“I’m confused and tired and really at a loss as to what would make me happy.” I scribbled out my prayer to Abba. “We saw the farms in Cameron and Hamilton and liked them both, but they just weren’t home.
I just want to unpack once and for all and settle in. I’m not a good gypsy. This home we’re renting is great, yet I feel like a visitor here.
Father, help me sort out my feelings and realize as always, I can trust You to resolve this in Your time to the satisfaction of all of us. Sorry for the complaints. Guess I’m worn out from all we’ve gone through. Help me find Your peace again in the midst of this emotional storm. Thank You Father.” (September 12, 1981)
We decided to call a local realtor and give her a list of what we were looking for in a home and property. We wrote down our hopes over a year ago on a piece of notebook paper before ever selling our California home. We’d prayed over it many times, and now we were trusting God to lead us.
As the realtor drove us from one place to another, we discovered a strange thing about the Missouri property. Even though people had three to five acres or more of land, they didn’t have gardens or places for animals. Many of them were just acres of manicured lawns surrounding a house. There seemed to be people on riding lawn mowers every place we drove.
We were not interested in creating a “Country Living” showpiece with golf course lawns, or spending our lives on a riding lawn mower. We wanted a farm with places for animals, a big garden, trees, a pond, and established fruit trees. We were beginning to get discouraged.
We continued talking to our realtor and kept looking. Thanksgiving and Christmas were just around the corner, and we longed to be in our own home.
One day in early November, she called. “I have a house to show you that I think you’ll like. It meets your list in many ways. There’s only one glitch. It is already under contract with a contingency.” She said. “I’ve secured the owner’s permission to show it to you if you are interested.”
She paused, waiting for our answer. “Let me talk to Mike when he gets home. I’ll call you back,” I said and immediately went to prayer. I needed God’s perspective before I talked to Mike.
“God, You are our realtor. Is this Your idea? Is this something You want us to consider?” I waited. There wasn’t any indication of His will.
When Mike got home, I nearly knocked him over as he came through the door. “Sweetheart, the realtor called,” I said grinning from ear to ear. “She has a house she wants us to see, and she said it meets our list.”
I went on to tell him about the contingency. “What do you think?” I asked, hoping he’d say, “Yes, let’s go see it.”
“Let me put this stuff down and think a minute,” he said handing me his lunch box and taking off his jacket.
“Where is the house?”
“Just south of Kearney. It has six acres and a three-quarter acre stocked pond.”
“Really? Wow. What else did she tell you?”
“She said that it is all fenced, and it has a small barn. There are two garages, one on the main level and another around back on the basement level. And wow, the house sounds fantastic. It has three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a full basement with a laundry area, and space to add another bedroom. There are two bricked fireplaces, one on each floor.” By now, I’d put my arms around him and was talking face to face. “Oh, one more thing. There is a working tractor they will include in the sale.”
“Please, can we go see it? You’ve got tomorrow off.”
“What about the price?” he asked pushing me back from him a bit so he could see me better.
“That’s the best part of all,” I said. “It’s in our price range.”
“Sounds like a great deal. Yes, call her back. We can go tomorrow. It’s worth the time to see it even if there is a contingency.”
The next morning the realtor drove us to Kearney to see the property. We loved it the minute we saw it. Large maples stood in the front and back yard in their autumn colors. The home had a ranch style main floor with a huge kitchen and lots of cabinet space. There was a master bedroom with its own bath. The second bedroom was a moderate size and then a small bedroom that served as a sewing room.
There were only two things we didn’t like about the main floor. There was wall to wall avocado green carpeting and every room except the kitchen and main bathroom was painted hospital green.
The downstairs was open with a garage area at one end and a laundry area at the other. There was a large bricked corner fireplace just below the one above on the main floor. With a few walls added, we could have a nice family room and another good sized bedroom.
Mike loved the land. The pond was plain, a rectangular bowl in the middle of grassland. It looked like most Missouri ponds. The bottomland behind the pond was perfect. There were two to three acres of fertile soil for him to put a good sized garden and a shooting range.
We made an offer on the house, prayed and waited. Their agreed contingency date had to lapse before our offer would be considered.
On November 17, we got a call from our realtor. “I have good news for you,” she said. “The contingency buyers weren’t able to sell their home, and the owners have agreed to accept your offer. Can you and Mike meet me to sign papers?”
“Yes, yes. Oh, wow. Yes. I am so excited. Thank you so much. We can be in later today.” I said. “Will you be in after four o’clock?”
“Yes, I’ll see you later.”
I ran into the living room and scooped up Sarah. “We have a new house,” I squealed. “We have a farm and a beautiful new house.” Tears ran unabated.
Sarah reached up and took my face in her hands with a concerned look on her face. “Mommy crying,” she said wiping my tears with her little hand.
“It’s okay sweetie. They are happy tears. Mommy is happy. Oh, my goodness, I need to call Daddy. Here,” I said setting her back on the floor by her toys. “You play here, and I’ll be right back.”
When we sold our home in California, we sold it for two and half times more than we paid. Thus we had sizable profit to put on another home. The interest rate was a whopping eighteen and a half percent at the time. We didn’t know how soon we would have a new home. So we put the profits in Merrill Lynch for safe keeping and let it grow.
And grow it did. After nine months the total increased enough to pay for our moving expenses in full. And we had enough money to pay for our new home and farm outright. We were debt free for the first time in our married life.
While Mike was working at half pay from his California salary, we would not have a mortgage payment or any other payment other than utilities and taxes. Truly, God had blessed us.
Malachi 3:10 was a word we’d lived by since we were children.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
God honored His word and poured out abundantly.
As it turned out, the owners of the home wanted to wait until after Christmas to move. Thus, we spent Christmas in our rental and moved into our new home on New Year’s Day in the middle of an ice storm. Welcome to Missouri.
After this six year journey we were home at last. The reward was worth the wait.
~~ How About You? ~~
Let’s consider these scriptures:
Acts 17: 26a says, “He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,…”
Have you ever considered that God knows in advance where you will live and orchestrates your life to get you there on time?
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.”
He knows even the desires no one else knows about and loves to grant them.
Luke 7:38 promises: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
When we are generous and tithe our resources there are blessings. We don’t tithe to get the blessing. We tithe because we want to bless others the way He’s blessed us.
Are you on a journey of faith? Are you discovering these scriptures to be true in your life? Is God’s faithfulness beyond what you expected? Is He multiplying provision back to you when your only desire was to honor Him?
Or maybe you are just beginning this adventure. I’d love to hear your story.
Please post a comment. Thank you.