Friday, July 1, 2011

the spiritual side of baby gates

let me preface this blog post by saying - there is a back story.

some of you know bits and pieces of this story.  others of you have no idea of the stormy seas we have been navigating through over the past couple of months...it's been tough.  one of our most challenging seasons ever.  
but...
     that's the back story.  

i'm not telling the back story today.  

i've done a lot of writing on the subject and once i get it in a format appropriate for the masses i promise to share it with you.


today i'm talking baby gates.  and - no - this is not a consumer report.  we all know that my blog is not known for being practical.  nevertheless - i hope you'll find what i have to say on the topic valuable...here goes...


exactly one week ago we witnessed a highly improbable and extraordinary event that we can only attribute to the work of a divine being {a.k.a - a miracle}.  after being on the market for only 9 days - our house was sold for more than we bought it for 6 months ago.  amazing.  the reason we are selling our house is part of the 'back story' but for now i'll just say - it wasn't what we had planned when we moved here in january.

here's a few things i've learned about the precious family who bought our house - the mom's name is elizabeth.  she has never seen our house in person.  her husband showed her pictures.  she liked the Bible verses that we had in various places.  their daughter's birthday is the same as mine...pretty funny, huh??  they are moving here from indiana and don't know many people in town...but...one of the only people they DO know is our next door neighbor...we all discovered this 2 days after the offer was accepted.  crazy, isn't it??  

you may call all of these seemingly random facts a coincidence...that's fine.  but...at our house we call that 
the Holy Spirit  

the Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit is active in our lives today reminding us of all the things that God has taught and promised us since the beginning of time {john 14:26}.  
we have been holding onto a lot of those promises the past couple of months.  ones like...

i will never leave you or forsake you {joshua 1:5}
he who began a good work in you will carry it through to completion {philippians 1:6}
the one who calls you is faithful {1 thessalonians 5:24}
we can trust God at all times {psalm 62:8}
if we persevere in doing good we will 'reap a harvest' at the proper time {galatians 6:7-9}

i believe that God - through the power of the Holy Spirit - has been working in very specific ways in our lives over the past couple of months to carry us through a series of trials and ultimately fulfill these promises {and many more} for our family.  we have been seeking Him and the ways he has shown himself to us have been extraordinary.

enter - the baby gate.
the day before we put our house on the market i was busy tidying things up and something caught my attention - our mack-daddy baby gate that extends the length of our 2nd story railing and across the top of our stairs.  you won't find something like this in an interior decorating magazine but it certainly served the great purpose of keeping our kids from falling through the rails to the hardwood floor below.  in other words - it's ugly, but it works.

here's the thought process that followed...
me: maybe we should take that down.  it really detracts from the appearance of the house.
the voice: no - leave it up.
me: well - there's really no need to leave it up.  we are leaving tomorrow to go out of town for 2 weeks and our kids are getting big enough that we don't really need it anymore.  it looks so bad that it might keep someone from buying the house.
the voice:  no - it will actually help sell your house.
me:  that's ridiculous.
the voice:  actually - it won't just sell your house - the people who buy your house will want to keep it.  they will ask for it in the contract.
me:  ok - seriously???  i can see that some other family may appreciate the functionality of it but to ask for it in the contract.  no way...that would be silly.

once i replayed this whole conversation in my head it still seemed a little absurd but i've been down this road before...so...we left the baby gate up.

fast forward to last friday.  
negotiations are over.  
our house is officially under contract.  
we are ecstatic and literally throwing our hands in the air praising our faithful Father in heaven for his provisions for us.  

joey gets a call back from our realtor.  when he gets off of the phone he looks a little perplexed...
that's funny.  our realtor just called to say that the one thing the buyers wanted to ask for in the contract is our baby gate upstairs.  that's weird, huh?
after i wiped the tears from my eyes and explained to joey that - no, i was not grieving the loss of our baby gate but was instead full of emotion over the way that God specifically made his presence and his provision for us known - we both agreed...
it wasn't weird...
it was God.