Our Journey to Healing February 19th

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Matthew 6:25-29

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

I realize about a month has gone by without much of a peep from us. Truthfully, life is starting to feel pretty normal, so I just assumed no one really cares to hear about it anymore! That isn't a bad thing either. I remember back in the early days when everyone was so encouraging and Derek said, "We must not be in a good situation when people keep telling us how strong we are". So, I will take the boring over life threatening any day of the week. But then my sister-in-law reminded me that our life may seem boring to us because we live it every day, but there are still things people can learn about this lifestyle through us. That comment has encouraged me to start blogging a little more frequently.

These new blogs will be less scary and more day to day. We have a journey ahead of us with checking off our "American Dream" tasks. Buying a house, hoping to have children, getting a drivers license, learning to swim, attempting to fly to see friends, etc. We will gladly be blogging and taking you along on each of these little life lessons, which I am confident will result in some ridiculous stories.

To catch you up to speed, I am going jump right into a few main things that have been happening, and then will blog in a few days about some others.

The first big thing is work. As many of you know, Derek works for a law firm downtown. We were able to find an apartment within walking distance of his work (he laughs and says it is insensitive to say "walking" but I can't bring myself to say rolling distance every time). SO there you go. It is within rolling distance for him and walking for me! Due to Derek's health needs and disability insurance, etc. he has been easing back into it. Honestly, our main goal right now is to get him accustomed to sitting at a desk for hours. I know this sounds strange since all he does is sit, but we have determined that sitting at one place for long periods of time is really hard on his neck and shoulders. Imagine if you couldn't move from you desk and your hands rested in the same place. It really pulls on those neck muscles. We are working on finding a good height for tables/ desks which will  hopefully result in better posture and more comfort.  Derek's amazing cousin Kevin built us a beautiful desk for our apartment. Right now, that is where a majority of work gets done (and where I am blogging from currently). We are hoping by the end of 2017, Derek will be back at work full time.

I had to step down from my job back in September due to FMLA and just needing to be with Derek in Chicago full time. Honestly, we had no idea what the next step was for me. We knew I needed something where I could work remotely and a place that would be understanding of our situation. I figured I would start the job search this spring. Well, God really showed up in this area of our lives. At the end of December, I was approached by Luke @ MudLOVE (you know, the place where those adorable Goat mugs and Moxie mugs were sold on our behalf?) Well, they wanted someone to run their Fundraiser Marketplace and help set up campaigns to help others. I was shocked. Actually, let me tell you how I found out because it was pretty funny (at least to me).

It was a late Friday night and we were at my parents house in Ohio. We were playing a Spy game (SpyFall), and the goal is to figure out who among you is the spy based on asking a lot of questions. Well, it so happened that I was the spy that round. So as my dad was asking questions, I decided to "check my email" to try to look as natural as possible (and honestly avoid eye contact). As I pulled up my phone, Luke's email was the first one to pop up. I started reading it and then my eyes got huge. I was so excited! Dad stopped and said "LeAnne's the spy! She's acting weird!" I continued with, "I am the spy and I don't even care! Listen to this email!". The rest is history. I started working full-time remotely in January. There are so many things I love about this job, but a great benefit to us is that they are located in my husband's home town. Which means any time I need to be at work for a meeting, we can go together and see our family. Small plug- If anyone needs a creative way to fundraise, check out MudLOVE. If you are raising money for medical costs, humanitarian, adoption, or school specific needs, check out MudLOVE's Fundraiser Marketplace. Ok. That is all! 

Next and last topic of conversation. The Great Lavender House Hunt. Just to catch everyone up to speed in 7 seconds, we lived on a great little property just NE of town in a renovated garage we named Bunker. We were making plans on redoing the house (Longshot) when the accident occurred. We rented out Bunker until January and then put her up on the market. Bunker was very popular with 80+ showings in just under a month. BUT many people were having issues getting the bank to approve a loan due to the condition of Longshot. While all this is happening, we've been living in an accessible apartment looking at Zillow every.single. day.

Last week, we accepted an offer on Bunker. We are set to close in April. Obviously, these things can fall through, but we are happy with how everything has progressed. So, now is the fun part of house hunting. A lot of people have asked us what we are looking for, so I'm going to fill you in and then let you get back to your Sunday nap!

A ranch is ideal but actually not necessary. There are options with getting Derek up and down stairs. You can put in a little elevator lift (which isn't as expensive as you might think), or we could add a lift seat that goes on a railing (like you see in every commercial during the Price Is Right). A ranch takes up more space on a property, tends to be more expensive, and gets snatched up quickly. We have found at least 2 properties in the last 2 months that really caught our attention, but both were gone within a matter of a few days. It seems like everyone had the same idea we did! But, we are voting for a ranch!

For renovations, we would really just need to redo a master bathroom and possibly a kitchen. The kitchen really just depends, but a lower counter height and cabinets just on the bottom would be ideal. Hardwood floors are also a huge plus, as carpet and wheelchairs don't always go great together. We would love a little bit of property (or at least a nice deck). The tricky part is that although we don't know what life has in store for us, we are essentially purchasing a forever home. We don't want to have to modify a place just to *Lord willing* outgrow it in a few years.

After 3 hours of driving around looking at houses yesterday, the one that caught our attention was literally in a retirement community. We laughed and said the good news is we won't have any trouble finding a place for us to live when we are older!

I do have a few things I want to share that have been on my heart, but I felt it necessary to catch you guys up on a few "life" things first. Looking forward to the next time we chat!

With Love,

The Lavenders