The House God Gave Us: It’s Paid For!

While we were at camp, I asked a friend if $40,000 houses ever came on the market. He laughed. So did I, but someone told us they were praying for that very thing. I admit I sort of laughed at him, too. It was outside the realm of normal. I never expected such a thing to happen to us twice.

Instead of driving around with Dylan hunting  for our next home, I could only scan the internet. My dream house faded as the desire to be with my husband expanded. Two weeks after Dylan left for Idaho, I begged him to come back, but he announced a new job.

I made it two more weeks before I lost it again. By that time, Dylan had put in an offer on a foreclosure. A bidding war ensued, so we thought we were out of the running. Before my plea was finished, Dylan announced our winning bid of $39,900!

Stunned, I tried to mesh my emotions into what was about to be reality. How could we fit 5 people into 888 sq. ft.? I convinced myself space was overrated anyway. I just wanted to be with my love.


A few days later, the ring of the telephone ripped apart my new revised plans.

We can’t get a loan, because I’m employed through a temporary agency.

No way around it. No alternatives. We decided to wait and see if one of the people tramping through our finally finished Texas house would buy it. I was just getting ready to lower the price, when an offer came. A full price offer! If the deal went through, we would have enough to pay CASH for our ugly, tiny foreclosure.

Closing dates overlapped by one week, so we asked for an extension. I held my breath until I saw Dylan at the airport. Then nothing else mattered. Tears rattled my composure as I collapsed in his arms. Little ones crowded around our legs giggling hysterically.

It was all an act of faith. We didn’t know until hours before closing whether the deal would go through. We finished packing the moving truck in the rain. The phone was shut off, power was next, and still we waited. The buyer came for the final walk through. She almost skipped it, because of her frustration.

Our suitcases were the only thing left in the empty, echoing house. Dear friends came to help, but there wasn’t much left to do except try to avoid the depressing thought of how far away Idaho was from Texas.

When we pulled out, I noticed mud smeared on the front of the house. The kids must have put it there while playing. I wanted to jump out and clean it off, but there wasn’t time.

We were on our way to Idaho, a caravan of Deckards who were already home because we were together.


Next in this series: How does a family of 5 fit in here?


28 Responses to The House God Gave Us: It’s Paid For!

  1. I’m thrilled for you! So glad I got to visit before you left Texas. I’m sure your little home will be a charm when you are done with it.

    • Heather,
      It was such a joy to meet you and your family. I doubt you’ll be driving through Idaho anytime soon, but if you do, you know where to stop. :)

  2. Maybe I am going to start praying for a $40,000 house! Yours looks great to me. How much have you done so far? We got to spend a little time at our new place last night. I was able to dream about furniture placement and imagine playing Wii in our living room. The kids discovered a laundry shute that I didn’t know about. They played “toss the coat” for awhile. I’m going to have to make up some new rules, I can see already. (Like, don’t play toss the cat.) :-)
    Jenn

    • Jenn,
      I will join you in praying. I am still amazed when I consider the Lord’s provision for us.

      We were able to work on the house for a about a month before we moved in. We got all the wallpaper ripped down, a few walls of sheetrock replaced, a window installed in the kitchen, and most of the painting done. We had to move in before the carpet was laid, so it felt like camping. Once the living room had furniture instead of piles of tools, I knew it was going to be okay. :)

      I really wanted to get the pictures from the realty listing. These are the pictures Dylan sent me. I should’ve taken more before we started, but I just wanted to erase all the ugly as quickly as possible.

    • P.S. I always wanted to put myself down my grandmother’s laundry shute, so, yeah, some rules might be in order. ;) And have I said how excited I am for you? I thought so. :D

  3. Congratulations again Renae! It’s so awesome to hear how God’s answers our prayers. Reading this builds my faith and expectancy. God is so good! And by the way, “just in case” no one else has told you, you need to write a book. (0:

    • Summer,
      Thank you for your kind words. I’ve put off writing this story, because it feels so weird writing about finances. It also took me some time to close the door in my heart to my very adequate, nice house in Texas. I never imagined we would be downsizing.

      I’m relieved to hear it encouraged you.

  4. Here in the village that I live 888 square feet is a pretty good size place. That being said everyone around here lives in small houses so there is nothing to compare it too, no “McMansions”. Most of the houses are small because it costs so much to build and to heat through the winter. You will enjoy a much smaller heating bill then all of your neighbors! Besides a small house encourages us to get outside and play!
    .-= Wendy´s last blog ..My favorite store =-.

    • Wendy,
      I’m so glad you stopped by so I could discover your story. My husband spent some time in Alaska and enjoyed it. I’ve always wanted to visit. I guess I will via your blog. :)

      I am learning a lot about contentment and what is truly important. If I could somehow decide we don’t need an entire library, we would fit just fine for years to come. :P

  5. Thanks for sharing & posting pictures!! I feel odd writing about finances too, but stories like that need to be told. It encourages others! I love your yellow walls, they make it look quite cheery & homey! And your kids look happy too!
    .-= Sandpiper´s last blog .. =-.

    • Sandpiper,
      Thank you for you kind words and your compliment. The yellow walls are pretty bold for me, but I needed sunshine and warm and happiness.

      Don’t you like the orange ethernet cord, too? :P Something is wrong with our computer, and we can’t get the wireless to work. I’m also hoping to find a different tablecloth for our craft table, but for now I use what I have.

  6. Renae, That is so cool! Your house is so cute in the after pictures. Our first home here was alot like that!
    It is so rewarding to to look at before and after pictures and know we did this.

  7. Wow! what a beautiful story of God’s provision. Small spaces aren’t all bad, really. We have 6 in 880sq.ft. It can be done! Simplify, purge, live with less – that’s my mantra. ;o)
    .-= Sue´s last blog ..Snow! =-.

    • Sue,
      Yes, that is my mantra, too. It is a good to determine what we really use. We’ve only been here a couple months and already I’m thinking of things that need to be moved out.

    • Dana,
      Yes, you are right. I’m sure that extra 20 square feet doesn’t make much difference when you have have 2 more people. ;)

  8. Your story brought back so many memories of the EXTREME Makeover we did on my dad’s 850sq.ft. house, “his cabin in the woods”. I was suddenly alone, and it was all I had to move into, but family and friends said,”BURN IT DOWN! You could NEVER live there!”
    Spraying pure ammonia on the walls (with masks, of course)was the only way to remove 25 yrs. of nicotine build-up. That was followed by three coats of “Kilz”, and paint. Through two months of non-stop hard work and alot of creativity, God has blessed me with “the CUTEST little cabin in the woods” and everyone LOVES it!!
    What a Life Lesson as some of us look at the mess of our lives…God can take “a life in shambles”, but with alot of faith, tears and hard work…He can turn it into something beautiful! (After the house,…He did that for ME! God is SO GOOD!!)
    ~ Your little home is obviously FILLED with so much LOVE, and you’ve done a beautiful job on it. Thank you for sharing your story and photos!

  9. Hey stranger, I haven’t seen you in YEARS! But I heard a rumor you were back in Idaho and here is your blog with proof! This is Christa Farmer and Clay is the rumor mill, he said you were finally back where you belonged. He also said Todd moved back, and we got the pleasure of seeing him a few nights back for coffee. We haven’t yet had the pleasure of meeting his family though. But we haven’t seen you and your family yet! And we just may have a lot more in common than we realize! I am homeschooling my boys in a small home too! :) Hope to see you in person soon!

  10. Pingback: Small House Homeschooling | Life Nurturing Education

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  12. ‘Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.