What goes around...

Well, it really does come back around.
It is in these late nights of recording our life, that I continue to read the story that God is writing.

Tim and I will leave Nellie Mae with only 3 pieces of furniture that have been with us 8 years. A couch, loveseat, and our table.
For different reasons at different times, some because of space and some because of finances, we chose saving up our money and also making life easy at Nellie Mae. Smaller furniture = more room.

We sold:
Our beautiful cherry queen bedroom suite
Our chair and ottoman
Our coffee table
Our foyer table
Davids full bedroom suite
Mackenzie's whole nursery
My rocking chair
our washer and dryer (stackable only in nellie mae)
a patio set
bakers rack
a desk
our piano

We obviously replaced some of those, (ie: the kids got bunk-beds and we have a simple headboard), but I learned to let go of a lot of "things". Because that is only what they are: things. There were a few pieces we hated to see go, but our house seem to feel warm and at home.... just with our family filling it and not a bunch of furniture. I'd much rather my kids have space to run around, than have a huge ottoman taking up their playspace here!

Anyway, one of the first things we sold a while back.... I mean a WHILE back. Before Nellie Mae. We had this fun coffee table that we loved. It was the first thing Tim bought me when we got married. It was from Target. But, I was so impressed because it looked like something from pottery barn! It was long, rectangular, dark brown, solid wood, with a small drawer with a nickel knob. We had it for a couple years and then when David was born, I quickly panicked that he would surely loose an eye on it as he was starting to crawl and pull up. I hastily put it on craigslist and sold it for $20.
I always regretted that sale. And sure enough, as the kids got older I saw there was no danger in really having a coffee table ;) We never really got another one.
Well, after we moved in here, we continued to sell all our of belongings to fit and save money.
These 2 years have crept and flown by all at the same time.
As we are about to embark on our new journey and feel as though God has deeply blessed us, we now realize we are going to need a few pieces of furniture when we move into the new house!
Such a new thought!
Naturally, I started scouring craigslist for a coffee table and a washer and dryer. In that order of priority!

Do you know what I found? An ad that said, "Target brown coffee table, solid wood- $20" I thought to myself- No way. I clicked on the link.
Would you believe it was an identical match to the one I sold years ago? Image matched. Description matched. I hurriedly emailed her begging the girl to sell me this coffee table, going into the whole story of how I once owned one identical. And missed it. She responded, not mentioning any of my nonsense, and gave me her address.

I met her. And I saw it. The same one. With the same drawer and nickel knob. I paid her $20, the same amount I had sold it for and I softly closed my car door and felt a huge lump in my throat. The kids were into their movie so they did not notice a tear that rolled down my cheek.

It wasn't the coffee table. It wasn't a material "thing" that brought me joy. It was the simple word "restoration" that I felt spoken to me. God is a God of Restoration. And although we had been stripped down in all aspects of our life, he has brought to us ten fold what we lost. And then, to find this table-
a small little piece of the puzzle I lost.

I called Tim and told him I got a piece of our life back. After me telling him the story and that I had driven to downtown atlanta to buy this stupid thing back- he began telling me that I was nuts and to stop buying things because we haven't moved! (You can obviously tell it is me who is sentimental right now!)
I called my mom and she declared this to be, The Willis Recovery Act, 2012. She said we were recovering our losses.

She was right. And I just thought we have a pretty special God. To anyone, its just a coffee table. To me, today God told me he was restoring what was lost. It is an unbelievable feeling to know Christ.

By the way, when Tim walked in and saw it, a huge smile came across his face. I knew he missed it too.


God's Timeline

If you want to change the world, pick up your pen- Martin Luther.

I would never say that patience is one of my virtues, but God has changed me. Changed me in big ways. And a change I know He can bring about in anyone. During the chaos of being newly weds, moving, changing jobs, having babies, moving, having miscarriages, changing careers, making friends, joining churches, ect- the big picture can be lost. This next home will be our 4th house we have bought- (that's 7 closings if you are counting...) You can feel as though your life is moving forward, but not making impact. And not accomplishing goals or seeing your dreams come true. We have such a small window of being able to understand what God is doing in our big picture.

I vividly remember 6 years ago Tim laying out his real estate dream to me, and heck, anyone that came over to our house. I still found him (and still do, haha!) irresistibly charming, driven, and I liked houses so I would just listen. Then, I remember when he left our first job being married to  pursue his dream, that was scary. And didn't really work out. The housing market crashed that year. The construction company he worked for filed bankruptcy. At that time we had a newborn. I just remember thinking, Okay.... well, let's find a new hobby for you!

We kind of pushed that dream aside and Tim did sales for 4 years. In any spare time we had those years, besides the fact both our children were born, you could find us looking at houses online, driving through old and new developments, and talking about renovations to properties. It was a fun conversation.

Little did we know when our last home sold and God re-directed Tims career...... that He was taking us to the place where our dreams were going to come true. At the time, we were stripped of everything. That was 2 years ago. It's so crazy to me.

I saw God completely transform where we were. He gave Tim a career to be passionate about. And He gave us Nellie Mae to do a project we had always dreamed of. I never thought we would have ended up here! I now see that God was answering different prayers we had and choosing not to answer other ones. i.e: growing our family: God had bigger things He wanted to do first. I, not understanding, found myself hurt a lot and felt abandoned by God in many ways. Each ultrasound of those 5 babies we lost are engrained in my mind forever. My tearful confessions and prayers asked Jesus to please carry me through these times that made no sense. 2 years later Tim is at the top of his industry and doing commercial HVAC, Nellie Mae is going to be our first rental property, and we won a bidding war on a foreclosure in downtown Marietta- a house that is beyond what we could have prayed for. I think God looking down had so much compassion on me and my broken, broken heart. And He kept telling me to Hold Fast.

It's hard sometimes to go to extremes. And I keep waiting to wake up and realize none of this is really happening. I know it sounds ridiculous.

God really cares. He really does. About the big and small dreams you have. A dream that was talked about 6 years ago, God has brought full circle. I had pretty much thought God didn't really "hear" that one. Or that He only makes your spiritual dreams come true.
After seeing what He has orchestrated in my life, I know 2 things.

He is there.
And He cares very much so.

He cares we want more children. He cares that you miss a loved one. He cares about future plans. He cares where you live. He cares about YOU.

He is your Father. And loves you just because you are you. You don't have to do anything to make Him love you. And just as we want to give our children gifts, He wants to give you the greatest gifts in the world. His timeline is perfect.

Don't waste your time wondering if He is there and if He cares, take it from my learned lessons that He is listening, acting, moving, and working things for your good.

Hold fast.

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