Travels: Capitol Reef National Park

Photo May 14, 5 57 34 PM (1)This was our first long vacation in almost 2 years! Sometimes it seems like we’re always traveling but truly most of that is just long weekends away. This was a real trip!

We decided to continue our love affair with Utah, especially since it’s mud season here in the mountains. We love Utah so much, there is just something about the desert that has captured us. So far, we’ve done Zion, Arches and Canyonlands. This time, we aimed our sights at Capitol Reef National Park.

We left Friday afternoon and made it to the State line by about 11pm. We ended up in BLM land just off of the Interstate. We wandered around in the dark trying to find a place to camp for the night. All the campgrounds were full so we poached a site off a guy who was sleeping in his Airstream and wasn’t using his tent pad. We left Saturday morning before he was awake and kept heading towards our destination.

We decided to start our tour de Capitol Reef in the northern section, called Cathedral Valley. Cathedral Valley is only accessed by 4×4 roads so it’s really pretty empty. Most tourist in rental cars shy away from the river crossings and bumpy roads that lead into and out of the section of the Park. We dropped in from the northern area of Fishlake National Forest. It’s a windy and bumpy 4×4 road that offered some really great views of the Cathedral Valley area.

Eventually we came to the primitive Cathedral Valley Campground.We found a great campsite and set up our base camp. We spent the rest of the day hiking the Cathedrals Trail, driving through sandy washes and checking out the Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon. This area was probably my favorite in terms of scenery, it was so amazing! The monoliths just rise straight up to the sky out of the ground. It is really so beautiful!

Photo May 14, 3 51 23 PM Photo May 14, 1 19 10 PMSunday morning, we ate breakfast, packed up camp and headed towards the Fruita Historic District, which is the main section of Capitol Reef where most people go. The road out of Cathedral Valley was long, bumpy, winding, full of washed out creekbeds and eventually a large river crossing. We heard the water was only running 12 inches high, so our 4Runner had no problem crossing, it was pretty fun!

We snagged a great camp site in the Fruita District, it was on the edge of the orchard and looked over the red cliffs and apple trees. Deer grazed in the orchard every morning and evening, it was so peaceful!Photo May 15, 6 16 20 PM We headed to the Visitor’s Center to inquire about backpacking. We originally wanted to do a 2 night backpacking trip in the Park. The backpacking “expert” was probably the worst help we’ve ever received at a Park. Every question we asked, she would respond “I”m not sure, I’ve never hiked that trail” or “oh I’ve never been there before” or “I can’t really answer that question because I’ve never done that before.” We eventually ignored her and relied on our own intuition and decided on a 2 night trip up Pleasant Creek. We got our permit and left to explore more of the Fruita District.

We thought a good day hike would be a great way to see part of the Park. We chose the Grand Wash trail, which turned out to be our favorite hike of the entire trip! It leads all the way to Cassidy Arch, which is rumored to be where Butch Cassidy hung out back in his outlaw days. We did 7 miles all together with 1,000 feet of elevation in the last mile. On our way out we got caught in a downpour. It was actually really fun being in the wash and watching all the rain pour off the rocks. There is always a danger of flash flooding in the desert so we made sure to keep an eye out for higher ground if needed.Photo May 15, 2 50 31 PM

The rain that started on our hike continued for the next 2 days and eventually forced us to cancel our backpacking trip. It rained pretty steadily but we managed to sneak in a few more quick hikes and scenic drives as the clouds let up every now and then. Hickman Bridge was a favorite for sure!
Photo May 16, 10 50 45 AM

Photo May 16, 11 00 57 AMOn our last day in the Fruita District, we found a little trail that lead from our campground through the orchard and along the river. We just thought we’d take a morning stroll but soon enough the trail started going up! We weren’t planning on a hike, but the scenery was so beautiful, we just kept going and it turned into one of our prettiest hikes of the entire trip.

Photo May 17, 8 48 06 AM

We packed up camp and headed over towards the Waterpocket District which is the southern most section of the park. It’s a pretty remote area, and another one where 4×4 is recommended so not many people visit. We had a picnic lunch, hiked a little bit and then saw some pretty ominous storm clouds approaching so we decided to keep moving.

