Wednesday, July 24, 2013

a post about finding the "right" house

                                        [ecard by your's truly]

I've written several times before about last year, and how it was pretty rough. We left Texas after about 15 months and moved to Las Vegas, my husband's and my childhood home town. But in between being kids and moving back last year, it's been close to 10 years since we've lived here. And moving back meant we were starting from ground zero. No job, no home, no nothing. Because of that we lived with my parents for a time and they were so gracious to put up with the 3, and then 4 (Eli was born in November), of us.

But we trusted the Lord, that He would provide, so long as we worked to find work and change our situation. And He did just that. He provided.

We moved to Vegas, and in to my parents' house on July 1, 2012. After what felt like decades, we signed a lease on our townhouse on December 28, 2012 and by January 1, 2013 we were in our own space. It was a new year and a new beginning for our family of 4.

I don't know about you, but being in your late 20's, you start to notice this theme on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter, that what seems like, everyone you know is buying their first house. Or their second house. And if they aren't buying, they're making upgrades to their house; new landscaping, appliances, floors.

It's like there is a part of me that wants to be jealous. Do I wish we had our own house that I could decorate as I please? Absolutely. Do I want to be able to settle down in a house and make it into a wonderful home for my family? Of course. But that is not what is important in my time on this earth. I was placed here for a purpose and I can guarantee that my purpose is not to own a house.

And then I read this from John Piper this morning,

I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth "home." Before you know it, I am calling luxuries "needs" and using my money just the way unbelievers do. I begin to forget the war. I don't think much about people perishing. Missions and unreached peoples drop out of my mind. I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace. I sink into a secular mind-set that looks first to what man can do, not what God can do. It is a terrible sickness. (Don't Waste Your Life, emphasis mine)

Right there. He nailed it. We so easily fall into that mindset because it's our flesh. We're wrapped in it 24 hours a day, and on top of that it's all around us: Designer this, fancy that, flashy this, "you need that."

Ben and I have been renters since we got married 9 years ago. We love renting. It's usually cheaper than owning and I don't have to fork over any money or worry when something breaks. My landlord takes care of that. Our leases are a year or less and so we're free to move if we need or want to. We've talked about renting for the rest of our life. (There are people who do that ya know). And we've also talked about buying.

But we've never been obsessed with buying.

This year, the budget is tight. Like I said, we're getting back on our feet. That's hard to do. And I think it's the craziest thing ever, but in the market where we live, right now, if you can get into a house, it's cheaper to own than to rent. And that's appealing to us because it would free up money monthly for our family.

We've been house-hunting since March. The first time we made an offer, it was accepted. Almost unheard of in this market (think bidding wars). After a few weeks of paperwork, inspections, and negotiations, Ben and I decided to walk. They wanted more than we were willing to pay and far more than it was worth. And we knew that it wasn't the home that the Lord had for us.

We know full well that God has a home for us, in His time. He has a place for our family, surrounded by specific neighbors, in a specific neighborhood, at a specific season. If that is a house we buy and get to renovate, update and decorate, He knows I would be very pleased. But it's not about what I want. It's about what He has pre-determined. If that place is this townhouse we're in right now, then great, we're already here and we don't have to move! And right now, this townhouse is the home He has for us.

God is sovereign over all. And that includes where we live. And I trust Him with that. My prayer during this process has been simple: that we would end up exactly in the place that He desires us to be, in the neighborhood that He has for us, and in His time.

[Jesus] said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority Acts 1:7

Last month we had another offer accepted, after making plenty that had been rejected. It's a short sale and we are in the waiting process. But the funny thing is, I'm not anxious about it at all. God has built up my patience over the years and taught me how to wait. We still have no idea how this will work out. We don't know if the same thing will happen that happened with the first house or if this will be smooth sailing. All we know is that God has a plan and we are simply called to trust and wait on Him. Lord, your will be done.


  1. Oh Jessi. I so needed this post. Thank you! EVERYONE and their mother's uncle is buying a house and not shutting up about it. I've had so many people in my life tell me I'm making a huge mistake by not taking advantage of this market and buying, and just generally giving negative reactions and pitying us when I tell them we still rent. We don't know one other married couple our age who rent. Even a lot of single people I know have bought a house, and it has been so discouraging the last few years. Anyway, I say all of that to say that it's taken a long time, but I'm happy renting. I'm happy waiting for God's timing on a house and taking advantage of maintenance and things like that. Thank you for this encouragement!

  2. such truth! Yes, the American dream has entangled us all and I'm pretty sure that's not God's dream for us. I love that quote from John Piper!

  3. Sweet daughter, you and Ben were the ones gracious enough to put up with your father and I. Love you dearly.

  4. Thank you for posting that John Piper quote. You're right, it puts everything into perspective. We are only in this world, not of it!

  5. I have noticed lots of couples who have been married less time than we have already buying houses...and I definitely don't feel jealous at this point because I have no desire to "settle down" and get tied to one spot right now as we expect to be moving in the relatively near future. I do like the freedom of renting--I think for me, the hardest thing about buying a house would be the commitment to staying in one place. And oh yeah, the money. I guess we'd have to have that, too. :)

  6. I found your blog from when you commented on one of ravens post. And I loved your comment. This is such a great post. I am only 22 buy house buying is in my near future and sometimes it scares me that I might have to wait a few more years than a lot of my friends. It's always a good reminder to know that it is in Gods hands :)