Saturday, July 25, 2015

This Old Church : The Beginning!

Well, we did it! We bought the church! I know, right? SO CRAZY! My husband and boys love the show 'This Old House' and now we get to have our own version of 'This Old Church!'

It's been a super long road since we sold our last house. We closed on our house in Carlton on May 28th. The sale of that place was a huge God thing, and no matter how hectic everything had been trying to get out on time, Josh and I were both at peace leaving that place. Well, you know, besides my hysterical crying because this was our first house, and the land was absolutely amazing. But after the tears had been shed (mainly by me), we said goodbye and were ready for our new adventure.

We were supposed to close on our new place, the church, on June 10th. So we had packed all of our belongings into one of my sisters garages, and camped out in their basement. Unfortunately, soon after we closed on our old house, we realized that the 10th of June closing was not going to be happening.

We stayed positive though, and thought maybe the next week we would close. And then the week after that one, we thought maybe it would be the next week... and this cycle continued for way longer then expected. The title company couldn't get their paperwork together because the property was so old, and apparently when a church sells a property, there are a lot more hoops and jumps to get through. So that part took awhile. THEN, the appraisal was behind because this is the busy season, and apparently all the appraisal companies were behind by about three weeks, so there was that part. Then, when we finally did get the appraisal back, it was ridiculously low, as the bank hadn't gotten all of the info to the appraiser on what we were all going to do to the property. So it had to go back AGAIN.

Super long story, I know. But it has been a super long process. Josh ended up selling his skid steer on a Monday (the 13th) so that we could buy the property (because the appraisal was still low, since it was still classified at a 'church' and not a house). On that Tuesday we got a call saying there might be something wrong with the septic that hadn't been disclosed to us. So we frantically started looking for a new place 'just in case.' On the Wednesday, we learned nothing was 'wrong' with it, but if we want to have copious amounts of children, we'd just need to add an additional holding tank. And on Thursday (the 16th), we bought the place! Yeah, BOOM!

So how has life been since? In the least: crazy! Because we ended up staying at my sisters house for almost 8 weeks instead of 2 weeks, our stuff stayed in the garage for far longer then what we had intended. Meaning, there was a lot of mold. YUCK!

We started to move stuff on Saturday, and the guys found mold on most of our furniture that had been stored in the garage, plus on boxes, ect. We had put it all off of the ground, but it's been a rather wet summer, and the moisture still made it on to everything that was within 3 feet of the floor. So as things got moved into the new place, I was on mold duty.

As the guys unloaded the truck, they put everything that had mold on it off to the side, and I was in charge of wiping it down with bleach. I last about 2 hours before I ended up with an awful headache and a horrible cough. I have asthma, and am allergic to mold, soooo... needless to say, it's been a week and I'm still recovering.

So there is the yuck. The fun? Well... we bought a church! I mean, c'mon! My husband has been in construction heaven, ripping out walls, and buying supplies to redo the bathrooms downstairs. The building didn't have a shower, so we've been washing our hair in the sink, and getting creative with make-shift showers. Maybe not for the faint at heart, but we don't mind so much!

The boys are LOVING their new house! They have the biggest playroom imaginable, and yes, I really do let my kids ride their bikes in the house, haha! Plus, they love to help Daddy rip down walls and tile, and help Mommy paint.

I had spent much of last night painting, and the ceilings are a wee bit higher then I can reach, so we may have to invest in a ladder! I'm hoping this nice subtle green will go nicely with the hardwood floors we are going to put in! (and I just realized I didn't actually take a picture like I thought I did, whoops! I guess you'll just have to imagine ;) )

We have got a super long way to go, and I haven't gotten through all of our boxes. Thankfully, we only lost one or two things from the mold so far, but considering how widespread it was, it's a miracle we didn't lose more!

I can't wait to share more with you, and some fun before and after pictures!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Where we are at...

I'm sure the last you may have heard from us, we were moving out of our house, and buying a church to make into our new home. Well, things have been moving along, but much slower then anticipated. We sold our house to the new owners from the cities on May 28th. Everything had gone smoothly, and we moved into my sisters house in hopes of closing on the church on June 10th.

