As most of you know, I am a first year Director of Special Services in the district where I have been teaching for the last ten years.
And it is almost Christmas break.
In fact, our students finished today and tomorrow we'll have a day of professional development and then thirteen days off before we start back in for second semester in January.
As I sat at my desk this afternoon wrapping up things for the first two quarters, I took a moment and looked around.
I had a few thoughts running through my mind.
"This is my office."
"These are my responsibilities."
"I have almost survived the first semester as a school administrator."
And although I'm not quite there...I just ALMOST feel like I know what I'm doing.
This week, on my Facebook memories, a status popped up from two years ago...
At the time, just two short years ago, I had no idea how the opportunities would play out to get me where I am today.
Looking back, I can see the hand of God woven into the whole story...into the big moments and all the little details.
We bought the farmhouse in July of 2017. We sold our home and started doing some updates to the farmhouse. School started in August of 2017 and we were moving full-speed ahead remodeling, moving, and of course...getting ready for the school year.
When my boss asked me if I would be interested in a leadership position and encouraged me to go finish my certification, I wasn't thinking it would be anytime soon.
In fact, I had told Mr. Farmhouse that I was thinking I would probably teach for another 8-10 years and move into administration for the last 3-5 years of my career.
But during the craziness of moving a family of five during "back-to-school time", I got word that the Director of Special Services would be retiring and I was asked if I would be interested in the position.
"Where God guides, He provides." Isaiah 58:11
I have been stretched,
I have been challenged,
and I have been pushed out of my comfort zone.
I've had to learn a lot in a short amount of time and I have made many mistakes.
There are days that I want to cry over every little thing and days that I feel like I might just have this gig figured out.
And through it all...
through the frustrations and the calm...
through the uncertainty and the moments of confidence,
I've never wondered if this is the right place for me.
God has brought guidance, and He is still providing.
In the moment where I am feeling overwhelmed (like today!), the phone rings and a family has brought me a gift to thank me for my tiny part in the success of their babies. (Thanks, B family!)
The second I start to feel worry, my heart fills with peace at the thought that God opened all of the doors necessary to get me to this place.
When I walk down the hallway to bounce an idea off of the elementary principal, I find myself smiling at the thought that God has worked it out that my teaching partner and I have both ended up in leadership positions at the exact same time.
These things are not accidental.
What an encouragement to know that He cares for little ol' me.
Resting in His providence here at the farmhouse,
I can't even believe I'm saying this.
The closing papers are signed.
We have a new address.
The farmhouse belongs to us.
Yes, we have been living here for a few weeks now.
Almost all of our belongings are already moved over and put away.
It has felt like "ours" for a little while already.
But this long process of inspections and appraisals and repairs and painting...it is over.
We bought our forever home today.
And soon, we will sell our home of eleven years.
It didn't happen like we thought it would.
In fact, the sale of our other home isn't even complete yet.
In May, when this whole process started, if we had known that we wouldn't be closing on the farmhouse until August 2nd, I would have laughed and said, "No way."
If you would have said that I would have to reschedule my very first teacher meeting for the 2017-2018 school year to go sign papers, I would have said, "Not happening."
But here we are.
In a few days, we'll build a wall to create an official fourth bedroom.
We'll add a second bathroom upstairs.
We'll tear out and rebuild Mattie's closet.
But not yet.
For now, we'll just enjoy today.
The day that the farmhouse became our home.
Farmhouse, sweet farmhouse.
Home, sweet home.
I know, I know.
I'm not in control. God is.
I can't change things by worrying about them.
God's plan is better than the one I have planned for myself.
Let go and let God.
I get it.
I say these things to other people.
I say these things to myself.
I use these phrases in my daily prayer time.
But sometimes, when things don't go the way I planned, I forget.
I forget that although things don't always work out the way I had planned, they do work out the way God has foreseen from the beginning.
I forget that when I spend my time fretting on the inside, my family gets the raw end of the deal on the outside.
Because I'm kind of cranky.
Kind of unsettled.
Kind of irritable.
Deep down, that Polly-Hannah that I wrote about a few days ago is still there.
Polly-Hannah knows that God's got this.
She knows that He can keep the world on its axis spinning at just the right speed.
She knows that He already has divine appointments lined up to make specific things work exactly how they need to work out for His glory.
But that doesn't mean that there aren't days that I'm frustrated with the day-to-day moments in life.
When my plan doesn't work out the way I had pictured it all even though I am confident that this is the plan God has for us.
You see, last Friday, we were given the impression that all was good to go with our closing date.
God came through and that one piece of paper that needed to make it to the lender's office made it!
But Tuesday we found out that there was another piece of paper.
And that paper is still sitting on someone's desk at the USDA office, just needed to be sent over to the title company.
