It Was a Messy Year

I took this picture a few Sundays back on a walk with friends to the park next to our house. It might just look like a cute picture of my daughter and her friend to you, but to me it's more than that.

It's the payoff from walking through a year of mess. 

The idea of living close to friends isn't a new one for us. I remember many late night conversations about how cool it would be to have a big piece of land and live next door to all of our friends. The idea of watching our families grow up with close friends has always been one of Amy and I's goals.

We are very intentional about spending time with friends, not just for our benefit, but for our kids (current and future) as well. Having the opportunity to choose those who influence our lives is a big win to us, because our family is the biggest investment we will ever make, and our children are the the legacy we leave. 

I've heard it said that "children are the biggest contribution we will leave to society." As a parent, I would tend to agree. 

We had talked about this idea for a while, but there was never any true action towards making this a reality because it always felt to be out of grasp for some reason or another. It takes a lot of effort to coordinate the finances, available real estate, and life preferences of multiple families to make this a reality.

That talk for Amy and I became real about a year ago when a unique opportunity presented itself; 

  • We found a house to buy (needed a ton of work, but could be a good investment)
  • The house next door belonged to our good friends parents
  • They had been thinking about making a move

The idea was hatched...

  • Chris and Amy (that's us) buy the house that needs a lot of work
  • Chase and Cambryn (our friends) buy her parents home

If it seems like a simple plan and a really awesome set of circumstances, it was, but on the day we all said, "yes," we had no clue what was in store.

From that moment it was about a year before both of our families had successfully moved in and this picture was taken. That year (our mile in this "STEP" situation) was filled with some of the most stressful months either of our families had experienced.

I remember at least six times when the whole dream seemed to come crashing down because of one thing or another. One day it was finances and the next it was negotiation. Some days it felt like there were too many things that needed to align to make it work and it would never happen. 

It was a messy year. 

We could have backed out to avoid the mess, but instead we chose to walk through it. And that mess created this beautiful picture.

A picture is not just worth a thousand words, a picture is the motivation to move through the mess. A picture is the motivation to walk through the days when you want to pull your hair out. It's the reason to keep going.

If you find yourself in a messy situation right now, get a picture of what the end result will look like and let that be your motivation. Choose to walk through the mess, knowing something beautiful awaits you on the other side.

If you have a picture in your mind that keeps you moving, I'd love to hear about it!