UncategorizedWhy We Sold February 14, 2013Thanks so much for all of the sweet, kind words about yesterday’s post. It warms my heart to know that many of you can also relate to what we’re currently feeling. We closed on our house yesterday. I’m actually really excited about this new adventure. Sure, it was a bit hard when we turned out the lights last night and shut the door behind us (literally and figuratively). I realized last night that I’ve never really explained why we’re moving. I’ve mentioned it briefly, but since this is so huge for us, I really feel I should fully explain our motivations in this decision. In an e-mail yesterday, Jillian said, “Isn’t it amazing how tied we get to our houses?” And I thought, wow, she’s so right! I think everyone gets tied to their first home, but when I’m a design blogger and my husband and I together are somewhat of house flippers, the “home” takes on a whole new position in our lives and our family. And for the most part, I really love that and am so grateful for our shared interest. But it also can become an idol and a distraction. We went to a very expensive private university and both have quite a lot of debt from that. We really don’t believe that God wants us to be in debt. We spent the first year and a half of our marriage worried about debt and how it would get paid off. Many people think that we spent A LOT of money on this first house, but that isn’t the case. Did we spend some? Yes, but a small some. We furnished and decorated our house almost solely through gifts from others and thrift stores and I’m good with that. I hope those habits don’t change if our financial situation is one day different! But about a year ago, the weight of our debt was weighing very heavily on us. We were really bound to it and a “slave to the lender” as God calls us not to be. We knew something had to change, but didn’t know what. One day, Chris sat me down and said, “I think God wants us to sell the house.” Let me just say my reaction wasn’t good. When we bought our home, we planned to raise our future babies there. I spent that afternoon walking around the house picturing three little blond-headed children playing in every room. I cried and mourned the life I thought we were going to have there. But by later that night, I knew Chris was right. We had purchased this house as a foreclosure. We gutted and updated both bathrooms and painted and spruced up everything else. We knew it would appraise for more than we had purchased it for and we saw an opportunity. We began working fairly frantically to try to get the house for sale. Once we knew we were selling, we were ready to get moving. We listed it for sale on October 31st and had an offer by mid-January. It’s crazy how quickly God came through on selling the house once we took the leap of faith to trust Him and list it. Now onto the other part of this story…where we’re moving. Our new house (that I’ll finally be showing a picture of tomorrow!!), is in a transitional downtown area in Greenville. We love downtown and have really wanted to move closer to it for quite a while. Many of the expensive, fancier neighborhoods that surround downtown were out of our price range, but also not quite what we were looking for. Some friends introduced us to this neighborhood and we fell in love with it. It’s an old mill town that investors have discovered in the last two years and began flipping. There’s a huge demand for downtown homes in our area. But not all houses are updated. Our community is currently in an interesting spot. There are nice, updated homes that have lots of young families and people who have lived there for years and are in not-so-updated homes. In our neighborhood, there are people of lower class all the way to upper-middle class. There are people of all color and walks of life. And we love it. It is safe, warm, and welcoming, despite what some may think. And best of all, it is a true representation of the world we live in. We’re stepping outside our usual box and it feels refreshing. How can we live in and understand a world where the only people we interact with are people just like us? (I don’t mean we all should move, but we all should step outside of our box every now and then.) We initially saw this move as a investment opportunity. And in this area, it really is. But God has shown us that His vision for us being here is much bigger than that. After our decision to buy, we’ve realized that God is doing amazing things in this community and by us moving there, we are joining with several other families who have moved there ready to invest in the neighboorhood, be the gap between these different residents, and most imporotantly, show God’s love. I am so excited to build a community here while we build our home and family. The reason I bring all of this up and give so much detail is for y’all to understand what this move is for us. Are we saints for giving up this nicer, bigger, fixed up home because God wanted us to? No, it was hard and I often doubted that we should. But over and over again, God has provided assurance and peace that this was the path. I’ve also learned that others will not always be in support of your decisions. But that doesn’t always mean the decisions are bad. We had many question why we were selling this house that we worked so hard on. When we mentioned that we would make a profit to put to debt, the response we often got was, “Oh, so you’ll buy a bigger house?” Moving up, so to speak. When we said that we were buying a smaller, cheaper house to reduce our debt and that it was in a downtown area that some would look at and turn up their nose, more judgement came our way. But the biggest thing I’ve learned from all of this is that if we are going the exact way of the world, we’re missing it. God calls us to go against culture and stand out. And if you’re confident in a decision, it doesn’t matter whether others are or not. Please understand I am not judging those who don’t understand our decision or who would make a different one for their own family. I fully recognize that our path is our path…not anyone else’s. This has been a struggle and I know the adventure is just beginning. And it’s an adventure with a lot of hard work. But we are so excited…so excited for the next home that lies ahead of us just waiting on lots and lots of love, but also excited for the new friends and community that we hope to build. Thank you for listening to my wordier-than-usual post today. There will be a lot of home renovation posts to come, but I had to let you guys see our heart and motivation in this. While I LOVE fixing up houses and decorating them, this life is bigger than houses and throw pillows and so is this move for us.