So we didn't close yesterday.
And we won't close today.
Hopefully we will close tomorrow.
And even if we don't, I know that we will close eventually.
We will sell our old house.
We will buy the farmhouse.
It will all work out the way God intended it to.
I know this.
But for now, "I like things to work out the way I had pictured in my head-Hannah" is trying to find "Polly-Hannah".
I'm trying to put on that smile and enjoy the journey.
To remember that someday, I will look back at this time in life and say "that was a long eight weeks, but we grew during that time...we learned to trust God and enjoy the little things in life."
For now though, I will just breathe deeply and pray that our closing date comes sooner than later. ❤️🏡❤️
Yesterday, we spent day #2 at the farmhouse.
On the "to do list" was to finish painting the master bedroom and to get the kitchen somewhat put together.
One of my former colleagues is an amazing painter and volunteered to come down and help me knock out the bedroom walls.
She. Was. Amazing.
She filled holes, painted the edges with her favorite fancy Purdy paint brush, filled in the middle with the paint roller, and even painted the whole closet by the time she left late into the evening. And now it looks wonderful!
After the bedroom was painted, Mr. Farmhouse left and took the two younger girls home and Harlee & I decided to tackle the kitchen.
My dad had gone to Lee's Summit to pick up our new refrigerator yesterday afternoon and it was now safely installed in the new kitchen, thanks to Dad, Matthew, & my brother-in-law, Colby.
We had only three tubs of kitchen stuff to go through and put away, so Harlee and I decided to go for it. We went through the tubs and only ended up keeping one tub of kitchen items.
We put those items away and made a plan for where we would put the rest of the goodies we have left in our current kitchen.
I have lots of pictures for the walls, decorative items for above the cabinets, and other countertop accents.
I'm looking forward to putting all of those things out once we get the final appraisal report back (today sometime!!!) and set a final "for-sure 100% happening" closing date.
I can't wait to share the details of the kitchen project with you!
Until then...here's a preview!
As I shared a while back, the thought of leaving our current home is bittersweet. We have so many memories in this home. It's strange to think of passing the keys over to someone else and moving on with our lives in a new home.
We are excited and sad and overjoyed and even mourning a little bit.
As we walked the property yesterday, Matthew and I visited about all the things we could do to the outside of the house. We were planning on new siding and windows right away, but due to the fact that we are wanting to add a second bathroom upstairs and still keeping on the straight and narrow with Dave Ramsey, we might have to put that off for a year or two.
After we discussed the changes we needed to make on the outside of the house, we took his parents through the inside of the house.
This was the first time we had walked through the house since the owners moved out.
It was a blank canvas.
Mr. Farmhouse and my dear teaching partner worked to bring the very first load of our belongings in. We had been filling up an enclosed trailer with stuff ever since we thought we would be closing and moving on June 16th.
While they delivered tubs and boxes, the girls and I worked to scrub the main rooms down.
The men left to go get another load and the kids and I started sorting the tubs into the rooms they will be going into.
Mr. Farmhouse, along with a few of his friends, brought in the Craigslist farmhouse table I had been waiting for and brought a load of outside items.
Our friends left and the five of us shared our first meal at the new table.
It was spectacular.
Harlee prayed for our new journey in the house and for the pizza and for the appraisal results we are still waiting on.
We stayed until 12:30 this morning, working and painting and enjoying each other.
And when the girls get up, we're gonna go do it all again.
After 11 years in one house, it's kind of difficult to think about filling a different house with everything you own.
Difficult and exciting and fun.
It's a blank canvas and we are already working to make it our masterpiece.
Everything was moving along so smoothly with our house sale and our house purchase.
Until last week.
We had originally planned on closing on both and sale and purchase on June 16th. We had started to pack our life away into tubs and had started putting less-used furniture into a large enclosed trailer in our driveway.
And then we got a phone call about about the possibility that the closing date was actually July 1st. With further investigation, that seemed to be the closing date on several pieces of paperwork making this whole process work out.
In the meantime, we were notified of several loose ends that needed to be tied up to make sure that things could progress as they needed to.
Somewhere along the line, someone neglected to order an appraisal of our current home. There were a few issues on the title work of our house that needed to be cleaned up. Our buyers needed to make some repairs to their current home and their appraiser needed to come back out and inspect their work.
That's a quarter between those three softball-sized pieces of hail.
On May 27th, in the midst of our preparation to close, we had a huge hail storm that tore up our current property.
We need four new roofs...the house, the detached garage, and both of our big barns. We need some new shutters, new fascia, and new gutters.
So really, the delay that I was frustrated about to start with has been kind of helpful. We are waiting on the official report from the adjuster and then we will get to work making these repairs.
So June 30th, it is.
Two. More. Weeks.
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