The goal was to head to Goblin Valley and camp since it was on our way back towards Colorado. When we reached the visitor’s center, the ranger told us he had one camp site available and that we should go check it out, so we did. We liked it, so we set up our tent and then went back to the ranger station to pay. I knew the second that rangers saw us that something was wrong. “Uh sorry guys, it’s first-come-first-served and I just sold that camp site to someone else.” Ummm, what?! YOU told us to leave and go check it out before paying! And then you sell it right out from under us? Gah! He totally screwed us, so we had to go back to camp and take our tent down and then find some BLM land to camp on. So frustrating! We did at least check out the Hoodoos, which is what Goblin Valley is known for. Photo May 17, 4 26 59 PM

Photo May 17, 4 13 18 PM

We found a great spot of BLM land that gave us a great view of the valley surrounding us. We made a fire, cooked dinner, listened to good music and watched the skies fill with more storm clouds. Photo May 17, 6 14 53 PMAnother night of camping in the rain didn’t sound appealing and thankfully we hadn’t set up our tent yet, so we decided to head out and grab a hotel room in Grand Junction for the night. A hot shower and soft bed sounded delightful after 4 days of camping in the rain!

Our trip home was uneventful and easy. To be honest, we were both a little sad that our trip had to stop at 5 days. I could have easily spent another week out in the desert. We are still living with David’s parents, which is going just fine, but when you don’t have your own home to return to…returning home just doesn’t sound like fun. Oh well, just another excuse to go back to Utah in the near future!


A Safe Place

It might not look like it, but this is my very first post on this blog. I imported a few  old posts from another blogging platform that I was using, so although it might look like I’ve been around here for a while, this is indeed a fresh start for me!

My old blog was making me uncomfortable for 2 reasons.

1)Through the years, various prying eyes began to read my old blog: family, old friends, acquaintances etc. It felt a little bit like people were stalking me from afar, watching my ups and downs without actually having to participate in my life. People from our old church, who began treating me like an outcast because I didn’t fit nicely with their family-centric ideals, still read my blog. They read all about our health trials over the last year and never once reached out or offered a helping hand. That angered and irritated me to no end. So starting a new blog helped me feel like I was putting an end to the voyeurism. I get that blogging is public and literally anyone can read this blog, but I look forward to the relative privacy and anonymity I have here.

2)My old blog documented much of our 6+ year infertility journey. Consequently, many other infertility bloggers found me and started to follow along. That was all fine and good until my husband David and I decided in 2013 that we would not be pursuing any more infertility treatments after hearing a call from the Lord. That decision left us in the wilderness of childlessness, where we remain today. None of the people who followed my old blog could relate. The infertility community that I knew pretty much left me high and dry. I got a few judgy comments, weird emails, a few sideways glances from “real life” people who disagreed or thought we simply gave up. My blog began to feel like a place I needed to defend.

So eventually I decided to jump ship and start a new blog.

What I really want for this space is the freedom to talk about, wrestle with and understand what it means to be a Christian who is childless (not-by-choice). To be a Christian woman that does not fit into a category, mold, expectation or standard. I needed a place to hash things out without feeling at risk or judged, looked down upon or argued with. I think this can be that safe place.

I also have a sneaking suspicion that there might just be one or two other Christians out there that also feel like misfits in the Church. I know there are people who don’t feel like their life measures up with the Christian standard and I would really like to connect with them. Maybe there’s even another sweet couple in this world who doesn’t have children, are quasi-content with their childless state and aren’t in the active pursuit of parenthood. My hope is that us misfits who are wandering around the Kingdom of God might bump into each other. Sort of a “if you build it, they will come” kind of a hope. 🙂  I hope they find me here and connect with me.

And since there’s usually way more on my mind than identity issues related to infertility and being childless, I’ll also use this blog to continue documenting life. From trips we take to interesting hikes and fun weekends we have, I want to keep a record of that stuff. I love being able to look back and remember places we’ve been! Now that I’m in Seminary, I also have a lot of theological stuff floating around in my brain so I’m sure some of that will work its way into this blog as well.

