Here I am in Arkansas! Feels so very strange to be guests from out of state at my parent's place. We drove all night and arrived around 9 this morning. My mom and dad had already planned to go to a funeral, so we're in an empty house, free to look at everything familiar :) Jennifer and Lillian have been busily playing with toys since the minute we stepped in the door! Chris is in bed and I decided to seize the opportunity to write a long post on my dad's computer to bring you up to date on all that's been going on lately.
Months ago, while living at Marvins, one evening Chris called me into his brother's room. "This is my song," he said. So I sat down with him to listen. The verses talk about the children of Israel being led to the river's edge and the chorus says "Follow me down to the banks of the river and wait on the water to part. God will come and surely deliver, He'll finish what He starts. No matter the how deep the trouble you're facing, you need never loose heart. Follow me down to the banks of the river and wait on the water to part." Chris shared with me how he really felt this was where we were. He really didn't know what was ahead. Didn't know if this was a river or a ocean or what. Knew only that God had spoken, we'd followed as best we knew how and now, here we were at the river, waiting. We agreed that that was our song for the moment and we clung to the promise.
When we moved to Daniel's trailer, we listened to another song. "He has said to go over so we'll never go under, Christ in the vessel you can smile at the storm. Let the sea waters rage and the sky fill with thunder. He has said to go over so we'll never go under." That song soothed my heart many a time! Daniel's came home a little sooner then we expected. We were disappointed, but hello! This was their house after all!
A week before their return, mom called to say that our neighbor in Arkansas, who was initially interested in our place, had come to their house because he was trying to get a hold of us. Chris called him up and he wondered if we'd still be interested in doing a land contract? Chris said sure! He wondered how small a down payment we'd take? Well, Chris wondered how much he had? They talked, and we prayed ,and the next day Chris called him back to say we'd be willing to go ahead with it. Our land is situated between two neighbors with only a right of way for a lane so we had thought from the beginning that it would be nice if one of those neighbors would want to buy it. There's a story behind this neighbor's need for a place, but I'll just say it felt very much like what God wanted us to do. To me it felt clearly like God was saying, "I brought this at just the right time, I'm giving you hope and light and parting the waters before you. BUT, I still want you to need to trust me!" The down payment would give us money to finish fixing up the shop and the monthly payments would ease our tight budget and give us something to start saving with. They had already paid their March rent for where they lived so hoped to move before April. WOW!! So.... time to plan a trip to Arkansas to pick up all our packed away belongings and get the paperwork settled!!
But wait, there was one more wrinkle, and it happened in the same week! My brother, Mark, has been having some personal struggles the past months and had decided it would be best to get away for awhile. He needed a place to go with a job and a house that was fairly close to Faith Builders and the men he was in contact with there. One of Mark's good friends from Antrim had been trying to convince him to move here but didn't have a good job offer. One night right in the midst of the whole land deal Chris said to me, "Maybe I should offer Mark a job here. I'm sure that I could get him one." Chris' boss' son (got that) has a mechanic shop and the man who was doing the alignments, break jobs, etc had moved about 2 weeks before. James (the mechanic) was left scrambling to keep up with work and trying to decide whether or not to hire someone new. The next day I suddenly got the urge to just text Mark with the idea. He responded right back asking when they needed to know!! Two days later he had a job and a house in Antrim and we were working toward plans to coordinate bringing our belongings with bringing his!
Do you begin to see why I've been exclaiming?! There's more details about how we should do the trip, another idea to rent a house that Mark could live in the basement and share costs, we're going this week, no, we're going next week and etc. but I think I'll stop with that. At the moment Mark and us have just driven all night, arrived safely in Arkansas and have plans to get our land deal finished up, load up a rented truck Saturday and head out either Sunday afternoon or Monday. Who knows what all else God will decide to throw in between now and the next day?? You just never can tell with the Lord!
I'm excited to be back on "home" ground. Part of me is still in Ohio with Isaac and Jasmine who are staying with friends tonight through Sunday and then going home with Grandpas from church. Another part is a bit apprehensive about all the emotions that are sure to surface with seeing everyone here again and walking back in our house and then out for the last time. Even Chris said he'd just as soon settle the deal and not have to come back to the house :) So, pray for us! And hopefully you feel sufficiently updated :)