On Thursday, Dan and I headed back out to Minnesota to find a place to live. The whole trip started with trusting God that He would provide. When we lost focus of that trust, we would stress out and feel overwhelmed. But when we kept our focus on God and just stopped and prayed when needed, all was good. Suppose it’s not rocket science, right? God says it in His Word – Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart. This past week, Dan and I realized that we should really rent and get our feet back under us financially. Renting goes against every grain in us, but as we thought about buying (we are renting out our old place), we knew it just wouldn’t even be possible. So, we went into this past weekend knowing we were going to rent. Unfortunately, it is hard to find a place to rent while living in another state. We searched every website (including Craig’s List) to try to find places to rent. None of them were really suiting our desires. Though, upon arrival in Minnesota Thursday night, a few people called with lists of options for us. We felt SO BLESSED. We literally were going out there with one option in mind (happened to be the one we chose), but both churches compiled lists for us and everyone was so willing to help where needed and make the necessary calls. We truly were humbled by their generosity, their conversations, and their genuine care.
Here’s a glimpse at what our weekend looked like:
We towed our boat out there this weekend, so it took us a little longer to get there. We had a cover on it, but the saying “the windy city” (Chicago) sure held to be true! When we got to Chicago, it was rather windy and our cover started to rip. We stopped and tried to duct tape it – yes, we were probably quite the sight driving down the highway, but the tape didn’t hold. Oh well! We got the boat out there someone is generously letting us store it in their shed for the time being.
We arrived at our destination and someone brought us supper! And…(drum roll…) it was CHEESE BROCCOLI SOUP! Why do I say that in all caps? Because that is my FAVORITE meal – every birthday I would ask my mom to make that for me – and it’s still my fav!
Friday morning we started our house hunt. We honestly went through quite the wide variety of options: duplexes, townhouses, apartment on top of a business, houses (even looked a buying one), carriage house, you name it. It was fun!
Friday night we had a youth group leader’s meeting – ah, it felt so good to hear about where they were at with the youth, where we see ourselves fitting in, and honestly, we can’t WAIT to start working with the leaders and kids! The meeting was a blast!
By Saturday afternoon, we sat down for some pizza and went through all the pros/cons of our options and we so knew where we were meant to be. I think we kind of did all along, but we wanted to exhaust all of our options first.
Dan and I can proudly say we are now going to be residents of Prinsburg, MN! Sign needs to be changed to 499 :).
On the drive to Willmar, there are quite a few small towns with grain elevators – what a beautiful sight!
Willmar is the other town we were looking at living in. Quite a big bigger than Prinsburg!
On our house hunt (honestly, we felt like we were on House Hunters with all the different options we had), we went up to a town called Spicer. The slogan in Spicer is “Spicer is Nicer.” It was a gorgeous lake town – it’ll be interesting to see what it looks like in the summer – I am gathering that it is QUITE a hoppin’ place in the summer! As for life in the winter, there was an ice castle built along Green Lake! I would love to hear the story behind it someday from someone who lives in Minnesota!
We were blessed to stay in someone’s parent’s lake house. It was a GORGEOUS place, so “homey” and welcoming. The views were breath-taking and it was a wonderful place to rest and talk after busy days. This is a view of the sunrise one morning…
Trying to get a little creative with the sunrise…yeah, I know, I have some work to do 🙂
On Saturday, while driving to Prinsburg, there was this crazy fog that set in – at one point it was clear and then a wall of fog. Very odd – I am thinking that it is more of a commonality than I think, but haven’t seen something like that in Michigan!
Bam, the fog was gone and it was blue sky!
Home, Sweet Home. Is it not the coolest thing that they have “The Lord is my Shepherd” on their city sign? Oh, and a windmill – good thing we are DUTCH!
Now THIS, is home sweet home! Yes, they have a lot of snow in Minnesota right now 🙂 – but here is our new place! It is a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom home. Has a lot of character and we feel so blessed to be renting it from such a WONDERFUL person (and his wife :)). We are extremely excited to move in and make it “home.”
Right across the street and over a little is this view: open fields and open country – ah…
After deciding for sure where we wanted to live, we decided to take a stroll through some neighboring towns. This is New London, MN – can’t WAIT to go there in the summer! It is the most adorable town! Saturday night, the family who parent’s house we were staying at, came and stayed with us – it was so much fun! Lots of laughs and just good conversations. I watched my first episode of Dukes of Hazard – I feel I have now lived! It was great getting to know them all even more!
Sunday morning, we woke up to coats of frost on every inch of everything outside. This is a view of the lake we stayed on, with the sun just starting to brush the tips of the trees. I can’t even begin to explain how beautiful it was. I kept taking pictures, hoping to capture the beauty God had given us that morning – these pictures just don’t do it justice. The drive to church that morning could’ve lasted another hour because it was just amazing.
Taken on the way to church…doesn’t this picture just make you want to come to Minnesota? (unless you don’t like the cold)
It looked like someone took a can of glitter/white spray paint and sprayed all the trees.
I have never seen frost like this in my life!
We were able to meet the congregation after church on Sunday, which was so good. Afterwards we went over to the pastor’s house for yummy soup and sandwiches. Even more so, we appreciated their fellowship. Then it was on the road again!
So Matters of the Heart. Trusting God – even with the littlest of details. Sometimes I look at the stresses in life and think they don’t compare to what we went through last fall. Yet every little detail, every choice we make, can either bring us closer to God, or further away. It even came to that in looking at homes. We wanted a place where we could fill it with laughter, coziness, and love. We wanted it to be “us.” In looking at various places, we knew we just had to trust God for His direction. We would stop abrubtly in what we were doing to just pray – pray that God would guide us. In that, I learned how often I DON’T just stop and pray for God’s direction. I think I can just make the decision on my own. But if I am to follow God’s will, how I am to know God’s will if I don’t ask? Again, it sounds so simple, but God desires for us to go to Him. He desires for us to follow His steps. When we gave it all up to God, it was then that God made things clear. God continually is reminding me to just let go and let Him. Let Him guide me. Let Him show me. Let Him direct me. By letting Him, that means I don’t need to do it myself and that is a safe and refreshing place to be.
As we continue to prepare to move, there are a lot of emotions, but we are honestly at peace, have MUCH excitement, and are eager to start our life out in Minnesota. We were thankful we were able to meet more people from the churches and especially some of the youth group kids!
Before we know it, we are going to be on the road again, U-Haul and ALL!