Our search for a house to fit our 11
There are 11 of us in our current household including Matt and me, Elias (pursuing a career in Lincoln), Malachi (growing his Sideline Media Production Company), Brayden (9), Kiya (7), Keith (4), Anna (3), Acacia (2), Josie (1), and Baby #11 (4 months).
We need an updated family picture to feature our new baby. We’ll get to that in our spare time, oy. Here’s our latest from last summer at Justus and Kelsey’s wedding before Baby#11 was born and joined us:
When God made it clear that he was moving us to Lincoln, we looked and looked at properties that would meet our family’s needs and our hospitality desires. Nothing worked. Some had lots of bedrooms, but a tiny kitchen. Others had a sort-of decent kitchen but not enough overall square footage. Still others had a good price but not enough bedrooms. House after house after house – we just kept looking and praying. If God was moving us, surely He would provide. We trusted this. Plus, He had told me that He had something even BETTER for us than the house we planned to build.
After looking at so many houses that just didn’t work for us, I couldn’t see what in the world God was doing. How could any house be better than one we had designed to meet our unique needs?
I prayed very specifically, yet I felt bad for asking for some of the things I was asking for. I kept trying to stop myself from praying for a house with two dishwashers. What house has two dishwashers?? Couldn’t I just be content with a house – any house that would humbly take care of us?
I kept saying, “God, I want to be content with what you have planned for us. I just want to want what you want me to want.”
He replied, “I have big plans for you and for how I will use your home. Stop feeling guilty for wanting what I want you to want.” So it seemed that He had put a vision on my heart and that I wasn’t being greedy or selfish in my requests. But still. Did such a house exist that would accommodate everything on my list?
Then I stumbled onto this.
We found this unique home for sale, and it meets our needs and more (for less than the cost of everything we had found that was much smaller).
It is a historic building/home that has been run as a Bed and Breakfast. It was so different that I almost didn’t even click over to look at it. But we love brick exterior, plus Matt had always joked about wanting a castle. This house looked like a castle. Sure, I’ll click. Why not?
As I looked at all the pictures of the rooms, I was incredulous. It was everything. It was more than everything. And the opportunities this place could allow for ministry and outreach? Well, we don’t even know yet, but we know God is up to something.
I jokingly told Matt, “Hey, I found your castle!”
Our laughter soon turned serious as we prayed about whether or not this could be the house for us. It’s huge – over 7,000 square feet with 9 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. Amazing! But how would we keep it clean? Would we lose the children on the third floor? The basement? This house was awesome, but was it too much for us?
Or was it just right?
We prayed. I cried (of course). My biggest prayer was that I wasn’t being selfish or greedy. I truly want a functional home for our family – one that I can set up well to meet our needs, especially in the kitchen. And even more for whatever it is God wants us to do for people beyond our family.
Matt and I made an appointment to walk through it. We walked in and I knew it was what God had for us. Be very proud of me – I didn’t cry. Not even once. Not even when I walked into the kitchen.
It was all I could do to keep my jaw off the floor. Our daughter-in-law, Eva, was with us and we just stood in that kitchen in amazement. It is huge. Big enough for multiple adults and children to work together at the same time. This is what we need.
Dear ones, this kitchen has two dishwashers.
It also has the very same range/oven I wanted to put into the house we were planning to build. The very same one.
It truly is better than what we had planned. I stand in awe and also bow in thanks. We are so grateful.
God is faithful
I wish I could put into words what the last few months have been like for us. We have been in a very deep time of questioning. God made it so clear that He was creating big changes for our family, and we still don’t know all the reasons why. Maybe we never will.
But we know He is faithful. We know He is good. We know God’s plans require us to be visionary, to think outside the box, and to be open to whatever He wants to do with and through our family.
We know that this will be good.
But wait, there’s more.
As we toured the house, we found that there is actually a third dishwasher in a pantry room just off the kitchen (as well as another stove/oven, another sink, two more refrigerators, and lots of shelves). I’ll show you the pantry another day, after we’ve moved and settled in. Today, I can’t stop crying in thanks. :)
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20
P.S. The photos I’m featuring today show what the house looks like currently, as a Bed and Breakfast. Some of the furniture is staying but not all of it. We’ll furnish it to best meet the needs of our family.
P.P.S. I plan to take time to tell you all about how it goes as we move, settle in, and furnish this home. Most importantly, I’ll share what God is doing with this space He is providing for us. It is very clear that He is doing big things and together, we will praise Him and give Him full glory!