All in all, I’m happy to have this new place. I hope it remains safe and maybe attracts a few like-minded souls.


The Quiet Side Of Infertility

My friend Caroline was putting together a post for National Infertility Awareness Week and she asked me to contribute a short little snippet describing what I wish more people knew about infertility. This got the wheels turning. I spent a long while thinking about this. Probably too long. I have never really participated in NIAW, but this year I felt like I had something to say.  I wanted to share something that would be impactful….both to the infertility community and to those who do not struggle with infertility. I wrote Caroline an email back so answer her question and I said:

“Sometimes infertility is quiet. It doesn’t always look like hormones and injections, IVF, doctor appointments and charting your next steps. Sometimes it is just quiet prayers, faithful hope and a patient longsuffering.”

After sending that over to her, I thought…”man, I could really expand on that. Maybe I’ll just write a little post about what I mean. Maybe it would help someone else.” The theme of NAIW this year is #startasking. So I thought I would start a dialogue for anyone who wants to start asking a questions about what the other, the less obvious side, of infertility looks like.

It’s so easy to equate infertility with the endless striving for motherhood. From HSGs to charting and ultrasounds, negative pregnancy tests to Clomid and injections, IUIs and 2nd opinions…I’ve been on that side of infertility. I’ve been on the side on infertility where every moment of my life was consumed with how to get pregnant. “Maybe if we try this drug…maybe if we see this doctor…maybe if I memorize this verse or pray this prayer…maybe if my faith were just a little bit bigger…” I camped on that side of infertility for a long time. Years.

But now I’m on a different end of the infertility spectrum now. 

I don’t mean that I am done with infertility. No. Infertility is still very much with me. I still have a uterine fibroid and poor egg quality. I still only have one fallopian tube, which is likely blocked now. I still have a cyst on my brain that affects hormone regulation. I still am not pregnant. Infertility may stick with me for many years to come. It’s like a monkey on my back that won’t jump off no matter how many bananas I tried to throw. So when I say that I’m on the “other side” of infertility, it doesn’t mean that infertility is no longer a part of my life, my prayers or that it doesn’t occupy any space in my heart.  

What I mean, is that I’m on the quieter side of infertility now. The side that is no longer striving, trying, planning or researching. The side where actively pursuing medical treatments is over and you’re done trying to fix what is wrong, or maybe you realize you can’t fix what is wrong, like in our case. Not many people ever make it to this side. Often, IVF, surrogacy, surprise pregnancies or adoption enter the scene and this side of infertility remains a dark unknown that people are glad to pass right by. 

Since many people avoid this place, either intentionally or because God supernaturally intervenes on their behalf, there are consequently very few people on this side of infertilityIt’s like a secret land that no one really knows about. It’s scary at first, you don’t really know what’s over on this side. Like…. what actually happens when you get off the infertility treatment crazy train? Is it so dark that you can’t see? Is it just utterly hopeless? Do you feel stagnant since you’re no longer actively pursuing something? Do you just wander around aimlessly hoping for a baby to drop out of the sky? Are you just forever lost at sea? I get it. I asked all of those questions too when we made the decision to stop actively pursuing medical treatment.

It’s an interesting place to be, especially when there are so few who have gone before you. There’s not exactly a guide for this stage. To my knowledge, there isn’t a book or step-by-step directions on how to navigate these waters we have found ourselves in.  

To be honest, the quiet side of infertility is very peaceful. You can hear yourself think and the Lord speak. You’re in a place with new views and horizons. You can travel and not worry about ruining a cycle. You can stop stabbing yourself with needles and taking crazy pills (looking at you, Clomid). Your head space is a little clearer because you’re no longer obsessed with trying to fix what is wrong. You also have a little extra time and money since you’re not blindly throwing them away into the pit of fertility treatments.

I’m here to tell you it’s really not a scary place. It’s just not. 

Are there still sad days and despairing nights? Yep. Do you still mourn the loss of a dream not yet realized? Yes. Are friendships strained because you don’t fit in? Definitely. But this is also a place of opportunity for strength and incredible growth. It’s a rich land that is full of potential, which I am just now beginning to lean into.

