It was 6:50am when Blake came bounding down the steps to see Chris who was walking out the door for work.
“I’m so excited!” He said in the most upbeat whisper trying to contain his excitement so he didn’t wake Cooper.
“At 1:30pm today we will have the keys to our new house!”
He then went on to talk about all the things he can’t wait to do when we get there.
Today is a big day for us Martins.
Today marks the start of a new chapter.
I told you a couple weeks ago we had big news to share and it was a big story. I tried to condense it, but honestly there is just so much to it. So much to feel. So much to share.
So here it goes. Well, part one anyways.
Almost six years ago we felt like God was telling us to go into a season of “less”. So we took a big step of obedience and left our beautiful home right outside of town on two acres. We left behind the house where we really found Jesus within ourselves. The one where we hosted baby and bridal showers and large cookouts we would through together on a whim. The one where our community group grew to over 50 people every other week. The one were we put in ten years of hard work to get it just right.
We left it behind for a season of less.
The house we moved to was just amazing. It was in a great neighborhood surrounded by lots of friends for the kids.It had a golf course view and the most amazing sunsets. In this house we met wonderful neighbors and grew to love and appreciate our town in a whole new way.
But the house felt like a loaner. Something in my heart told me we weren’t going to be there long.
We had been in a season of less. We had less house, less property, less of it all. But we also walked through loss in that home. Loss of my dad, loss of relationships, loss of a lot. I will never forget the picture God put on my heart in that season. I remember describing it to my friend like this, “I see myself standing in an empty field and one by one things are being taken from my hands. Everything I thought I needed or wanted is being taken from me. Right from my very hands. And there is nothing I can do to stop it. And since I can’t stop it, I’m freely giving it. All of it. Everything I thought I wanted I’m letting it fall from my shoulders. Until I’m just standing all alone in that empty field.”
God was preparing us way back then for what was to come.
In that season I had to let the brokenness happen. In my heart and in my life. So many pieces of me were broken.
But the restoration that was to happen was worth it.
Six months into our life on Bromfield Drive God started stirring something new.
“Get debt free.” I felt it on my heart.
It seemed crazy. But I it felt so strongly, just like our move, like something that we had to do.
So we made big sacrifices in those months. I sold all of my equipment from my years of showing horses. All of it. We went two months without buying a single purchase outside of groceries for our family.
And a big one. I sold the mustang convertible my dad left me when he passed away. The one he looked for weeks and weeks for. The one he spent so much time making it so beautiful just for me to have. Why? Because when I got my license we would go test drive mustangs together and dream about the day I would finally get one.
And I made a heart wrenching decision. I sold the beautiful blue mustang to help us get out of debt and I promised my dad I would have one again one day. And I promised that after we got out of debt I would take that money and put it towards each of our kids’ first cars so that way grandpa was with each of them.
At the end of all that we were still left with money on our mortgage. So we did the next thing we could think of.
After only two years, we sold our beautiful home on the golf course with the best sunsets and we downsized again.
Our next move provided things only God can. He provided the perfect home in the perfect location.
We asked the neighbors right next to Chris’s parents if they would ever consider selling their home to us. And in a move by God they said “yes”.
We closed on our Hocking street home in early February 2020. We spent a month making every inch of our new 2400 sq ft home perfect for us.
And we achieved exactly what we had felt we were supposed to do.
We were completely debt free.
A week after we moved in, Covid shut down the world in March. Chris changed jobs in April. He took an initial pay cut when he did, but the health insurance we received made it more than worth it. Plus, the family he went to work for is just amazing and the hours allowed him to spend much more time at home. Then, Cooper was born in May.
We remained debt free by spending so little. I fed our family of six on $100-$125 a week. We didn’t eat out. We didn’t buy extras. We didn’t have cable. We didn’t even have internet. We didn’t do much of anything.
And quite frankly, we couldn’t. Chris was making less and my business all but shut down through Covid.
But we honestly didn’t notice. We lived on the most amazing street with the best people and right next door to my in-laws. Together, we got through Covid. And so much more.
June of 2021 hit. And with it came Brady’s cancer diagnosis.
And in an instant it made sense.
All the moves. All the selling. All the sacrifices.
God had prepared us, financially, for what was upon us.
And not just that.
God has blessed us in so many ways in our Hocking street home. People have fed our family with meals and groceries. Friends helped with laundry and yard work. Family stepped in to care for all of the kids while we were away at the hospital. And Brady beat cancer here.
So when we walk out the front door for the final time so much of our hearts and life will be left here forever.
But today is the start of something new.
Another step in our journey.
Today we close on our new home. A gorgeous home far better than anything we could dream of for ourselves. It is on two acres just outside of town. It has a huge office and basement to grow and expand Way To Battle without taking debt of renting a space. It has a big backyard for soccer and baseball. It has a huge driveway for playing hockey and coloring with chalk. It has a garage and patio for cookouts and parties. It is a house that every time I step foot on to the property, a wave of peace floods over me. It is a peace I can’t fully describe but it is a peace in knowing that this is where we are meant to be.
God has replaced our original dream home with something even better than we could have asked for.
Not sure if you stuck it out to read all of this, but if you did I want you to know a couple things.
First, God doesn’t always make sense. Not in the moment anyways. But lean in and listen to his voice calling for you.
Sometimes the big and scary thing he is asking you to do is to protect you.
Sometimes it is to challenge you.
Sometimes it is to bless you.
And second, God is faithful. He has provided for us in every single season and guided us through single storm. He did it for us and he will do it for you too.
Last night we got into the van after our final walk through. We were all talking about how excited we were for today. Brady looked at me as he buckled his seatbelt, “aren’t you glad I had cancer?”
I looked at him so confused. He quickly continued, “if I didn’t have cancer you would never have realized how short life is and wouldn’t have stepped out in faith to buy this house. And this house is going to be amazing.”
After I picked up my jaw from being blown away by his wisdom, I just smiled.
The rest of that is a story for part two.
So here is to listening and to following.
A new season is upon us,