I feel the need to blog about our current house. Well, we actually have two. Why in the world do we have two?! But, I'm talking about August Road - the one we are living in. It is a beautiful house. Great wood floors, granite countertops, tile in the bathrooms, etc... We built this house about 3 years ago. It isn't huge - about 1700 square feet - 3 bedroom, 2 bath. We have great neighbors, live on a quiet street... Those are the details. It has been a great place to live and we are thankful for it.
More importantly though, this house has been a lesson from the Lord. I shudder to think what would happen to us if we viewed things as if they were actually ours and not His. Sure we make the payments, clean up messes, take care of maintenance, and keep up with the yard (mildly), but that is definitely all by his marvelous grace... especially since we bought this when the market was high - so we have premium mortgage payments for a very average house. Thankfully though, we are able to make them. That's not what this is about.
You see, we decided this week to put our house on the market. Everyone knows the market is terrible right now and we've received some pretty crazy looks and comments when people found out. "Just hold on to it and the market will jump back up - you'll be set in a few years." "I bet the Lord has something fabulous just waiting for you." And then the ever-popular explanation of why it is a bad time to sell right now - as if we are complete idiots and have neither sought wise counsel or thought of things from every possible angle. People are funny with their opinions. It is hard not to be swayed by them sometimes. But really, the only opinion that matters is our Father's.
There's so many details that matter to us and wouldn't really matter to whoever is reading this - so I'll leave those out. But, long-story-short, we have been going through Financial Peace University for the last two months and have one month to go. While sitting through these classes, we've been convicted about our spending and have felt the weight of debt. It has been interesting because for the most part, Russ and I are not wanton spenders. We're actually pretty frugal and sensible with money. For some reason, in this area of owning a house (or two!), the Lord is allowing us to experience what debt feels like, what bad decisions feel like, and also what it feels like to be obedient as he leads.
Oftentimes where the Lord leads you is directly opposing what everyone else thinks you should do. And our American minds can't possibly decide to do something that wouldn't eventually benefit us! As if our decision to follow Christ is only good for what we stand to gain from it. The god of self is alive and well in the U.S. of A! Sure the Lord does lead us into bountiful places - and loves to - but let us not forget that there are times when that doesn't look how we think it will, and the lesson learned far richer than what we imagined.
This is where we're at. Learning lessons and aiming for simple obedience - even when it makes no sense. The house might sell, it might not. We're not quite sure what to expect. Our goal is to "owe no man anything but love." Debt is a vice, a trap, a cycle that we return to over and over again, like a dog to its vomit. So what's wrong with us wanting to shed that at all cost? Apparently a lot, based on the comments we've received! Like we're crazy people who make crazy decisions! I might be biased, but I think our decision-making track-record is fairly stable...
So... just a few thoughts (a very small percentage of what our actual conversations and prayers have contained), but if you're in the market for a beautiful house on Johns Island... let the games begin! And if not, join us in prayer - not only that our house sells - but that our lives look like Christ, that every decision is brought under His direction and care, and that we would be a people who honor our Lord, who's hearts are close to His, and who's lives reflect that...