Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Off the market

This is long but I wanted to write down this experience for myself and my family(and for anyone that has an extra 30 minutes to spare:). . .

As many of you know, we made the extremely difficult decision to take our house off the market about a week and a half ago. It was really REALLY hard for us to come to that decision. I cried and cried.

Ever since we found out we were having a baby boy last year, I stressed about the room situation in our house. We have a three bedroom home and I had dreamed of decorating a little boys room(surfer/island themed of course:) but with 3 girls and 1 boy, that really couldn't happen. I didn't want to put Cali in the same room as him and decorate it boyish and I refused to put him in a pink room. We finally were having a boy and I wanted him to have his own manly place:) I know many reading this might think, oh well, big deal, have them share rooms. But it was a big deal to me. Having this little boy join our family was a miracle and a huge blessing. And I was so excited to make a place just for him. That pregnancy "nesting" had really kicked in:)

At that time, we couldn't afford to move so we decided to wait until the following Spring(keeping Ammon in a crib in our room until then) to put our house on the market. By then, we had hoped the market would pick up and we would also have more money saved up. That time came, we had the money we had anticipated saving and the market sounded like it was going to be picking up so we did it. It was really exciting! We were having a good amount of showings. We were going househunting with our realtor and having fun dreaming of our new home. We were hoping to buy a 4 or 5 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath home with a backyard at least twice the size of what we have now. Having an extra bedroom & bathroom and a place for the kids to run around would've been a dream come true.

Every now and then I would have doubts, but then those doubts were replaced with good feelings so many times. It was very back and forth, but I figured that happens when you are making a big choice. There are always doubts. We prayed and prayed we would be guided to the right home and that our house would sell, if it was His will....I never felt that we received a solid answer. I always felt unsure. Its hard to know sometimes what is an answer to a prayer, the Spirit telling you yes or no, or what are just your own thoughts. I felt confused sometimes and so did Joey. There were lots of ups and downs. There was a specific house, located in a different city, that we were planning on buying once our house sold. We loved it. We thought it was "the house" for us. We felt that the Lord wanted us to be happy and that moving and getting a place that would fit our growing family was what He wanted for us. We thought we felt pretty good about it. So we were ready to move forward. We were just waiting on our house to sell.

One week after a lull of showings in May, we had a showing every single day. We were like, yes, things are picking up now that its summer! But for some reason on one of the those days, I felt really down about things and felt this overwhelming feeling of doubt in our choice to move. One of those reasons is that prices of homes in our area were dropping crazy low. Two houses with the same floorplan as ours on the street over were on the market and the sellers were obviously trying to get out quick. They were priced drastically below market value and I felt like, well, there is no way we are selling at a decent price. And we were not going to lose money. I almost felt like those houses were there to keep us here! No one would buy our house before theirs. And no one would pay what we were asking when those were priced so much lower than ours. It was crazy. Those homes ruined our chances. I knew it. I couldn't deny the pit in my stomach. I just felt like we weren't moving. It was over. But I didn't want to tell Joey. Because I wanted to move.

After the kids went to bed, Joey looked at me and said, "I don't want to say this but I just don't think..." and I stopped him in his sentence with tears in my eyes and said, "I know. You're right." He talked about a talk given by one of the apostles that kept coming to him and it was giving him a feeling that we weren't supposed to do this at this time. He just didn't want to tell me because he knew how badly I wanted to move, how much I had worked to clean the house for all of the showings we had, how much excitement I had for a bigger space for our family. He had been excited too and he wanted to provide this for us. We had even started packing away things already to get a jumpstart on things. A lot of work was poured into this. I told him I had bad feelings that day too and I just kept trying to push them away because of my desires. We had a really deep conversation that night and we both KNEW this wasn't right. Something wasn't right. I cried. I was so sad. I hated admitting that I knew we weren't supposed to move yet. I hated that all of my dreams were dashed. But at the same time I had this feeling of peace in finally having an answer to our prayers. It was truly a blessing. Joey and I's relationship grew stronger that night as we both listened to the Spirit guiding us in our choices. We both trusted in the Lord insteading of doing what we "wanted" to do. It was so hard though. I know that because we listened we will be blessed.

