Last Thursday we FINALLY moved into our home! OUR home! Like...it's ours! We have to make payments and everything! How exciting! I personally am floored to be able to redo and decorate everything! It will probably take years, but I'm so excited that I can literally do whatever I want to this place! If I wanted, I could knock down all the walls and make it one huge room. If I wanted, I could paint every room lime green and cover the ceiling with glitter. If I wanted, I could take a sharpie and write down all of my thoughts onto my walls and no one could stop me! I probably won't, but I could if I wanted, and that's the point. So to prepare you, I will scatter in some before pictures of our home. They are basically blank walls, but now you can dream with me :)
It felt like the longest process ever, but it finally happened and we are in love with our house!
To give you a little back story, when you are recovering from being poor newlywed college students with no down payment, buying a house and getting a loan takes a lot more paperwork and letters from individuals. On top of that, we actually started buying a completely different house. It was very small, but it had a sweet loft, and who doesn't love a good loft in their house? We almost had all of our papers signed, we were just waiting on the house to be inspected. We knew of a "small" turmite problem that the seller had agreed to fix before we finalized the deal. It turns out, no exterminators were willing to even come and treat the problem because it would be hazardous to their employers(!). Now, I don't know about exterminators, but I would assume they see some crazy stuff, and if our future home was so bad they wouldn't even come out to look at it? That was a huge red flag. So luckily enough, we weren't too far in and were able to get out of that deal.
Then we found this lovely house that some of our church members owned, and upon our first walk-through of the house, Josh was telling me, "Okay, what do you want to offer them?" I was a little more skeptical from our last experience, but when Josh is excited about something, I know that's when he really likes it!
So then each time we go to the bank and each time they're asking for more paperwork (I mean, can't you just give me the moneys already? JK). We get to a point where we finally have everything (we think) and every week for another month we are telling our families, I think this week we can move! If not this week than the next! But because the state fired like their whole office of people that do these loans the week after their whole office had taken a weeks vacation, it took a little longer for the process to go through than normal.
I am thankful for family that even though we were telling them different dates for weeks, they still dropped what they were doing to come help us move! And then there are all of the things that Josh and I are naive about when it comes to home maintenance and fixing things, and I'm pretty sure my dad and grandpa basically restructured our house within those two days of moving.
I apologize for not getting any pictures of anyone helping us move! But, as expected, it was a busy day. We were also graced with a precious church member that brought us homemade ice cream as well as a new neighbor that mowed our yard for us! I also have to mention how two of the men in our church helped us move from Buffalo, the first time at the beginning of this summer as well. It's kind gestures such as those that make me feel so much more welcomed and settled here.
As I have been unpacking everything, I'm thankful again for this new church. I haven't truly bought groceries all summer because we haven't really had a place to make anything. A couple of days before we moved I was making a grocery list of stuff we would need. Then I looked into my pantry my grandma unpacked and I'm pretty sure we are good with canned green beans and rice-a-roni for months! You see, the first week we moved to Shattuck our church suprised us with a "pounding". I had never heard of it either. It's basically where your new church family welcomes you by buying you all of your groceries.
So we had just finished playing games with the youth in the gym. But who am I kidding, I always look like I don't have eyes.
Can I just say how excited this made me to be a part of this church family? I add all of these things to make a point that kind gestures such as these are few and far between anymore, or at least in my experience. We kid ourselves into thinking that opening doors for other people is a kind enough gesture for our day, and while it is kind, I know I often don't think of the ways I could take it a step further to truly be genuine in showing kindness to others. When you open a door for someone or pick something up that someone else has dropped, how much effort does it really take? I'm not saying those kinds of things should be forgotten, I just am saying how are you really getting to know someone when you do that? In my experience in being new in two different small town communities, it's really hard to bridge the gap between being cordial with individuals when running your errands and actually forming a relationship with someone. I struggle anyways because I am just a shyer person. However, I want to be that person. I want to make people feel welcomed into my home if ever they need a warm meal or place to rest their head. I want people to feel that I genuinely care how their week has been. I want people to feel encouraged by me and to feel that I would be there to help them whenever they needed it. I'm not there yet, but it's something I'm working towards. Those people in my life are irreplaceable and I am so grateful for their servant hearts.
So I will end with this, what have you done lately to make someone feel genuinely encouraged by you? Is there anyone new to your community, to your church, or to your place of employment that hasn't really found a group of people yet? When is the last time you had someone that isn't your best friend or family over to your house for a meal? And what is something that someone did for you recently that really made you feel special and meaningful?