We’ve been here for twenty years!

On June 28, 1996, we moved into our house in Walnut Shade. We had moved from Little Rock to Branson to plant a church, and a series of totally amazing “it could only be God” circumstances put us in this place.

God showed me the whole interior of a house in a vision while I was taking a shower in our second Birchwood house in Little Rock. I was stunned, thought such an experience quite odd (I’d never had a vision before), had no idea why God would suddenly show m such a thing, and figured that maybe someday we’d live in a house like that.

We retained a realtor who was absolutely positive she could find us a five-bedroom house within 20 minutes of Branson and in our price range – a price range Scott had made up out of thin air, as he had quit his job and had no income. We later learned that our realtor had never sold a house.

On the way to see the series of houses she had found, all of which ended up being unacceptably junky, she said we’d be driving past “this one really unique property” that she wanted to show us. It was tens of thousands of dollars out of our price range, and she knew we couldn’t buy it, but it was “just so very unique that you really have to see it.” We pulled into the driveway, and sitting in the back seat of her car, I was again stunned speechless. Every detail of that house looked exactly, uncannily like the house I had seen in the shower, even down to the white barn to left of the house. And when we walked inside, all the interior details I had seen in the shower were right there before my eyes in actual living color. I was totally freaked out. Scott was whispering to me, “Is this THE house?!?” and all I could do was nod like a zombie.

The story is way too long to tell here, but we ended up writing a personal letter to the owners, telling them some of the things God had shown us about this house (way more than just what it looked like), we offered to buy it at a ridiculously low price, and not only did they accept our low-ball offer, they agreed to finance it for three years! That was extremely helpful, as it can be, ahem, rather challenging to secure a loan from a bank when you have no income.  = )

We moved in on June 28, and six days later, on July 4, we hosted a big cookout for all our new neighbors. So much for unpacking gradually, setting up housekeeping, and easing into rural Missouri life!

Our kids were 6, 4, 2, and -3. They have grown up in Walnut Shade with trees to climb and read in, the post office next door, Triple Oak Landing, outside play time, a  thirty-minute video when it rained, the moo cow at the end of the road, the Indian house, kickball in the back yard, and plenty of swimming at Big Rock. It’s been a SUPER place to raise a family, and I am so very thankful to God that he chose to plant us squarely in downtown Walnut Shade in our big, big house, with lots and lots of room. It’s kind of hard to believe that we have lived here for twenty years – that’s two DECADES(!!!) – but we have, and I can honestly say that we have lived every one of those years fully. We are so very, very blessed.

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