So, every single day, since late June I've been checking the new listings that come onto the market.
Every. Single. Day.
Plus, I've been praying, Every. Single. Day about the market. our financing, our future neighbourhood, and the direction of the backyard (south-facing, please). Along with praying about my housing needs, I've been praying for my mom and what's best for her.
The plan was, I was going to buy a house (finally! It's been a few years) with Drew and Danica; they'd live in the basement suite, I'd live upstairs.
Separate laundry, kitchen, entrance, etc.
The plan was to buy in the summer/early fall and move in just before/after the wedding.
We've all been praying, that, if this is God's will for us, we will trust in His timing and look forward to seeing where He wants us to live. And if this wasn't His will, He'd make that very clear.
What we didn't plan on was the craziest, most chaotic, most unrealistic Real Estate Market of the Century to take place exactly when we started looking. By the end of the summer, it looked hopeless. (Was this a sign from God? Was this His way of saying, "Sorry, no. You have a good plan, but it's not MY plan. So, no. Jane, you are to stay at your mom's and I have something totally different in mind for Drew and Dani." OR was He saying, "Trust me. I know it looks hopeless, but I can do this. Just wait... I have something perfect in mind for you.")
It's confusing when you don't have a sense of how God is answering your prayers.
But then, in mid-Sept, The Perfect House came onto the market. And I knew, I just knew, within minutes of walking through the front door, that This Was Home. I told Nancy, my realtor, that I wanted to write up an offer right away. EVERYTHING on my dream-house list was checked off, including the southern back yard and a breezeway that connected the garage to the house. Drew was mentally moving their things into the basement and it was going to work just fine for them. PLUS it had a coach house.
It. Was. God's. Gift. To. Me.
And I was so grateful.
SO in awe of how generous He is to me.
The kids were super excited.
My friends were super happy for me.
But my mom was sad; this was hard for her.
I changed my prayer from "God, please, please, please let this deal go through..." to "God, please make this deal go through, only if it's what's best for me, Drew + Dani and mom. If the timing isn't right for her, then I don't want the house."
The deal fell through and I had my answer.
This was not God's plan.
I was all kinds of disappointed, ("That house was PERFECT. A gem. A shiny jewel. We'd NEVVVVER find another house as wonderfullllll") but trusted that He had a plan in mind.
Drew and Dani got married and were offered a brand new townhouse to live in, rent free for 3 months. The townhouse was just minutes from Dani's salon, and the owner was one of her clients. This had the hand of God all over it.
Not knowing what else to do, I've continued looking at listings Every Single Day.
And spending lunch hours driving by houses.
And walking through open houses on weekends.
There hasn't been a single house in our price range, with a basement suite and coach house in months. And months.
I opened the email, like I do every morning, and say, "God? Is this the one?" anticipating that one of these days, I'll see a listing and Just Know.
Yesterday was that day.
I checked the price first.
It was in our sweet spot.
I look at the first few photos next, and the house looked promising.
I could live there.
Then I read the write up.
A coach house.
I sent the link to Drew/Danica and within seconds they respond with, "WE NEED TO SEE THIS HOUSE."
So I made arrangements to see it that afternoon.
"God? Is this Your gift to us? It seems perfect. We are SO excited. So very excited. The timing is perfect, Drew n Dani need to move out of the townhouse and the location is ideal, and the price is right, and is this OK with You? Is this good for all of us?"
Danica had to work, so Drew and I walked through it at 5 pm during the 2nd Great Blizzard of 2017. Snow and freezing rain was pelting us, the streets and sidewalks were buried under a foot of snow and the world was grey.
We walked through the house and saw all the imperfections. Carpet was dirty. Walls would need repainting. Finishing wasn't the quality that I'm used to. There was very limited street parking. And the backyard faced north.
We were about 85% thrilled with it.
But if we could get it for the price it was listed, it would be good investment.
I got in touch with our realtor about an offer and she said she'd call the listing agent first thing in the morning.
At noon, at work, today, I joined a few colleagues in the boardroom where we watched a taped chapel service from our office in the States. Liz Curtis Higgs was the speaker. Her message? That God loves to do the impossible. When it looks hopeless and not-do-able, He will surprise and astound you. He will do things that will cause You to say, "Only God could have made this happen. I had nothing to do with it..."
I checked my phone after watching Liz's talk, and saw the text messages from my realtor. The house was sold. It sold a few hours after I'd viewed it the night before. An offer came in that was so amazing, the owners had no choice but to accept it.
I got into my truck, drove over to Shopper's, bought a bag of Cadbury Creme Eggs to binge on while I cried and prayed. I texted Drew and Danica to let them know.
Drew: Wow. LOL.
Danica: God always has a plan, and He will always take care of us. There's nothing to worry about. We will always have a roof over our heads and when the right house comes along we will absolutely know and everything will happen the right way!
I pulled myself together, bought 8 litres of mouthwash (to clean the blackboard wall in the creative department at work), a fruit platter, and some popcorn then drove back to work to celebrate a birthday and oversee the cleaning of our wall.
I'm pretty sure God has something in mind. Something better than I could ask for or imagine. Something that is good and right for me, for my kids, for my mom. Something that will have us saying, "Only God could have made that happen."
In the meantime, I'll keep praying and looking at listings.
In the meantime, I'll keep trusting and hoping.
In the meantime, He is still good.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. Timely message from God through Liz Curtis Higgs recorded in December, viewed today, exactly when I needed to hear it.
2. Amazing response by my kids.
3. Cadbury Creme Eggs.