May 13, 2013

Home is where your heart is

Today I am feeling incredibly blessed and need to share the why.  The past few months have been so incredible.  I feel like life is finally going smoothly. In January I had been praying for months for a way out of our town home.  It is too small. We have been crammed into 1300 sq ft for 6 years.  3 kids in one bedroom has been a trial in itself.  But I also know that it has been a blessing.  The last few years have been crazy.  We brought 3 babies home here, we have the best neighbors, great friends, Brighton has blossomed here.  Dean lost his job for over a year and we never missed a house payment.  It has been affordable through this trying economy. I can stay home to raise my kids because it is so affordable. The best part of living here has been the LDS ward we belong to.  I have incredible friends.  Women who have believed in me, had faith in me and taught me so much.  They have strengthened my testimony and helped me grow.  People who have loved and taught my children. I know the Lord led us here and am grateful that we live here.  
Back to January.  After much prayer my sister Becky kept coming to my mind. I called her and talked to her about her current living situation and what her plans were, before I even told Dean what I was feeling.  After we talked and both thought that her moving in here when her lease was over would help us both, I told Dean.  He was worried.  The idea of renting out our home and renting another was always not something Dean was excited about.  I went on to tell him that I really felt guided and that this was an answer to our prayers.  Dean came around and it was finalized that Becky and her bestie Crystal would move in on May 31st.  
Then the task of finding a home we could afford and would suit our needs was the next step.  We started praying as a family and individually right away.  I also started looking at rental homes and was getting really worried.  All of the homes I could find were expensive and the ones that were in our budget were all out of the Salt Lake Valley. I was discouraged and scared.  I kept praying and reminding myself that I needed to have faith. In April we asked family to fast for us and fasted ourselves for us to find a home.  After we did I felt OK but felt I needed to go to the Temple.  Dean and I were swamped busy at night with Brighton's swimming practice and Boston in soccer.  Saturdays were out as well with Swimming and soccer.  I was worried. I knew I needed to go but could not figure out how too.  As always the Lord makes a way.  I had plans with my sister to go to lunch but thought I should ask her if she could watch my kids instead.  She graciously said yes and with in minutes I was ready and out the door.  
I had never been to the temple by myself.  Sounds silly but I hadn't.  Dean and I always go together and try to go at least once a month.  It was an amazing session and an incredible experience.  I left with a full heart and a calmness that I hadn't felt in months.  Since that experience I knew it would work out.  My frantic nightly home searching stopped.  My anxiety that was ruining my days also stopped.  I was calm and felt assured the right home would come.
The first week in May was the first time in weeks I jumped online to look for a home.  I opened up an email from a rental site and there it was.  A great house, 6 bedrooms, in West Jordan, and at a monthly price we could afford.  Did I instantly know this was our house? No. I just knew it was worth calling about.  So I called and spoke to a lovely woman who said I was the first to call and that we could look at it 4 days later.  Oh crap I thought, 4 days later I would be at BYU Womens Conference.  I called Dean and told him he would have to go by himself while I was gone.  Normally this would have freaked me out.  Not seeing a home?  Knowing rentals were going so fast.  Nothing good was lasting more than 2-3 days.  Putting our fate in my very capable husbands hands, this was of course fine but for me should have been nerve racking.  I was still calm and knew if it was right it would work out.  I headed to BYU for some fun and spiritual enlightenment.  
Dean and Brighton went and looked at the house.  "It would work" is the response I got when they called me.  It would work???  It wasn't excitement, nor dismay just regular everyday ok.  Hmmmm.  I then asked Dean how he felt about it.  He replied that he felt ok.  Not bad, not overly excited just ok.  I have come to learn these past few years that this is how that Lord works.  You are not usually "struck by lightening" , the seas don't part.  Heavenly Fathers hands in my life have been quite and steady.  OK.  I told Dean I felt ok as well.  Get and application and we will see how it goes.
