Posted by: WoodElves / Category:

(old home)

The past week and a half have been a huge adventure for our family!  We were driving home from Easter out of state when we received a phone call from the condo association where we rent, that water was leaking into our neighbor's home and they believed it was coming from our house. Since we and our landlord were both out of town, they were going to contact a locksmith to get into the house and then call us back.  A couple of hours later, still driving, we received confirmation that our house was flooded, that it was coming from the hot water heater in the attic (!) above Mac's bedroom, and that it was uninhabitable.  Much later, we learned that the hot water heater was fine, but a pipe above it had burst.  Amazingly, God gave us so much peace and calmness from the very beginning.  In the car as we drove, we began a conversation of things we had to be thankful for- "It's a good thing that___" and we filled in the blank with tons of things.  It's a good thing it wasn't a fire.  It's a good thing we weren't in the 95-car pile-up on I-77 that had happened the day before on the road that David's dad drives every week.  It's a good thing we just rent.  It's a good thing that we had decided to leave late that morning so I had done our laundry before we left.  And on and on.

We arrived home around 7:30 to find our home already filled with workers moving things and setting out large dryer fans, others digging up our front yard to access the water line, etc.  We were told that it would take at least a month to renovate and we would have to find somewhere to stay in the meantime, but that first thing in the morning they would need to tear up our kitchen so that had to be packed up first.  We surveyed the damage, loaded up bags of wet clothes out of Mac's dresser, loaded coolers of food out of the freezer and some valuables, and headed to some friends' to stay the night.

1.  Friends who were available to take us in at a moment's notice the first night

I put out a flash on Facebook that we would need help moving most of our things out in the morning.  On Tuesday morning, I arrived at the house to start packing the kitchen, as friends and people we didn't even know from church showed up to help pack and load while workers continued to tear things up and keep the large fans going everywhere.

2.  Friends who were available to take Mac, feed him and care for him all day for us
3.  Church allowing us to move our belongings and food items there temporarily

About halfway through the morning, David stopped and talked to me and informed me that our landlord was going to sell the condo after it was renovated, and that we would need to move altogether.  We had a month-to-month lease and knew he was wanting to sell soon, but just didn't know it would be now, when we had just a day or two to get our things out of the damaged house.  Now, we love where we lived.  It was a nice neighborhood and a nice condo with a fireplace and plenty of space, and a pool in the community.  We have a great relationship with our landlord.  Suddenly we had to pack up EVERYTHING we owned.  It was so overwhelming to me to try to pack in so much chaos, I didn't know where to begin and all of our boxes were in the attic, where the flood started and the most damage was.

4.  Friends who jumped right in, packing dishes in towels and whatever they could find to do while I walked around like a zombie, drinking my coffee and playing Newsboys on the cd player
5.  Friends who brought lunch for all the packers and movers
6.  Free boxes and packing materials from church and friends
7.  Friend who washed ALL of Mac's clothes and folded them neatly in order.  Going through the bags later, I was blessed all over again by this labor of love.

That evening, David and I HAD to go to our birth center tour at the hospital because I had put it off for so long, so by about 5 we called it an evening and sent everyone home.

8.  Friends who brought David and me dinner
9.  Going to the birth center tour, which was more like a lecture so we got to sit for awhile after an exhausting day; during which I was reading messages from church friends on Facebook on the IPod which made me cry!  So much love and support!

Wednesday, David went to work and I spent the day packing the remainder of the house (with help from friends) so that it would be ready to be moved first thing on Thursday morning.

10.  More boxes, help packing, babysitting, and lunch from friends
11.  Friend from church picking up huge bags of bedding to take to the laundromat to wash and air out
12. Friends offering for us to stay in their spacious home through the weekend while their family went on a camping trip

That afternoon, I was sitting in the kitchen alone eating my lunch, when one of the workers stopped by.  "If you don't mind me asking," he said, "What church do you go to?"  He had noticed all of the love and help we had been receiving.  WOW!  What a testimony of the body of Christ!

13.  The presence of church family in my home as we packed, not just for the physical help, but how it helped me to not feel alone and desolate during an emotionally and physically draining time.

I was almost done for the day when the workers finally accessed our belongings in the attic and began moving them down for me.  Our Christmas trees and large light up nativity came down first, with water pouring out of the packages.  They left our large box of Christmas decorations in the attic until the next day, as it still was pouring water, but brought down all of our other things.  Other than Christmas decor, we had camping gear, baby gear (bassinet, stroller, playmat, swing, etc.), cardboard boxes of all my children's chapter books, all of our empty cardboard boxes, and some miscellaneous items in the attic.  Some of the boxes of children's books were wet, but the books themselves were dry inside.  All of the baby gear was completely dry, even the plastic we had over them.  The camping gear was damp but savable.   I moved the children's books to new boxes and called it a day.  By this point, I was starting to feel a little lost, because I no longer had a home.

