We all love "A God Story", those rare instances when the Lord allows us to more clearly see His loving care in our lives. We've had just such an amazing tale develop in our family in the past few weeks.
Eric and Alison married at 20 and 21 respectively. Right around their first anniversary, they were blessed to add William Eric to their lives. Suddenly they were a family. With this change, the walls in their 600-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment began to close in.
They were faced with a dilemma. Purchasing an itsy-bitty starter home in the region runs about $300,000. This investment was not even thinkable for two "kids" barely out of their teens. At the same time, renting a larger apartment would significantly slow down their savings for their dream of someday entering the housing market in the expensive city of Boston.
But God swooped in and rescued them!
While they were praying about how to gain more square footage and a second bedroom for their new son, Eric's dad heard about a program offered by the small town in which Eric grew up (and his parents and grandparents still do for that matter). Each year the town fixes up four homes for families whose income level makes entering the housing market in the town nearly impossible. Then in early January a drawing, called a "lottery", is held to determine which four sets of people are going to be given the opportunity to purchase the four homes at a staggeringly reduced rate versus the surrounding market.
January 7 was a very happy day for the young Moores family. The Lord had made the seemingly impossible possible! They learned at a meeting that night that they had been awarded the chance to buy one of the four greatly-reduced homes!
Although in the lottery these folks did not get to pick their own home - rather one was assigned based on a number of factors - God so amazingly gave their favorite house to them! It is for them a dream-come-true, years before they thought they'd be able to reach the goal financially. God abounds in lovingkindness!
That night they were allowed to see their prize, but, of course, it was hard to get much of a feeling for the place in the dark.
On Saturday, the program director gave Eric and Alison the opportunity to see the house in the daylight for the first time. To the great pleasure of this visiting grandmother, as well as Eric's parents, David and Tara, we all got to tour their soon-to-be home. The kind director even told us we could take as long as we liked so we spent nearly three hours closely looking over the property.
Our first stop was the garage where a garage door opener has already been installed. What a luxury this will be for Eric on icy and snowy mornings!
As we entered the finished basement, Alison was delighted to see yet another convenience that comes with the house -- her very own washer and dryer! Since she and Eric married more than a year ago, Eric's parents have been kindly allowing her to do laundry at their house which is about 15 minutes away from the couple's apartment. However, with all the laundry that their new baby has added, she's thrilled that soon she will have her own machines.
After we toured the basement, we ascended the stairs to the main level. I made my way up first and captured this photo of Grammy and William as they awaited the others.
We turned the corner and stood in awe of God's goodness. We just couldn't believe the beauty of the kitchen. Every detail amazed us...high quality cabinets with soft-close drawers, granite counters, a tile back splash, the huge window over the sink, enough room for a table. The list just goes on and on. This room alone brought to mind the message of Ephesians 3:20 -- God does above and beyond all we could ask or think.
Eric's joy was irrepressible as he contemplated his family's new home!
And, again, Alison rejoiced in God's gift of an appliance that will simplify her life as a wife and mom.
Knowing she'll still spend plenty of time at her kitchen sink, I was so happy to see the large window behind it. In the winter, she'll even have a water view. The house backs up to a bird sanctuary which will never be built on, and a small lake is on that land. You can see the lake to left here.
I was simply overwhelmed with joy as I marveled at this kitchen where so many family memories will be created by Eric, Alison, William and any future children.
Our next stop was the bathroom. Although the house only has one, we found it to be big enough for all five of us adults to fit in the room.
In this photo, the bathroom door is one the left. The kitchen is straight ahead. My back is to the three bedrooms.
Here are Eric's parents and that grandson we share in one of the bedrooms.
Alison marveled at the storage built into the bedroom closets.
As we women finished imagining decorating the bedrooms, the men inspected the attic.
When Grampy came down the ladder, he realized that William's hands were chilly. Grampy found the perfect way to warm the little guy's paws up.
The next room we explored was the living room. The room has a large window with a view of woods.
Here's Grammy and her boy by that same window. This window and the large window in the kitchen are directly opposite each other so the house will be flooded with light throughout the day.
Eric and Alison are both pleased to have a wood-burning fireplace for the cold New England evenings.
After about 2-1/2 hours we realized that William would soon be hungry, and we needed to wrap up.
I couldn't resist one more family photo before we left the interior to take a peek at the yard.
The yard is just the right size for a future swing set, a sand box, a deck -- complete with a grill -- and a garden. How perfect for a young family!
Here Eric and his parents are standing at the property's boundary again taken aback by God's goodness in given them a winter water view.
William's grin captures the joy we all felt as we got a thorough look at what will soon be Eric and Alison's new home. God abounds in lovingkindness. In His goodness He has made the impossible possible for these young marrieds!