Ultimately, this is a place of deep dependence on Jesus. He helps keep me keep my head up when the world wants me to second guess the path I’m on. It’s so easy to question this side of infertility. To wonder if we really continue to hear God correctly. To feel insecure and left behind. It’s so easy to crumble under the pressure to conform to society’s standards, the infertility community’s common bonds, the Christian community’s expectations.

It takes a lot of obedience, courage, strength, hope, faith, prayer, perspective, peace and humility to stay here. But knowing that we are firmly walking in alignment with God’s will for our life is a beautiful thing. Even if it’s hard and doesn’t look like what everyone else is doing, both within and outside of the infertility community.

So, if you’re thinking about stopping fertility treatments, or if you’re not comfortable moving forward with more, or if the funds have run dry, or if you feel the Lord leading you to simply rest and trust in Him…I’m here to tell you, it’s ok to do that. You don’t have to dive head first into things you’re not comfortable with or don’t feel called to. You don’t have to keep putting your body through hell. You don’t have to justify your decision or explain yourself. You don’t have to worry that you are “giving up.” 

Being on the quiet side of infertility is perfectly fine. There aren’t many of us on this side, and it takes a lot of guts and prayer to make it here and stay here. But if you do make it, you’re in good company and you can rest assured that the Lord will never leave you or forsake you as you trust in Him for His perfect plan.

This & That

Really not much at all going on these days. Still living among boxes and I’m trying desperately to find my essential oils and flip-flops with no luck. School is good (4 weeks left!), David is healthy and alive (hooray!) and we have been loving the spring weather and I have been reading lots of great books about Jesus. The rest of it will follow in bullet-point fashion, per usual! Happy Spring y’all! 🙂
  • I have really good news to report regarding that awful Migraine Diet I’ve been on for 5 weeks now. It is working!!!! I have gone 3 weeks in a row without a single headache! Praise God for sweet relief. I’ve gone from a chronic low-grade headache 24/7 to absolutely NO headaches, even when the barometric pressure is changing! I miss coffee, pizza and wine something fierce, but it’s totally worth it to have a little break from the pain. I will continue with the diet for 3 more months and then I can slowly start reintroducing foods back into my diet. July can’t come soon enough…
  • House stuff has been progressing smoothly. Our inspection went really well, no major problems at all. Woo! With a house that was built almost 40 years ago, it’s obviously not going to be in perfect condition. We have some siding to replace, landscape grading to redo, rewiring of electrical outlets and a host of other random things on our to-do list. But the house is structurally sound and safe and that’s all we care about! Our appraisal is being done this afternoon, which is a make or break sort of thing. If it comes in 10k too low, our seller has the right to terminate the contract and we are back to square one. So we are crossing our fingers for a good appraisal!
  • Our obsession with Utah continues so we’re planning our next desert getaway this spring and have settled on Capitol Reef National Park! I don’t think much planning is going to go into this trip, we’ll probably just wing most of it. I do think we’d like to spend some time in Cathedral Valley though, it looks pretty amazing!
  • Is it bad that I’ve already been dreaming about the things that I want to redo in our new house? Our appraisal may come in low and we could lose the house today, but I’m still scheming and dreaming. Can’t help it. One of the first things I am dreaming of is changing up in the kitchen a little bit. Half of it is great and half of it needs a little help. It has new stainless steel appliances + new grey quartz countertops + new hardwood floors, so those things will definitely stay! But the cabinets are old and I’m not crazy at all about the backsplash the previous owners installed. I have a vision of white + grey + mint. A little something like this…

    It’s just so bright and clean! We have great natural light in our kitchen and I think white cabinets would really keep things light and airy. I’m pretty obsessed with the sea glass tile backsplash. Another thing I’ve been thinking of is painting the fireplace or resurfacing it. I’m sure resurfacing with pretty stacked stone is going to be astronomically expensive, but it doesn’t hurt to dream!

