So this past Friday morning, I'm planting flowers feverishly trying to finish before the photographer comes to take better quality pictures of the house for our listing (little did we know that was unnecessary), and I get a call from Donna at the Tampa Tribune. Apparantly, someone gave them our names and thought it might make a good story about what we are doing. I would love to know who did that, so if it was you, by all means, step forward! Anyway, I was pretty surprised, but thought maybe the Lord wants our story out there. So we arrange for her to come on Monday morning (yesterday). She said she probably won't get a photographer to come out that soon, but that could be arranged later so they can have a picture to go along with the story. So yesterday morning our doorbell rings, and there stands Donna with Jay, a cameraman for News Channel 8. They want to shoot video to put us on the news show as well as in the paper. And my hair is a mess!! Argh! So they were here for 3 hours for a 1 minute and 20 second story that will be aired probably sometime around the beginning of August. We'll put the link to it here on our blog when it airs. Anyway, the kids had a blast, and Donna and Jay were both very nice and gracious. Jay even did a tour of the News Channel 8 van for the kids. It was definitely an exciting time. I just hope we were able to convey our great God through this story. We'll keep you posted on the details of when it will air when we have them!
Well, as Jodie said, it appears that our home is soon to be someone else's home. ): & (: We now have an opportunity to plan for speaking as a couple in Switzerland this weekend. Please pray that our message of the grace of God in community will be powerful and clear to the conference attendees who have been so gracious to us. The kids are eagerly anticipating time with godparents and others! August already promises a frenzy of activity! Wisdom that comes from above is the order of the month! We are so grateful to God for how He is leading out!
Wow...it's really happening! We have a contract on the house! As we say around our home...Wow...just Wow! 3 weeks and 5 days from listing date. $7500 less than what we wanted, but evidently it is exactly what we needed. So, we've been telling everyone we believe God's leading us to leave at the end of August. Guess when the closing date is? Sept 3rd! Ahah- gotcha! You thought was I was going to say end of August, didn't ya!? Well, we went ahead and requested it be moved back a few days from Friday Sept 3 to Monday Aug 30. So we'll see if that's when it happens. Either way, go God! :-) Thank you all (all 2 of you who have commented so far) for your prayers! I'm kidding - I know many people have prayed for us and even if they haven't read or commented on our blog they're included in this thank you!
So today was really an incredible day. We all had our quiet times and then enjoyed just a fun time together at breakfast. One of those times where you sense God smiling with you as you enjoy each other's company. How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity Psalm 133:1. We then piled into the car and drove an hour to Brooksville to our friends, the Kessel's, house. We enjoyed 'little church' on the way up, and then had such a great time of fellowship there with the Kessels, enjoying lunch together and just reconnecting with them was such a joy. Right before we left to come home, we received the call from our realtor with the offer on our house. After we piled back into the car to head home, we talked to our realtor at length and came back with our counter-offer. We prayed and when she called back, we had a deal.
So we arrived home and I immediately called my family to let them know. Then Noah and I left to run a few errands. We went to a Publix on Bloomingdale Ave that I don't normally go to but as I was in the check-out I saw a lady walk in who I recognized as the former owner to our house. So I said her name and when she turned around I told her, "Guess what - we just got a contract on the house!" We have lived here all this time (13 years)and have never run into each other except once at a wedding and another time at a funeral. One of the first things she said to me was that she never goes to that Publix, and I had to say, "me too!!' So anyway, it was great talking to her and she said a few times that they would be praying for us. What a divine appointment that felt like!
Well, we came home and enjoyed a nice pizza dinner together - it really felt like a celebration. Then we had our blessings time, and man was it sweet. Tim and I just take the kids on Sunday nights and bless each of them with words of encouragement and just our hearts for them. Prayers were said, and then bedtime.
Today I have really experienced the God With Us of Immanuel. I want to set today as a marker and come back to it when times get tough down the road and I question if we're really doing what we're supposed to be doing. Although I experienced sadness today at the reality of leaving a home I've loved, I've been more convinced than ever that God is leading and providing, so with that I have felt great comfort and joy! We'll continue to update as we go..
