Almost two years ago my husband was medically retired from the Army. We moved back to our home state to an area where he would be close to the VA Hospital for medical treatment. Originally we rented a home while we waited for our home at his last duty station to sell. Once it sold we found my dream home. My Forever home!
The house and property needed a lot of work but the vision we had for it was very exciting. Because of the condition it was in, we were able to purchase it far below assessed value. Day after day we worked biting off one small piece of this huge elephant of a project to turn this home into everything I've always wanted.
It was a large home set on a beautiful wooded ridge. We dug our garden, he built our chicken coop, we landscaped the yard, leveled and seeded the back yard, exposed beautiful rock outcroppings that lined our back yard, cleaned up downed trees from the woods, planted an apple orchard, planted walnut trees, put in a strawberry patch, cultivated wild black raspberry patches for optimal harvest, removed invasive weed species, sanded and refinished the decks, finished remodeling projects, painted almost every wall of the house. In other words, we worked our tails off. It was good work, exhausting work, but very fulfilling work. Our children were a part of it the whole time, each tasked with various projects daily throughout the summer.
One day, about four months after purchasing the house, while I was hauling wheelbarrow loads of dirt, RLB said to me: "If we keep going like this making improvements to the property, we might be able to sell this place for quite a profit."
I'm not proud to admit it but I had a bit of a hissy fit right then.
"I'm doing all of this work for ME, not for some other woman to come in here and enjoy."
Yep. In that moment, that is where my heart was.
I was reminded rather quickly and sternly that the work I do I should be doing unto the Lord and to not set my heart on material things.
But it's my home. My beautiful home! It's been so long that we've been moving around, why can't I have this material thing, my forever home?
Fast forward a year and a two months from then and here we are less than a month away from a closing date. I couldn't be more excited! It has sold within market range but for 17% more than we purchased it for. It has sold to a retired Veteran who I am confident will love it just as much as we do. He's also quite fond of many of the items we have in the home and has offered to purchase them.
As I've written about, RLB's back pain and sciatic pain are gone now. He's off all of the pain medications he was on, he's lost over 40 pounds and is healthier than he's ever been. He has no need to live close to the VA Hospital anymore.
The job he had at that location was never intended to be his long term job. It was a transitional job and was not something he wanted to do very much longer. A recruiter had been calling him since he retired offering him positions in other major cities of our state and surrounding states, but never seemed to have one locally. Last summer they called again with a position that would be very hard to turn down due to the financial compensation. At that point we started considering moving again even though this big city where the job was is almost the last city we'd want to live.
This potential job, though, was not what he really wanted to do. Once again he was going to be taking a position that made sense but wasn't his heart's desire. For as long as I've known him, he's wanted to teach and coach.
A whirlwind started at this point. We talked about moving North, closer to where we grew up. The cost of living was much lower up there. He wouldn't need to make as much money for us to have the same lifestyle. What if he could teach there? What if he could coach there?
While he had a physics degree, he didn't have a teaching certificate/license. Little did we know that wouldn't matter. Days later we pinpointed where we'd want to live, looked up the school's job openings, found a position open for a physics teacher, he called, told them about himself, they started the background check process, he went up for an interview, and accepted their offer the next day (pending background check). And, he needed to be there to start working in a month with an emergency teaching license.
The house went up on the market and we worked even harder to finish up as many projects as we could. The search was on to find somewhere temporary to live up in our new city while we waited for the house to sell. This place would have to be reasonably priced, willing to do a month to month or short term lease and accept pets. That's not asking too much is it? At the time we had 10 chickens, six cats and two dogs... RLB's mom came to our house and taught me how to butcher four of our roosters and then graciously adopted the six remaining chickens, the momma cat, and two of the kittens. A friend adopted the other two kittens. Thanks to another friend who put us in contact with former classmate, we were able to find a sweet old man who had a little old house to rent to us that met all of our basic needs.
I sit here now in this 900 square foot, two bedroom, takes 10 minutes to clean, squirrel living under the roof making a ruckus on the ceiling, temporary home. It's cold. Winter has arrived and the lack of insulation and efficient windows make for a very drafty little place. I don't care. I love this place. I love this town. I even love the squirrel.
And, I am absolutely ecstatic how happy my husband is. He is doing something he really loves. I've never seen him like this before. Though for now I don't get to see him much. Wrestling season has started, and what do you know, they needed another coach.
May God keep me convicted to never again set my heart on material things and to always do my work as for the Lord.