    Speaking of fireplaces, one interesting thing we discovered during our inspection was that our house is going to be 100% electric. There is no gas line into the house at all. This isn’t a big deal except for the fact that we were intending on converting the wood-burning fireplace into gas. So now we’re faced with either running a gas line outside to a propane tank or…going with a new eco-friendly fireplace that runs on bio-ethanol. Bio-ethanol fireplaces run on clean fuel made from corn, sugarcane and other food sources. You’ve probably seen them mounted on walls inside hotels or resorts. They looks fancy schmancy, but they’re actually pretty affordable



For the first 3-4 years of our infertility journey, I happily joined baby showers, birthday parties and even regularly attended a weekly play dates where friends would bring their kiddos over to each other’s homes. Babies would play, moms (and myself) would chat and drink coffee. Maybe those things just didn’t bother me much back then, or maybe they did and I just denied the pain. I enjoyed celebrating with friends and immersing myself in a world that I believed I would soon join.

Somewhere along the way, the pain started to increase significantly. Maybe it was after we lost our baby. Maybe it was when we stopped having an “official” plan with fertility treatments and started to drift out into the wilderness of “no man’s land.”

Women’s Bible studies began to equal tears. Baby showers meant an entire weekend of tears. Even lighthearted birthday parties, painting parties or happy hour meant tears. Any women’s gathering I went to, my heart was assaulted by women who unintentionally spent 3 hours talking about babies, pregnancy, parenting, nap schedules and teething. No matter the context, I always felt like a girl on the outside looking in.

I’m not sure exactly when the boundaries started to go up, but they went up and they went up high. I intentionally had to distance myself from certain friends. I intentionally had to leave certain groups just to keep my heart from collapsing on a weekly basis (I’m looking at you, BSF!). My heart needed a little protecting and at the risk of losing friendships and isolating myself from certain people, I chose to protect it. In the process, I learned that boundaries are a really great thing.

Since these boundaries have been in place, I’ve been in a much healthier place emotionally. The boundaries have given me freedom. Freedom to say no, to do what I want, to excuse myself from unnecessary pain. The boundaries have promoted my well-being and helped me identify the relationships that I really want to invest in instead of feeling burdened to take part in everything I’m invited to.

While I think my boundaries will stay firmly in place for the foreseeable future in regards to things like play dates, all women Bible studies and baby showers. I do think it’s wise to reevaluate boundaries as time goes on.

For instance, our new small group. It is a wonderfully diverse place that is life-giving, enjoyable and nurturing. We have been welcomed with open arms and I can’t help but want to dive right into life with these people. The group is made up of singles, young couples, older married (ha! I love that David and I now fit into this category) couples, families with older kids….and a precious young couple who just invited us all over to their house for a gender reveal party next week.

            …………..long pause….blink….blink….lips pursed…..half smile….blink……blink…………

This couple is very kind and sweet. They genuinely want to celebrate with their church family. It’s not a “hey look at us” kind of thing. It’s more like a “hey, would you all like to maybe come over to play some Monopoly, drink some decaf coffee and celebrate together?” sort of thing. And while I admit part of my heart had a knee-jerk reaction that wanted to say  “Ummm…yeah no… kthxbai!” and run out the door, there was another part of me that said “what if?” What if it was a fun night with our small group? What if it didn’t hurt (or at least as badly as I think it could)? What if not going would be missing out on a big part of their life right now? What if I get to eat a delicious piece of cake with pink or blue frosting?  Mmmm cake…. 😉

I still haven’t made up my mind. I have 6 more days to think it over. But I am realizing that the beautiful thing about self-generated boundaries is that you always have the ability to change the height and perimeter. They are dynamic and exist to serve you in whatever way you need at the time. And sometimes those needs change. Sometimes it’s good to add a latch to the gate and let someone in, or leave for a day or two. Sometimes you need to lower the height of the hedge to get a better view of the territory that surrounds you. And one day, maybe you even dismantle the boundaries altogether when the coast is clear. But until then, boundaries are intended to be healthy form of self-protection, not iron walls that you can’t get beyond.

Healing: 1 Year

Last year on Easter, I was sitting in the neuroICU at UCLA. My goodness time has gone by so fast! I can’t believe it has been a full year since my surgery. During my final post-op with my neurosurgeons, they said, “expect to feel better in 8-12 weeks….expect a significant improvement at 6 months….and expect full healing to take 12 months.” Here I am at 12 months!