We finally sold our Highlander for a song - about $1500 under Kelly Blue Book trade in value and $4000 under retail. But we couldn't even get anyone to come and look at it after 2 months so we took it to Carmax and then sold it for $500 more than Carmax would give us. Our temporary tag was going to expire at midnight tonight, so we're just glad that saga is over. It was a great vehicle for us, but it was time to move on! While Tim was working with the people buying the Highlander, I was busy in the front yard digging out flowers that had died and taking them back to Home Depot for an exchange and coming back and planting the new ones and then mowing the front yard in time for a photographer to come and take virtual tour pictures of our home. Right after the photographer left we received a call from our realtor saying that the family who Nathan was 75% sure we had sold our home to last Saturday wanted to come back for a 2nd showing tomorrow morning! Yeehaw! Keep praying!
So we get a call at about 3pm today from our realtor - can you have your house available for a showing between 5:30pm - 6:30pm today? I look around at our messy house.....uh...sure! No problem! So we all scramble and scamper about and discover it is really not as messy as we all thought - all pretty easily and quickly taken care of. So this couple and 2 cute kids (a boy about 5 and girl about 7), along with their realtor show up a little before 5:30pm and we all scramble to get out of the house and traipse over to our camper. We did that for the last showing and it makes great sense! Why hop in the car and invent places to go when we can just take a short walk to our other (soon to be only) home. We hung out there for awhile. Tim left to go to work (he had a 6pm client), and then the couple left and the realtor knocked on our camper door to let us know they were done. I ended up in a very pleasant conversation with her. Turns out she is a believer and has been experiencing her own 'God moments' of Him leading and providing above and beyond what she could ask or think in this terrible real estate economy we have going on right now. She was very supportive of what we are doing and said she would be praying for us. She said the potential buyers are believers but she thinks they are looking for in-laws quarters that are a little more separated from the rest of the house. But she encouraged me that our house shows very well, and she said she felt strongly it would sell soon. So all I can say is keep praying!! ☺
I love reading Nathan's posts. I always find out something new about what's going on with us. For example, I didn't realize we were 75% sure we had sold the house! I thought someone was very interested in it but had reservations because of the settling they could see on the addition to the house. I can see why we have 4 gospels that sometimes seem to say things a little differently - it's all in the perspective of the writer, eh? Either way, we're still trusting God to provide the right buyer at the right time! ☺
We had a very nice almost normal Sunday day of rest today - the first in awhile and probably the last for a long time. ☺ I had a great quiet time this morning, and then got up and fixed pancakes for everyone for breakfast. We had a fun time at breakfast together, and then enjoyed 'little church'. Then tonight we had 'blessings' and talked more as a family about our fears and apprehensions about our upcoming trip. Tim encouraged us all to really be praying for each other and then Tim and I prayed over the kids. I just love our Sundays.
I also feel very blessed about our Saturday night last night. We were honored to have Eric and Jennifer Garcia of AM/FM (Association of Marriage and Family Ministries) over to our house after they spoke at our Saturday night services at our church. They are such an awesome couple who God is using to pool all these Christian Marriage & Family ministries out there together. They just want to be a resource to help Marriage and Family ministries succeed in whatever God has called them to do. How about that? A ministry dedicated to helping other ministries and not just propping up their own agenda. Wow! They keep asking us what they can do for us - is that incredible or what? We don't even know enough to know what to ask for! ☺ So after talking and praying together they are going to put us into contact with 3 other family/marriage ministries they believe could help us crystalize and better define our calling. All 3 of them just happen to be on the way of our itinerary during the first 3 months of our trip, so we believe hooking up face to face with them may be in the future, too.
Wow - this is getting to be a book! I guess I'd better sign off. Hope everyone reading this had a great weekend!
