"For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace." Ecclesiates 3:1-8
(written February 16th)
Since the last week in January with a bit of heaviness on our hearts, Stephen and I have been seeking God's wisdom and guidance fervently. We are making the biggest decision of our lives. Some would say--"It wasn't getting married or having kids?" No way, this pales in comparison. We have always wanted to have kids and getting married was a no-brainer. But to decide where Stephen is to practice dentistry until he retires is a complete different ball game and in a whole new league. This location will decide where we go to church, where our children go to school, how far we must travel to see family, and who are friends are, just to name a few. This is big!
Just after this initial decision to begin looking for our "resting" place, Stephen volunteered to teach our Sunday School class. Since he was struggling with the subject, he decided to selfishly teach the 2 weeks on "Hearing God's Voice." The first week went well and we became focused on the ways to hear God and some of the obstacles that our in our way to hear Him. The second week, he didn't feel as prepared and was unsure of what to say. But, laying in bed early Sunday morning, God gave him an exercise to use with the class. We each drew names of people in the class and had a minute or two of intercessory prayer asking God to speak to us about the person whose name they had drawn. Whoever had Stephen was given the word "patience." Seems appropriate and it was a very powerful prayer time.
Over Valentine's weekend we went to Dallas to look at 5 practices that were for sale. We saw the first 3 and weren't moved. When it came time for #4 in Allen, there was a snafu with getting into the building so we had to meet with the doctor at the library across the street. Just from our conversation I could tell that he was a godly man--a man to be trusted and who believed in Jesus. He even noted that he sees all clergy for free and all other doctors for half price. We felt at ease and eager to see the office. By the end of our conversation, we were still unable to see the office. We decided to go see the 5th office and keep in touch with the Allen doctor if the office became available.
Office #5 was a bust and we couldn't find an excuse to leave fast enough. By this time it was close to 3:00 pm and our tummys were hungry! As we ate, we discussed what we had seen in the physical buildings that day and what were the pros and cons. A major point for me--the floor where the dental chairs are must NOT be carpeted! Eeeeew!!!! After, we decided to head back toward Allen in hopes that the building was clear. Luckily, the building was now free. As we headed toward the front door I saw a type of cornerstone/plaque. It wasn't on the corner of the building, but in the center between the two doors. I really didn't have time to really read it as we went in, but was able to catch the Scripture--Isaiah 28:16. It reads, "The Lord said, "Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem. It is firm, a tested and precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never run away. "
Now if this isn't a sign from God, I don't know what is unless he flat appeared to me and said, "Jennifer, Stephen--this is it!" I believe He is telling us this is the practice and that no matter what, if we trust in Him, He will not disappoint us and will take care of us. We now have to work out the details and figure out logistics. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I just have to keep remembering to put all my trust in Him. We will be fine.
"Cast all your cares on him because he cares for you." I Peter 5:7
"We are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself." Ephesians 2:20
By the way, this one is free of carpet in the dental chair area! :)
THE SAGA CONTINUES..... (written March 4)
The week after the Valentine's Day meeting I told Stephen that this was pointless to pursue if he can't get out of his contract with his current employer. (Trust me, this was a sticky contract.) He agreed and talked to his boss. When he came home he shared just how kind and understanding his boss was. We were floored. Actually, shocked might be a better description. We didn't even celebrate it was so stunning. This thing was actually going to happen after 10 years. Now, it's still not in writing from the boss. But, I just can't help but believe that God softened his heart.
The 26th of February we drove back up and enjoyed a visit with our college and dental school friends, Trumon and Adrianne. The little boys enjoyed each others company as well, but the visit was too short.
The next morning we headed to Allen to look at houses. We met with two different realtors and looked at several houses, none of which were "the one." Between meetings we stopped off at Custer Road UMC. We took a tour of the Day School there and as we were in the hall a familiar face walked in the door from the playground. It was Melissa, my sister's sister-in-law! I had no idea that she was back in the classroom. It was yet another sign and I plopped down the boys registration.
That evening we left the kids with my future sister-in-law's roommate and we went to visit the other dentist with whom Stephen would be sharing the office space. It was a good meeting and he seems very down-to-earth, trustworthy and reliable--an all around nice guy. There are still tiny details to hammer out, but we are still headed down this path.
After returning home we have been scouring the internet for houses to see for our next trip up during Spring Break. I had really become bummed out because I have realized just how much I LOVE my house here in Sugar Land and how much of a deal we got on it. I haven't been able to find a floor plan that I love. But, last night I think I happened on just the right plan. It was mainly one story with a possibility to build out more on the second floor, but we really don't need that space now. The backyard is big enough for a pool or three. It has just about everything I wanted, but it seemed to be a bit out of our price range.
This morning when Stephen went to call the builder/model home, the price had dropped significantly into our price range! Also, the builder, K. Hovnanian, had gone back into the house and expanded the kitchen! We had our friend, Joe who lives in McKinney go by and look and he had nothing but good things to say about it. Another interesting twist--the plan is called Glenhaven. We are coming from Woodhaven and live right now on Emerald Haven. Ok, it may be a stretch, but put it all together, it just seems to good to be true! Haven is very close to heaven, right?
(wirtten March 10th)
This past week was slow. The dental broker was out of town, my yet-to-be-seen "dream house" was still on the market and we were practicing how clean we could keep the house all week. So, we tried to be as patient as possible and wait on God's timing. There was really no true reason to rush things. It was just that we felt like our momentum was lost. All in all it wasn't.
