Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Keeping It Real…The Next Chapter

I’ve been wrestling with this post for a couple of weeks now. Some of you will remember my first Keeping It Real post from May 6th…when I shared my family’s plans to sell our home and try to obediently follow in the direction we felt God was leading us. At that time, we had no idea where we would end up or what exactly we would be doing. We only knew that we were uncomfortable doing nothing because we were sure God was working in our lives and it was time for us to act. Let me pause here to tell you why I’ve struggled so much with writing this post. I am not a writer and I know I will never be able to adequately retell the events of the last 2 months. The way the plan unfolded was nothing short of miraculous and obvious to us every step of the way that God was in complete control. So, here’s my attempt at catching you up on our life…

In a nutshell, we listed our house on May 9th, sold the house by the end of the month and spent our first night in our new home on June 7th. The quickness of it all was mindboggling for sure, but the little things that happened along the way really blew us away. A friend’s teenaged daughter called shortly after we put the house on the market to tell me she was having a garage sale the next weekend to raise money for a trip. I stopped by the garage sale and my friend asked why we were selling the house. I briefly explained what we were doing (which wasn’t easy because we really weren’t sure ourselves) and she mentioned that she had a rental house 4 blocks away from our current home that would be available June 1st. We looked at the house and loved it. The following week we had a buyer who was ready to move into our house as soon as we could have inspections done and schedule the closing. Here’s my favorite part…the rental house has a carriage house behind it that just “happened” to become available for rent at the same time. We were able to rent the entire property and are now in the process of turning the carriage house into a Bed & Breakfast…but this won’t be the kind of B&B most people are familiar with…

The changes in the life of our family started a couple of years ago with some events that turned our life upside down…illness, job insecurity, ailing family members. In the midst of unrest, I believe we become so much better at listening to what God’s trying to tell us…mostly out of desperation, I admit! During the past year, God has put some amazing people, stories, books and blogs in our paths to encourage us and make us aware of the needs of people. One of the books that touched us deeply was Crazy Love by Francis Chan. A couple of quotes from the book that I never could get over…

“…the life that Jesus calls us to is absolute craziness to the world. Sure, it’s fine and politically correct to believe in God, but to really love Him is a whole  different story, Yeah, it’s nice and generous to give to the needy at Christmas or after some disaster, but to sacrifice your own comfort and welfare for another may look like madness to a safe and undisturbed world.” from the Foreword by Chris Tomlin

“Lukewarm people [Christians] are continually concerned with playing it safe; they are slaves to the God of control. This focus on safe living keeps them from sacrificing and risking for God.”

“What are you doing right now that requires faith?”

“When people gladly sacrifice their time or comfort or home, it is obvious that they trust in the promises of God. Why is it that the story of someone who has actually done what Jesus commands resonates deeply with us, but we then assume we could never do anything so radical or intense?”

And these verses have made me think…

1 John 3:16-20 (…”If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?…let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth…”)

Matthew 25:42-45 (“I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink…I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for the least of these you did not do for me”) Then Chan poses the question: “How would my life change if I actually thought of every person I came into contact with as Christ?”

So…our B&B will be unofficially and lovingly dubbed the Crazy Love Cottage and will be free of charge to those staying in it. It will simply be our way of loving and caring for people. For guests who care to make a donation, we will send the money directly to Katie’s Amazima Ministry in Uganda or to the Romanian village my husband and son visited last month where they are trying to build a church.

So, I’m sure you’re wondering what the place looks like…I would be! Here’s our house…

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And here’s the Carriage House…

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We’re still getting the inside ready for the first guest. I’ll post before and after pictures soon!

I’m sorry for such a long post, but I’ve had many emails asking where we are and what we’re doing. We’re doing something we could have only dreamed of…but God has blessed us with a humbling experience and situation…and we are so grateful!

One more thing…today is my oldest son’s 17th birthday. So, to the boy I adore and respect so much…

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Happy Birthday, Landon!

Back to flowers tomorrow, I promise! Have a great Wednesday…

10 comments:

Just Bloomed said...

Amy - this is amazing! What a beautiful thing you are doing!!

Laurie (Fleurie) said...

Wonderful! I love the line about listening when in midst of unrest, I feel the same way. Why do we do that to ourselves? I work hard to be open to what God is trying to get through to me, not a great listener though, sometimes it takes a while! Much luck in your new venture.

Never A Plain Jane said...

Oh Amy, how incredibly wonderful for you all! It seems as if you are getting everything thought you had to give up - solidly built walls, a house with character, security, a yard - and so much more! It could not have happened to a more deserving person. I love you and your sweet family.

Happy birthday, Landon! Hope the year is filled with guitar picks, road trips, laughs and love.

Amanda Mae said...

Wow! Congrats on the exciting new journey!

Alicia said...

Ohh! The Carriage House looks fantastic! What you're going to do sounds amazing. Good luck!

Jenny N said...

wow, Amy! This is incredible. Don't mind me (the lukewarm Christian), I'll just be over on my blog talking about free slurpees.

oma /opa said...

Praise The Lord !
His mercies are new every morning ...new every morning...great is His Faithfulness.Lovely report on the faithfulness of God . My husband has gone on a medical mission to Romania (still a poor country w/ great needs & our son to Africa to help w/ an orphanage.Now I know more of why your blog is so unique & so lovely. Thank you Amy ,for more inspiration, & sharing how to trust God in our lives.Greetings from Oregon.

Janet said...

What an incredible way to give back! I'm sure your new venture will be successful and fulfilling!

Caley said...

Congratulations Amy! So happy for you.

kjh said...

Amy, Thank you so much for sharing this post. It is incredibly inspiring! Many blessings as you pursue a Crazy Love for God!