple of hours, I could see the Three Sisters mountains that she had showed me the day before. I kept seeing them get farther away and felt sad, I felt like we were moving so far from her. It hurt. I kept looking in the mirror at the mountains…. I should have taken a picture.

p1030352

One of our first stops after leaving Grandma, the kids were running around at this rest stop. An 80 year old man walked out of the restroom and started to run in circles like a kid with the children. He ran and ran, waving his arms for several minutes saying, “Can you imagine that, an 80 year old man running?” He was sweet. It was fun. p1030355

The kids still riled up from the funny man. We had a good time. When we got on the road again, I noted that I couldn’t see the Three Sisters Mountains anymore.  : (

p1030360

Then, when we were 3 hours out of Idaho we came across this park. A good place to eat and stretch our legs. The fountain of youth must be in Oregon… look at the older man climbing the ladder to the slide.

p1030361

Look at him sliding down… I felt free to be gone from our home, it didn’t seem real but oh, it was. And it was such a joy to see these older men having such a good time.  What a delight!

p1030364

The kids eating lunch… p1030367p1030365

Benjamin’s eyes are read from not taking his normal naps. Poor baby…

Next post on our arrival to Kansas…