What about the Details?

God is a God of details.
Sometimes we think that the little things don’t matter.
We get complacent in how we wash dishes, or do the laundry.
What does it matter anyway?

After my husband and I returned from seeing family over Christmas, we both sensed an urgency to prepare. 
But prepare for what?
I repainted rooms, put up trim that I’ve always wanted to do. 
Joey fixed some plumbing issues.
We purged our stuff with greater purpose.

When I’d ask God, what we were to prepare for, all I felt from Him was “Paint and Pack.”
But how do you pack when you don’t know where you're going?

Because of the virus, Joey’s two-week army training was cancelled, but not in time for him to schedule patients. 
We had been looking at land in Oklahoma for when we retire.
I suggested we use the two weeks to see if we actually could like it there.
Pictures can be deceiving.
While friends took us around the area, I asked how many acres it took to support a cow.
He called a friend. While talking to him, he asked if he knew of any land for sale.
His friend said he was selling his dad’s ranch but keeping it in the family.
We thought nothing more about it. We weren’t family.
But after our friend hung up, he said, “let’s go see it.” 
“We aren’t family.”
He replied, “I’m his friend. You’re my friend. You are family.”

We couldn’t move until Joey had a job. We both thought that was the end of that.
Our friend knew the CEO of the hospital and arranged for us to meet him.
They were adding dermatology. They currently sent all their skin patients an hour and a half away because they had no one to meet their needs.
We were leaving at 4 AM the next morning.
We chit-chatted about Oklahoma. As he left, he mentioned that he wanted my husband to see the hospital.
We were leaving at 4 AM the next morning.

The CEO called our friend the next morning and asked when my husband would be coming to see the hospital.
Joey said, “I don’t need to see the hospital.”
Our friend again explained, “To see the hospital means he’s offering you the job.”
My husband returned the next week to meet with the hospital’s staff.
Negotiations began for the contract.
The hospital’s attempts at a contract fell below our expectations, especially considering Joey would be building a practice from scratch. 
We wondered if we heard God right. 

My husband is a good “waiter.” He kept saying, We’ll wait and see.”
In waiting, the hospital wondered if he had declined their offer.
We were just waiting. Me—not so well.

I continued to “paint and pack.” 
Now I could pack with more purpose.
And purge with more diligence.

But those big details of leaving two boys behind to finish school, and our first grandbaby (with her parents) who were close enough to visit once a week had to be worked out—emotionally and physically.
Would one be able to go to school “on-line” in Oklahoma with us?
No, he had in-person labs.
Where would they live? 
Details we still don’t know.

We wondered if we would have to rent here if we sold quickly and weren’t quite ready to work in OK.
Again details that weren’t ours to know—yet.

The boys helped immensely, especially with the garage.
Jeremiah stayed behind from weedwacking, doing everything.
James was behind the scenes, selling this, taking loads to the dump (he was a regular for awhile), cleaning and raking.
I couldn’t pack anything more.
We ordered a POD to store our packed goods and “staged” our house for market.
Here’s the link for pictures.
(Remember pictures are deceiving.)

One detail I forgot was to keep next year's school books out. They were at the front of the POD.
The boys don't seem devastated by the news that school won't resume until we move and unpack, but I feel the pressure.

When we had returned from the first trip to OK, I started looking at rent-to-own properties, in case the house was unlivable. I had my doubts.
But as I looked, God told me, “Don’t.” So I stopped looking.
A friend gifted one of his rental properties for our use while we made the “new” house livable. 
Does God care about details? 

After seven showings, our house in Squaw Valley sold. 
Now the pack with great purpose hit.
Because of the virus, escrow was made as short as possible, 30 days. 
Where will we stay until Joey finished working in California? 
Again, our God of details provided. 
Josh in an off-hand comment mentioned friends willing to host our six-member family. 
I could pack everything and not worry about needing things to “live-off”.

The OK hospital told us processing PA licenses took forever.
We wondered with the virus whether it would actually take place.
When Joey called, they said they could do it by the end of September if his paperwork was complete.
After finding everything, including transcripts through high school, Joey completed their requirements.

Informing those at work, church and the clients at the boys’ business was put on hold until the right time.
We arranged another trip, this time with the boys. 
We returned to see the house for the first time to evaluate what must be done.

Doubts again seeped in when I learned details of the house—it was old.
Would it even be safe? Lead pipes, asbestos insulation, insufficient electrical needs… It was only 1300 square feet.
How could I get rid of anything more—it was all packed!
And I didn’t remember seeing any garage, only a shed that seemed falling over. How would we fit?

Should we even buy that house?
My doubts escalated.
My husband calmed me with the “wait and see” method. We can’t do anything until we see the house.

I researched the cost of demolishing a house and re-building. 
I evaluated prefabricated house kits and house plans for what would work.
I reminded myself, “We are DOWNSIZING!” but still needed three bedrooms. 
Again it was wait and see.

Our realtor told of her own house. “You never know what you may find. We found a window hidden behind siding, with no insulation.” 
Friends told of electrical wires found loose in the walls.
Maybe California’s regulations had some purpose.
I sighed. How were you to know?

After seeing the house, our questions were definitely answered.
And because it is God answering, they were answered in ways totally unexpected. 
It was not even the house that decided for us. 
Details. That told us, “no.”
We declined the offer.

And now look for another.
The housing and land market in OK is a seller’s market. Our realtor suggested a face-time look at perspective houses with a quick offer.
My temptation has been to watch and see what’s open now.
I know what to expect. 
But God again told me, “No.”
James helped look and found some prospects.

No offer will be made until we have money in hand from this house, which means that escrow is closed.
There’s the termite report, calling for $1500 repairs.
There’s the inspector’s report. Finding everything that could be wrong.

We struggle to complete Josh's driver's license. DMV is only addressing those who already had existing appointments back when they were closed down in March.
They aren't in any hurry to add new appointments.
All he needs is a on-road test.
That detail would help us in figuring out how to get three vehicles across country.
Should Josh, Jeremiah and I go early just to take stuff and one vehicle?
What would we take?

When I told the boys my list for what needed to be in the Excursion—three dogs, tools, plants, frozen meat with freezer, ... they laughed and said I needed a semi.
But I need it to fit in the Excursion, to get THAT to OK.
Details....that could keep me up at night, or make me go to God Who is very good at taking care of the details.

In the mean time we have packed everything, except the very basics. 
Our pod is scheduled for pick-up.
We must find how to transport the rest of the stuff that does not fit in the pod across country.
I must schedule our utilities to be turned off.
Two cats who won’t travel need to be dropped off at a home.
How to get the three dogs to OK, since we are going first to ID to our son’s wedding, then on to OK…

Our God has been prepared our way, so far.
This move has given me a glimpse at how much our God cares about the details. 
And that gives me peace. 
For our lives our in the details, whether it’s dishes and laundry, or math drills and handwriting, God cares and directs, if we put wait and listen.

Displaying all 5 comments

One by one, I'm catching up! It's interesting reading these old blogs, knowing where you are now in your journey of faith. I went through the slide show on your house, are you sure that was YOUR house??? Never saw it look like that! Anyway, I enjoyed the article and can relate in so many ways, having seen how God dealt with so many details in bringing Bob and I together.

Oh my Sonya! What a story and what a journey of faith! We strongly relate and understand what you are going through as you uproot after so many years of raising your family there in the mountains of CA. God is faithful and He will bring you through step by step. Thanks for taking time to share.

Oh Sonya! Grace, grace to those mountains! He always moves them in time. What a journey! We are on more of our own just now. Not very easy! Love to you. I think of you often. And will pray even more!
Shauna Hall

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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