Eight days ago Peter and I sat at a conference table, signed our names at least 50 times, and walked away with the jingle of our very own house keys in our pockets!
God is faithful. We started this process with a phone call back in April, and though we had seasons of waiting and lots of questions, this couple who had so many "obstacles" (at least in the world's eyes) to overcome--both in full-time ministry, one of us is self-employed, both under 25 years old, and neither of us has had any debt or a credit card--are now homeowners!
Without further ado--here are some thoughts and ramblings I want to remember as we made the leap from apartment life to holding that “sold” sign in our hands.
Friday was a crazy day to move in (but to anyone who knows us, what day wouldn’t be a bit crazy? =)) That morning we packed up the room we were living in with just enough time to grab a celebratory lunch and make it to Prudential to sign. The minute we got done there, Peter needed to be at church--our traveling worship team, Romans, was playing that night for the Autumn Fest and Peter had to help the students get set up. At this point we got a call that Peter’s dad had done us a huge favor--all our stuff was in his truck and he could bring it into town for us! (Can I just point out here--We lived for three months on a truck-bed’s worth of stuff. It’s do-able, girls. Not necessarily fun, but do-able.) So I dashed over to our new place and we unloaded the truck in just a few minutes before I needed to be back to church for the event. It went awesome--delicious food, good friends, great music and--sky lanterns! And that night we were able to stay in our very own home, before the craziness continued with dance and drama practice at 8 AM the next morning!
I’m so thankful for my community. Loving people makes a world of difference. It’s so easy to sit back and not start up that conversation with the person next to you--but building relationships is a key part of being the body of Christ. All the relationships in our life have been truly invaluable. Our realtor’s office, that worked so hard for us, is made up of our friends from church. Both sides of our families live near by, and lent us vehicles and helping hands to make this move possible. We’re so thankful for Peter’s family letting us use a room in their house this summer--those three months gave us a huge jump start and we have enough left over to get a new-to-us couch (pictures coming soon!) and washer and dryer. Not to mention “Team Devoted Bridesmaids” who all happened to be in town during our move and helped me tackle painting last Saturday! Another friend heard I was in need of some kitchen appliances, and through some connections she was able to get me some amazing brand name items for no cost to us--I’m guessing that was at least a $700 value if not more. What favor!
Friends, I know we are in the minority--not everyone has such a great community, a church that really IS like a family, and so many helping hands close by. I love Kalamazoo because of this--I think the best people in the world live here and I get to know them. I am thankful and I don’t want to take this for granted.
But I also want to encourage you--this is the result of years and years. Both of our parents worked hard to get knit into this community. And then Peter and I have been doing the same. You’ve got to make time to reach out. Start with the person next to you at church. If they don’t respond, try the person sitting behind you. Keep trying. Keep loving. Make an effort. You need what they have to offer, and they need what you have to give.
Looking back on this move--that’s what I want to remember. Peter and I are blessed with an amazing, loving, kind, giving community, and I am so thankful.