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Starting Over.

We moved to Orlando three years ago,
and we had a house in North Georgia that we put on the market to sell.
It was April of 2008, and the market seemed good.
“Seemed” is the operative word.

We were able to take the job opportunity in Orlando because the job came with a house.
Awesome.
Awesome…except when the job gives you a house with no utilities, the paychecks are much smaller.
Which would have been fine, if we hadn’t had our house in Georgia on the market to sell.

We paid for that thing for a full twelve months until finally, we realized we were sinking.
Sinking is a very scary feeling, whether you’re in water or not. 

It took us a few months to find a family to rent it, but we did, and it was such a relief.
We spent the next year working hard to replenish our savings.
And, it’s a good thing we did, because our great renters decided to buy a house in their price range.

Again, we paid the mortgage and the utilities until we found another awesome renter.
The lease is up in November, and our renter has informed us that she is moving out.
She’s found something smaller and more affordable.
And, we totally get it.
Everyone is fighting hard to make it in this economy.

We thought and prayed long and hard and decided to put it back on the market.
Only this time, we got a very realistic picture from our real estate agent
about what the price needed to be.

I’ll spare you the nitty-gritty details, but just know that we’ll be joining the ranks of others in this great country who are losing their shirts and maybe their pants in the sale of our home.

Thousands of our hard earned pennies will be lost, which means that we’ll be starting over.
Instead of buying a home, we’ll be renting, indefinitely.

I wonder if Nester knows how many times I’ve thought about her journey with renting their home?
Will she ever know how many of her ideas will come in handy when I’m making a rental our home?

Thanks to her, I’ll say over and over to myself, “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”

I wonder if Edie will ever know how the loss of their home has reminded me of the truest truths?
…that our earthly possessions are here today and can be gone tomorrow.
…that our family relationships are the most important.
…that contentment comes from knowing God deeply and receiving the grace of his unconditional love.

It’s just a house.
Home is…
 my husband, my three amazing kids, and our most spoiled family member, Max, the dog-child.

Isaiah 43:1-2
But now, this is what the Lord says-
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”

God is with us.
He knows our names.
He never leaves us.
In all things, he acts on his behalf for our good and his glory.
He loves us.

Nothing is wasted, ever.

I have loved reading what Becky is thankful for at the end of each of her inspiring and authentic posts.
I think this new season calls for me to do the same.
It is good to be grateful.

1. the long walk I took with my husband tonight after dinner.
2. my kids drawing together at the kitchen table this morning.
3. Athens Church
4. living near my mom, dad, brother and his family.
5. seeing redemption in the life of a friend who sat with me at Barnes and Noble.
6. this house that we’re living in until November.
7. sweet tea with lemon that made my day better at 4 pm today.

Comeca Jones - You inspire its great that you can still see a lil sunshine in all that’s going on in your life.I will add you to my prayer jar.”He” is so much bigger than our circumstance. Now let me take my own advice and prepare for for move that I thought wasn’t going to happen till after Christmas.*sigh*

Trish @TheOldPostRoad - We are in a similar boat – as are many others. Getting ready to sell a rental that has depreciated in value. ugh. Near you, if you are still in Athens – we are in Madison.
Just know you are not alone. Most of the country is in a similar situation. Hang in there. Family and God are all that matter.
-Trish

Trish @TheOldPostRoad - Just read some more of your posts and realized you are NOW in Athens. You will love it! Our rental is in Kennesaw – and we are in the middle of evicting our squatters (tennants) who have not paid since April. Everyone seems to have a “why should I pay” attitude. As if everyone owes them something. What is up in this mixed up world?
-Trish

Debby - I’m sorry. It is so hard to see all your hard earned dollars sinking in this real estate market. Homes are selling again where we live but at very low prices. Such a shame. We had our house listed 2 years ago…….after 6 months it didn’t sell and the market got worse. So we are sitting tight for as long as possible. Good luck. Maybe things will work out better than you think. It is just a house…..we all know that it’s more than that.

