We (all 8 of us + 2 dogs) have recently moved cross country from the frigid North to the very warm (okay, HOT!) South. We have gone from 27 acres and a small river to 2 acres and a HUGE river.
Here is the back story to our present craziness.
Over 30 years ago my husband had a dream to open a vocational training facility for underprivileged youth. (That is a story in and of itself...maybe you'll read about it in his book one day). The Lord told him that he'd work with kids that came out of families like his own; those that could relate to him and his own upbringing.
Once we met it became our collective dream and vision for our future. Everywhere we have lived, played and prayed has been with this vision ahead of us.
After some soul searching about how this would come about we moved to the North where we became Bible students. During this time the Lord called us to live with my in-laws and asked my husband to restore his childhood home. Little did he know at the time that what God was really asking was for him to be open to allowing HIM to restore what was stolen from him in his childhood. (again...the topic for his future book).
Fast forward 8 years. We bought property on a meandering river wide enough to canoe and kayak in and small enough to walk across to the other side. It was here that we planned on investing in the youth from our vision.
We built a home, had 5 children, co-led a home fellowship, ran 3 businesses, homeschooled and began to have Father/Son and Mother/Daughter campouts on our property. Our goal was to have a boys home, build some vocational training buildings, create a farm and give underprivileged youth a new start.
The campouts were great! Time spent teaching relational concepts to the parents and children was rewarding. Themed weekends brought understanding of basic areas of life and taught invaluable communication skills. We have kids today in their 20's that still talk about those days. It became a favorite every year with the community kids.
We built our BIG HOUSE after 5 years in our carriage house. This house was built with the intention to have a boys home on the 4th floor. It took us 5 years to build and 3 years after living in it we looked out our back bay window at the 27 acres, cabin and river and said to each other, "We need more land."
We felt the Lord leading us to sell and look for a large tract of land in the South. Now, you have to understand another part of the story. Steve knew from a dream that he had that he wasn't to leave this land until his dad passed. He knew he would be instrumental in his father coming to the Lord in his last days. However, at this time his dad was fairly healthy.
How do you put a house up for sale when you have this understanding? Well, just a few short weeks later his dad had some testing done and found out he had lung cancer. We knew we couldn't leave then. However, the Lord said to put it up for sale. So, we did.
9 months later the house was still up for sale and his dad passed from cancer. It was a cold day in March and we went to visit his dad in the nursing home. It was very apparent that it was his last day. Steve had spent many hours visiting with his dad over the past 3 months. Praying with him, speaking truth to him and asking him some hard questions.
We spoke to him, sang to him and prayed over him all morning. It was a sweet time of healing. In the afternoon, Steve had been prompted by the Lord to go home and make his casket. (You can read about that on my Amazing Grace post.) 2 hours later Steve, my boys and girls had made the casket, the lining and the trim for his father to be buried in. Upon our return to the nursing home, we knew it was only a matter of minutes. How do minutes pass so slowly and yet so quickly at the same time?
Steve asked me to sing Amazing Grace, his dad's favorite song and only request at his passing. Choking back tears and a voice overcome with emotion, I whispered and then sobbed and then sang so his dad could hear and be comforted. Steve held his hand and kissed his forehead and then his father opened his eyes for the last time, a tear slipped out of one eye, as if to say, "thank you." He took his last breath and was gone. Steve closed his eyes.
If you knew anything about the relationship my husband and his father had, you would know there was a miracle taking place here. (I'm thankful he will be writing a book about this someday).
We thought for certain that our house would now sell. We hunted properties in the south. We traversed hundreds of miles each year looking and dreaming.
It took 3 years from start to finish to sell our home. 3 long years where we didn't get involved in any long term commitments. 3 long years where we put our lives on hold thinking surely it was going to sell sooner.
January 2016 the Lord said, "Get ready. Tie up all your loose ends."
We had an offer in March and sold in June.
We had 30 days to move 8000 sq. ft of stuff, 8 people and 2 dogs from 27 acres to 1 camper, 1 tent, 1 complete house renovation and 2 acres.
See why I haven't been blogging much?
Welcome to the present day life we now live. Camping indoors and outdoors and finding freedom and laughter in the little things. Our first stop on the way to living out our dream on the lakeside farm.
Stay tuned for month 1 at the lake.......to be continued.....