When we moved to the farm, into the mudbrick cottage just big enough, surrounded by rolling acres and bush to explore, we thought it was perfect. We talked about staying there for a long time, even starting a family there in the one big room just barely separated into bedroom, lounge room, kitchen. The shower heated with a BBQ gas bottle. The coonara fireplace warming the house – when we could work out how to get it going. The little bench that held up our electric appliances, because the B&B (that’s what it was) wasn’t licensed for a stove, an oven. Within five months it had worn thin and we were looking for something…. bigger.
God saw our desperation. We found a place, just near on perfect. A two-bedroom place on a bush block with a veggie patch. We applied, and the agent said we were the best applicants they had. We didn’t get the place. The landlords refused to budge on the issue of our dogs.
There wasn’t anything else at the time. We’d felt so sure that would be our house. Then something happened: we got a call from the agent – another house, one we hadn’t considered as it plainly said “no pets” on the description, had been offered to us! It had three bedrooms, new carpet, fresh paint, a renovated bathroom, a walk-in pantry! Heating, they said, would be installed just before we moved. It was a little out of our price range, but we figured we could make it work. We moved in a week later, and could see ourselves staying there for a few years, starting a family there.
Then we moved and the heating that was to be “installed” was a couple of oil heaters and a space heater and we’d struggle in the middle of winter to heat a room past 17°C. The driveway was a circular mudslide and some days I’d wonder if I’d get my Fairmont out or if the wheels would churn a hole through to China. There were slips, trips and stumbles coming down the steep, mud-slicked path down to the house and moving furniture was a nail-biting affair. The landlady was a bitter old woman who refused to fix anything, even when we spoke to Consumer Affairs and pointed out her legal obligations and threatened to seek compensation for belongings damaged. Termites came and she wouldn’t send someone out to check the house; instead she told the agent they were “winged ants.”
Meanwhile I found myself up the duff, expecting our first baby just two weeks after the lease was set to end. In the middle of winter. We vainly looked at other houses, but we knew we couldn’t just break the lease, it’s not as simple like that, even with our landlady. Friends announced they were moving out of the house they owned, and we knew they’d be looking for tenants, but we sighed and wished they were moving in another six months.
God doesn’t tell you his plans in advance, not most of the time. It came as a total surprise to us when we were told we could break the lease early without any penalties! The landlady refused to fix things, but I’m not one to back down, especially when I have the law behind me and the horrifying thought of our house suddenly collapsing from termite infestation to spur me on. We contacted our friends, and two weeks later we were signing the lease.
In a little over a week from now, when I’ll be just past 19 weeks of pregnancy, we’ll be moving into a cosy, stylishly renovated two bedroom house with a big back yard (complete with veggie patch), big garage with insulated office/study, and best of all – ducted heating, and a little air conditioning unit! It’s a three minute walk from Safeway (as opposed to a 15 minute drive), right there in the main town. We never got that house on the bush block because even then, God had a plan. He engineered it just perfectly, timed it just so, that we could move into the house our friends own, the house they have loved for 7 years now, the house they’re sad to leave behind – but now they tell us, make it your home.
We have been looked after in the most mind-boggling awesome way. All praise be to God!