That winter had a strange tension in it. On one hand, we were eager to embrace spring. And on the other? We were thankful for the temporary lull!
A Winter of Prep Work
Off and on throughout the winter, my man studied. Even though he was a Red Seal carpenter, our province required that he take an intense, home-builder’s exam. There were last minute details to wrap up on our house design before we got the final stamp of approval. Building costs had to be crunched and recalculated.
Even though that winter was quiet, things were always happening behind the scenes!
Finally, spring descended. The percolation tests went through. We visited the bank. There, we had the next steps outlined for us.
I felt so bad for my man in this time! He was not only juggling work, but also papers, tests, estimates, building codes, research, quotes…and I couldn’t do a thing to help.
Observing him in this new position gave me a deeper level of respect for him, his skills and his work. He did well, in spite of the stress and being pulled in 10 different directions at once! The pressure was high. But everywhere he went, it was obvious the man knew his stuff!
Even though that season was hard, it did something special for us.
Just as we were about to move forward, forest fires began within 50 km of the (one day) building site. We were delayed again! Forest fires=zero cooperation from the insurance company. And no insurance meant no signing on mortgage papers. No mortgage meant no land sale.
This set us back 6+ weeks. But finally, we were given the “go-ahead” from our insurance company. After meeting with the bank’s appraiser, we were able to move forward…this time for real.
Signing On the Deal
Finally, the bill of land sale was signed at the local notary’s office. That was exciting!
Shortly after, my man and I went in to sign at the bank. And then, it happened!
In the middle of signing, our financial officer dropped an unforeseen bomb: we were expected to cover 10% of all building costs.
Somehow, we’d missed that little detail!
Yes. The bank’s policy was to withhold 10% of our building costs until the house was complete. If we failed to pay one of our tradesman or our building supplier, the bank would then pay them out of the 10% reserve.
Suddenly, we realized something important.
It All Made Sense
Remember how my man and I took time to think and pray? How we’d felt we ought to wait until September to make an offer on the land? Remember how frustrated we felt over the delay that occurred?
As we sat in the office signing mortgage papers, an obvious fact stared us in the face. Last fall, we wouldn’t have had the savings to pull it off!
Oh, we could have met the 25% down payment! But we wouldn’t have had anything left to live on. Particularly because my man was taking time off work to build!
It was because we waited until September to make the offer, because the percolation tests were delayed and because of the forest fires that we had enough in the savings account!
Suddenly, we both felt grateful for the delay that had frustrated us so! Once again, we were reminded of how important it is to think and weigh life decisions, to ask for God’s blessing and wisdom in our lives.
We’d asked Him to watch out for us. And He had.
Now let me be clear: I don’t believe God is a genie whose mission is to make our lives “successful” in our earthly pursuits! No, certainly not! There’s so much more to life than this!
But we did come, asking for direction. And we were provided for, beyond our foresight.
A Harness on My Neck
I kept wondering at myself as we signed those papers. I thought I’d be ecstatic! I thought I’d be thrilled to the tips of my toenails! But I wasn’t.
Instead, a feeling of vulnerability descended. Our large financial cushion was gone. The commitment was real.
And then, a determination took over. I felt like a horse being put under harness. I could feel the cool leather around my neck. Soon, it would be time to pull like I’d never pulled before!
Victorious and somewhat dazed, I left the office. After returning home, my man and I opened a jar of home-canned peaches we’d saved for the occasion! It didn’t matter that it was a year old, or that I’d since put up newer, fresher peaches from that year’s harvest.
We were celebrating with the exact jar we’d held onto for so long!
It Was Really, Truly Ours
That evening, we drove up to the land and celebrated with a campfire. The late-summer night was dark, cool and quiet. Evening stars appeared above us. In the eastern sky, a large harvest moon slowly rose above the mountains and filtered through the tall stand of pine trees at the back of our property.
It was ours. Really, truly, finally ours.
The silence was refreshing. The mountain air, invigorating. A gentle wind played in the tops of the trees. And for that moment, we rested. The heavy work would soon begin. But for that moment, all was still.