Do you not know that the runners in the stadium all run in the race, but only one wins the prize? Run so as to win. Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. Thus I do not run aimlessly; I do not fight as if I were shadowboxing. No, I drive my body and train it, for fear that, after having preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. - 1 Cor 9:24-27

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Discerning ...

This past spring, my husband and I started major discussions about the future of our family with regards to the path the country is headed.  We are concerned .. is an understatement.

Therefore, we started looking for a homestead.  Here in Iowa, that is a bit difficult since land is at a premium and is usually passed down from generation to generation.

The first place that we put an offer in wasn't accepted.  We were not willing to go any higher with such a wet damp basement that had a cistern right next to it.  I'm all for having a cistern and all, just not right next to the basement.

The next place has been an adventure so far.  Initially, I didn't want to post anything until it was final, but I'm in need of prayers for my patience.  The funny thing is I was preparing for class (teaching religious education to eighth graders at my parish) and read the second reading for this Sunday:

Be patient, brothers and sisters,
until the coming of the Lord.
See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth,
being patient with it
until it receives the early and the late rains.
You too must be patient.
Make your hearts firm,
because the coming of the Lord is at hand.
Do not complain, brothers and sisters, about one another,
that you may not be judged.
Behold, the Judge is standing before the gates.
Take as an example of hardship and patience, brothers and sisters,
the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  - James 5: 7-10
Yes, patience and talk of a farmer.  The Lord is teaching me patience.  If you don't believe me, here's our timeline so far:

  • July 31, 2013:  Price is agreed upon ... pending appraisal
  • August 23, 2013:  Appraisal comes in  $48,000 less.
  • September 3, 2013:  Requested a revised appraisal. no change
  • September 9, 2013:  We start with another bank for financing and another appraisal.  The VP of this bank personally goes out to the property.  The owner is underwater on the property.  He suggests approaching the owner's bank for a short sale.
  • September 27, 2013:  Short sale process is started. 
  • November 14, 2013:  New purchase agreement is created with the price at the first appraisal.  :)  (Closing date of December 16, 2013)
  • December 4, 2013:  Second appraisal is finished.  Price is pretty much the same as the first.  There are some troubling notes ...  something about the gas line being removed and all the utilities off.
  • December 7, 2013:  After a First Saturday Mass near the farmstead, I stopped by to 'check' in at the house.  Noticed a window open.  I decided to try the back door ... unlocked.  Sheet of ice on the kitchen floor.  Went to the window and closed it.  Noticed a huge block of ice under the radiator.  Front door was open.  Upstairs attic window was open.  Did a complete walk around and closed things up.  No utilities and most likely broken pipes or soon to be broken.
  • December 10, 2013:  My bank informs me that they are ready to close once the approval of the short sale is finalized.  The other realtor hasn't heard much from the owner's bank. 

 So this is where we stand.

Now.  Some would walk away.  We do feel that this property is a really good fit for our family.  The really great part is that we have very good friends who live 5 miles away from the property and have similar dreams of being self sustaining like us.

And here's what the potential is:
1920 Four Square Farmhouse
Chicken Coop

At least an acre of pasture

Corn crib to be changed into my workshop

Barn with individual stalls and hay loft

Large barn that used to hold cattle ... notice all the cement.

And a lonesome hen ... wonder if she'll survive the cold.

Discerning if God's plan is:
  1. Reward our patience with a property at a greatly reduced value so that we can gut it back to the studs and then re-wire, add duct work (there is no air conditioning), fix plumbing lines, and insulate plus then have the funds to add our addition much sooner than we had planned.
  2. To walk away ... so far no other properties have come up yet.
  3. ?????

4.5 acres - The kids want to name each building after a location in Middle Earth


  1. Praying for you all! That looks like a great property, but I am sure a lot of work. We will pray for God's will for you. We would love to do something similar, but my hubby's job (which we know is God's will) keeps us in the suburbs.

  2. St. Joseph and St. Monica (patron saint of patience), pray for you all! By the way, love the updated family photos. :)