In 2008 Keith and I had been married for about 6 years and added two healthy babies to the family. We both had great jobs, our children were flourishing and we had lots of friends. We were “lucky” in many peoples eyes I’m sure. Lucky, but feeling a little cramped in our 2200 square foot house with four bedrooms. It was the summer before Jordan’s senior year in high school and Carly Jo was almost three and still in a crib in our master bedroom.
My eyes were looking towards my friends who were all moving on to bigger and better homes with nicer things, the more “popular” elementary schools and neighborhoods with lots of friends. A new house was all I could think of and I convinced Keith it was time for us to move on up in the world. Our house was listed and so began the search for the perfect home. You know, the one with enough bedrooms, an office, extra living space and big garage and laundry room.
We found the most perfect house with a layout perfect for our family and as “luck” would have it about the same time an offer was made on our house. There were offers and counters on both deals and things were getting so exciting!
On the side I was creating a budget and running numbers over an over in an excel worksheet to make sure we could really afford the new house. If you don’t know already, the mortgage calculator almost always thinks you can afford about 2X more home than you really can; that is if you still want to do anything else in your life. I was doing everything possible to convince myself we definitely could afford this house but I was not paying attention to the uneasiness my husband was feeling.
After the house inspections the buyer requested we replace the outside unit for our air conditioner. We were a little reluctant but our realtor agreed to split it with us so we agreed. That night I finally consulted with the one resource I had failed to ever run any of this by. As I laid down to sleep I prayed to God to give me a certain sign if we were making a mistake. The next morning my realtor called to let me know the buyers backed out. I should have been disappointed but I was immediately relieved.
This was not the first time in my life when I moved forward with a big decision without seeking advice from the one who knows my plan better than I do. I got “lucky” this time. You see, flash forward six months and the construction economy in Texas was not so hot. Keith’s job headed south and our annual income took at $30K+ hit. Jordan was graduating high school and heading to college and we suddenly had an extra bedroom available. Had I not finally turned over a prayer request for a true sign to guide me we would have continued working towards selling our house and moving into a home we could not afford.
Do I still think about a larger house? We have been tossing around the idea lately of moving on but this time I’m looking at my motives, respecting my husbands voice and looking to God for a clear answer. Today I’m feeling so lucky to have strengthened my faith over the years. Learning how to ask God for direction is not an easy choice as sometimes you have to accept the answer is no. This experience taught me in so many ways that no is not always a negative.
How are you feeling lucky today?