Things may have not played out as we had hoped. Apparently when a church sells a property, especially one as old as this, there was far more hoops and jumps to go through, and the title company had one heck of a time coming up with all the necessary paperwork to get things finished. But, we survived, and it was on to the appraiser. Unfortunately, the appraisers in the area are about 3 weeks behind, so it took them awhile to turn in their report after they were able to get out there.

 Unfortunately, there was an error in the report, so it had to be sent back to get fixed, which really shouldn't take that long... but, ya know... I'm just not holding my breathe on anything at the moment. Once the appraisal does come back, the banks job is super easy (or so I've been told) and we should be able to close shortly after.... so I'm hoping and praying for the end of this week!

What have we been doing in the mean time? We are still at my sisters house. The kids have been having fun playing with their cousins, and although Josh and I are super anxious to get in to our new place, we've been forced to slow down... which really hasn't been a bad thing, even if we're getting antsy! We were under a ton of pressure selling our house in such a short period of time, and planning the vendor fair, and all the other things of life! There were many sleepless nights, packing boxes, hauling, cleaning, mix and repeat. Just A LOT of stuff going on every day! So to immediately come to a halt, was super hard! I almost felt lost without a million things to do!

So life has been going on, and we're all making the best of what is going on, even though it has been weeks since we were supposed to close. Please keep us in your prayers, that the rest of this process will go by speedily, and smoothly, so we can get into our new place and start working!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015


My head is spinning, with thoughts of things that need to be done, that things that should be done, and things that I want to do... My heart is spinning, reeling, aching... what is this thing that You want me to do? Do you want to leap forward, with my eyes close, heart abandon, into the unknown and hope I'm jumping into something amazing? Something hard? Something new? Do you want me to stand still, and see where I am, and wait for those around me to jump first, to be the encourager on the other side? What do I do?

Lord, you know my heart, and where it lies in this world. You know that I am not easy to contain in one place, one space, in one frame of mind. My heart stretches to the East, to the West, to kids I met long ago, to ones I will meet one day, to the ones here in my arms. My heart breaks for the broken, hurts for the hurting, and flies to and fro in this whirlwind of life. I am here with my kids. I am here with my husband. I enjoy their laughter, their smiles, their outlook on life. I love to teach them, to guide them, to care for them... And my heart does not long to be apart from them, no, not at all. My heart aches at the thought... my heart just simply cares deeply for them, but for others as well.

But how? How do I pour my love on my kids, and pour my love on kids that are not mine? How do I care for the broken, when I myself am deeply broken and scarred. Do I turn my eye, my heart, away from those that I cannot see, that I cannot touch... just because it's hard? Do I pretend my heart is not pulled to care for others?

I think not...

Do I step out of my role for a moment, leaving, knowing that it is safe, it is secure, it is good? Or maybe, this is my role...  It's like a mother bird, who knows that a bird has fallen out of it's nest... does she leave the 3 that are safe and sound in the nest to help the one that has fallen... or does she stay? If she goes, her three in the nest will be safe, will be sound, and they will not fall, for the walls of the nest are safe and secure... but the thought is frightening.... it is hard. But if she stays... she will hear, she will see the one that has fallen, the one that is hurting, the one that is alone. The one that is not being helped, the one that will slowly fade away as it lay there helpless. Does she listen to the cry for help, until it diminishes, and then force herself to forget? Or does she go... flying into the unknown? Not because she is the rescuer, not because she knows what she is doing, but because she hears the call, and cannot help but answer, even when the call is sudden and unexpected.

Do I leap? Do I stay? Do I ask for prayer, knowing those who have leapt, will call through the unknown, saying to go? And those who have stayed, or have not thought to go, will ask why, and ask me to stay...

My head is reeling, my heart is aching of things to do, things to get done, and things of the unknown.

Oh this whirlwind of life... overwhelming, always changing... 'His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and the clouds are the dust beneath his feet.' Nahum 1:3....... Yes....

Monday, May 11, 2015

Well, that was unexpected!

