My wife and I have prayed for a while about moving out of the city. By profession, I am a fulltime firefighter and reserve police officer in one of the more violent urban areas in the country. I'm fine with that. It was a choice I made years ago, and in all honesty, I love my job. But the more I thought about raising my three precious kids in close proximity to such madness, the more uncomfortable I became. If I weren't a Christian, it would be simple. The answer would be something like, "Get the hell out of dodge, take care of number one, and damn the rest." But God calls us to be salt and light; to spread His love and grace to a world that is bruised and broken. How can you do that if you are nowhere near those who are suffering the most?
He also calls us to be holy, which means "set apart." For a while, I have felt that God's way is simpler than ours. Our culture is constantly entertained and numbed by TV, computers, etc. I really think we need more silence, more time alone with God, more solid, productive work. So it's been a long, prayerful process; a process that has, I hope, led to some tangible answers.
You see, every once in a while, even for those of us so hard headed that we seldom hear the still small voice of God (only a 2x4 upside the head will get our attention) God speaks. I know, I know - "God speaking, what kind of whacko is this?" Well, I'm not talking sky-writing or loud, booming voices from heaven. I'm talking about God laying a clear path before you. Well, He's done just that...
After a good long time of praying, we found a new home. And not just any home. One that we could afford while we are still paying on our current home - and on a firefighter's salary, that's saying something. Today, we closed on a 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 2200 square foot home on 4 acres with a pond and we got it for a grand total of 40,000 dollars. Up until now, the best stuff we had seen was on about 2 acres and came in at about 70,000 dollars. That, coupled with a few other things has led us to believe that God is giving us the green light to move out of the city.
What's the catch, you ask? Well, the house was in the middle of a remodel and is unfinished in some respects. Alot of the work that is left to be done is stuff that I can do with the help of some friends (every firefighter in the free world has a side job that is construction oriented). But if I am going to be honest, I'm not "Joe-handy-man." After 12 years in firefighting, I'm good at tearing stuff up, but putting it together?!? Not so much.
So, some questions remain.
- How am I going to do all the work that needs to get done when I am so construction-ignorant?
- How do we keep reaching out to a world that desperately needs God's grace when we are moving out into the middle of nowhere?
- When will our current house sell? and for how much?
- Should we homeschool or continue to use public schools?
- When do we move?
- What toll is such a radical change going to take on my family?
The answer to all of this is that a loving, omnipotent God is calling the shots. (Y'all remind me of that later, when I am frustrated and on the very edge of apostasy because things aren't going as I had planned) That's why I am calling this blog the charis homestead blog. Charis is the Greek word for grace. And at age 40, I can tell you that it is God's grace alone that has made the difference in my life. I am counting on it even now as we embark on our new adventure.
Y'all pray for us. We need it. Let the adventure begin...