SCDS is a degenerative syndrome. There is no cure for it. Surgery doesn’t make everything all better. You can’t just go back to normal again. Surgery isn’t about fixing things and getting back to life as usual, it’s about trying to make sure nothing gets worse. Big difference.

As I have gotten further into my recovery, I began to notice that it was hard to tell where my SCDS symptoms ended and brain surgery side-effects began or when healing ends and the “new normal” begins. Lines blur and all I know is that things are different now. Good, but different.

I write this as a person who is thankful to have received the help that I have from surgery, but who is also very much struggling to accept the idea that the “normal” I used to know will probably never return. There is a mourning over the loss of what used to be, and likely will never be again. That’s a big deal. Anyone who has been sidelined with a chronic condition will resonate with this (fellow infertility sisters perhaps?).

After all the dust has settled, I have realized that a few things linger. These are things that have not changed much over the last 12 months. They’re here, probably to stay. And I’m slowly making peace with that. Some of them are SCDS symptoms that just never fully resolved and some of them are probably due to the surgery itself.

-Barometric Pressure induced headaches, dizziness & cognitive disorientation. Bottom line, I never feel well when storms are approaching or leaving the area. In Colorado, this happens several times per week, if not several times per day haha!
-Cognitive disorientation in high stimulation environments

-Difficulty with short term memory, focus and concentration
-Nerve Pain and numbness
-Low-grade headaches 5-6 days/week
This list of things that remain is far better than what I was dealing with before surgery, so I will happily accept them as part of my new normal. And you never know, some things may improve in the future, like the headaches now that I am on the Migraine Diet (I’ve gone 7 days without a headache so far! May be coincidence…may be the diet actually working, too early to tell). And if we ever move to a place with no barometric pressure changes (Honolulu is #1 on the list haha!) then I will most certainly feel better. 

    Recovering from this whole experience has had it’s ups and downs. It’s been a long year full of tears, slow walks, frustration, gratitude, struggle, relearning things and adopting to a new way of life. I don’t have a story where I can say “Look at me! I’m 110% better now!” But I can say “I am grateful for the healing work God has done in my life and I am slowly learning to accept and embrace my limitations while praising God for bringing me this far, which is much further than I was a year ago. Amen and Amen!”

    David and I took a quite trip to the mountains to celebrate this milestone and to also celebrate the fact that we finally have a house under contract! Wooo! We booked a last minute condo on the river just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. We spent our time lounging around, fishing, sitting in the sunshine, eating good food, hiking and looking at wildlife. It was a great way to get away and celebrate together all that God has done for us.

    Under Contract

    The housing market in our new town is not for the faint of heart! We have spent the last 5 months searching high and low for a good opportunity. We’ve watched houses sell for 50k over asking price, contracts get signed within 4 hours of listing and inspections & appraisals waived completely(what??). We’ve seen open houses that are too crowded to even step in the front door We’ve lost a house to cash buyers and we’ve seen first hand how nasty things can get in a bidding war .

    But God (I LOVE when I get to say that!) stepped in an intervened miraculously and directly on our behalf this week by providing an adorable bungalow that wasn’t even on the market! It was not easy to get, but we are finally under contract! Praise God!

    The story as to how we got this house is so circuitous and random, it could only be a God thing. Last weekend David and I went out of town to hang out with friends at their ranch in the mountains. It was supposed to be a relaxing 3 day trip enjoying their family’s log home and 5,000 acres of peaceful forest.

    1 day into our trip, our friends randomly came down with the stomach flu. They begged us to leave so that we wouldn’t get sick. We were so disheartened! We were looking forward to a weekend away with our wonderful friends and couldn’t believe that less than 24 hours after arriving, we were driving back home.