Ou life has been a whirlwind the last few weeks months. We started out the year with few goals, mainly consisting of fixing up the house to sell next year, and maybe working towards having another baby.

Then God said, "oh dear children, amazing things are planned for you. Hold on to me, trust me, and we'll go on this adventure together." And my, oh my, has it been quite amazing and crazy so far!

In January, God put such a heavy burden on our hearts for adoption. We both knew that this was what God wanted for us, so we prayed, planning to wait until this Fall to start the process.

February, God said 'Ha! Just kidding, you're not starting the process this Fall, you are starting NOW. SURPRISE!!!!'

March, Josh and I both knew, if we were going to adopt, we needed to sell our house, so we started to get things ready, trying to fix things up... thinking that we'd put our house up for sale mid-April. And, in my mind, thinking we'd have until July or August before we had to move. End of March, someone came to look at the place.

April, now behind on house fixing up due to our crazy life, and feeling a bit down about the overwhelming task that still lay before us to sell the house. Mid-April - our house sold. Ahhhhhh!!!!! Ok, freaked out. Cleaned, scrubbed, made things inspection ready, tried to pack and haul some things out to my sisters house. Oh, and had phone call with adoption agency that said 'well, we need to wait until June to match you with some kids... so don't start your home study yet.' Which, was fine, because now we were moving... and we didn't know where! And, to update the home study to a new house would be something like a $700 fee.

Kayla, breathe. Yes, you wanted to start your home study, like yesterday, and yes, you wanted to be matched and start build a relationship with your kids like a week ago, and you want to know where you'll be living when you sell your house, like now... but...

End of April, Josh and I go look at an old church that was for sale. Yes, let me say that again. Old church.

Slight background story for you before I go on. Josh has always wanted to buy an old school building and fix it up into a home. Last year, at the end of February, when snow was waist deep, we found a school, that was amazing, and we trudged through that snow with three kids and a realtor to go see the place. Talk about the most amazing old building you could imagine. I even found a picture of it, just to show you... 

How awesome! It was a ton of work to fix up, and not exactly livable right away, but the potential was endless! Well, the day we hauled our minions through waist deep snow, to see the old abandoned school house, three other people put in an offer for it that night. Alas, we did not get it.

For the last year, this place has haunted us, literally. We had dreams about how amazing it would be, I'd wake up thinking we had bought it... I think Josh went into a depression for like a month or two because he felt like he lost his dream. Yes, we were nuts, but we both wanted it so bad. Forget that we may have not been thinking about living in super unsafe conditions with 3 small children... but you know, logic is not always our strong point.

Anyway, after scouring the real estate website every day, day and night, for weeks, and having no luck finding anything we'd want to live in, I came across this old church.

Can I just also pause for a moment and say that my realtor was FREAKING OUT because she sold our house so fast, and she knew we had no place to go once we closed on our house? She's awesome, and I totally appreciated her concern, because I was too stressed out to be concerned, so she just did it for both of us ;) And, I just kept having this odd peace that everything was going to work out perfectly... even though I had no idea how. Oh, but then when she found out about this church, I think she just got doubly concerned and probably about had a heart attack... we're good at doing that to people ;)

Anyway, back to the story...

Now, a year ago, I would have been giddy and excited to find such a place at an amazing price... but guys, lets face it. I was stressed out! I didn't even want to show it to Josh at first, because all I could think about was work... and did I mention I've been planning a huge vendor/fair for like 4 months while all this other stuff was going on? More work did not exactly sound appealing. So I did some digging, made sure this place was actually livable with 3 children, and safe. That there was a kitchen, and bathrooms... and not creepy... Anyway, so I swallowed my big ol' chunk of 'what the heck am I thinking' and called up my husband to look at the place online.

He LOVED it! Oh the potential, oh the ideas... oh the work ;) So we went to look at it. And I got to say, it really was not bad at all. Everything was in remarkably good condition, the carpet was actually decent (besides the weird orange color), the rooms were actual bedroom sizes, and the best part? It had a huge basement the kids could ride their bikes in. Ok, if you live in Minnesota, where the winters are 9 months, and the temps get to -40 degrees, you may know just how awesome that is.

