Monday, January 21, 2008

"The Rest of the Story"

I have to go back about five years in order for you to appreciate the story I am about to tell. When we left TN and moved back to Fl we had great aspirations of owning our own home. We moved into a rental home while we looked at our options. We very quickly found out that homes in our price range were in bad repair or in neighborhoods that Harold wouldn't feel safe leaving his family alone in when he has overnight trips. So we opted to keep renting for awhile. About a year later we decided to start looking into putting a double-wide on campus. We did some research and found the manufacturer that was most highly recommended, their closest dealer was a company that had put a couple of others on campus. We found a lender, went and put a down payment of half the total amount down. During this time we moved out of the house we were renting and into a very small trailer, that since that time has been condemned and torn down, to save money. It was a couple of months later that we found out that we were number 36 in the line of victims of a fraud scam. Not only were we not getting the home we ordered, but we now were also out $36,000 that we had to make monthly payments on. The amount of our debt greatly limited our options for housing, FEA had nothing else available for rent, so we found ourselves in a desperate situation. Our furniture was stored in the Tabernacle and we needed to get it out soon, the trailer was so full of mold that I was constantly worried for the kids health (Collin had tubes put in his ears and his tonsils and adenoids removed during this time), besides the fact that we couldn't even fit enough beds in for everyone. It was a blessing from God when someone came to us and said that they were taking a pastorate and would like to sell us the double-wide that they had put in a couple of years before. They offered us a wonderful deal with payments we could afford on top of the money we had lost. So even though it was 700sq. ft . smaller than the one we ordered we moved in and it has been our home for the last 3 1/2 yrs. We went through years of litigation as crime victims before we were able to recover most of our lost money. During this time the housing marked skyrocketed out of sight. It was a situation that Satan used against me to the fullest extent. I became obsessed with looking for houses, I had my eyes on what everyone else had and I lost peace and contentment. Finally one day while driving down US1 I said "God you have to take away this obsession and help me to be content with what I have". I was finally able to release the situation to God and experience the power of being able to forgive someone for a wrong done. Since that time I have been content with the home God gave us. That is not to say that there are no problems, but the resentment I struggled with for so long is gone.
Now for the part you've all been waiting for. Back in Nov. while Harold was on a break at work, he decided on a whim to check out some real estate sites. This house suddenly popped up. His response was "No Way". He called our friend Arnie, real estate agent, to inquire. Arnie said "there's nothing like that in Hobe Sound", but he did some quick research and called us back. It was a foreclosure that had been listed in the wrong county. Therefore we found it before the real estate people did. He got us in to see it that afternoon and we decided to make an offer. After a few negotiations we had first option at the house for less than the asking price. We talked to all the financial experts we know and the answer was the same, "there's no way you can go wrong". Now our problem was to sell our trailer so we wouldn't have two payments at the same time. The next miracle is that someone offered to finance the house for us until we sell the trailer, therefore giving us only one mortgage payment to make. This is also great since we have to do some remodeling on the house, we have a place to live until the house is ready. Everything was going along great until the job I had been on for the last 2 1/2 yrs suddenly ended. I won't go into the details, but it was an unjust situation. Our monthly income was cut in half, but we were under a contract that we couldn't get out of. God has been so faithful to us through this situation. Our monthly support for this month was enough to cover the bills. Harold started working 8hrs on Sat, and just yesterday I got a job offer that will last until March. So the monthly income is made up.
We closed on the house last week and now are in over our heads remodeling. The people who lost the house must not have been too happy. They took the toilets, sinks, hot water heater etc. etc, etc. Thankfully our mortgage was enough to cover the cost of renovation. We are having the time of our lives. We would much rather remodel it ourselves and have the reward of living in our own design, to our own taste. It mostly needs cosmetic repair, flooring and paint, besides the toilets and stuff. I will be keeping a record of our renovation progression for all who are interested. I might even ask for your opinion every once in awhile. I promise that there will be before and after pictures for your viewing enjoyment. I realize that this has been a rather long post, but you couldn't get how wonderful God has been to us if I didn't tell "the rest of the story".

PS Please help us pray that we can sell our trailer. Maybe God can use it as a miracle for someone else.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Roller Coasters

Roller coasters are one of those things in life that you have to acquire a taste for. Just think about the first one you ever rode on, you stood in line with your heart pounding and your stomach churning. If you're like me someone had to plead with you not to run away. Finally you got on board, strapped on your seat belt, and the car started to move. You thought that surely you would have a heart attack as you climbed the first hill, but amazingly you made it through every hill and every loop. As you climbed off you said, "that was awesome, what a ride!". The problem is (at least for me) that it is usually a few years before you have the opportunity to ride one again. That means that once again you have to talk yourself into climbing aboard. As you stand in line you remind yourself of all the other roller coasters that your rode on and survived. You watch the people in control of the ride and realize that they know what they are doing. You listen to the people who are getting off the ride and hear them say "what a ride!". Your confidence builds until you are able to climb aboard once again ready for what is in store. In life it seems that we have our own version of roller coaster rides. For the last few weeks we have been on one of these rides. This week we are headed into one of the "upside down loops". We are confident that when the ride ends we will find that everything was under control the whole time and we are better off for having stayed on to the end. I promise that there will be a story to tell, but I won't start it until ,in the words of Paul Harvey, I can tell "The rest of the story". I've included a little video called "Assisted Mobility". Sometimes it's nice to know that there is another person out there who can relate to the ups and downs of life.