We weren't sure why we weren't supposed to move right now but we did have a special experience I'd like to share that is definitely one of the reasons we are supposed to stay. Just one day after we took our house of the market, the second counselor in our church's Stake Presidency called Joey. That doesn't happen often. Its usually when they want you to give a talk/prayer in conference(there were no conferences coming up) or to meet with you to extend a Stake calling. He told Joey he heard we were moving to a different city. Joey told him that we had just taken our house off the market the day before to which the counselor replied, "Interesting..." He then told Joey he wanted to meet with us on Sunday. Joey told me that evening that while he had been showering earlier that day(before the call) that he had this impression that maybe a church calling was coming his way. He even said he thought of that particular man that called and even what the calling might be. The next day, Joey was extended the calling of the Stake YM 1st counselor. And Joey said that was exactly what he had felt-that he would have a position in the young mens. The counselor also said that he almost didn't call Joey the day before because he heard of our plans to move, but he said the Spirit told him to call anyways. And that he was glad he listened to that impression. I was wowed by that. It was a really amazing feeling. I know that we were inspired to stay here. The Lord needs Joey(all of us I guess:) here. And I know that the local Stake Presidency was inspired to choose Joey for that position. He is so awesome in the Young Mens program. Hes never done it at the Stake level, but I know he'll do great things.

This was truly a testimony builder for me on the power of prayer, listening to the Spirit and the inspiration of the leaders of the church. While we don't know how long we'll stay in this house before we try to sell again, one thing we are sure about is that we are supposed to be in this city/stake for a little while longer. We still have plans to move into a bigger space eventually, but for now, we will stay put. We will just have to make do with what we have, even if that means adding walls :) Who knows what the future really holds right now. But we know the Lord answered our prayers. And I trust in Him and that He can see the big picture when I cannot. He'll provide for us if we keep the commandments and have faith. And pay our tithing of course:)

So for now, we are here. And I'm okay with that.


jOeY said...

You wrote this so perfectly. I'll never forget that night. It was another moment (one of a million) that I knew I married the right girl. I love you!

P.S. That Saturday after Pres. Rogers called me, I read this quote while preparing my lesson for Sunday...

Elder Richard G. Scott said:

“It is a mistake to assume that every prayer we offer will be answered immediately. Some prayers require considerable effort on our part. …

“When we explain a problem and a proposed solution [to our Heavenly Father], sometimes He answers yes, sometimes no. Often He withholds an answer, not for lack of concern, but because He loves us—perfectly. He wants us to apply truths He has given us. For us to grow, we need to trust our ability to make correct decisions. We need to do what we feel is right. In time, He will answer. He will not fail us”

Marie Rayner said...

Holly, this was a beautiful post and I love Joey's comment to you. You are such a beautiful young couple and so blessed to be walking and raising your family together in the Lord's way. It makes my heart feel so happy to know this. I wish I'd had a clue when I was your age. My life could have been so different! Anyways, I am grateful for the Holy Ghost in my life and all that it shows, teaches, guides, etc. me to do. I am grateful for being able to recognize that sense of peace in my heart that helps me to know I have made the right decision. That is the way both Todd and I felt when we decided to move back to Chester when I lost my job last year. I had been thinking it for a couple of years prior to that moment. I had been very unhappy in my work for a few years. I could never have quit though. I am so not a quitter, and a bit of a coward that way! Thankfully the Lord took that decision out of my hands and then I was able to listen to the Holy Ghost and, with Todd, make the right choice as to what to do next. Congrats to Joey on his new calling! I am sure he'll be great at it!! xxoo

Jan said...

It's so hard when you KNOW the answer you really want is not coming -- we too have experienced something much the same as you have. I'm proud of you - - it's a tough time when your own mind and heart are headed another way.

Loved Joey's comments as well -- I'm experiencing something similar -- (we need a private message, I guess!) -- it does help to know you are doing what the Lord wants you to do. xoxo

Cynthia said...

I remember a quote something about "do your prayers bounce off the ceiling?" and another statement not quite sure by whom but the paraphrasing would be that we go to the Lord in prayer with petition in hand (not literally) and present to Him our plan. And then we listen. I have to admit that many times we don't hear or we hear and we say ummm that must be for something else. Not saying that's the case here just saying I'm glad you guys worked it out together and that you both got the same answer and that alone confirms it. One of these days we'll talk about our feelings down here in regards to it all but when I read somewhere else where you guys had decided to take the house off the market I felt relief as well and although I couldn't pin it down to one particular thing I knew it was the right thing to do and agreed with you guys. Not that it was our decision just knew that what you had decided was right. And I have to agree that Joey will be an excellent example to a lot of young men in the Stake they could not want for a better leader. I like how you put it down in writing to go back and reflect upon later on in life. It's a good thing. Have fun with the remodel.

Cynthia said...

Sorry me again. This would also be a good story to submit to the Ensign whenever they ask about life experiences as realted to the words of a Prophet or His Apostles.

Amanda said...

Such a great experience to share. Thanks Holly! Sometimes the answers we are given are so not what we wanted to hear. I read this book (it is written by my institute teacher in plano) and I loved it. It really helped me. Not that you need it right now, because you have your answer, but maybe in the future :)