14.  So little of our belongings being damaged
15.  Realizing how little we were actually attached to our things
16.  Throwing away items that we had gotten for free in the first place
17.  The church bringing delicious dinners to David and me for the rest of the week
18.  David's mom finding us a storage unit online so we could move the rest of our things there

The next day, David came to start moving everything I had packed up to storage, with the help of a pickup borrowed from church friends.  He got the other Christmas box from the attic and laid the items out to start drying and so I could go through them.  When I came later, I found myself pouring water out of glass Christmas tree bulbs and thinking of how laughable my first-world problems were.  We did throw out some decorations that just weren't worth trying to save, and our soaked Advent Book.

19.  All of my homemade decorations, like the Christmas tree skirt and chain I had knitted, being perfectly fine
20.  Friends taking Mac at a moment's notice when I realized that I was needed to help move and couldn't watch him.
21.  Buy one, get one for 99c Dairy Queen coupons

That night we went to a showing of a house for rent that I had found online.  It wasn't for us, but we got our feet wet house hunting and began to define what we were actually looking for.  By Friday, all of our things were in storage and we were free to relax at the home we were staying at, house hunt online, go to two apartment showings, and sort through the menagerie of things we had kept out of storage and brought with us to live on.

22.  Two house showings so close in time to each other

I found one condo that I really liked the looks of online, but when I called, it was already leased.  A new one in the same area was posted that day, so we drove by the neighborhood while we were out and were really impressed with the community and what I could see peeking in the windows.  We couldn't get ahold of that realtor though.  That brought us to Saturday, when most realties were closed.  I tried calling the realtor of the condo I wanted again (along with several other realties), but he didn't answer.  Later that day, he called me back and set up a showing for that afternoon!  The condo was JUST as good as I hoped it would be.  It would be in our price range if water and sewer were included in the rent, but most of the places we had looked at didn't have water included.  At the showing, that was one of my first questions.  

23.  Getting a showing on a Saturday to the condo I really wanted
24.  Water and sewer being included in the monthly rent
25.  The condo not being leased yet

The condo was available for move in immediately, and the thought of being able to settle into that house by the next weekend was like a dream come true!  We spent Sunday afternoon getting our application ready to put in on Monday morning when the realty office opened. 

26.  Friend letting us print needed documents for the application at their house

First thing Monday morning, I got the needed money orders at the bank and booked it to the realty office

27.  Peace from God whether we got the condo we wanted or not
28.  Mac sleeping well in multiple pack n' plays at multiple houses

We were the first people to put in an application for that condo that day, so our hopes were up.  We were hoping for an answer by the end of the day, but it wasn't actually finalized yet.  I was told that the application had been processed (and I assumed, approved) by the realtor and they were waiting for approval from the property owner.  Another night trying to get some sleep!  But the next morning, a week and a day after the flood, we got a call from the realtor that we had been approved and could take possession this Friday and move on Saturday!

WOW!  What a crazy, exhausting week full of blessings.  I can't help but think that there is some reason that God wanted us to live in this new place RIGHT NOW and that it probably has more to do than living closer to the beach or having more space before the baby comes (two pluses to the new condo).  I pray that David and I will continue to listen to Him and see what purpose he has for us in this new home.

I've been told, "I don't know how you did it."  Let me assure you of one thing, and that's that I DIDN'T!  If it were just me, I'd still be packing up my kitchen and probably crying!  God's strength and the love of friends are what got 'er done.

Our hearts are so full and we can't express how much love we have been shown from so many people this week.  Never did we need to despair or feel sorry for ourselves with so much support holding us up and peace from God keeping us together.  I feel like I have barely scratched the surface of all the little blessings and things that "worked out" this week, but I wanted to write this to at least start a list and remember all of the things we have seen God do this week.


  1. Caleb and Kirsten Says:

    Praise the Lord for all His goodness!!!

  1. alli Says:

    He is so good ALL the time! Loved this post! And am so encouraged by your faith and joy through it all!

  1. HeidiB Says:

    Aw, I cried reading this! What an amazing sequence of events, and the outpouring of love and support from your friends and church is such a great testimony! Love you always. ~H

  1. Anonymous Says:

    oh Heather love, this is great! I cried too....I so wish I was there to help. What an incredible testimony and blessing from your church and friends! Lots of love and prayers for you guys! AB

  1. Danielle Says:

    Love this post Heather & it was a blessing to help!

  1. S Phillips Says:

    I'm so glad you recorded your experience and thoughts in this testimony. Praise the Lord! I love all of you and have continued praying for you. ~Mom

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