Dean turned in the application that night and asked if he could bring her the application fee on Saturday.  I would be home by then and we could go look at it together.  She agreed.  Saturday came and just as Dean said I looked at the home and it was great.  It was enough room, a great yard and would work.  I too felt really good about it.  We told our future landlord that we thought it would be a great home for our family.  As we were walking out the door she told us that she worked close by and if we needed anything as tenants she could be there quickly.  "Oh where do you work", I asked.  Hillcrest High school was her reply.  My heart leapt out of my chest.  The second counselor in our Bishopric, who I worked very closely with in my calling in the Young Women Presidency also worked at Hillcrest High school. Did she know him?  Oh yes she did and just as my heart was pounding I could see her face light up.  I candidly told her forget our other references and talk to him. I explained how I knew him and she then revealed that she too was LDS and just about to send a daughter on a mission.  We were both of the same faith and praying for help from the Lord.
Was this just a coincidence?  I don't believe in coincidence.  This was the Lords hands working in my life and I believe working in hers.  The last tenants they had had not been good.  They had numerous issues and just as I was praying for a home, she was praying for a good family to occupy hers.  
Sunday.  Application is in, we want it.  But I know that they had a lot of people interested.  Head to church hopeful.  Then it happens.  We are asked to speak in Sacrament on Mother's day.  My first thought....I cant say no.  I needed the Lords help and knew I had to do my part.  We said yes.  My second thought?  How am I going to speak on Mothers day, while preparing to move, and not bawl my eyes out because we are leaving this wonderful ward.  I just as quickly knew that Heavenly father would help me and I could do it.. 
Monday.  WE GOT IT!!!!!!  No stress, no worry.  We got it. The rest is just as amazing.  We could move in in 3 weeks.  Exactly when we needed to move.  They were replacing all of the carpet, fridge, and dishwasher.  Went from just an OK home to a GREAT home.  Dean got a promotion.  Seriously!!!  More money to help pay for a bigger home.  They talked to the man in our Bishopric and were assured from him and our Heavenly Father that we were the right family to live in and take care of their home.  
Brighton, as any teenager would be was very worried about where we would move.  Every time she brought it up I gave her the same answer.  We are praying about it B.  We are praying that the lord will lead us the right home, in the right place.  Her response was “Well I am praying that we stay close to my friends and that I can still go to West Jordan High school”  Ok then, I jokingly told her we are having a pray off.  You pray for that and I will pray for the right place, wherever that may be.  Well here we are and All of our prayers were answered.  We found a great home in a nice neighborhood that just happens to be by most of Brighton’s friends and she will be going to West Jordan high next year.  What a great opportunity we as parents were given to teach our daughter to have faith and pray.  The Lord answers prayers. 
   The GOSPEL is true.  I am feeling so blessed, so taken care of.  I am so grateful to be a part of this church.  To know and see my Heavenly Father work in my life to take care of my family.  I know this post is long.  But I want my children to know that our Heavenly Father is taking care of then.  I want them to someday read this and see how he was in every detail of our finding this house.  I want them to know faithful prayers are answered.   That if you do your part, serve him and follow him, you WILL be blessed.  I have a grateful heart.  I am so happy! Charity


Brammer Family said...

Thank you for sharing this Charity! This post has given me strength. We are going to miss the Johnson family, but we're happy for what's ahead of you! Best of luck to you all!

Kelly Lineback said...

I really enjoyed reading your post and was definitely strengthened by your faith! You are such a great mom and are doing an amazing job raising your kids. Enjoy your new home and good luck with the move.

PS. Meegan has a fun blog you should follow, the drake days.

Tisha and Mark said...

What a sweet post! I love these heart felt, testiomny experiences that you shared. Your family will leave a hole in the ward for sure. It will be even worse than you leaving me in YW's. I know where you are going you will bless the lives of others with your service and dedication to what is right. I will miss sweet Brighton and Mc might have a coronary without Avery. Good thing you aren't going far. XO