Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Those words have never rung more true in my life than over the last 3 years. My husband and I have been married for 27 years. As any married couple, we have had our ups and downs. But, we never wavered in our love for each other and God. We have been through many adventures (moving, job changes, loss of grandparents, loss of parents, becoming empty-nesters, children getting married) and always knew we would come out together. The last 3 years have been no exception. We just didn’t know how much of an adventure God would take us on.
When God starts to move in your life and you begin to feel restless where you are, you know it’s time to start looking around and questioning what God wants you to see. About three years ago, we became empty-nesters and realized we didn’t need such a big house for the two of us. At the same time, my husband took on a new job which actually was a cut in pay. So, our budget needed to change and we felt God was telling us to sell our house. To be good stewards of our money, we had to sell our house before looking for any land to build our new house on. We tried to sell the house on our own. We had a lot of walk-throughs, but no offers. So, we contacted an agent and she listed it right away. We thought it was the right time of year, because all the houses in Des Moines were selling like hotcakes!
We started to look for suitable land to put a house on. No acreages in our area were in the price range we were willing to spend, or they weren’t in a good location. God really started working on my heart with our budget and expenses with housing. What could we really afford in the interim between the sale of our home and buying land? I started to consider what my aunt and uncle had done. They are full-time RVers. I posed the idea to my husband and he was not keen on it at first. Several weeks went by and we starting talking about how we could live in the RV on the land while we were building a house and wouldn’t have to live in an apartment. We came up with a price range of what we wanted to budget for the RV. We knew the unit would be fairly modest without a lot of frills because of the price range we had budgeted. So, we started looking to see if anything was available for the two of us and our dog.
On the coldest day in December two years ago, we went looking at some RV models. We told the dealer if we were going to live in it, we would need to have something to survive the winter. We found a model that was laid out perfectly, with lots of storage and could withstand any winter we would get here in Iowa. And it was in the exact price range we had discussed. God provided above and beyond our expectations of what we thought our small budget could buy. We purchased it (ask to see my pictures the next time you see meJ.)
We found a storage unit to store all the items we wouldn’t need in the RV but needed to keep for future living. Some things were handed down to our children since they were starting new lives of their own. Our house was still on the market but our new adventure had begun in our RV.
But, God’s timing was definitely different than ours. Our house didn’t sell right away. God allowed us time to move all of our items out of our house and get settled in our RV before we closed on our house (6 months later). But, God knew exactly what we needed.
The job my husband had started was not what he was told it was. It required a lot more hours and way more stress than he had ever anticipated. It was putting a strain between him and the job, and him and me. One day he came home and it was over. He left his job and felt a huge burden was lifted off him. But, that left us with only one income and him searching for another job. The blessings of the Lord were never more apparent than during those 4 months he was without a job. If we had still been in the house, we would not have had enough income to cover all our expenses. But, with our house sold and expenses streamlined, we never went a night without a roof over our heads and a meal on the table. We were able to consolidate debt, downsize our living expenses and pay off some other debt with a sale of some large items we had accumulated in the past. God provided at every turn!
So, now here we are 3 years later. My husband is blessed with a new job where he is appreciated for his hard work. We are able to enjoy time together because his job doesn’t require 16 hour work days six days a week. We have a budget that is workable with our two incomes. And we have decided to become the “small house” people because our RV is our permanent home.
“I have plans to prosper you and not harm you”. Is God stirring in your heart? Have you examined the things that He is calling you to examine? His plans are much better because He sees the big picture.
Bobi Jo and her husband are long time attenders of Valley Church. She has been actively involved in Valley Women's Ministry and has brought many smiles to our faces with her quick humor and love for people. Bobi Jo teaches music to elementary students in the Des Moines area. She is a blessing to all!