24 years ago while driving the mountain roads to our desert destination, we drove thru a lovey mountain town - very, very rural, and very isolated - and I begged my dear husband if we could pleeeeease live in this gorgeous valley. With a sad face he said, "it's too far from the firestation. We have to live 20 minutes from the station". And so we moved to the Coachella Valley. I loved my desert home. We bought it from our pastor's, Dan and Linda, when they returned to Kansas to pastor a small church. This home was perfect for me. My dear husband (dh) fussied it up for me and I pretended that I lived in the country.
But still my heart longed for the country place in the mountains - and somehow I felt called to be there. My sweet husband drove me up for a drive on more weekends than I could count. Birthdays were spent there - just driving around. Many times we tried to move. We bought 5 acres, but could never build. We made offers on other homes. Many, many offers. Many "no's". I prayed fervently and asked God, "Why do you close the doors to this mountain place?" He never said "no". I wasn't sure if I should give up. Years went by. 24 years. Children in middle school. High School. Grand Babies! Me in collage and then teaching. Wait - it's not the right time, but my heart still longed for the mountain views and green valleys.
One more time - one more try - and this time, it is "meant to be". It is more than my little heart could have imagined. When I tell you that the price was right - and that the previous owners chose us - well, my heart sings. It is beautiful. And HUGE! I'll not have a tiny cottage again. This new house is BIG!
When our pastors sold us our desert home, Linda said, "this is going to be a healing house". Some very difficult and sad things had happened to our family - things that might have torn a different family a part. But, with God's help - indeed - it has been a healing house. He guided our steps and continues to heal our broken hearts.
So - when I moved to the Healing House, this is when I decided that it was again a time for me to follow my passions - because sometimes when girls are hurt deeply - they shut tightly into themselves. I knew that I had to give - and grow - CREATE and DECORATE! So, I began to hit the local yard sales like crazy - and Dear Husband was my chauffer. (He loves to hit the yard sales even more than me!) I began to sew and paint and garden and collect pretty things, and all the while the Lord was with me, guiding my steps and mending my broken heart.
My children tell me I have too much stuff. I love my stuff. I admit it. I love dishes and pretty things - and the older the better. I love it all. Now - I am wondering... do you think it is possible that God was getting me ready all these years for our country home that would be BIG and now I have to fill it up! And, when you pay only a quarter or a dollar for that AMAZING GOD SMOOCH TREASURE - you don't have to fill guilty, do you?
I will miss my white kitchen where my Big Betsy Vintage Stove sturdily sat next to Martha - the HUGE yellow country cabinet. But, they are coming with me - and we can paint the new kitchen cabinets white, too.
I will miss the 100's of pretty places we made in this little house on the corner. It was a sweet place to live. The neighborhood was safe with kind neighbors and friends. But, all the while I lived here, I longed for the mountain town that I hoped to someday call home. Now it is happening. And, I am scared - and excited - and dreading the curvy drive to work. But, I also know that God has plans for us, and when we ask Him to guide our lives with His loving hand - sometimes He blesses us with more than we could even imagine.
I had to wait a very long time. 24 years. But, God never left me. He didn't make me wait for Him. He must have been smiling to Himself all those years - knowing - someday... I would have my home in the country.
This will be the "Giving House".
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9
I believe this verse is talking about eternity. It's talking about how people could not have even imagined that God would send His only Son - or that He would draw us to Him - to follow Him forever. He is a big God with Big Plans. I believe God is a God of details. Of God Smooches that fit perfectly on our cheeks. He knows our hearts. He knows our very longings. He sees us. He has good things prepared for us.