When we decided to purchase our house on Thorton Street, we knew that it needed a lot of work. We committed to tackle as much as we could in the month we had before we absolutely had to be out of our house. We knew that if we waited, it probably wouldn't happen. With jobs, kids, friends coming over, and life happening, all of our hopes for the house would be put on hold.
So we jumped in with both feet! And man, was it a hard month. Probably the toughest and longest month of our marriage so far. I (Jay) spent all of my *free* time at the house and didn't get home until 9 or 10pm for a few weeks. That left Brooke handling bedtime and dinner with the kids by herself. And oh by the way, Brooke started working at Norman Regional Hospital a couple weeks ago. Now that we are moved in, we are thankful that we endured. But that didn't make those moments any easier.
We aren't finished, but we're getting closer. A couple days ago I finished installing our flooring and last night we got our stove installed. Still no dishwasher or fridge in the house yet, and countertops and our kitchen sink might still be 3 weeks away (#prayforBrooke). We need to do a lot of texturing and painting on the walls and I'll probably finish our trim work by Christmas. Of 2019.
Overall, we knocked out a load bearing wall and installed a beam in our living area, replaced cabinetry in the kitchen, and changed out flooring. I took on as much of the project as I possibly could on my own to save on cost. Having never done anything substantial like this, I felt pretty good about what we were able to do! But now I need a really long nap. Here some pictures of our progress.
Over the past few months, we've been informing you guys of our process with a new (to us) building we are trying to acquire as a long-term lease for our church. There have been a few snags in the process, which has been great for me personally since our house project has been such an undertaking for me. But now that we are getting more settled, I'm in a place now to take on a much more significant role with our building.
We received bids back from general contractors to update the building we are looking at in order for our church to gather there. The entire process we have been reminding them – we don't need anything fancy, we just want a place to meet! Despite this mindset, costs have been higher than we'd like. The low estimate was around $500,000 – most of which comes from basic building needs like plumbing, HVAC, electrical, and a sprinkler system. (The previous use of this space was not for an assembly. Changing the purpose of the building requires several improvements.)
We are now in the process of getting individual bids on our own to see if we can get that cost down. Regardless, we still believe this is the place that God has led us to and that he will provide a way for us to be there. In the meantime, we are exhausting all our resources so as to not cripple our church financially and be good stewards of what God has entrusted us with.
As often as you think of us, please pray for us in this regard!
Despite our busy month, we're still trying to have a little fun. Henry has enjoyed any chance he's gotten to play in the water and last night we rode our bikes around our new neighborhood. Eden is the sweetest girl on the block and has been such a joy to have around the past 5 months.
Support raising has taken a back seat to everything else going on, but I'll be seeking to wrap that up over the next month or two. We are right around 80% funded as of now.
Guys, we are just so, so busy right now. It's not ideal, but it's not all bad either. We are thankful for God's grace in our life and how he's provided for us. He's given us a great church to be a part of, he's placed amazing people in our lives that we can call friends, and both our church and friends consistently point us to Jesus. Having the people of Providence Road in our lives has been such a gift to us and we are so thankful to God for them.
To all our supporters and people following our journey... thank you for reading, thank you for praying, and thank you for giving toward our ministry here in Norman!