house A lot of people think it is very strange that we want to sell our house.  It seems almost as the anti-American dream.  Everyone dreams of owning their own house…and yet we want to sell ours.  I asked my amazing wife a few weeks ago if she would write out a response to this question for my blog.  The result is something far better than I could hope to write.  As I read over her response I can see how God has tied so many things together.  Although they are separate stories in and of themselves-   our salvation story, our adoption story, our desire for missions, wanting to sell our house- they are all related and connected.  It is great we serve a Sovereign God.

Ashley’s response to “Why are you selling your house?”

It started soon after my father’s death- the passion and urgency of serving with others across oceans. I remember my first encounter several months earlier while cooking in the kitchen and listening to Family Life Today. I held a photo in my hand of Chiza and my heart fell to pieces as I thought about Chiza’s mother’s condition, her loss, and the pain she may be going through. At that moment I knew God had started our journey not only to adopt and transform our hearts and family- but to lead us on a path to missions.

Earlier this year we began talking with mission organizations and the opportunities they have for families like us. One would have landed us in Eastern DRC in just a few short weeks. As we prayed for clarity and guidance we knew that wasn’t for us at that moment. But still one thing was certain- our house would- at some point- hold us back from pursuing what God commanded us to do.

What does that mean? Our options would have been to sell our house very quickly with quite possibly a huge loss- or rent it out. I knew that renting out our house was not for us :). I can’t imagine going oceans away and still having he burden of keeping renters and making sure our home was in good working order.

As we seriously considered what this meant, we started getting our house in order this past spring. We had originally wanted to list it in the early summer, but God had different adventures for us. DRC visit and a trip to DC to advocate for the orphans stuck in the DRC.

Once school got back into session things settled back down. I started my day in prayer and my morning study. I knew God was up to something, I could just “feel” it. This started in early August. My notes the next few months in my journal reflect so much of what Jon and I have been wrestling with the last several months.

“Let’s give Him all the scary and the beautiful looming around the corner; and let’s remind one another that our God is trustworthy and faithful and good.” SRT

August 10th-16th- Wrestling with the world

August 17th- Heart is broken for the world

August 25th- We are more than our local community

“The world cannot afford us the joys of Christ. Let it GO! Give your time and your special trinkets away, and look forward to the joys which earth cannot afford!” SRT

After I copied that down- my heart sank. I kept thinking of all those around the world that have never heard of His saving grace- that would never experience the hope and peace we have in Christ.

My husband talks statistics a lot, I wrote these down in my journal so I could look at them as I flipped through the pages:

11,000 distinct people groups in the world. Out of that 6,500 of these groups are unreached. An estimated over two billion people that have NO access to the gospel or Christians.

With statistics like those how can we be okay with just carrying on in our lives filled with pointless junk? We spend our lives accumulating more and more as these people live and die and will be tormented in a forever Hell.

Early one fall morning I decided our house needed a good cleaning. I began in our bathroom. As I walked into it I can remember my Dad tirelessly and joyfully working on gutting and re-tilling our entire bathroom. He would spend house during the week working on it just so we could enjoy it. I remember him joyfully showing and allowing Aiden to be his right hand man . I miss those days. My eyes welled up with tears as that grief struck my heart unexpectedly. I broke down. I prayed that God would heal my brokenness. And the strangest and sweetest thing happened. My eyes dried and I could just feel God’s presence. I knew He knew my pain and my mind was flooded with- “Why am I holding on so tightly to earthly treasures?”- our house. I knew instantly that it was time to list the house and get things in order. I remember sitting down with Jon and telling him what happened- and we prayed for peace about our decision- and we agreed- If God is bringing this on our hearts then we are going to obey!

Our house has been listed for two weeks. We have no clue when it will sell, but we know it is all in God’s timing and we will rejoice in Him every step of the way.

Called Me Higher
All Sons and Daughters
I could just sit
I could just sit and wait for all Your goodness
Hope to feel Your presence
And I could just stay
I could just stay right where I am and hope to feel You
Hope to feel something again

And I could hold on
I could hold on to who I am and never let You
Change me from the inside
And I could be safe
I could be safe here in Your arms and never leave home
Never let these walls down

But You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You will lead me Lord
You have called me higher
You have called me deeper
And I’ll go where You lead me Lord
Where You lead me
Where You lead me Lord