Monday, August 27, 2012

A God story. (But aren't they all?)

This is the first in a series of posts that I like to call, We have news to share and No, I'm not pregnant.

I have a story. And it's good. It's a story of patience and faith and prayer. It's one of those stories that only God can write. He writes all the good ones.

6 years ago I bought this condo with my sister. We were young, single, and eager to make sister memories, just us. After a ridiculous amount of legalese, signatures, and initial-here's, we closed on our first grown up purchase. The only thing missing was the reality show film crew.

Just as soon as we threw our first of what was supposed to be many epic parties, something happened. I met someone. And it was serious. So serious that I even told Grandma Hollywood about him. Because once Grandma Hollywood knows, you can never take it back or else she'll forever ask questions such as "What happened with so-and-so? He was such a nice young man. Why don't you like him?" It's her way of saying, "I was married at 19 years old. What's wrong with you already?"

Well, I liked him alright. I liked him so much that 11 months after our first date, I met him at the altar. And bless my sister's heart. She stood by me on my wedding day, tucking my hair into my veil, holding my flowers so that I could kiss my groom, and without any hesitation, she moved out of the condo so that he could move in.

And as if life wasn't already moving fast enough, my now husband and I filled up those 1630 square feet with an 80-pound lab and 3 sweet babies before we could even celebrate 5 years as Mr. and Mrs.

Somewhere in all that we got the idea that condo life wasn't the best fit for our growing family. Somewhere in all that we decided to sell the once bachelorette pad turned honeymoon crib and find ourselves a real bona fide house. With a yard and an attached garage and a place to dump your shoes when you walk in.

Thus began the cycle of never-quite-selling the condo. It went something like this: Touch up walls with Sherwin Williams Desert Sand. Put condo on the market. Meticulously clean condo for a showing praying through each stroke of the toilet wand that this is going to be the one! Shuffle dog and kid(s) into the van and disappear for an hour. Receive feedback stating that the condo is too close to a busy road (it is) and the parking sucks (it does). Get pregnant and take condo off the market because in a state of hormonal rage I declare that I just can't take it anymore. Have baby. Acquire more crap. Curse under my breath as my toddler slips on ice walking out to the van while I lug a newborn through the stupid why-do-we-live-in-Ohio mess only to find that the automatic van doors are frozen shut. Call husband crying because I want an attached garage and I want one now.

Touch up walls.


This went on for 3 years.

3 years of wanting. 3 years of praying. 3 years of asking.

Finally, after the birth of our 3rd, before summer could turn to fall and fall into winter and winter into the frozen tundra that freezes van doors and ices over walkways, I told my husband that we needed to pray and pray hard. Because I was starting to get the sense that selling the condo wasn't God's plan. And I wanted to be okay with that. I wanted to mean it when I said that I'm content here. Because I am. At times. And then there are the times when my now-four-year-old son wants to ride his bike and my exuberant daughter wants to pick dandelions in the backyard but instead the best I can offer is a seat in front of the window to watch the cars whiz by.

Please don't feel bad for me. We have 1600 square feet! We have drywall and running water and appliances and a thermostat and the list of what we have far far far exceeds the list of what we don't. But like any good ol' fashioned American, my dream included more.

But God, in His infinite wisdom, knew better. He knew we could not handle more. Not yet. He knew that more means more responsibility, and He who has begun a good work in us had only just begun.

So we prayed. Specifically we prayed that if God did not want us to sell, that He would make that clear. Because we were paying a mortgage with an interest rate that did not make sense. So if we were to stay, we wanted to save money with a refinance. I was so determined to hear God in this that I told Matt, "If God wants us to put this condo back on the market, He's going to have to speak to us through a burning bush."

Would you believe it if I told you that two weeks later I called my husband at work and said, "God spoke to me through a burning bush today."

Part 2 tomorrow.


  1. It's a good thing I know the end to this story, because HOLY COW. Love, love, love, love it!! God is so good!!

  2. Oh...this is good! I cant wait to see what happens! Love your writing & story telling!

  3. Ah!! Come on. That's just mean. Isn't it cool how that waiting has made your family stronger and you all are going to appreciate that sweet backyard...Okay. Excited to read tomorrow's.

  4. seeing God work in such awesome ways...excited to hear the rest in your words.Thanks for taking the time to write.

  5. You left out a line right after "3 years of wanting. 3 years of praying. 3 years of asking."
    something like this.... 3 years ago I met Jill Phipps.
    Just sayin'.

    Can't wait for Part 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  6. Love you let everyone in on God's story in your life.... To Him be the praise!!!! Love you all! Aunt K

  7. I love this! Well, the winter walks with 3 kids to the frozen car part was painful to even read - I wouldn't love that. (I've thrown many a hormonal fit in my day over MUCH less - haha ;) But it makes part 2 of the story even better :)