    We got home in time to stop by an open house that was going on. We really liked the neighborhood and the house itself was pretty cute too. As we were looking around, a neighbor walked over in his sweatpants and came up to us and introduced himself as Mark. He had mustard stains on his t-shirt and it looked like he hadn’t shaved in a few days. But then he said some beautiful words: “hey guys, I’m thinking about selling my house in a little bit and it’s in better shape than this house that you’re looking at, would you like to come see it?” At first, I thought maybe this guy was an axe murderer and we should decline the offer. But we were desperate, so we agreed.
    The second I stepped inside Mark’s house, my eyes welled with tears and I fell in love. It’s precious.
    We spent 2 hours talking with him on his delightful back patio. The more we talked, the more we realized that there was actually potential for a deal happening. He told us there was another couple interested in the house as well(he also snagged them at the open house), so he needed to talk with them and gauge their level of interest. We went home, called our real estate agent and had an official offer submitted to him in less than 24 hours! That’s when things started to get complicated. 
    The other couple also submitted an offer, which was almost identical to ours. What ensued after that was a week of back-and-forth negotiations. Each day that went by, we became less and less confident that Mark would accept our offer. We knew the other couple had been looking for months for a home and they were dead set on getting this house. Eventually they submitted a counter-offer that we could not beat. 
    But on Easter evening, we got an email from our agent saying that Mark had decided to go with us and wanted to move forward. What?!?! We had been expecting to hear the exact opposite. Why in the world did he go with our lesser offer?
    Yesterday, after he had signed our contract and the deal was done, David and I had the chance to talk with Mark on the phone. He said, “I’ll be honest Becky, the other couple had a much better offer. But you and David are caring people and I wanted this house to go to a good couple with kind hearts.” I was speechless.
    You see, Mark is sick. He has prostate cancer. A few days back I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to write him a quick email to see how he was feeling and to say just say we were praying for him. I can’t help myself, these days my heart is drawn to anyone who has an illness, chronic ailment, pain or difficult health problem. I’m sure it’s because of all the troubles we’ve had, but I can’t stop myself from caring. He said that email is what made all the difference. Also, Mark said he’s felling better. The doctors gave him a really good prognosis this week. I’m in awe.
    God performed a miracle out of the stomach flu, prostate cancer and a nice email. What a bunch of random circumstances He used to bring about His plan for our next home. Almost as if to say “see Beck, I can do anything. I can bring you a home out of the stomach flu. I can make miracles happen, even if the odds are stacked against you and there is no logical reason why something should turn in your favor. I defy odds and I will never betray your trust.
    To be perfectly honest, we needed a miracle. Our spirits have been low and discouragement has been running high lately. We have felt hopeless, disheartened, upended and very confused these days. Between David’s health stuff, my health stuff and our nomadic lifestyle we have been quite weary. We were almost getting to the point of regretting the sale of our house, even though we clearly heard God tell us to sell it. Thankfully God stepped in at just the right time and we are left humbled and so very grateful.
    So let’s chat about the house, shall we?
    It was built in 1978 and definitely has a quirky, funky feel to it. It’s so different from the “traditional” homes David and I had been looking at. It has a bunch of different levels, unique angles and windows, an amazing loft (my favorite!) and a beautiful backyard that backs up to a big open greenbelt that makes my heart so happy. And it’s right across the way from a private lake that we have access rights to. Wooop! 

    The interior was updated by a previous owner who was a general contractor. He installed a new furnace + air conditioner, new windows, hardwood floors, updated all the bathrooms, poured new concrete, new landscaping, new appliances, backsplash in the kitchen and heated tile in the master bathroom (can’t wait for that!). He worked so hard to put in all this new stuff and then he took a job in Denver and sold his house to Mark. 

    It’s smaller than our old house, which is perfect because we were looking to downsize! The neighborhood is older and very established. It’s a quiet area with lots of big trees and bunnies hopping around. It’s right in the heart of town and within walking distance of Trader Joe’s, Starbuck’s, Chick fil-a and Panera. Yassss! 🙂
    The only downside is that we can’t close until July. Mark needs to own it for 2 years in order to avoid capital gains tax. So we shall patiently wait and spend the next few months thanking God, saving our pennies and thinking about what kind of patio furniture we should get.

    Cori and Tex, if you’re reading this, we are so very sorry that you guys got the stomach flu…but we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sending us home and sparing us. You are welcome to stay with us anytime, we’ll probably name a guest room after you for your involuntary participation in helping us get this house. And if would be helpful for us to get the stomach flu so that you can buy a house, we will gladly repay the favor 😉