I see the kindness of the Lord in the fact that I've been reading Randy Alcorn's book "Heaven" for the last month. I've been pondering and imagining what it will be like in the new Heavens and new Earth. What it will be like to look upon my Savior's face and to see the place He has prepared for me. I see it as God's kindness that I've been thinking on these things particularly in light of the amazing house we just signed a contract on. Keith and I had really hoped to one day have an old house with lots of character, little nooks and crannies, a big front porch with a swing, and just a very homey feel. But we never thought we'd be getting it (and truly even more than we had imagined) now while we're young and poor :) Our realtor (he is just the best!!) would take us in a house in our price range and say, "This is the best you're gonna see in your price range" kind of thing and we would think we could certainly make it work with a little elbow grease and sprucing up but not overly excited about it. So here is the story of how we came to get the house of our dreams, it was all the work of our loving sovereign Father:
The story starts less than two weeks ago as I got my hair cut by a girl from our church, Erin. We were chatting about how Keith and I were looking for houses mostly in Damascus. She tells me about this great house next door to some friends (who also go to CLC) that's old but updated, wonderfully cared for, has a good bit of land and is up for sale by owner b/c they want to pick who they sell to. The owners want very much to not just sell it to anyone but to a good family who will love and care for it as they have and who will be good neighbors to their current ones. I'm thinking, "This sounds perfect!" I get home and look it up. Wow, just picturesque! But the price tag...yikes! As Keith puts it, me being the woman of faith that I am, email the owners and explain how I heard about it and ask if they would take less. The very sweet wife of the couple who owns it, Sue, emails me back from her personal account because I'm an acquaintance of their current neighbors. She asks me what our budget is so we aren't wasting each other's time. So I'm trying to figure out how to graciously express that I'm not trying to offend them with our meager budget of only about 2/3 what they're asking (as my sister put it, almost a whole nother house's worth less!), but we just love their house and I had to ask. I seriously thought we wouldn't be hearing from them again. But sure enough, the next day I come home to an email from Sue. She tells me they had discussed it and that while we have significantly less than they're asking, there is more to this than money, they really want the right family in their home. And invites us to come meet them and see the house! I about fell out of my chair!
We went the soonest they could do it. The husband was out of town, but Sue greeted us warmly and showed us around. Isaac and Samy were just running up and down the stairs and all into everything, we kept telling them to settle down and Sue would say, "No, it's fine! This house is used to it." I just love that! She had pulled out coloring books and got them some juice so we could go through the house again without them to distract us. We spent 2 hours there that seemed more like 30 minutes. Sue was just a delight, we all greatly enjoyed ourselves and it just felt comfortable, like a home should. We spoke honestly about the reality of our budget and that we really like the house and she told us honestly to make our best offer and let them decide. So we did. We spent the next day crunching numbers to see what we could do, the very best we could do without foregoing food for the next year :) Sue emailed me to say they would hopefully get back to us that evening, and to tell Isaac and Samantha that their smiling faces would be taken into account. So, I sent her a picture of those two smiling :)
It was a long day of waiting Thursday. Friday morning I got up to find an email from Sue. They had accepted our offer! And she said that the picture of the kids had convinced her husband that accepting the offer was the right thing to do! They are awfully cute :)
We stand amazed at God's LAVISH provision! We knew He would provide perfectly (even if it wasn't our idea of perfect), but this truly goes beyond what we would ask or imagine! It has been to me a reminder of Heaven and that place He is preparing for us, His bride. If He is so lavish in this, wow, I can't wait to see what is waiting for us there!! But even if it has a horrible inspection and the whole thing falls through, we do not doubt God's goodness and kindness and lavish provision!! What more does He need to provide than what He has already provided through the gospel? Jesus came as a man to be like us in every way, lived a perfect life so that we might be clothed with his perfect record, suffered and died as a sinner though sinless and took the wrath of Almighty God for my sin that I would only know mercy and grace. And now Jesus sits at God the Father's right hand, interceding for me! Praying for me! Preparing a place for me that will be my eternal home, one that is beyond all I can think or imagine. As I decorate my new home with our small earthly treasures, my prayer is that with each picture hung and each book put on those beautiful built-in shelves, I would have my heart and mind full of my Savior and the treasures that He has purchased for me through His death that I might live in Him and store up eternal treasures!