Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another good gift from our Father

Part 1 - How we got into that mess in the first place...

I wrote in a previous post about our praise for Cassie's new car. It was meant with all my heart, but can seem a little bit obvious. You got a car, paid for mostly by others, and you're praising God? Well, guess what? He gives me a car and I'll praise Him, too. Yeah. Not a stretch, I know. So I thought it might be helpful to some of you for me to tell you about another kind of gift the Lord gave us also from a purchase...this time it was a house. It'll take a bit of telling, so settle back.

It all started with being fired right after we found out that we were going to have our third child. From the highest of highs to WHAT? I probably just sat stunned for days. It was out of the blue to us. Plus I was so overwhelmed by that point at the thought of another baby when Aisley wasn't even crawling yet that I couldn't see how to make the bed much less move a family. Add to that, these were some of our first true friends that stick with you a lifetime. We would be leaving Cassie's first best friend. Our first real church home. I couldn't managed to process it...so, I checked out on the search for our new job. Wayne could handle it...I hoped. After 8 months of nothing...not one interview...I was pretty panicked. But sure enough, literally while in labor in the hospital, Wayne gets a call to go on an interview in central Texas. Manna from heaven.

He returns to tell me about this great little town. Quaint houses. Quiet streets. People walking through town. Seems like just the thing. Only problem? Not a single place to live. Truly...not even to rent. But just when I'm beginning to think that Wayne's going to leave us and go work 3 hours south, we hear of a place. We'll take it! I screamed. Whatever it is. Who cares? So with three days before we needed to arrive for him to start and five weeks after Brennan's birth, we're off. Only to arrive with me asking him a ton of questions, like what part of town he'd seen during the interview because I wasn't seeing what he was. Come to find out it was at the time the poorest town in one of the poorest counties in Texas. Quaint houses? Oh, you mean houses which haven't been updated in 60 years. Quiet streets? Well, yeah, because no one lives here! People walking the streets? Of course they are! This town had the highest unemployment rate in the state one year. And this is a BIG state. People weren't just walking the streets...they were living there!

Okay, enough of that. Onto better complaints...We moved into a rent house that had more problems than I'd ever seen. Dirty. No clean water. Holes in the floor. Rats and cockroaches everywhere. No air conditioning in the August, Texas heat. Add to that Cassie went from one of the best school districts in the state to one of the lowest performing. (The teacher told me a few days in that she was having Cassie tutor the kids in the hallway one-on-one. She was 6!!) Wayne's gone from 6am to 11pm. I'm at home with a 6 yr old, a 20 month old and a 6 week old. We knew no one. Not one soul showed up to help or to welcome us. I was miserable, depressed, angry, bitter...if it was negative, I was feeling it.

I'll warn you...I'm trying to sucker you into my mindset. Get you to see it from my world, cause then maybe what I tell you next won't seem as unlikely, or as stupid, as it really is. Because it was then that I told Wayne that we had to get out of that house. Now. NOW. Ever felt that way? You can't take one more day of whatever it is. I remember I was crying, shaking even when I said it. So Wayne made some calls and sure enough, through the grapevine, we heard of a house that was being rented right now. Maybe they'd be willing to sell it. The answer was YES! with a few conditions. They were non-negotiable on the price. Whatever, I said. I was in no position to bargain.

Thus began the following stupidity...we couldn't get a loan for their asking price due to all the debt we carried. Considering we had 13 small loans and credit cards, a car loan and school loans at this time, that wasn't surprising. We also had no down payment. But what I did have was a finance degree from a university which taught me all sorts of creative ways to finance your life. (Ask me sometime how I managed to get to England using a Dillards card. Yes. I'm serious.) So, we arranged with the owners to take out another small loan from them to get to their asking price...arranged with the mortgage company to extend us the sum they would...and charged the down payment on the house to a credit card. Yep. You heard me right. We charged a house. (And no, you're not supposed to be able to do it. And no, I won't teach you how.)

So, over the course of the next few weeks we slowly moved...one night at a time, hauling stuff over in the back of the car or a coach's truck after Wayne would come home from football. But I was happy. The girls had a home we could live in. They could actually get down onto the floor without concern they'd fall through it! I settled in and settled down. We got Cassie rolling in her second school (first one burned down a few weeks after we arrived...again, another story...) and even made friends with the people we bought the house from. Things were looking up. We found TBC, got started with a small group of wonderful families, started working on the debt problem and the bigger problem in our hearts towards money.

The Lord so convicted us at this time in so many different ways. We knew that we had been stupid in getting this house. But as He often does, He blessed us despite ourselves and brought us to a good place in our home, in our marriage, with our children and with our money. We prospered there. So, now you're thinking...Wait. They even sin and He blesses them. What's up with that? Well, it's right about here that the story takes the turn. But since you've been reading for a while, I'll finish that thought tomorrow.

1 comment:

Kim Luttrell said...

Kim- Being a coaches wife I can relate. I think that the best times that I can remember are when we had absolutely nothing except for God. I cannot wait to read more. From Kim in Georgia
PS I sent you a email. Did you get it?