Mikayla of Mikayla Christine Photography reached out to me a couple months ago and asked if we we'd be interested in doing a family session in midtown with her before she moves away for YWAM, and of course we jumped at the opportunity! She's young and so very talented. She used to help my mom years ago in girls ministry at the church we were attending, and she also took photos at my baby shower last year (which I'll be sharing next month). She's amazing and super sweet! If you're in Kansas and in need of some photos for your family, portraits, weddings, events... shoot her an email before she begins YWAM <3 we're so grateful we have these moments captured, as a memory 'from when we lived in midtown.' Thank you tons tons tons Mikayla!
So about our new home... well let me start from the beginning. We began this year just utterly tired of struggling to make ends meet. Not just financially, but in all areas of our life. We weren't finding the community we were seeking, or the peace and direction we were looking for. We just felt lost, but knew things needed to change. We felt compelled to start by just verbally proclaiming that this year would be different, and that we're going to be more intentional about listening to the Lord, and obeying what we feel he's leading us to. We've been learning how to respond to seemingly small nudges in our life, and now we feel we're seeing the fruit of being obedient in those things.
We feel peace; confidence. A stirring of good things, and a whole lot less insecurity, stress and frustration. We have confidence that he's in control, and that he has a really good plan for things that's greater than our plans... as long as we're seeking Him and listening to his guidance.
The lease for our one bedroom upstairs apartment is ending in April, and we knew we couldn't stay here another full year for a number of reasons. The high cost for such a small space, the neighbors, the stairwell that can't safely be blocked off, the busy street, the lack of parking... the list could go on. It would be different if we didn't have a babe or want to be somewhere stable we knew we could continue to grow our family, but we are in that season. This home has been amazing, and we don't take it for granted. So many beautiful memories have been created that will be hard to walk away from, but in our hearts we knew that we'd have to look for a new home come Spring.
We'd been looking on Craigslist and other rental sites for different homes, and we couldn't find anything that met our needs AND fit our budget, in a safe area that wouldn't be too far from where we do church, work etc. We were settling on the idea that we would just find a two bedroom apartment, and call it good for a while, even though we've had our hearts set on a house for a year now. Our sweet friend, Jillian, was talking to us after church one Sunday about this whole situation, and she encouraged us to have more faith; to not settle and just trust that God does really see us and hear us. It was like a lightbulb went off... and we were like, oh yeah! We can have more faith and trust that God will provide. We've always taken things into our own hands, and have never really given up full control for our home and finances, and then we always end up in a pickle or settling for things we don't need or love. I don't think God just spoils us, or gives us what we want for no reason by any means. But I do believe he loves us and truly wants what's best for us, as long as we follow him and genuinely trust that he has our best interest in mind when we don't get what we think we want in the timeframe we want it in.
With all this said, my dear friend Katie knew our situation and stress of it all closely. She's been there through two moves already, and knew what we were looking for. One morning she was literally looking on Craigslist for us, when she realized her father in law would be moving out of the current rental he's staying in soon. She shot him a text and asked for some details, then called me. She never calls me. We text and voice text almost every day, but rarely do we actually call, because she's a working mother of two (#busy), so I picked up right away. Then she said, "I may have a house for you... like, it could literally be yours..." I was shocked and excited and antsy for more details, but also trying not to get to excited because there must be a catch of some sort, right? Nope. She laid out the details, and a couple hours later she picked up Nora and I to take us through and see this adorable little house, that might just be ours.
We pulled up to this cute little pale yellow house, in an old quiet neighborhood, with beautiful parks nearby, a Whole Foods in walking distance, and all other amenities a short drive away. There's a front yard with a porch, and a big window that the light floods through into the living room. (Already I knew I wanted it.) A cute little kitchen, a perfect room for Nora (and potential future babe), and a master bedroom bigger than our current living room. There's a back porch, a giant tree and big backyard with lots of grass for Nora to run around in, ready for some garden roses, with a shed and a flat bed ready to be gardened. Dark wood floors and white walls with lots of windows in every room. My heart fluttered with anxt the entire time we were there walking through it all. I was so afraid it would fall through, that I didn't want to get my hopes too high. But it worked out, and we move in April 1st (no, it's not an April Fools joke).
It's amazing how simply things work out when we relinquish control. When we stop trying to fit God into a box... when we give him the freedom and space to actually do things. That's the beauty of God, he gives us freedom to make our own choices, but when we choose Him... good things can happen. Walking with the Lord isn't always easy, and it's not always pretty. Sometimes it doesn't make sense. Sometimes we look like fools to those who may not understand, but when we wait it out and stay patient, waiting and trusting in his timing, that's when His glory is revealed.
The really really cool thing is, and my favorite part of the story, is when I found a "note" on my phone from a year ago. It read, "Things we want for our home: 2 bedrooms, natural light, backyard, garage, shed, $ [budget], wood floors, white walls, window in kitchen, window in bathroom, porch." This house literally has all these things... and when I found that note my eyes welled up with salty mush because I'm just amazed at how good the Lord is, even when I'm so undeserving. That list is mostly wants, but he totally provided those things.
We've not even been married for two full years, and this will be our fourth move, but we're so so sooooo happy and grateful to be at peace and know where we will be living without the stress and fears and lack we usually have. Our hearts are bursting. We literally talk about how excited we are every night (especially when our party-house neighbors are, you know, partying), and think about how amazing this summer will be as we celebrate Nora's first birthday, and have friends and family over for grilling out, and all the things. We're so grateful for our friends who push us to dream bigger, trust harder and dig deeper. We have a feeling we'll be growing some roots in this house, and that alone makes our hearts jump a bit.
Thank you so much for reading this long story, for encouraging us when we've struggled, for supporting us in our vision and dreams. Thank you friends, for being there and listening and praying. We are ecstatic for this next season, and are thrilled to have you join us <3