I have a few moments at Mom's to write, so I thought I would paint a more vivid picture of God's gracious timing and hand in our house buying experience...
Ever since Andrew and I bought our first house (on Little Pine Road) we knew it was a great start for us, but our dream was to have an old farm in the country - a place brimming with character just waiting to be dusted off and appreciated again. Not knowing the imaginary ideal would or could actually exist, we talked about instead, renovating our small rambler and growing a glorious garden. Then we would wonder how much of ourselves we should pour into a house that could only handle so much of our creativity before it started looking like something from Hansel and Gretel.
We thought we received our answer from God around Christmas time in 2005. We decided we needed a little adventure in our lives, so we were going to move to Colorado. "Shake the dust of this crummy little town and see the world," as George Bailey would say. But, while we were out in Colorado Springs checking on apartments and jobs in June that year, we found out God had a much bigger adventure in store for us - name: Oliver Isaac. So, we turned around and started settling back into our lives in Brainerd.
A year and a half went by with little or no action in our house saga. Our time was spent expecting, then experiencing our baby boy. Then in November last year, our neighbor called Andrew. His daughter was interested in buying our house. When Andrew told me we should sell I started crying, but in the end we knew it had to be God - we probably couldn't have sold if we tried, instead a buyer was sent right to us. We signed a purchase agreement in December, and started exploring the countryside for our new house...farm.
The search turned up one place we put an offer in on. It was good, not great. I'm now thankful that someone else snatched it up instead. We also came across a beautiful old farm that was abandoned, but quaking with potential. After hunting down the owners by way of the platte book and world wide web, we met with them, but they weren't willing to sell. We're also praising God that that didn't work out.
Then we found it. It was just about a month until closing on Little Pine, and we were getting discouraged. We even came to the conclusion that we were going to have to settle for just anything, because our dream didn't exist in reality. We were scheduled to look at two farms with our realtor, Joel. The first was a total bust. I tried not to get too hopeful as we drove the few miles to the second prospect. We passed a couple 'for sale' signs on 5 Mile that said "I'll be on the market forever." As we came to a clearing, there it was - pristine in the early summer greenery surrounding it. The house, the outbuildings (minus the barn), the towering white oaks...everything was just as we'd imagined.
Two days later we put an offer in. The farm had only been on the market a few days, but the owners and listing agent were reviewing six offers by the time we got ours in. We waited anxiously all that day... Andrew came home from work with the news that we were first runner up, but ultimately someone else got it. I bawled.
Then later that week Joel called us back to say that the deal fell through. The buyers, on the final walk-through before closing, found two inches of water in the basement. So, 'what Satan intended for evil [wet basement], God intended for good.' We had to reduce our offer because of the extra repairs we would have to make on the basement. We waited a weekend, which in its entirety felt like an eternity. Joel called. We got it. God is good.
And that's how we came upon our new little farm, a dusty one indeed.