Once upon our Farm
This one time we had the greatest little home. Two of our children were born right there and many happy years of our lives were shared within those walls. It was our little haven. The place where all of our kids slept together in one room, on one bed. Not because it was the only room available, or the only bed available, but because they were most comfortable all together, limbs draped over each other.
We had a little yard where we played every day. Leaves to rake and jump in in the fall. Snow to bury ourselves in in the winter. Four raspberry plants that we started and that grew to four hundred. A garden that we built and that got bigger every year. A flock of chickens that sometimes laid eggs for us and sometimes didn’t.
Our dad (my love) came home to us happily every day, sometimes early, sometimes not, and for the past year or so when the kids would greet him he would reply, “We bought a farm today!”
“Dad, really?” “Mom, is he joking again?” “When are we moving?” “Dad! Why do you always say that?” The kids would get excited and ask questions and I would smile and later, after they were in bed, I would ask him why he always did that to the kids. Why was he getting all of our hopes up every day? Jeff would always reassure me, “Because one day, it’s going to be true,” he would say.
And then one day. All of a sudden. It was true.
There had been a lot of other farms we were, “going to buy.” A handful of, “okay, this is really it!”s. There were days, or maybe months years that we thought we were the ones in charge, only to find that that didn’t ever get us anywhere. The Lord didn’t find our farm for us. It was here all along. He prepared us though, for this new adventure and it’s funny how we never know what we are being prepared for.
After preparing all year we put our greatest little home on the market last July, after returning from what might be the last vacation we ever take. We listed it by owner and hoped that the right family would find it and fall in love, like we had 9 years prior. Nothing happened. Then one day an older lady came with cash and seriously considered buying our home. No master bath led her to change her mind and keep looking.
Jeff fell in love with a place out in Everson. I wouldn’t really call it even a place, but rather, a gigantic project. It was a nice piece of land with a want to be house. It was a long ways out of town. He really wanted it. The investment of it pulled him in. We prayed about it. It seemed fine. I knew I could be happy there if that’s where we were supposed to be. We debated back and forth and decided to make an offer. They accepted. The offer was for 60 days and contingent on us selling our house. Our house didn’t sell. No one called on our house. I prayed and prayed, wanting confirmation that our decision was right. One Monday, about 50 days after we made our offer, I pleaded with the Lord to comfort me and to reassure me that we were to move out to Everson. It didn’t come. The feeling that I received was so obviously the opposite. We were truly not supposed to live there. It was this most peaceful feeling of “it’s not time.” When Jeff got home from work that day, (it was a Monday), I told him what I had done and what I had felt. He was considerate of my feelings and we decided to drive out to the house and take some measurements to affirm that our construction plans were adequate. They weren’t. We left there feeling like we had to get out of the offer. It wasn’t going to be what we wanted. That was Tuesday. On Wednesday, after talking, praying… Jeff called the realtor and we pulled out of our offer. On Friday, the first lady who ever looked at our house, who wanted the Master Bath, came to our home, with cash, and made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. Done.
Part way done, that is. Our house sold. It was as if Heavenly Father was waiting for us to pull out of the offer so that we didn’t end up someplace we weren’t supposed to be. The lady who bought our house wasn’t ready to move in so she offered to let us rent back from her until April. Totally ideal for us as well, given by this time it was November and we were starting to get busy with holiday planning and sustaining ourselves during winter weather.
The week after our home sold my aunt called and asked if I could come fill in as a waitress at her restaurant for 12 weeks. My cousin was having back surgery and needed her shift covered. Because Jeff was slow with work and the hours were later in the day it became an opportunity for me to earn a little extra money without taking away from my family. It seemed like the right thing to do so I said I could help out.
Back behind her cafe, off the beaten path of a busy road, was a long driveway with a little sign on the gate in front that read, “For Sale By Owner,” and an email address to inquire about the details. Jeff noticed the sign one day after being at the cafe. He inquired. Never would we have found this opportunity if I hadn’t have been asked to work at my aunt’s cafe.
And that my friends is how we found our greatest little farm. Come to find out the owner of the property is a lady that I worked for when I was in college. She had raised her 3 girls in this home and was ready to downsize after being here for 40 years. She had been hesitant about listing with an agent because she didn’t want someone with a lot of money coming in and wanting to change what she so loved. She was prayerful that a little family would find the farm and be able to negotiate a deal with her to buy the farm and raise their kids, the way she had done.
The first time we came to the farm was on December 6th, on our way out to meet friends at a light parade. All 6 of us showed up, the owner greeted us, gave us a tour and when Adelle walked into the room upstairs with the dainty wallpaper and canopy bed she exclaimed, “Ah! This is the princess’s room!” And from that point on the lady we purchased from was in love with us. The next time we came with our business plan was that next Monday and when we didn’t have our kids with us she was disappointed because she had made them cookies to decorate for Christmas.
The rest is history. After a lot of negotiating and working things out it became apparent that the seller had been praying for us just as we had been praying for this opportunity. Neither of us lacking a family or support but finding in each other a common thread of work, love and faith. When we came to meet with her and crunch numbers lots of evenings I would bring her the leftovers from our dinner and she would be so grateful. I didn’t need a new couch but she chose to leave it for me because she wanted to and because she thought it matched so well with the carpet. We brought boxes over before the deal was even done and when I had to clean my old house I borrowed her steam mop.
There is money involved, obviously. And loans and interest and the sort, but this farm is a miracle and one that we will forever feel grateful for opening our eyes to receive. I knew back in October that it wasn’t our time to move. But this April, when we signed the papers, we were right where we are supposed to be.