Exactly one year ago today, The Outdoorsman and I decided to do something unprecedented. We decided to throw caution to the wind and completely trust God with our future. We had always trusted Him with our lives and our children, but this move was a big risk for our family. Nothing made sense. Nothing seemed possible. Nothing held us back.
Miss Sunshine had come home from college for the weekend to crown the new Homecoming Queen at her high school and I would say that God used that event and the coinciding weekend as a game changer for our family. The Trooper was with us that weekend as well and The Outdoorsman had just finished his first week of work at his new job in the Austin area. Our son, Braveheart, was not able to join us at home that weekend. My little family descended upon our very quiet and lonely home in the Houston area for what we thought was a regular weekend. It was loads of fun visiting with Miss Sunshine’s former dance team members and watching her crown the new Homecoming Queen.
The Outdoorsman had already moved to the Austin area the weekend before and was planning to live in a travel trailer until I relocated in May. In our original plan, I was supposed to finish up my school year in the Houston area and then sell our home during the following summer. We felt that I definitely needed that much time to get the house shaped up for our impending move nine months later. Our plan was a perfectly logical and thought out plan.
Enter in God. The moment my little family began walking out the door after our weekend together at home, God made it crystal clear to me that He didn’t want all five of us living in separate cities for one more day. As my family stood at the door to tell me goodbye before heading back to Austin and Waco, I literally could not stop crying. After they left, I continued crying and could not make myself stop no matter how hard I tried. My sense of independence was completely shattered. I didn’t think I could take one more day of holding down the fort in Houston while every member of my family was over three hours away from me. I have always thought of myself as extremely self-sufficient and independent, but God shattered that in a moment as I watched them drive away.
That night via a long-distance phone conversation, The Outdoorsman and I decided to take the plunge and pursue the purchase of a thirty-acre ranch we had found on the internet. When looking for our land, we pinpointed where our two older children were attending college and where The Trooper resided with her mother and then we drew a triangle on the map connecting those three locations. We then looked at listings within the area of the triangle. We had driven to the area to see a property about 45 miles from Austin a couple of days before and immediately fell in love with the property and location. During that phone conversation, The Outdoorsman and I decided to make an offer on the land and for me to look for a new teaching job somewhere in the Austin area. Never mind that we still owned our house in League City and it wasn’t even close to being ready to put on the market. Within a week, God opened up a job opportunity for me and I secured an interview and the job offer in a local school district. It was not the school district near the ranch we were planning to purchase, but it was close enough so I pursued it and, eventually, worked there for a semester until a job opening in our local district became available.
We had been told that the ranch would be very difficult to purchase and that several people had put offers in that had been rejected, but our offer was accepted within a week of our initial negotiations. We actually purchased the farm for an amount at the very bottom of our predetermined price range! Contrary to what we had been told by several people, we found the owner to be agreeable, pleasant, and downright kind in all of our negotiating over the land. As I mentioned in an earlier blog entitled “Runaway Train”, our entire lives were changed in a span of thirty days. During a thirty-day time period, my husband started his new job, I secured my new job, and we purchased our dream ranch. It still doesn’t seem real.
Looking back, it seems as if this all occurred eons ago. Years at least. It is difficult to believe it was only one year ago that everything changed in a marvelous way for our family of five. It has only been nine months since we made the permanent move to this area and we are already plugged in to our little community. Working, teaching, worshipping, shopping, and living our daily lives all within miles of our farmhouse. We feel as if we have been here for years. We are thrilled that our children already consider it home.
We are looking forward to spending the remainder of our lives in this quiet, beautiful, and glorious place. God is most definitely a game changer.