Forgive me for not diving too deeply into this week’s Gospel reading. I figured heading into Holy Week, I will have AMPLE opportunity to reflect on the Passion of our Lord. But I wanted to use this opportunity to tell you about some important updates for our little family:
We’re selling our home!!!
That’s right; our sweet brick ranch home, the place where Ryan and I met, fell in love, and began raising our family, is officially on the market!
The discernment to sell began almost a year ago now. Ryan received an offer to be an engineer at a mine in Cripple Creek, Colorado. While the prospect of moving to the country was extremely daunting, we were excited for the challenge. But a closer look at the offer led us to a devastating conclusion: there’s no way we could sell our home. You see, at the time, our home looked like this:
And a little bit of this:
Ryan had bought the house before the market crashed, which meant if we were to sell the home in the condition it was in, we would have owed a lot more than we were willing to spend. So we declined the offer, trusting that God had other plans in mind for our family, and moved on. But in doing so, we made a promise to each other: over the course of the next year, we would work our tails off trying to make our home beautiful (should we get another wonderful job opportunity again). And so we did.
Over the course of the year we have:
* painted 10 rooms
* gutted and completed two bathrooms
* laid new carpet in the sunroom and entire basement
*remodeled our kitchen
* decluttered and threw away half of our belongings
* bought new (more visually appealing) furniture
* sweat, cried, and cried some more
And most of that, to be honest, has taken place in the past five months (when Ryan was offered a new job about 45 minutes away). While Ryan loves his new job–and I love seeing him excel at what he’s doing–the travel and long commute were really starting to wear on us. So after much prayer, discernment, and yes, back-breaking house work, we finally decided to give it a go and put the home on the market. We are hoping to find a home within ten minutes of Ryan’s work.
In doing so, I’ve learned a LOT about myself and God’s will.
1. Beauty is important, bottom line. People want to visualize themselves in a beautiful space, so it’s important to try and make your place beautiful. We hired a stager, bought new furniture, and gave away a LOT of unused items (much to the dismay of my poor husband). And guess what? Our home looks BEAUTIFUL (and the feedback from others has been so incredibly validating).
2. God rewards work IF it is for Him. There were times in the past few months I would curl up in a ball and just cry, wondering why on earth I was putting myself through what seemed like endless projects. One day on the phone with my mom, I complained that it felt silly to do all this work for a house that won’t even be ours in a couple of months. “It’s like I’m making this beautiful for someone else. It’s not really for me!” My mom, always wise, said “but this IS for you. You’re doing all of this for YOUR FAMILY.” And she was right. Each and every project–from large remodels to small details–was to help our family move and be closer to our dear daddy. Even when the work seemed useless or exhausting, I knew it was for a greater purpose. Is that not the foundation of our journey in faith? The large events to the smallest actions, however meaningless they seem, either lead us towards or further away from our Lord, our end goal.
3. Time is precious. Throughout this process it’s been incredibly humbling at how I often take time for granted. There have been many (many many many) days when I’ve had to work on something for the home while Leo sat and played by himself. Every now and then I would look over at my sweet son (he really has been incredible through all of this) and realize I was missing out on some amazing moments with him because of all this work. But again, every sacrifice we offer is for a greater purpose. The small moments I was missing with my son were done in the hopes of sharing more moments with our sweet Ryan. The thought of being able to share breakfast together or meet up for daily mass are so thrilling I get chills thinking about it. This is how important our family is; i can’t ever forget that!
4. God is so incredibly faithful. I am tearing up as I write this last statement. Throughout this past year–most notably this past week–God has shown me time and time again His incredible faithfulness and love. Last Sunday, as I prayed for the week ahead (which I knew would be terribly busy) I asked God to show me Himself in concrete ways so that I could have the strength to make it through. And through it all, He has kept His promise. It was in the small ways, really, that I began to discover (yet again in my life) that God wants to give us the desires of our heart. Whether it was a prayer for a good night sleep, or for a well-behaved son at mass, or for a happy son and dog while we were showing our home, God has continually answered my prayers and rewarded our sacrifices.
And in what might be the biggest reward of all, after just one day on the market, WE HAVE AN OFFER FOR OUR HOUSE. It felt like a big “atta girl” after what seemed like a year of sacrifice and tears.
We feel so so so so so incredibly blessed as we enter into this next part of our journey. We ask for your prayers that this next part is stress-free and goes smoothly (neither Ryan nor I have been through this process before). We promise to keep you posted! 🙂 Blessings on your Holy Week!!