I don’t know how we got here. If it wasn’t for God, we never would’ve made it this far. I look at my life, our new home, and this new season — I am grateful.
We moved to America as a family 4 years ago with no savings. Yup, zero dollar in savings! We paid for our tickets, bought IKEA furnitures, bought a pre-owned car, and that was it.
Aaw look at this pic we took of J at our old apartment (unit 3001!). He was 10 months old, and we had just arrived in Dallas that day (this was 2014, so yes, instagram filters were a thing lol). We were so excited about our new life in America that we didn’t even care about jetlag after our 27 hours of travel. We prayed over the apartment unit and went straight to IKEA and Walmart.
So many things had happened in unit 3001, from Mr.Man and I battling some major marital issues, myself going through a terrible disease called Shingles, to Jerome’s first steps and his autism diagnosis.
Out of the 4 years we spent living in unit 3001, 2017 was the toughest year for us. So going into 2018, we had planned to move to London to start fresh. Mr. Man applied for a job there in December and when they told us they were processing his application, we leaped for joy, thinking we were gonna get it.
But God had a different plan. He meant for us to stay in Texas a little longer. We didn’t get the London job and what is there left to do now that we know we’re gonna settle here?
“Oh yeah, let’s get a house!,” Mr. Man suggested. So we went on this crazy journey of house-hunting with our realtor and friend Cesar Martinez earlier this year.
We found THE house on the night Black Panther movie came out. I had gotten tickets to see it with my friends, so I couldn’t make it to the house viewing. Mr. Man visited the house with Cesar and J and he recorded the whole house. He texted me the video, I saw it after the movie and I had this sense of peace when I saw it!
It’s the right size for our family of 3, I loved the bricks, the driveway, the shutters, and it’s 2 minutes away from Chick-fil-a. I was like YES!! This is it!!
It wasn’t perfect, it didn’t have everything I wanted in a house, but I saw potential and I could really see us living there. So fast forward to Easter Sunday — we officially moved here!
We’ve decked up the place ourselves, to cut the cost of redecorating and all (hiring pros is expensive!), and so far the house is looking pretty! And last weekend, to help us warm our house, we invited a few friends over (and by a few I mean 35 friends lol).
I was a bit stressed 2 weeks ago, because I had a few projects that I wanted to get done before the party, including putting subway tiles in my master bathroom, finishing my banana leaf wall, and painting the backyard fences.
But then I thought, who cares? People we’re inviting to our housewarming are the people who genuinely want to celebrate this new milestone with us anyway, nobody would mind a patchy fence!
And then I thought, what makes a home anyway?
It’s the people in it!
And let me take it a step further : it’s God’s love and presence dwelling in it.
That’s all I want in our home. When people walk in, I want them to feel welcomed, relaxed, and inspired. This is not an exhibition, so I do not expect people to be impressed.
There’s this sense of warmth that you can’t fabricate, that could only come from a holy place. And I desire our home to have that, even in bad days and long nights.
We ate, drank, played fun games, told stories, and just connected with one another that day. It was one of those days I wish could last a bit longer.
I had people coming to me and say, “Thank you for having me, I needed this.” And oh my gosh! My heart was full!
I hope our house would be a place of healing, laughter, and good food. I hope our house shelters the people in it as it reflects God’s grace to them.
I hope our house will always be a place we can call home.
And you know what, I think we’re gonna stay in Texas for a while :)