Dream Saga Series: In the Fullness of Time

Timing is everything.

That phrase is something I've heard my entire life and after the last few months, I firmly believe it. 

For those who are following along with our journey to our "new, old farmhouse," it's been quite the ride, which you can read about here.

This last week or so has been a flurry of getting keys, driving out to the farmhouse from my parent's house (about 1/2 hour each way) and dropping off things, ripping out carpet and finding beautiful hardwood floors...

Our buried treasure under old carpet (some 70+ years!)

...which then required hours of pulling up carpet, levering up tack board and approximately 1000 carpet staples, and then yesterday, my husband used a drum sander on about 3/4 of the 1200 sq. ft. of flooring we have to do.

What was in the closet...so we had an inkling of what could be.

Before we can refinish, we had to pull up lots of tack strip and staples. Lots.

The machine Rylie was attached to for 36 hours.

I had to beg him to pose for this photo. At this point, he hated everything.

But, let me back up a bit. That first day after got the keys on a Friday night, we drove out here and it was magical.

The kids got right in the pool....and stayed there all day. The water slide was an instant hit, and I think they finally got out reluctantly six hours after they got in. It was such a joy to be working around the house and hear their shrieks of delight.

Seeing the joy on my son's face as he rode his bike around our long oblong driveway warmed my heart. This was something he was not able to do at our old house without me sitting outside and waving down cars that shot down the street like they were in a drag race.

That day, we put up our mailbox...

There was no existing mailbox on the property when we bought it.

I picked all of this (and some not shown) one morning.

...picked a bevy of fruit to take back with us and pinched ourselves multiple times. It was actually real. This amazing property was ours. Ours.

So while Rylie worked at a summer camp that first week, the kids and I came out every day. My mom helped me pull up and replace shelf paper and unpack a few kitchen boxes.

My mom hates putting down shelf paper, but she loves me more!

There are myriad of projects to be done and I found myself forgetting to eat and blinking and realizing it was 7 p.m. and the kids needed dinner. 

We planned to keep driving back and forth until the floors were finished...until we got out here last Thursday and found that someone has stolen our pool sweep and several other items out of the pool area. It felt like such a violation and an assassination attempt on our dream.

I called the police station, who then called the Sheriff's office (apparently we are county, not city....good to know), who took an hour to respond but were very nice. The good news is that there haven't been any reports on this property or street of theft or crime. But the bad news is that we were now without a very expensive pool sweep that the previous owner had left for us and I now had a creeped out feeling that someone had been watching us and knew the one day that we didn't drive out to the house and choose that one to come and liberate us of our stuff.

Stuff is not so important. But feeling safe is priceless. We decided that we needed to begin staying the night out here. So, my hubby drove out that night and stayed over and drove into work the next day. And I brought out clothes and toiletries and stayed with the boys the following night. (The girls had plans "in town" overnight with friends and Rylie was staying at my parent's house by the storage unit since he had to be up and over there early to unload it into a moving truck with some help from friends.)

I will admit that last Friday night wasn't my best night of sleep. I heard every noise -- every creak, every howl, every drip. And I was a bit worried. 

You see someone had stolen something from me -- and it wasn't someone in human form. It was the enemy trying to steal my joy. After that first restless night, I decided I wouldn't allow him to do that and that I would not be living in fear.

So, the next day (Saturday), I set up a tent inside the house for the boys to have a magical play/sleep area and I got to work. Our "moving crew" arrived and in about an hour, they completely unloaded the rental truck full of our stuff from storage and our POD into our garages (due to the floors being torn up inside.) The breakfast burritos that I found and purchased were consumed and given a thumbs up. They wished us well. They drove away and...we got to work. 

The washer and dryer were moved in and the refrigerator was hooked up. The kitchen table was brought in and set up and I let out a cheer when I unearthed my coffee pot and put it in its new rightful place (this blog is powered by that coffee pot, FYI).

That evening we were treated to a gorgeous painted sky and I got to see and hear the sounds of joy coming from my boys and their dad as they played on the lawn.

 (It can be difficult to see the splendor of the sun going down when you are surrounded by other houses.)

Sunday dawned and our plans to sand the floor seemed a bit ambitious after all of that moving the day before. So we went to church, grabbed some things at Costco, spent way too long in Lowe's, grabbed our cats from my sister's house (her family has been cat-sitting for three + weeks!), grabbed some things from my mom's house and headed home. It felt so good to say that.

Due to youth group outings and slumber parties, that Sunday night was the first night we all stayed out here and even though we were all in the same two rooms, it felt great to have all my "chickens under one roof."

