And now, a word about our home.

We moved into our new home, and people keep asking me about it. "How's the new casa? Are you LOVING it? What's your favorite part?" And so on. We are thrilled to finally be in. For months, when I thought about this place I pictured walking in the door and faceplanting with a dramatic "woooosh." Collapsing into our home. It's been a long road. When we signed our year-long lease at our apartment, we asked if there was a penalty for breaking it, because we wanted to look at houses right away. In the end, we were there for a year and a half. And it was fine. Because we're planting a church, we were committed to moving into a particular area. (I'm happy to explain more about this if anyone's wondering. Just ask.) We looked at house after house, some that were too small, some that were too much, and some that sold too quickly. At times I was totally exhausted by it. I learned a lot too. I learned that sometimes I expect God to give me the disappointing thing, rather than knowing that he'll richly bless. Why do I still do that? We looked at a few houses that weren't a great fit, whether it was a size issue, a price issue, or whatever else. Almost every time I was sure God was going to put us in one of them. And he could have! And it would have been fine. Because I asked him to prepare me for what he had for us. So if we'd moved into one of them, I would have been prepared. I've dealt with some anxiety in moving into this house. I've been almost afraid of it, afraid of how much I might love a new home with impressive countertops and a layout that fits our family perfectly. We plan to be in this house until someone drags us out of it but part of me worried about what Future Me would feel when her next house doesn't fit as well. (Forgetting that he'll richly bless with the next place too, whatever that looks like.) We signed a pre-construction contract on this house, so we signed up to buy it before it was built. We got to customize a few things along the way, but within the limits of what our builder was confident he could sell in the unlikely even that we bail on it. It's not a huge house, only a few hundred square feet bigger than our apartment. There are so many bigger, fancier, flashier, more impressive houses around, okay? But to me, settling into this house felt like buying my first pair of designer jeans, or a really good pair of boots. Or like looking at the diamond ring Duff put on my finger when he proposed. Me? I can have this? It's for me? We are so thankful for the walk-in pantry, the soft-close cabinets, and the playroom. Oh, the playroom. God has richly blessed us here. And our biggest prayer, our most urgent with this home has been that we'll hold it loosely. That it'll be so full of love and people and lovely people that the freshly-painted walls will get nicked and the beautiful hardwood floors will be scratched in no time. That it'll be lived-in. So seriously, come by and see us. Liv will meet you at the door and beg to show you her new playroom. I'll show you the pantry and challenge you to try to slam a cabinet. And I won't get mad if you mess something up, because I want to be someone who holds onto people more tightly than my home.

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