We are in awe of God's abundant provisions. Early last year, we got notice from our apartment complex that at the end of our lease (in February) we would need to move out of our current apartment to allow for the complex wide renovations they were making. They made the *generous* offer (sense sarcasm) for us to move to a different apartment on complex, at a 50% rent increase. While the renovations were beautiful, that was a large price jump that we were not prepared to make.
Long story short, we began doing a lot of researching, only to learn that our rent was well below the average rental rate in our area. We chose to look at that as a blessing--we had three years of below average rent, allowing us to put more towards our student loans during that time. Our sinful human side struggled a bit with the "How are we going to make this work? Not only financially, but February is a busy time for a teacher."
The Lord knew and provided for us to sign a 5-month lease at our current rental rate. This extended our lease to July, which is a much calmer time for a teacher. We signed the 5-month lease and continued our searches.
We looked at several places, trying to weigh several different factors. It seemed as though we were finding a common trend--renting in the greater Charlotte area is expensive, especially compared to our income. I will admit that we even considered a few long distance moves (including Africa). We had found a few places in our budget that seemed to be good places, only to find out someone else would get them.
It was Wednesday, June 15th when I set up an appointment with a local apartment complex to see one of their apartments the following week. Soon after getting off the phone with them, I found a town house for rent that had been listed for 16 hours (might I add it was even cheaper than the one we had just set up an appointment to see). The mister and I decided to give them a call and we set up an appointment to see the town house on Thursday. In talking with my mom, I asked that she pray my heart be guarded. The home looked beautiful online, but I wanted to be prepared that (a) someone could get it before us, and (b) it may not be as it seems.
Before walking into the town house on Thursday afternoon with the property manager, she told us that they had already gotten over 75 calls for this property. When we walked into the townhouse it was dreamy. We both walked out agreeing that it was even better than it seemed online. There were several added bonuses that had not been pictured or mentioned.
We heard back from the property manager on Friday, June 17th that we would be getting the town house, and could move in on July 1st--two weeks! To say we were excited would be an understatement. This home is far better than we were looking for, or that we need. There is no explanation other than to say that God has provided above and beyond what we have asked. We give Him the glory and pray that we be able to use this home to further His kingdom.
We flew back to Charlotte on Sunday, and the mister then flew on to Ohio for some further training. In the past year, he has completed several classes. We are thankful for the opportunities that have been provided for him to further his training.
On Wednesday, all fifteen of my 6th graders graduated. It was a bittersweet time, as these children I have grown to love dearly are moving on. A mother of a fifth grader decorated and hosted the graduation reception.
I have been enjoying my summer immensely. I recognize it as a gift and am very thankful. With the "extra" time, I have been able to invest more into relationships. One is through a study through 1st, 2nd, and 3rd John with a dear college friend, Kari. She and I do the study on our own throughout the week, listen to the podcast, and then meet over Skype to discuss it. Another way is with reading through a book study on When Sinners Say I Do with my sister. Both the study and time with these sweet woman has proven to be very rewarding. This very well may be one of me highlights from the summer.
When I am not reading, studying, packing, or unpacking, I have enjoying baking. It was my goal to bake all of our bread this summer. The mister's mom is the queen of bread baking, and I have been using her recipe. Daniel keeps telling me "you need more practice" (his way of saying he liked it and wants me to make it again). I have also enjoyed trying a few other recipes. We have tried to spend our time intentionally this summer.
A month from today, my sister walks down the aisle and says "I do" to her sweetheart. As sister, I get the honor of standing beside her as she makes this lifelong commitment to Caleb. Part of my matron-of-honor privilege (and I do truly consider it just that) was to host a bridal shower. I flew to Vermont and along with my mom and sisters-in-law, we put together a fun celebration of my sister's upcoming marriage. Together with several sweet friends and family, we showered Sarah with gifts and love.
We are now settling into our new home and marveling at the fact that God would provide such a beautiful new home. We are thankful. Temperatures down here are hot, and make it a little more challenging for the mister as he works outside on the planes. Please pray for his safety.
We are very excited when we look back at God's provisions towards our student loans. He continues to show Himself true.
- We have had a faithful monthly supporter for over a year.
- We recently received a generous monetary gift with a note that said "God blessed us with this, and it is our joy to now bless you with it."
- We had three years of below-average rental payments.