I planned my course last night and got up early this morning to hunt garage sales for an area rug that our realtor suggested we put in our dining room. I actually found and purchased it for only $15, but when I got it home it was apparant it was too small (thankfully, they took it back and gave me my money back). After that I tried a couple of used furniture stores, along with Goodwill, Lighthouse, Bed, Bath & Beyond, you name it, I tried it. The last place I tried was the store called Tuesday Morning. They actually had a whole section in the back of the store of area rugs, so I thought I had hit the jackpot. But on closer inspection it appeared only one was the right size and possibly the right color. I bought it, brought it home, and quickly discovered it clashed with our decor. So, I'm pretty discouraged about that. We have a showing at 9am tomorrow morning, which is awesome except for the fact that I had really hoped to have that area rug before then. I'm reminded of Edna Mode in The Incredibles when she smacked the mom and said, "Pull yourself together....you are Elastagirl!!" I'm telling myself, "Pull yourself together, you are God's child and He has a plan!" Anyway, the kids did an awesome job cleaning the house tonight, and tomorrow morning the kids will mow early and not know what to do with the rest of their day since it is normally a work day all day! Please continue to pray with us that the Lord will provide the right buyer at the right time.
What a great 24 hours I spent yesterday and today at my parents house with my college roommate, Sheryl! My cousin Diane stopped by for a few hours last night, and we all had so much fun just sitting around gabbing! I think I especially relished that time knowing I'm not going to just be able to pop down to Port Charlotte for the next year while we're gone. Later today, a few hours after arriving home, I had the opportunity to stop by our friends' the Cravens house and check out their RV they bought months ago. It is absolutely beautiful with 2 slides! But the thing that inspired me was their pull out couch. We've been very concerned about how small our jack-knife couch is for Nicole (or any of the kids) to sleep on. It is just not wide enough for their length, and they ain't getting any shorter! So please be praying with us that we will be able to find a pull out couch that is the right size to fit in our RV and the right colors so it won't clash with the decor and, of course, for the right price!
We're not even on the road yet and I feel compelled to blog because my wife and kids did already! Pathetic, eh? Actually, I think I have something to say. This is going to be a wonderful experience for our family to go RVing over the next year. I really don't how much I will blog, but it could be considerable since my wife is doing all the typing. :-) This certainly is a summer like no other summer we've experienced before in our family. Now I know why the biblical account of the Israelites leaving Egypt came off the way it did. Just picking up one family and putting them on the road is an ordeal. Think of a million plus! Oy veh! I don't want to repeat my wife's blog, but this house has been a major pain in the boot-ay to get ready for sale. I'm grateful again to God for a father who taught me how to take care of almost anything from a homeowner's perspective! Did I mention I hate painting? Right up there with one arm paper hanging. I think one reason I'm looking forward to travelling in the RV is that I won't be inside this house looking at another project that needs to be done. While I'm very grateful for our home, I believe I'll be even more appreciative when I'm not working on it anymore. I'm counting the days now. 17 days until I officially start my sabbatical. 48 days until we roll up I-75 in a 31 foot class B RV. And who knows how many more days before we have no more debt! Hallelujah! We'll keep you posted. In His Love, Tim.
Wow, we’ve finally done it. We have our own blog! Let’s go back…way back to last year. Around October or November. Tim and I were studying our Bibles and talking to each other and praying, and we sensed that God may be leading us to go on the road in our RV with the kids. So we kept talking about it off and on, but it seemed kind of way out there – maybe in a few years if we did it at all. Then in February I was having my quiet time and once again felt strongly impressed that this is what we need to do. In fact, I sensed God saying, “I’m not kidding about going on the road, and I want you to sell the house and go this summer”. Whoa. Are you kidding me? Sell this wonderful house You gave us? Well, we met with a Realtor at the end of May and realized we had a LOT of work to get the house market ready. We crammed virtually 13 years of maintenance into like 4 weeks!
So many people came out to help us, it is amazing to think about. How could we ever thank them all enough? We could have NEVER done it without all those wonderful friends who helped us!! But amazingly, after repainting, re-landscaping, replacing, and any other ‘re’ you can think of, we had a massive garage sale on June 25 & 26 and then put the house out on the ole’ MLS listings on Tuesday June 27 (about 3 weeks later than we had planned). We had a showing 2 days later, but that didn’t pan out. We've had 2 more showings but no buyers, and then an open house this past Sunday, but no one came. We are still believing God is going to provide the buyer in His timing, and are excited as we expect God to do GREAT things!! We’re especially thankful for all the people who have helped us, encouraged us, and prayed for and with us! We invite everyone to come along with us via this blog as we embark on this Great Adventure that God is sending us on! Thanks again for being a part of our lives.
Tim & Jodie