There is something to be said for having roots. Having a place to call your own. A place where you can really feel like you belong because you know you aren’t going anywhere.

In Utah, we had a lovely garden and yard. We cared for our lawn. I planted flowers in the spring, took great care of picking out vegetables and plotting out the garden. We cared for and nurtured our tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, onions, carrots…all the lovely vegetables that would provide us nourishment and joy throughout the season. We picked peaches and apples and canned them to last us for winter. We had friends, dinner parties, holiday parties…we were invested in our lives there.

We had roots.

When the terrible tornado of job loss came and tore those roots, we found ourselves in a new place. The dirt here isn’t the same. The planting and harvesting seasons are completely different than what we are used to. Try as we might, we just can’t get those tomatoes to grow here. The roots can’t go deep enough in the soil, it gets too hot, it’s just not right where we are right now.

As for dinner parties and holiday parties, it just isn’t the same. There is no extra space for all the children. We trip over each other and it is nearly impossible to have an adult conversation without shouting over the noise of children.

When we moved to Austin, we signed a 6 month lease on our house. We just knew our house in Utah would sell, and we would be able to buy something here. Three years later we were still in the same rental house. It has felt chaotic, as if our lives were in perpetual upheaval. We had no anchor, no promise of how long we would stay in this house or where we would go when we finally moved.

When the letter came in March from the rental agency telling us our lease would not be renewed in June, I actually was relieved. This made the decision easier for us. We had to move now. And truly, the timing couldn’t be better. We have had wonderful renters in our home for the last 2 years, but they are building and will be leaving in the summer. So, we put the house on the market, and started looking for something for us here.

After some searching, we found a house, it was good. It was farther from Jeremy’s work than we wanted to be, needed new paint throughout the house, and all new flooring upstairs, but there are always sacrifices. You will never get the perfect house, there is no such thing. It’s such a great deal, how can we say no? That is what we kept telling ourselves.

With 3 days left in the option period, my dear friend called. She and her husband are separating and moving back to Minnesota. They have lived here for a year. Too bad you’re already under contract with that other house, Kim, she said. You could buy our house.

Jeremy and I talked and prayed about it. We knew what we needed to do. We terminated the contract on the first house, and told our friends we would buy their home. We would help them get through this difficult time in their lives, and we would be so very happy to move into this new home.

I have known for over a year that this house, the one my dear friend lives in, was mine. I have known it in my heart since I first saw it. I didn’t know how it would happen, but my heart was drawn to that area. I thought maybe I would find a house close to her and we would be neighbors.

My heart breaks that she is leaving, that they are doing the hard work of divorce, but I also rejoice that we will be going home soon.

Finally, after 3 long years, we are putting down roots. And it is so good.

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  1. I hate the way it is happening, but I’m so excited you found your house! I can’t wait to see you settled and come for a visit!

  2. Cheri Shaner says:

    So true!!! Your children will bring their children ‘home’ and tell stories about where they grew up!

  3. Kristin Shaw says:

    This story is so multifaceted – my heart is happy that you have a home you love, and also sad that you are sad, and sad that our mutual dear friend is leaving Austin. Thank you for telling this story! It’s so familiar to me, as we are still renting after 5 years in Austin…

  4. Robbie says:

    I’m sorry for your friend’s huge life change but happy that you have found a place to plant your roots. I know this scenario all too well. We are two years into a rental house that is too small and I thought would be a very short term situation.

  5. Elaine A. says:

    WOW. So many chills reading this! I can relate to the renting. It just never feels completely like home. I am amazed at how this has worked out. I am very excited for your new HOME!! :)

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