This is a long story.
With all this house and moving hoopla, I realized that I have never documented how I came to own the house on Elm Street in Spokane. I want to write it down so that people can know how God works in my life and so that I can remember too when I feel like God has lost my file. So here goes.
We made the tentative decision to move to Spokane sometime in early 2005. In July we went up there on a fact finding mission for a week. We made the final decision while we were up there after visiting colleges, bowling alleys, and looking at real estate. By the time we left Spokane, I had put a deposit down on a lot in a newer subdivision, having decided to have our house built for us. I wasn't having any luck finding everything I desired in a house that was already built. Here was my wishlist:
1) Location. I wanted to be in a specific school district on the South Hill, I loved the beautiful old neighborhoods but the houses were old too, and I didn't want to be constantly fixing old stuff. So what I wanted was
2)a new house in an old neighborhood, those just don't really exist. Plus, the lots in the older neighborhoods are large and I didn't want all the yardwork that goes along with them. I wanted
3) a small yard. Those didn't seem to exist either. Now, about the house itself. My dream home would have
4) A 3 car garage
5) A basement with a kitchenette so my college age son could live in it (oh yeah, egress windows please.)
6) A gas stove. It seems that most stoves in Spokane are electric, I'm not sure why.
7) Four bedrooms so I could have a office/hobby room for myself!
8) An inside laundry room.
9) In my price range. It became apparent that the only way to get all these things was to have a house built. Hence the deposit on the lot. All was well until I called the developer in October to get the building started. They told me that the builder refused to build on my lot because of it's proximity to neighbors that he had run-in's with. There was another builder who was willing, but he was out of my price range. I told the developer to return my deposit and started looking at real estate websites again. The more I looked, the more I realized that in order to get everything I now required in a house, I would have to go over my budget by almost 50K. This was very distressing to me, and caused me to reconsider staying in California, even though to do so would be financial suicide. So I started to pray. I prayed for God to show me one way or the other what I should do, stay or go. Not only did I pray for a direction, I prayed for the path to be so clear that I would have no doubt that it was the right path. I believe my exact words were, "God, light up my path like a runway. Open the door so wide and shove me through it so hard that I will have no doubt that You are the one doing the shoving."
On Veteran's day I was on the internet looking for something entirely unrelated to real estate and I was scrolling down my favorites and I guess I just clicked on the wrong thing and I ended up on the Spokane for sale by owner website. I said out loud "Oh, this is not where I wanted to be" and I heard a voice inside of me that was NOT my voice say "Look at it" Now mind you, I had just been to this site 2 days prior and there was nothing good on it. But I heard this voice and decided to be obedient so I scrolled down. and there it was. The house that was in my price range, a newer house in the old neighborhood, with the right number of bedrooms, etc. I looked at the pictures of it on the website, it has a full kitchen in the walkout downstairs and oh by the way both kitchens have gas stoves. It had a 3 car garage and an inside laundry room upstairs AND downstairs. So I called the guy who was selling it. He tells me he can't talk now and could he call me back. When I give him my number he says You're calling from Seaside, CA, and I said how did you know that and he says Because that's where I grew up. Whoa. I chewed on that for an hour while I waited for him to call me back. So he called back and we found out we both went to the same Jr high and High school but several years apart. I asked him why he was selling his house and he said "Well, this might sound strange to you, but God has been putting it on my heart to sell my house, I don't know why, but I decided to be obedient so I put my house on the market yesterday." So I told him "Well, this might sound strange to YOU, but I have been praying for a house just like yours!" Anyway, to make a long story less long, 4 days later I went up and signed the papers. My path was lit up like a runway! I know that this story loses something between the telling of it and the writing of it, but there is NO DOUBT that God provided this house for me. I don't know what He has in store for me once I get there, and whatever it is won't always be easy, but God knows what I need and he will provide it in His time and in His way. I am totally okay with that.
Oh yeah, and by the way, the yard is tiny.