So my story starts back in January when my husband and I were looking to buy our first home. We've been waiting and saving and the time had finally come! We started looking and we made our "list" of desires for our new house. We quickly learned that those dreams were not in our price range. A four bedroom with open concept living areas and the granite counters that everyone on HGTV is designing wasn't going to happen on our single-income family budget. Then it happened, we found it (minus the granite counters) and it was even in the neighborhood of some of our friends who have young kids too. The rooms were already painted and already in the colors we wanted - which is no small feat with a girl who wants purple, a boy who wants blue and our dream gray bedroom. It was listed on the HUD website which are homes bought by the government and they list certain homes that only owner-occupants and non-profits can bid on. This is exactly what we needed because we were getting out bid by all cash investors. The bid was set to close Friday, we were figuring out how far we could push or budget to bid high and then on Thursday my husband came home with what he thought was a statement and what I heard as an announcement - I think it's time for us to move home. He said it with a little more enthusiasm than he uses when asking what were having for dinner but I heard it as if there was a bullhorn and a media event. I wasn’t quite the event of "Royal Baby watch" but it might as well have been to me. Home was where my husband’s family lived, where I had lived before we got married, where the majority of our friends are and where we dreamed of going since we got married. We wanted our kids to grow up around their family and friends.
I should mention that my husband is a school-teacher and so our life is based around the school schedule. We'd tried to move home before and it just wasn't ever the right thing for us. We needed more job security, we needed a back up plan and that's when my husband went back to get his Administrative Credential. As The Lord would have it, he was scheduled to finish the Credential by the end of this school year. We had what we needed now and were more confident in moving. If you know my husband, you know that his job is his life and that stepping away from his school and his program was a huge sacrifice but he looked at his family and decided it was best to move us now.
Ok Lord, so we've decided we want to move....your turn... Can we have a job please? There have been few moments in my life and my marriage when I just knew just what would happen and my husband and I were on the same page with this decision. As far as we were concerned, we were moving. My husband asked me to do one thing for him, and that was to tell no one about our desires. WHAT? Couldn't you just ask me for a kidney? I'm the kind of person who tells my friends everything. He didn't want anyone at home to know in case it didn't work and they'd be let down again. We couldn't didn’t want anyone in our current town to know because we didn't want anything to happen to his job if we did stay. And so we kept quiet. It was torture, but God knows what he's doing and it brought me closer to my husband. It made us only talk to each other rather than involving the world :)
And so the waiting began. I should also mention that somewhere in this span of time, we found out that the house we were renting was going to be short sold. Originally we though we'd have through the summer and we'd buy then and everything would be great, then in the middle of May we got a letter saying we had to be out by the middle of June. School ended the 7th, we didn't have a job at home, we weren't sure about a job change with his current job and now we had to pack everything.
We had some hotel points from a side job my husband did, and so we packed everything in two weeks (using all the moving boxes my sister had given us from her recent move - feeling so blessed) and lived in a hotel the last week of school. It was awesome - breakfast was in the lobby every morning, somebody cleaned my room everyday and made my bed - I considered moving in, but the week ended and we headed to stay with my in-laws for the summer.
During our hotel week, we were invited to dinner by my husband's friend’s parents who happened to be in town that week. Turns out they were heading out of town for the month of July and needed a house sitter. They live 5 minutes from my-in-laws and they have a four-bedroom home with a pool. It became clear to us that the Lord was really taking care of us and guiding us. And He was using events of such grandeur to prove it.
We moved home, we continued to wait on a job and dodged the questions by our friends and family of how long we were staying and what our next plan was... I'm a planner, the kids were already enrolled in Catholic school for next year, back in March, I was already participating in the school and setting up my own things for the upcoming school year, so to not have a plan, was not part of my plan.
Then the Lord provided again, the only job my husband really wanted opened. At this point he would have taken other jobs just to move home but the one he really wanted opened. It would be two weeks before it closed and then another week before the interview. That date would take us into July and I had another moment of doubting - maybe we need to drop it, head back to your job and buy a house. I came to my senses, NO, we would stay the course, we would trust and we would wait.
The interview was set for the 2nd week of July and we were well into our novena for the job. My husband is more humble and so he would ask God that his will be done in our life and we get the right job, I was greedy and just asked specifically for that job. By the end of our novena, he was praying for the job and I learned to ask just for God's will. Interview week came and we decided if we believed in the power of prayer then we needed all the help we could get. We started calling people and begging for prayers. The interview day came. This day was about to change our lives. Everything we’ve been waiting for was dependent on that day and more importantly the phone call after the interview. The day after the interview, we were at the gym when Phil got a phone call. I wasn’t with him but I could see him. It was one of those moments when the world seems to stand still. How many times are we on the phone or do we text – hey what’s up? When are you getting home? Etc. This call would change our lives regardless of what it said we were moving regardless we just didn't know where. We were with a friend so we finished the workout and left. We got in the car with the kids and he tells me, the job is mine (it’s 11am) I need to be there at 3:30 to meet the Booster parents and they’re introducing me tonight to all the kids at a BBQ parent dinner for the end of their summer camp. And that was that… we were in.
It wasn’t surprising to me that he would start immediately. Our life has always been in fast forward. We dated for 5 months before getting engaged, we had our kids within 6 months of starting adoption paperwork, that’s just how we roll. We ran to the store, bought him a new outfit and I showed up with the kids that night to see him at his new job.
That’s not all. We started looking for houses, and realized there was only fixer up homes in our price range. Trying to be grateful just to be back home, I didn’t want to complain. Again, investors were outbidding us, but I remembered that the Lord had given us this job and I knew He would give us a home. He wouldn’t move us here and leave us homeless or sharing a room in someone’s house. On a day we had seen a bunch of junk homes we checked the HUD website again. I had checked it in the morning, and saw nothing. My husband called me at 2pm and said a house he saw awhile back was up on the site again but only for that afternoon. Seriously, houses are on there for 7 days or so at a time, another hint, this might be a God moment. I had not been interested before in this house, but considering our options I jumped to go see it. It was beautiful, it’s missing the big yard I wanted but as my husband told me, it’s everything else we wanted that we could never afford. It’s a fluke, or rather the Lord’s grace, that this home was even priced in a range we could afford. It was a tad above our price range but we just took the chance. I had a feeling when we left the house that day, that this was it, but I couldn’t let myself fall in love with it, I didn’t want to be sad when it didn’t work. HUD homes use an electronic bidding system so you know at the close of the bid, whose bid is accepted. Our agent called us the next morning (while Phil was driving from signing his new contract to signing his resignations at his previous job,) to let us know they accepted our bid. WOW! Now we’re officially in escrow and hoping to close on the weekend of my birthday – what a birthday gift! The Lord has really been working on us recently and it was just a few weeks ago that it dawned on me while listening to a homily at Mass, that it’s the year of faith. RIGHT, the year of faith…. Apparently I wasn’t good at that and needed a little molding this year. I’m secretly hoping the year comes to a close quickly; I’m all worn out.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! Your kindness* should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4: 4-9
Copyright 2013 Courtney Vallejo
About the Author
Courtney Vallejo is a convert to the Catholic faith, who lives in California. She and her husband homeschool their three adopted children. She is the cofounder of AMomRevolution.com, whose mission is to inspire, encourage, and reclaim joy in motherhood. She also writes for her own blog, CourtneyVallejo.com. Courtney holds a Master's degree in Film Production and a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. Follow her Gluten Free/Dairy Free adventures on Instagram: @aglutenfreerevolution.