"If you were to examine our finances, peek at our credit and plan things out it’s really quite unattainable. On the other hand, Handsome Hippie Hubby and I have never put much stock in the words “that’s just not realistic.” Things that are meant to be have a way of coming to pass."
I wrote those words in August, 2013. I was talking about owning our own little homestead. (Read the original post.)
Today I am over-the-moon to share with you our big news.We bought the farm!
If you don't believe in the power of thinking out your dreams and writing them down, speaking about them and praying, let me (since I'm a farmer now) plant a little seed.
I know not all of my readers are Christian, but I can't share this story without including my faith. I hope that you will read it and be inspired and encouraged by it even if your beliefs aren't exactly like mine.
The dream: "There is a sweet little house with a great big chimney and lots of wood and windows."
The reality: The house is adorable! It was built around 1870 and has been very well cared for over the years. It's been added to and expanded (indoor plumbing and all) and it does, indeed, have lots of wood and windows: Lovely, modern, tilt-in, multi-pane widows. Anyone who has lived in a house with single pane windows from 1870 knows that is NOT the best part of a vintage home.
Sadly, the wood burning stove and chimney were removed years ago but maybe, in time, we can add them back in.
The dream: "When you come in you can practically feel the love of the families that lived there before us. You can see their mark in the well-worn stair treads and the banisters polished from hundreds of little hands."
The reality: This house has been owned, for the past 140 years or so, by a succession of people who are all members of the same family. They are the kindest, gentlest, most loving family you could ever hope to know. We feel as though we've not just bought a home but been adopted into this wonderful group of people who really and truly display the Love of Christ and everything good about being Christian in every moment of their lives. They are the kind of people who truly and honestly love their enemies and give the coat off their back to one who needs it, without question or hesitation.
The dream: "... a room just for music stuff."
The reality: Just part of a room. It's a wonderful house but not very large. However, Sweet Hippie Daughter's bedroom is much bigger than the average bedroom and one end is curtained off. She already has plans to turn it into a "stage" and keep all of her instruments there. Perfect!
The dream: "Not too far from the house there’s a barn with a corner set aside as work space for my random building projects."
The reality: It's just like that! With a work bench and pegboard all set up and waiting to be dusted off and put to use.
The dream: "Around the edges of the property there are lots of trees, maybe even a full-blown “woods” and there is definitely some kind of water nearby. If you listen closely you can hear the fish and frogs splashing."
The reality: The yard is just under 2 acres and it's almost an even split between gorgeous old-growth trees and lovely wide-open spaces. Directly across the street there is a river and, on the other side of the river, a woods. A drainage ditch runs from our property, under the road, into the river: A ditch where fish and frogs were splashing the last time we were there.
The dream: "There’s a dozen or so chickens in an especially fun coop, maybe a few goats and possibly a sheep."
The reality: Our first six chicks have already been purchased and are being kept safe and warm for us until they're ready to move into their coop. Admittedly, their first coop is going to be a pretty generic "starter home" but we have all the time in the world to work up to "especially fun." Goats and sheep ... maybe next spring. I think we have enough on our plate for now!
A note about baby chicks: these may be the most entertaining creatures God has put on the earth. Who knew?! They are just about more cuteness and silliness than a person can bear!
Extra bonus features of this house: It is outside the village limits, which means we get to have animals and we can put any size garden we please in any part of the yard. However, it is the FIRST house outside the village limits, which means our street gets plowed for us in the winter and we have BOTH city and well water. Hooray for options!
There is plenty of wide open space and fields but, the property that is adjacent to the back of our land is the school. That means that, basically in our back yard we have a football field and tennis courts, a track, several playgrounds and some excellent bike riding/skateboarding space for the kids.
Since we are close to town, Sweet Hippie Daughter will still be able to ride her bike to her best friend's house. Being isolated from other children was one of her biggest concerns about moving to the country. No such worries in this house!
Handsome Hippie Hubby has always wanted his own grape vines. We figured, wherever we go, we could just plant some but these are already mature!
You may say that anyone can find a place that suits their dream if they look long enough. Perhaps. But I hope you'll read this part...
Call it manifestation or whatever you like. I don't get hung up on terms. I believe in God. I believe that He gave us all kinds of tools - from the strength of our minds and bodies to the vibrations of our words - to help us bring about the desires of our hearts. With that in mind I call what happened nothing less than a miraculous answer to prayer.
We've lived in our current house for 3 1/2 years. It's a nice little house inside the village limits. We've liked it very much but it was never "the dream."
The house is owned by one of the churches in town. Over the past several months they've been trying to decide what to do with the house. Renting has been OK for us and for them but it's not their dream, either. Being a landlord can be costly at times. They are paying a property manager, taxes, maintenance, etc. Decisions have to be made by a council which can be tricky and time consuming. They have been considering various ways to use the house as a ministry instead of just a rental house. They didn't want to chuck us out on our bums or raise our rent beyond our means, but still... they have been wanting to move forward.
We've been wanting to move forward, too. None of us have been quite sure what that was going to look like.
Several weeks ago they called us and told us that they would like to have some people come tour the house. These folks were from an agency that provides housing for homeless families in our county. We were assured that we weren't being evicted or anything ... the church council was just continuing to consider various options for the future.
Handsome Hippie Hubby and I talked about it. We knew we really weren't in a financial position to call a realtor and buy a house in the traditional way. "When it is time, when it is ours, it will come to us in a perfect way," He reminded me.
Our prayers, together and individually, went something like this, "God, you know the desires of our hearts. Please lead us to exactly the right home. We don't want to get in over our heads, so please let this work out in a perfect way that turns out to be a blessing to everyone involved."
Stubborn mule that I am I started searching the classifieds and trolling the streets for, "For Sale By Owner" signs. Of course, nothing came of any of that except some wasted gas.
The day after the inspectors came through our house I was working in the church kitchen with two other ladies. As we chopped fruit for an event we were hosting the next day we talked about this and that and the subject of houses came up. I told them that we felt it was getting close to time for us to move but we had no idea where to go. "So, if you know of a house in the country, in our price range, that we can buy with our current resources just let me know," I said, mostly joking.
"My daughter is selling the house you're describing," the one woman said. "In fact, I mentioned to my husband just last night that we should tell you folks about it because I know you've been wanting to move out of the village limits. She's been renting it to a friend, but the friend moved out and she wants to sell it now."
I smiled. That was nice. I'm sure it was a lovely home that we would never be able to get financing for.
Turns out God works His wonders in various ways and we'll be closing on the sale any day now. The daughter is out from under the vacant house she no longer wanted to deal with. The church is free to move forward with their plans and their ministry to the homeless. We have our little farm on terms we can afford.
Blessings upon blessings!
I can't wait to share with you all of our adventures as we move forward into this new chapter of our lives!
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!
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