Rachel Noelle - so sorry you are going thru a hard time right now~ I love your list of “thankful fors”~ Hugs, Rachel

A Rosy Note - Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear of your situation, Tara. The housing market is awful here too. We are in the process of refinancing our house and just had it appraised. I wanted to cry when they gave us the number. It has lost so much value in the past few years…it’s just depressing. I know I need to look on the bright side like you, but sometimes it’s hard.
xo Tricia

Mary Ellen - God will make a way where there seems to be no way– that is one of my favorite choruses that I sing often during trying and hard times…”He works in ways, we cannot see, He will make a way for me….

Katie - Its all about perspective, right? :)

paige - you made me cry…
beautiful transparent & true are your words my friend.
praying for ya’ll during the sale.
may he bless you exceedingly more than you could imagine
selfishly,i’m so thankful for your #3. smk is so pumped & thought andy was awesome!
i can’t wait to meet you in person…i feel like i’ve already known you for so long! xo
much love to you!

Tiffini - your words push deeper the growing awareness that we are not alone in our passing through..I’m thankful for others and their being real. It brings me comfort..He brings comfort so we are able to comfort others. Your words comforted my heart today. Thankyou.

me, you, the nester…it has been 18 times in the last 15 years…I know this well. Hoping this is our last for awhile:) but yes..it is just a house!
He is growing strength in you..xo

janis - I too am one of the numbers. My beautiful family, with my husband that worked so hard & so many hours to provide the best for us, allowing me to be a stay at home Mommy, the girls go to a Catholic school, the expensive cheer & gymnastic classes, the family trips, the beautiful family home where my girls were encouraged to have friends over, the hundreds of slumber parties, the American Girl dolls, the CYO camps, the best High School education, and start of college…then like a domino effect… one good deed (financial risk to help a family in trouble)and our finances fell apart… we may have lost a lot, including our house, vehicles, “toys”, but we have our health (well, the stress has taken its toll on that as well, but..)and we have each other. In fact, it has strengthened my marriage. We are trying to start over, stressed & all, but, I know we are not alone. I know this happened for a reason. And in hindsight.. I still believe we did the right thing. We prayed hard and I really think we did what God wanted us to do.

kerrie of sea cottage - He is our shelter. His hope is our anchor. I daily must surrender all to Him. One thing I desire…to dwell in the House of th Lord all the days of my life…to behold His beauty and inquire in His temple. We can live a life of beholding His beauty rather than the ugliness of the world. The condition of our economy is an ugliness but we can see beyond into uncomprehendable beauty, right? Lay down in His grace and let Christ’s love overwelm you. ox

Megan - Wow friend, I feel for you. But I will challenge you to take the long view. God is smiling right now, knowing what He has in store for you, things you can’t even imagine at this point. I have learned so much about ‘home’ this year. It has hurt, but I have felt a freedom too from that knowledge. Freedom from idols and freedom from finding true security. I will be praying for you.
Psalm 23:6

Morning T - I’m so sorry Tara!! I was just going to email you today to let you know that we are headed to Orlando on Saturday and I was hoping to make arrangements to meet you. Have you moved already?
xo~
Tricia

Julie Taylor and Danni Greenwalt - My heart goes out to you and all of the family’s that are going through this. I will be praying for you and are Nation. Hang in there.

Kim B. - This was by far the most touching blog I’ve read in a long time. I just had to stop reading & pray for you & your family. We have been in that boat off & on & it’s not a fun boat to be in. BUT..God does have a plan for all this & WILL see you through. DONT give Satan a way in,shut that door & continue to PRAISE God during this journey that HE is leading you on for whatever reason He sees fit. You must have HOPE
Hang On Pray Everyday…

Lisa - Hi Tara, I’m just getting caught up on blog reading from the last few weeks and all that has been going on in your life – wow!!
Best wishes to you and your family for a happy life together in Georgia – near your old friends and your family! I’m happy for you that you were able to return to a place you love.
I know everything will work out for you with your home. There is a plan for you! xoLisa

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