You all know of our gypsy lives. We've lived in the grace of God for that kind of life for the past 10 years, 7 of those years with small children in tow.
The grace has been fleeting gradually as the years have worn on. In fact, so much so that last year about this time, Joel and I sat down and had a big heart-to-heart. Our time there in the states was so bad and stressful before we found a place to stay that I even told him that I wasn't going to be getting on the plane back to Brazil if we didn't have a place of our own in the states to come back to. Yes...yes I did. :) I had to be honest with him. That was literally the point I was at emotionally and physically. I'd say the grace was gone. ;)
Saline, Louisiana is our home base there in the states. Just logical...the big majority of our friends and prayer/financial supporters are there in the south, spread from Louisiana to Arizona (a big portion actually in Saline itself...Saline is small, but they are generous). I grew up there in Saline, so there is just a built-in sense of community (which Joel feels too), not to mention my extended family lives there. So, basically sense we've been married, but especially starting in 2006, we've been actively looking for and praying about a place of our own there.
Nothing ever panned out. Either it was just way out of our budget or not suitable for our family's needs...plus the fact that the options for something on sale are very slim around there. A community of about 300 people is typically just not booming in real estate. So, we prayed. And waited. And prayed. And waited.
But, let me take you back even further. I LOVED living in Saline. You all know that. 'Paradise' as you know. So, I often used to dream of the places I would live. There are some really great spots around there...almost every spot is a great spot really. But, there was one spot in particular that I remember dreaming about ever since I was a little girl.
My Granddaddy's lake lots (the family hot spot during the summer) are right next to this spot (I'm taking the picture from the family dock) and at one point this spot was so fine and fixed up. The lawn was always beautiful and green. The sea wall was just really pretty. Loved everything about it. As a teenager/young 20-something chic I spent a lot of time just laying on that water. A blown-up raft was always with me in the back of my car and even if I had just a 20-minute block of time, I would head out there really quick and swim and lay. Always worked since I made it a practice to always have my swimsuit on (as my underwear) too.
As I would lay there, I would glance over at that spot. And dream.
It was Bro. Holloway's land. He and his wife no longer lived in the area, but would travel over occasionally from Dallas to stay on that spot...and attend the 5th Sunday Singing of course. ;) My family always 'put our names in' for that land, as did others. After Joel and I got married, I actually called him several times, every 2 years or so, just to see. He's an older gentlemen and he lost his wife a few years ago. Started not making the trip so often. So, occasionally after a trip out to the lake, I'd give him a ring. He wasn't a stranger, so it wasn't weird or anything. He was never interested in selling. His favorite answer was, "Wellllll...I'm not dead yet." :) Cute. And true. :)
Last spring I was in the process of getting his phone number again...for about 2 months. ;) Finally, on May 15th, my cousin was able to get it from her dad and gave it to me. But, that was the weekend that my brother was graduating from high school and my other brother was in town and we were all just really busy in general. I planned to call him that Monday.
Sunday night we got a call that Bro. Holloway, although still very alive (hahaha), was SELLING!! But, we weren't home and didn't get the message until Monday morning. I had a meeting in a nearby town that day, so had left early. Joel called me to tell me the message he had just listened to, that 'our spot' was for sale. I was in a library. I tried to be quiet. ;) We called and said we'd buy it that very hour. They were headed out to put the 'for sale' signs up that day...we called before they even had a chance.
Did I mention that it also happened to be my birthday?!?
Well, looooonnnnngggg story (May to December long) short, as of last month right before Christmas, that spot really is 'OUR SPOT.'
Yes, we are landowners. And we are happy.
Plans? Pay off the land (which was a stinkin' steal) and then build a little something there to house the Ebersoles when they make their way back home...and possibly even after retirement, if that happens for us (some people never retire you know) and if that is still our spot at that point. So, we won't actually have a physical place to stay in for a while yet, but we are well on our way and that was good enough for me to get on that plane. ;) Kidding. But, really...it did do so much for my heart. God saw and heard and knew...and provided. The gift of my dreams...literally.
Look at that view.