So, we put an offer in on it...

May 3rd, offer accepted... we just bought a church!

We just bought a church...

We just bought a church y'all!

Oh holy crap, still not sure what we're thinking, but I do think it's going to be amazing.

Oh, and then May 9th, biggest vendor fair EVER, and crazy crazy crazy AHHHH! I'll talk about that another time.

ANYWAY... so, want to hear a few cool numbers and dates?

May 28th we close on our house... which is only like 17 days from now... which I'm just ignoring that fact because HOLY CRUD MUFFINS that's way too soon and my house is a chaotic MESS.


June 10th, we close on our new church home. And, super cool crazy God timing? We're going to get to start our home study, and be matched with our kids at pretty much the exact same time as we buy the new place! AKA - we don't have to jump through extra hoops, and we don't have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to change the address, AND we're going to have a big enough house to hold all these kiddos in! HOW AMAZING!

I'll share with you more of our plans for our new home as things get close. I'm thinking of having a section on this blog called 'This Old Church' instead of my husbands favorite TV show, This Old House...  but guys. Seriously? God is pretty gosh darn amazing!

Now... off to hide behind my computer or phone and pretend I don't have to pack my entire house up and move in two weeks  have a meeting about how the vendor fair went and what we can do better next time... and pick up boxes on the way home...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

new life

I walk through the door into the crisp air that holds breathe of new life. Buds have appeared on the trees, hints of green shower the barren trees with hope and promise. The setting sun sending it's golden hues through the majestic trees, to gently kiss my face.

This place, so peaceful, so pure, so full of promise, has been my home. Tears have been spilt onto dark wood floors, in unbearable pain and with no holding back of grief pouring forth. Laughter has danced through these walls, and rung with sweet joy. Life created, life lost, life born, and life lived... Every grain that runs along these wood walls, and grooves that scatter the floor, all hold memories in it's grasps, refusing to let go. In my feeble attempt I hold dear, wanted to pull up every floor board, every nail, for how dare it hold onto these treasures and not share with me what has been.

I breathe in deep, and the wind wraps me in it's cold embrace. I gaze upon this land, of the death that lie in crumpled leaves, in the strands of old grass, that hold root amongst newcomers. The leaf must fall, in it's due time, to make way for a new season, so the story may go on. The grass must lay aside is glory and color, to make way for new life. All lay aside, stepping down, away from comfort, so that new beauty can bare forth, can flourish.

This home. This place. This haven, that has held every memory, every laughter, every tear, every hurt, and every joy... this house, my home. How to step away, to end a season, so that new life, new memories, new dreams and hopes, can spring forth... how to fly away to new roots... new challenges, new life? How?

My eyes close... and when they open they fall to the grains of old wood on a banister. No rhyme, no reason to the flow and direction to which the lines run. Yet, in this old piece of art created by God, there is beauty. Beauty in the chaos. Beauty in the lines, in the change, in the old, in the new, in the richness of the weathered wood. How curious... Is there beauty in this? In this chaos? Is there beauty in the path to be taken, the changes to be made? In the things that have brought us to this point? In the things yet to be discovered? Is there beauty in the weathered soul, that has experienced and seen more then her fair share, that has cried more then enough tears, and laughed more then what is logical? Is there?


So how? How does this weathered soul, take flight to new roots, to a new world of unknowns and big changes, and leave the comfort of what is known and what is good? How?

Because... The leaf must fall, in it's due time, to make way for a new season, so that the story can go on. The grass must lay aside is glory and color, to make way for new life. All lay aside, stepping down, away from comfort, so that new beauty can bare forth, can flourish... can be new.

Because... There is beauty in the chaos... in the paths to be taken, and the changes to be made. There is beauty in the past, and in the mystery of the future... there is beauty in this unknown, in this plan that is yet to be revealed in it's full glory.

Because... because even though I may not always know which way the winds will blow, when I'm flying freely in His breeze, I know He is in control.