Archive for the ‘How it All Began’ Category


Every day is a day to give God thanks and praise. His grace, mercy, and the promise of life for those who fear Him are reasons to rejoice every day.

But then there are times when your jaw drops and you’re knocked to your knees by evidence of His hand at work in our lives. This is one of those times. We put our house on the market last Wednesday. Within five days, we had two offers on the house and are now under contract with a cash buyer, set to close in less than 4 weeks. To me, this is nothing short of miraculous and divine.

When we put our house on the market, we did not know what to anticipate. I think everyone knows the condition of the real estate market right now and that it is certainly not a favorable environment for sellers. The average number of days on market for our area right now is 120 and home prices are dropping like our nation’s credit rating. So for us to have two offers and be under contract in 5 days and not be losing money on our house is unbelievable. And with a cash buyer, that means a quick closing with no hang-ups for financing to be approved.

Something my mother said as we were making the decision to take this leap of faith was that sometimes you just have to say “Yes” to God and then the doors will begin to open. I had waited on saying “yes” to this adventure for so long purely because I was afraid. Afraid of change and of the unknown, afraid of failure, afraid of hardship. But to be paralyzed by fear is sin (more mom wisdom). So after much praying we said “yes” and lo and behold the first door has opened wide. For me, this is confirmation that we have made the right choice and it is a reminder that God is bigger than my fears. Proverbs 16:3 says “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” I think He is leading us one step at a time, saying “If you will trust me in this, I will prove myself faithful.” This is a lesson in humility, realizing how sovereign God is and realizing how much we need Him for our plans to succeed (cause there’s no way we can take credit for selling a house in 5 days).

Now, I am not naive enough to think that every step on this journey will be as easy as selling our house has been. God’s ultimate will and purpose for our lives is our sanctification and He often chooses to do that through suffering. Hardship is discipline from the Lord and He disciplines those whom He loves (Proversb 3:12, Hebrews 12:7-9). But I am going to remember THIS moment when hardship comes. This will be my reminder that God is good and He has a plan and purpose for us where we are going.

His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. Luke 1:50


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The Adventure Begins

There is a For Sale sign in our front yard. This was our first house (click here if you want to see it). It’s bittersweet. For the past four years, we have been living in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. This was where Allen had his first job out of college, where both of our kids were born, and where we bought our first house. We love our neighbors, we deeply love our church (shout out to North Wake Church), and we just love the Town of Wake Forest. But we feel that God has put it in our hearts to go. To start a new adventure.

So you ask, where are we going?

Dunlap, Tennessee. What… you haven’t heard of it? That’s because the population is only 6,000. The only reason you would have heard of Dunlap is if you’re from there or if you’re a hang glider (because, you know, it is the hang gliding capital of the east). It’s a little town 30 miles north of Chattanooga in the Sequatchie Valley and in my completely unbiased opinion, is one of the prettiest place on earth (see picture at the top of our blog).

You have more questions, I can sense it. Why there, you ask?

Well, I shall tell you. Dunlap is the town where my parents were born and raised (they now live in Lawrenceville, GA). Much of my extended family still lives there. My family also owns 140 acres of farmland out there. This is why I want to go. It has always been my heart’s desire to be on the farm, to grow things. I majored in horticulture in college for that purpose. But after college, that’s not where we ended up. We decided to go where the jobs were. And that was Raleigh. My husband accepted a job with a firm in Raleigh and we moved here two months before Claire was born. It was definitely the right thing to do. I think we have built a strong foundation for our marriage and family here, particularly through the teaching and community we’ve been privileged to enjoy at our church.

But four months ago, in May, Allen lost his job. We joined the millions of Americans affected by layoffs. After much praying, soul-searching, and some dead-end job hunting, we decided to follow the dream of moving to Tennessee. So here we are. Our house is on the market and we’re ready to go as soon as it sells. We’re going with almost nothing. We have no jobs, very little money, an empty farm, and we’re moving into a 111-year-old house with a leaking roof and sinking foundation. But we believe that it’s the right thing for us to do. And we believe that God can take our nothing and turn it into something.

We’d love for you to follow us on our Sequatchie Journey. On our blog, we’ll be posting everything. House renovations, farm happenings, successes and failures, and of course plenty about our kids. And we’ll be sharing about how we see God at work in all of it.

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