Friday we made appointments for Monday with two realtors for our Sugar Land house. Stephen again called the builder in Allen to "check" on things and they said they would take it off the market for a small fee of which we could get a partial return if we decided against the house.
Come Monday, we sent the builder a check to take it off the market and decided on our Sugar Land realtor, Kim. I have finished most of MY projects and now we have a few specialized people coming in to finish up. It should be on the market by the end of this week just in time for Spring Break viewing which is perfect for us since we will be in Grand Saline and Dallas for most of next week.
(written March 11th)
This morning was a whirlwind! The housekeeper came to clean and the carpet repair guys were here too. I had a casserole and a salad to make as well as keeping Kendrick entertained. The house was a flurry of busy-ness. Kim's assistant came to take pictures of the spic and span spotless house and there is now a key box on the front door. The sign will be in the yard this afternoon.
Again I am in a state of shock. We have been trying to leave for 3 years now. We have talked about it. Many opportunities have come and gone and we have remained. I am going to miss my house. I am going to miss my neighbors. I am going to my friends. I am going to miss my church. But, God knows there is something better for us somewhere else and I am trusting Him.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path." Proverbs 3:5
"Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart's desires." Psalms 37:3
I have also been thinking of my new life in Allen and what it holds. Besides raising my children, what does He have in store for me? Where will my path lead? There is a reason I am certain--some purpose that I am to fulfill. I am very excited and interested to see how it evolves, but I pray that I am just what Dr/ Pace's sermon was about on Sunday--being the salt (or the pepper these days) of the earth and letting my light shine. I pray that whatever path I go down I remember that it is not all about me. I will build on what is good. I will be a consistent anchor or sign that others orient their live to and by my words and actions I will point to God.
(written March 12th)
Not even 24 hours after the sign went in the yard we had a showing. They stayed in the house for about and hour and fifteen minutes. Almost immediately after they left Kim called to say that the buyers were already asking for a seller's disclosure and an early move in date! OMG!!! How can this be? We were hoping for sometime in the summer and listed in the spring thinking that this would take so much longer. We can't move until we first close on our house in Allen and it won't be ready until May 1st. What will tomorrow bring?
(written March 17th)
After another wonderful playdate with the Davis' in Flowermound, we spent the 16th and 17th with our friends, Kelli and Joe,who live just north of our new house in McKinney. They hadn't seen the kids in about a year and it was fun to watch them together. Cavett just couldn't get enough of the two.
Update--March 13th we received our first official offer. It was low. Too low and the move in date was wrong. After both parties counter offering, we called it quits. However, it was Friday and I headed off to take Cavett to school. While I was there I saw Tiffany Nuno, one of Cavett's friend's Mom. (Alex, the dad, is also Cavett's soccer coach.) She asked about the offer and showing. We continued on to our MOPS meeting and another neighbor, Nichole began drumming up more business for us.
Later that afternoon, Tiffany called back to ask me more about my house and specifically our neighbors on the street. By 6:00 the Nunos were with our realtor and looking at our house. We had offer #2 by Sunday. The offer was a good one with one caveatt--a contingecy of their house selling. In the meantime, the house was still being shown and we were in Grand Saline for the weekend. We held off an answering their offer because we were told that we would have another offer by Monday. Offer #3 was even better with no contingency.
The Nunos sent us another offer matching offer #3's price, but still with the contingency. What to do???? My heart says go with Offer #2 and pray that their house sells quickly. But these contingencies could stack up making it difficult. Offer #3 logistically is a no-brainer. I guess it is a good problem to have, but I want everyone to be happy also.
(written March 19th)
On Tuesday, Kim made us make a decision about which offer to accept. After some prayer and hearing many say, "Do what is best for your family," we chose offer #3. Not 20 minutes later, Kim called us back and said that the Nuno's took off the contingency. So, we changed our minds.
Yesterday, we signed the contract and met the Nuno's in the front yard to play while the Dads looked at the attic space. Cavett was excited to see Mason and let him know that he was going to live in his house. Everybody is happy. What more can you ask for! Thank you God! What a blessing!!!
(written March 20th)
This evening we decided to go out in the yard and check on the sprinklers. We are having the inspection on Sunday and wanted a clean bill of health. Well, the whole front of the front yard was not coming on. So Stephen started to dig and find the problem. As we were digging, the Nuno's drove up. Ooops. Doesn't really matter though, it will get fixed. But, they had good news! Their house went on the market today and had their first showing and a full price offer!!!! We are all going to have to be flexible on closings, but I know we can work this out! Praise GOD!!!(written March 23rd)
Today Stephen talked with his boss and he is still willing to let him out. Those details are going to be worked out on Wednesday and I am trusting that God guides his boss and his decisions. We should hear back about our loan for our Allen house this week and Stephen will apply for the dental loan once we hear about the house one. But he said it should be not be an issue.
So, there it is. Quite a story and a big reason why I haven't been blogging the way I had been previously. This saga has taken all our time, energy, effort and thought. Every waking moment had been on some aspect of this ordeal. We truly appreciate everyone who has been praying for us...some of you for years now. It has paid off. We are so blessed by God and his power! He really does have a plan. We thank Him for all of our friends and we will miss you, Houstonians. As for you Dallas-ites (is that what you call yourselves?), we are looking forward to more time with you and making new friends as well.