Monday, June 14, 2010

The story of a Thousand Hills

Charlie and I have been married for ten years this August. In that decade, we have always dreamed about having a farm with lots of rolling hills and having our children grow up in the country.

It's not that we live in a metropolis. We actually live in a small town, that most people would say is in a rural area. But it's pretty uptown for us. Charlie grew up on a 120-acre vegetable farm 30 minutes from the nearest town. And I grew up in a rural area, a 15-minute drive from a town or a grocery store. We know rural. So to live in Berea where Wal-mart is only 2 miles away, and that's the farthest thing from us in this town, is more convenience and big city than we've ever known. All the best restaurants are within walking distance as are the best shops, including more than one chocolate or fudge shoppe.

Now, the kids will grow up in the country, Lord willing.

Years ago, as I would drive by plots of beautiful acreage, the thought would always cross my mind, "I own the cattle on a thousand hills," which is the Lord speaking to David in Psalm 50, though I didn't know the scripture address until recently. But, the scripture always came to mind, and I didn't really know why. It always spoke a personal message that God cares about our dreams, as there are some He stores up in our hearts. Honestly, Charlie and I never expected to afford this dream until after our kids were grown.

But, the Lord made a way for it to happen, sooner than later.

We always thought we would start out with 100 or more acres, and I thought it would to take at least that to have a thousand hills :-). But the auction we found was 23 acres. When we first drove by it, I was a little disappointed- it was all one hill. But we parked and hiked up the hill to where on old house and an old barn, both dilapidated, still stood.

And that's when I felt like I could breathe- for the first time in months. There was the view- of a thousand hills (no I didn't actually count them!). And all the amenities we had listed in our dream place- a creek, a pond, a beautiful home site, three barns, trees and a view.

Something to note about Charlie: he's not a super confident decision maker. So, when he's got a feeling about something, I'm on board. The only other time I know that he had a strong feeling and acted on it, was with me when he proposed...and well, I like how that turned out.

For this property, he found a random auction poster at a bank and had that feeling. When we drove by and then later, walked to the top of the hill, he still had that feeling. He did all the leg work to find out what we needed to get the financial backing for a soon coming auction, and he still had that feeling. I didn't, but he did, so I went with it.

One of Charlie's favorite bands is Third Day, and they have a song called, "These Thousand Hills." One line in it I particularly like says, "the footprints of a Father's love." We won the auction! There were two separate tracts and we went to the auction hoping to get one tract for what we ended up paying for both together.

I really can't remember if it was that day or within the next few days, I mentioned a name for the farm and he liked. It was easier than naming any of our three kids...

Thousand Hills Farm is now home.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

It is finished and it is beginning...

As I write my first blog, we are sleeping in our newly finished house for the fifth night while awaiting the impending arrival of our third son, due tomorrow. Early labor began a couple weeks ago, settled down and has seen some advancement in recent days.

I'm tired of being pregnant, but I'm tired in general and I really want more nights' rest before bringing a newborn home. But, as I write this, it is 12:36 am- and I'm not exactly falling asleep. I'm keeping my husband company as he installs a vessel faucet into our new master bath. He wouldn't be installing it so late, but we have an appraiser coming Monday, so that we might close on this loan soon.


One important thing to note about me, and my husband...we hate debt. We paid our first house off, after seven years, last April on tax day 2009. Just four days before, we found our dream property, which we named "Thousand Hills Farm." Two weeks later, we won it at auction! Two weeks after that, we screamed "we're debt free" live and in person on the radio to Dave Ramsey. Ten days later, we closed on the loan for our farm. Four months later, we sold our paid-for house to my mom who planned to retire here. We were almost debt free again, but soon watched a loan rise as our house went up. A month later (we're in October 2009), we realized our third child was on the way.

No problem- we'd be wayyyy done with the house by then!

With my mom still working in Alabama, we were blessed enough to stay in our old house during the entire build. Fast forward nine months. May 29th I went to labor hall but was sent home. That week we had a trim guy, painters and flooring folks finishing their work. Mom retired June 1st. We moved our furniture June 5th. Polyurethane and paint fumes had subsided enough for us to sleep in our new house June 8th. We just barely beat the baby, but the boxes are still packed and I'm tired.

Friday was my last day of work for maternity leave. And today, after much suggestion from others, I started a blog...about it all.

That's me. That's this year. Did I say I was tired? We're all tired...including my oldest son, the three-year old, who broke his leg Memorial Day and scoots himself around quite well, leaving a trail of cast scuff marks on my new floors...