There's no place like home for the holidays... especially when you own the house! A few weeks ago, Josh and I closed and moved into our first home! Despite the horror stories that seem to follow people around when buying a home (although we do have one...), our home-buying process was relatively easy. Don't get me wrong, the underwriter needed a million things and we definitely saw a few duds before we walked into our new home, but all in all, we love our new home!
Our horror story, funnily enough, is actually a repeat of a story from the home we were renting for the past two years. Suffice to say that main lines are expensive to fix and we had to practice humility in order to take care of our new home. We have beautiful hardwood floors, good windows, and a dirt front lawn from having to have it dug up and having a large section of pipe replaced. Ouch. If we ever purchase another home, I want the pipes to experience a stress test of some sort. Run water, flush toilets, do a load of laundry and make certain that everything drains properly.
But in all seriousness, owning our own home is going to offer a peace of mind as we continue to raise our son. I already appreciate the stability that home ownership offers; knowing that this will be home for years to come. Financially, we are only paying a bit more for home ownership rather than paying another person and our quality of life is much higher! Our home is in better condition and the neighborhood is walkable and family-friendly. Kansas City's rental housing market doesn't provide space for mid-quality living. It's either low-end, affordable housing or high-end (more than my mortgage) housing. This made the logical choice for us and our family of three (plus two dogs) (and frequent house guests) to buy.
As life moves forward, despite this huge financial undertaking, we are very interested in the debt-free lifestyle and want to start making strides towards that. If you have any advice for a family starting to dabble in that lifestyle, drop them in the comments below for me!
We have so much to be thankful for this holiday season and I'm so excited begin developing traditions and creating memories in our new home.
I won't even deny it, I'm a bit of a birthday diva. I love celebrating another year around the sun and using it as a post to write a self-indulgent blog post that brags about myself and my accomplishments in the last 26 years of my life. But I particularly want to celebrate this year because I have been thrown some curve balls in the last few years (pregnancy, quitting law school, going back to school) just to name a few.
Recently, my classmates from the law school were celebrating a huge achievement; their passing of the bar exam. I was so excited to see the posts roll in on Facebook celebrating such an important milestone. The bar is hard; they had every reason to rejoice in their hard work and accomplishments. But I was also filled with an overwhelming satisfaction knowing that I did not have to take the exam. As happy as I was for old friends, I was equally pleased for myself because I had also found an occupation that was fulfilling. Even a month in, I can say with confidence that I love teaching in a way I never loved my law internships or classes.
How did I know that everything was going to work out this way? I didn't.
But if I have accomplished anything in the last year or two, it has been learning how to take my fears and anxieties about life and turn them over to God. Simple practices like mindful breathing and minimalist actions and living have helped me maintain a calmer, more purposeful state of being. I'm more aware of when anxiety, frustration, or fear are starting to rise and can attend to whatever is causing it and simultaneously turn it over to God.
As a daughter of the King, I have become more confident and assured in my identity and purpose that was created for me. There is frequent temptation to root myself in worldly things, such as my occupation or passions. However, as I've grown in my faith and vocation, have come to realize how peaceful it is to just be in God's presence and love.
Which makes this post much less self-indulgent. My victory, my success, it is all because of God. I'm so grateful for this season of life I've entered; calm, purposeful, and loving. And it is all thanks to our loving God.