Monday, May 30, 2016

confirmation + open doors


i wanted to keep a list of how God has provided confirmation for us about this next life change, because it is cool to look back on things and see how they all fit together. there are tons of details to make this happen that God just worked out for us very quickly. He continued to open doors, even doors we didn't know existed, and there's no doubt in our minds that this is exactly what we should be doing.

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o1; last summer we started the conversation of selling our house & moving into something a little bigger. we found out a neighborhood was going in next door to us and discussed with the developer about buying our land. obviously, he didn't buy our land since we are now selling our house, but looking back it seems this was preparing our hearts to be ready to sell it. Thomas has lived in this house for almost 11 years, he fixed it up with his grandpa and parents, and it is the first house we lived in as a married couple, so there is obviously emotion attached to it. so the fact that we had already decided to sell before we had to make the decision to sell it and move for grad school made the decision process easier because we had already come to terms with it.

it worked out that the developer did not buy it, because we would have moved to a new house a few months before we made the decision to go to grad school - and that would have been a tight spot to be in. since we are selling now and not moving straight into another house, it is helping us to finance grad school hopefully without having to take out any loans. 

o2; the first weekend in November, Thomas totaled one of our cars. we ended up buying his grandpa's car and used the rest of the money we got from our insurance company to pay down a chunk of my undergrad student loans. that helped us out tremendously on getting out of debt, because we didn't want to start grad school if we still had debt from undergrad. this is one of the biggest reasons we were able to pay off my student loans earlier than our 3 year plan, and it helped us be able to save more before i quit my job to go to grad school full time. 

o3; when we first started talking about grad school in the fall of last year, we saw that there was an open house we could attend to learn more about the program and meet with some of the staff. the only open house for the semester was during the same week i had taken off of work in November, on a friday, so i was able to go since i already had it off work. that week was the last of my vacation as well, so if the open house had been another time i would have had to move one of my vacation days. i had planned to take that week off before we even brought up grad school, so that was another thing that just worked out perfectly. 

o4; when we decided that i was going to apply for grad school, we weren't really sure how things were going to work out with Thomas's job, or when he should even start the conversation with them that we were moving, but he wanted to keep his same job. before he talked to his work, he threw out the idea that if i got in, he would just commute everyday so he could keep his job because he loves the company he works for. the commute would have been an hour and a half both ways so that would have been terrible!

however, at the end of last year Thomas got pulled into a meeting with his managers and something came up about this summer. he ended up having to tell them that we were looking at grad school and may be moving this summer, because that would impact what they were discussing. he had to bring it up earlier than we would have liked, but his managers told him they didn't want to lose him and would work things out. so they offered to let him work from the local office in the city we are moving to.

his department is at the corporate office, so they like for everyone to be centralized, but since they like him a lot and didn't want to lose him, they are allowing him to work from the local office while we are away for the 2 years that i'm in school. the fact that they offered that first thing was just such a huge answer to prayer because i don't think they would have pulled the strings to let that happen for just anyone. they had to get it approved by top management but they went to bat for Thomas. this was probably the biggest loose end that tied itself.

o5; one of my concerns about my job was that i didn't have a back up for about 95% of what i do... so i was the only person who knew how to do it. which means that there would be a LOT of training that i would need to do once i gave my notice at work. however, like everything else, the timeline just worked itself out. between January and April of this year, my department moved a lot of work around, so i was able to train someone else on 80% of my job by the time i put my notice in. so now, in the month that i have left i will only have to train the new employee on 20% of what i was doing, which will be less stressful for me and benefits the company at the same time.

o6; i was projecting that we would be able to pay off my undergrad student loans by the end of June, which is when i am leaving my job. however, we were able to hit it hard and pay them off completely in March. so that gave us 3 months where we were able to save more while i am still working!

o7; in March i got both acceptances (from the college of social work and from the graduate school) within 3 days. Thomas also got confirmation in March that top management approved the request for him to work at the local office. we also met with a realtor at the beginning of March, worked on the house during the month, and were able to get it listed by the end of the month. so everything just came together really fast in March!

o8; our house was on the market only 9 days before we got our first offer. we got a second offer the next day, but ended up going with the first offer because it was better. closing was proposed to be May 31, which is a little longer than the typical time frame (according to our realtor) which actually helped us because we wanted a later closing. come to find out the buyers apparently know people from our church and visited there. they are also moving from the city that we are moving to, so it is like we are swapping places in a sense - wild!

o9; we found an apartment in our price range that is actually more square footage than our house now. so it worked out that we won't have to worry about storing our furniture anywhere. we originally reserved a 2nd floor apartment because there weren't any 1st floors available for July. then, the day after we reserved our apartment, a 1st floor became available for a July move in date, so we were able to move our reservation to the 1st floor apartment and it's in building we like better that is a little more private. we really wanted a 1st floor apartment also because our basset hound has back issues and she would have had a tough time going up and down stairs multiple times a day, so it worked out great for our needs!

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these are the big things that provided confirmation and showed us that God was at work among our decision process. i'm sure there were a lot of little confirmations along the way that i have forgotten, but i wanted to have the biggies documented in one place because i know i will want to re-read this story down the road and remember how God worked things out!

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