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home; a huge soft spot for me.

Mid college one of my biggest fears was wandering forever-not being able to settle somewhere.

I had just gotten back from a semester in Ireland,

which had followed a semester in a dorm room

following a summer in Ecuador

following my first year of college

4 months after my first move in over 10 years.

I moved up to live with a close friend in a town near Michigan where I knew no-one except the friend and her family who I was living with. It was a good summer, but living in an affluent area where I didn’t have connections was really distant from where I felt called in life. I learned a lot that summer, but one of the biggest lessons was that God was my home.

“Finding and feeling home has been a hard personal struggle the past several months. I'm finding peace here and I'm finding home. The thing is, it's not defined by four walls, and not even in the embrace of those I love most. Home is where my passion for Jesus and my pursuit of Him meet his grace and love for me. My home is not on this earth, it is in Jesus" -Journal Excerpt June 13, 2016

Since then I’ve done a lot more traveling and I’ve stayed in several more bedrooms, states, and a couple countries, and there’s a sense of peace I didn’t have before.

But I still hope for a physical home. A place to settle, nest in, and make our own.

When I got married last summer (knowing we were moving overseas in the not too far future) I was looking forward to having a place to even temporarily call and make my/our home. As some of you know, that’s not exactly how things went...

We had arrangements to move into a garage converted studio apartment after we returned from our honeymoon. We left Houston from the wedding and flew to the state of Washington where we stayed in a beautiful cabin for a 10 day honeymoon—it was awesome and beautiful and we got to play house in this lovely little cabin nestled in the woods. Beauty & bliss.

Two days before we were to leave, we got a call that our housing back home fell through. The garage apartment was no longer available.

We had planned a trip to California directly after our honeymoon (eh, not our best life choice) so that we could visit/meet family, speak to Sam’s childhood church families, and spread the work about what we were doing with Wycliffe. While there, we were graciously hosted by awesome people-to whom we are so thankful… but for the purposes of this story I would like to mention that we stayed in 4 different homes over the 2.5 weeks we were in California and stayed three more places on the way to FL.

During our trip in CA, we found arrangements to be able to live in a house reserved for visiting missionaries when we returned to Texas for little to nothing. We were thankful that God had led us to something better than we could have hoped for.

After California, we essentially rode/drove straight to Orlando Florida where we completed 2 weeks of training for Wycliffe. The available housing during that time was organizationally owned apartments. It was nice having our own space and it was thus far the longest we had been able to stay in one home as a couple. During those two weeks we heard that due to another larger missionary family needing a place to live, we would no longer be able to stay in the house we had been told we could live in. This was hard. Honestly I felt like God had given me this beautiful gift that He knew my heart had been wanting for years now and then just took it away. I at this point had just wished he never let us know about the house so then it wouldn’t have hurt as badly when he took it away.

So there we were, a few days before our first return home as a married couple --over a month after our wedding—with no idea where we would live. I just want to mention that because of our job and salary-we can’t really rent a place because we don’t know how long we will be where and wouldn’t be able to sign a lease. We also travel for work trips and training-sometimes for a month at a time-- which doesn’t make finding a place to live easy.

The landlord from the garage apartment that fell through mentioned that she had a nice trailer (RV) that she would let us live in rent free to make up for all the trouble. The situation wasn’t ideal, but we were out of options, so we thankfully accepted.

Honestly it took me about a day or two to get over myself and emotionally process what had happened as well as work through some bitterness over some of the details I decided not to share. But once I accepted the fact that this was our house and it was ours to make home for the next year, it was nice and we were thankful. We enjoyed our tiny home.

Fast-Forward—or as Sam likes to say “forwind”--a month. For reasons that aren’t mine to share, our landlady decided she needed to charge us rent—and she was asking for what we had agreed to pay for the initial garage apartment. It was frustrating to have things keep changing for reasons that were completely outside of us. And they just kept getting worse. We had grown to like our cozy little trailer home, but the cons outweighed the pros for the actual situation we were in as far as having our housing arrangement and the cost keep changing month to month. So we accepted the invitation from my mom and moved in with my parents.

We’ve had our own space here for 6 months. We really have enjoyed it. We are thankful for their hospitality. It’s been a blessing being so close to both of our families-especially in the year leading up to an extended move overseas. It has been a blessing in disguise.

But being a young, fairly newly-wed woman. I still long for a home of our own-a place to settle and make ours. So I have been anxiously awaiting our move to PNG where we hope to eventually buy a house we can grow into as our family (Lord willing) grows over the next several years overseas.

What is my point?

… on May 14, 2019 we made an offer on our first house.

It’s been a rollercoaster, and waiting on the bid results has been so hard/exciting.

This morning, May 29, 2019 we woke up to an email congratulating us on our home.

We bought a house.

God gave us a house.

A perfectly quaint, beautiful blue house.

It’s big enough to host in, to have visitors come stay, and big enough for our family to (eventually) grow in, but it was perfectly in the budget we had set aside from our wedding gifts and inheritance. It's about a block away from both of our jobs in Papua New Guinea, so even the location is a blessing.

Meet Tony, our soon to be pup.

As an added bonus it comes with a sweet family dog that will help keep us safe, his name is Tony and we are excited to have him.

I feel beyond blessed. I am so thankful. I feel a peace. While I'm planning to soak in the last bit of time we have left here with family and friends, I am really excited to go home.


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