When I was in Dental Hygiene school, Aaron bought an old farmhouse. When we got married, we pretty much gutted the whole thing and remodeled it. Of course we did this room by room or two to three rooms at a time so we could afford it. We brought both babies home to this house, and we made it pretty special. We felt like it was HOME. We had so much joy in that house, but I remember so much heartache in that home as I spent so many days fighting for my mental health and just wrecking myself unknowingly. (I share about this specifically in Anxiety I’m Not Your Bitch)
We still had dreams for that home. We became so attached to it, but there were things that we just didn’t love about it. It was on a main, busy road, which Jersey (our doodle) had gotten hit on and somehow survived and is still going strong. It was an older home so the heating especially was a challenge.
We wanted to be more secluded.
So, I was always on the lookout for a home that might be the next home for us. Aaron has a very content personality, so he wasn’t really interested in moving. I honestly think he planned on staying there.
So fast forward, this home comes up for sale, and I actually somewhat knew the people that owned the home. Quite possibly some of the most meticulous home owners you could find. I looked at it online and I knew we couldn’t afford it, but I wanted to just go look at it. Mind you, this was when I was having so many issues health wise and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.
Mentally, I couldn’t even wrap my brain around moving or buying this home, but we still went to look.
They took us around on all the land. It was beautiful, but it just didn’t feel right. The timing just wasn’t right, and I had to get myself feeling better before I could even think of moving. And the bottom line, we couldn’t afford the home even if we wanted it.
A few months later, the house was still for sale. It was actually vacant now because the owners had moved to their new location. The price of the house had dropped significantly, but we still weren’t really interested. Here is where it gets weird. Our friend from Texas decides he wants to buy it. He wants to rent the house out and hunt on the land when he is in Illinois as he is up here a lot. So he gets all the way to the day before closing and decides he isn’t going through with it. The owners call him and ask him what he would be willing to give them for the house as they just want to get it sold. He shoots them an offer that he knows they won’t take, and they take it.
Meanwhile, we weren’t even focused on purchasing this home. We had no more interest in it. But then something changed. We drove by the home one evening after finding out what price the owners were going to take from our friend, and the fact that our friend still wasn’t going to go through with it even at that price…we decided we would be out of our damn minds to not purchase this home! I was feeling better mentally so the timing was right. And we had a buyer for our first home within hours so it was all aligning.
As I sit in my office writing this…
I think about the little family that lived in that old farmhouse. My kids still talk about that house to this day. They have nothing but good memories from it. It was so special, and it was so hard to let go of. I still drive by it and think, “How many nights did I sleep in that house?” Or, “What was the last meal I cooked for my kids?” I just wish we could go back and revisit that time once more, but we can’t. They say it goes fast as a mom, but when you are in those shoes, it’s hard to grasp just how fast it will go. As I sit here, I think about the growth I have had even since moving to this house. As a wife and as a mom. I don’t take growth lightly, because it trickles into our marriage and our kids.
Almost everyday we talk about how grateful we are to live where we live. Of course when we purchased our home, it was pre-Covid. A lot has changed in the world since we moved here. We have learned so much, but we have also taken full responsibility for our health, what we put into our bodies, and what we teach our kids so that they can learn to become independent and more self-sufficient for their future. We have almost done a complete rewind.
Our goals are so different than they were at our last home.
We no longer work to have a better car or more expensive materials. We work to create a better setup for our kid’s future on this land. We want to live simpler lives. Less noise and less stuff. Lives that aren’t rushed, but instead finding so much love and appreciation for what we are doing in this very moment and the impact it has. We are creating food and memories with nature. The connection we have with our kids and within our marriage is something I never take for granted.
God knew we needed this place. He knew we needed a quiet place to get back to creating. He knew my husband was so talented and gifted for this very thing. He knew our marriage needed it. He knew our kids needed parents to show them the way and the truth. He knew what He was doing when He gave us this place at the right time. It is always in His divine timing. It is just not always the way we thought it would be.
I remember thinking I would feel happier or I would feel more fulfilled when I finally had the nicer, new house. I was chasing something that wasn’t even important. It took me a while to finally see this.
Someone recently told me, “I think the way you know when you really make it in life, is when you get chickens.” I’m not sure if that is all true, but I really think it’s pretty close.
What about you friend? Do you live on a homestead? Is there a homestead dream in your heart?