Sleeping in a tent makes everything more fun!

A quality blow up mattress is well-worth the price!

Swimming all day makes for good sleep at night.

Through it all, we have had a steady stream of friends who have come out to see us, which I completely love. You see, I enjoy having people over and feeding them and chatting about life and whipping up dessert concoctions on a whim. I love hostessing. However, our old house didn't lend itself so well to that. Part of my dream for a country house was to offer a place of peace and rest to friends and family. "To slow time down," as Ann Voskamp would say.

On Monday, I had two amazing friends, Suzanne and Pam, drive out and work in my mud room to get old shelf paper up and out and put down new paper. They organized all my laundry and cleaning products in the cabinets too. To be able to walk in a do a load of laundry without tripping over boxes and bins was a gift.

The fruits of their labor. I got to reap the harvest!

Awhile later, another friend, Debbie, and her family came out to see the house, swim and stay for dinner. After falling in love with farm life after visiting Trevino Farms with the kids, we spent a lot of last year driving out to the Kimzey Ranch for horseback riding lessons for my daughter. I credit those hours with helping seal the deal of our desire to make this "country life" move. So, it was great to be able to show them around and see the appreciation and joy for us in their eyes.

That night, I cooked my first meal on my amazing "looks old, but is really new" stove. (Spaghetti and garlic bread).

This Elmira stove came from Canada and has convection capabilities. I'm in love.

We also walked down the country lane and Debbie pointed out some wild watermelons growing on a corner of our property. I was stunned. Just when I thought we couldn't possibly have more fruit out here, we find watermelons growing???

What is a summer without watermelon?

And there were five of them growing away and getting bigger each day. Today I realized there were more plants out there that were starting to flower. So it's possible we might just have a bumper crop of watermelon for all my hostessing needs.

And as we walked and talked, I thought about God's timing and how I am starting to see the big picture of the Grand Landscape of what He is doing our life as a family and in my own heart.

Has it been a bit of a bummer that all six of us are sleeping in the living room? Maybe a tiny bit, but when you have lived out of a tent trailer and had iffy running water issues for two weeks at the same time, and then upgraded to two bedrooms at your parent's house and running hot water, having a blow up mattress, pop-up trundle bed, camp bed and mattresses seems like luxury. Couple that with THREE bathrooms with ample hot, running water and you have yourself what feels like a day spa!

Is it inconvenient when you try to put on your make-up on a Sunday morning for church only to realize that you have left it at your parent's house? It can be -- but not as much as I would have thought after living almost make-up free for the entire last month as we sweated moving our stuff out of our house and into storage, camping out of the tent trailer, and then moving stuff out to our new house. When you do that, slapping on some powder and scrounging up some third-tier eye makeup feels a bit decadent.

Is it a bummer to have the $500+ pool sweep left for you by the previous owner stolen out of the pool? Yes, it is. But when you've never had a pool before and therefore are thrilled to pieces with even owning one, the notion of getting a good long hose, pole, and vacuum head and using some sweat equity seems like a good way for your youth-group-aged daughter to earn some money for upcoming events.

And yes, we are not paying for a gardener out here, but the small circle of grass that we have was easily mowed in about 15 minutes and I actually enjoyed the entire process (and yes, I accidentally left it out all night, and no it didn't get stolen!).

Looking back, I can see how the last month has been instrumental in removing us out of everyday city life and giving us a stripped-down basic version of how we are living currently. Had I left our comfortable suburban house and moved out here to live the way we are living now (albeit temporarily), it would have been a difficult transition. But, after the last month, having our own place and space feels like heaven and if we have to camp out in one room together while we do a few projects, so be it.

On Sunday, the sermon was about the Sabbath and how God designed a day of rest for us -- knowing we desperately need moments to pause from the madness and recharge. As my pastor father was sharing, I was so grateful to realize that our move to the country has been a decision to move towards that rest. Yes, there will be a good amount of work to be done to maintain the property. I have no illusions about that. 

But I am so excited for the day that my hammock is no longer buried by boxes and can be set up and I can lay in that thing and read and drink lemonade. Even sitting here at the table on my front porch and hearing the birds chirp, the hummingbirds buzzing as they look for food, and the sound of the pool pump running, all of that is causing my shoulders to relax and my breathing to deepen.

When the altar call was given to make a decision towards embracing rest, I didn't feel the need to respond. Because I've already responded -- gladly and whole-heartedly.

God has ordained this summer and this time of transition in our lives. And I couldn't have written the story better if I tried.

His Grand Timeline is more incredible than I could ever ask or think.

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