our home

by Kayla Raymond

As the paperwork fiasco unraveled in Haiti, my parents made a big decision around this same time that added extra worry about the future of my family to their plate. This story, friends, has a good ending unlike yesterday’s story!

Their big decision was to buy the building that we have operated our brick and mortar Rosie’s out of since 2015 in Rock Rapids, Iowa. For those of you that don’t know much about Rock Rapids, it’s the small town that I was born and raised in. We have a small main street with several businesses and all the buildings are very old and big. My mom’s vision was to remodel the entire upstairs and turn it into a loft. The initial idea kind of shocked me as their home was always my refuge place when I would travel back to Iowa and I wasn’t sure I could handle losing that. But, more than that, I couldn’t imagine my soon-to-be family of seven staying in a second story loft on main street when we visited.

During the year of 2018 was when the Lord really started planting deep seeds and desires into my heart to be a soccer mom. That may seem silly to you, but our life in Haiti didn’t allow for many extracurricular opportunities for my kids. More than just fun activities, there were other areas the kids were struggling in and I always felt I was neglecting them one way or another. I would have busy moms Stateside complain to me about their kids’ hectic schedules with school, sports, dance, whatever and this desire to be a mom running around for my kids kept growing and growing. I would say to those complaining moms, “I only wish I could be doing half of that for my kids!”

As those seeds kept taking root, I kept dreaming of owning a house of our own Stateside as well. I can specifically remember driving past all the For Sale houses in Rock Rapids, envisioning a life in them. Weird, I know. I also remember driving past the very big white house on Carroll Street with the For Sale sign and thinking, “I would never be able to afford that house.”

That big white house was actually owned by the hospital in town and as a new hospital was built, the old one was planned to be torn down and all of its entities to be sold. The price dropped significantly and my mom said to me, “Kayla, I think we can do this!”

I traveled home for a quick week-end over Easter to surprise my brother for his engagement and also took a look at that big white house. The hospital board needed it off their books in two weeks from the time I saw it for the first time. A few of the hospital board members knew our family well and the work we do in Haiti; one of them advised my dad to make an offer, and make it low! So, we did. We offered almost $30k under the asking price and the offer was accepted almost immediately.

We ended up getting that big white house for essentially half off! I still can’t believe it, even as I sit at the dining room table and type this story out.

Even though I have so many unanswered, difficult questions about so many unfair, unjust, difficult things about both our family and about the world and its sufferings, God still occupies so much of my heart reassuring me He is good. The timing and provision of our house is proof that He knows and cares for the desires of our heart. I firmly believe He plants those desires there, because He intends to blow us away by providing for them. I never, ever would have given myself permission to envision a life in a big white house and now, here I am, having spent almost the last four months making it into our home; our refuge place. All the kids have expressed how much they love it and almost every time we pull into the driveway, Rubie will exclaim, “that’s my house!”

It sure is baby girl, it sure is.

This house is proof to me that God wants and maybe even needs us here for this season. My mom gifted us and hung a canvas in our dining room that reads, “May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be confident knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us. – Mother Theresa”

That second sentence gets me almost every time.

May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.

What desires has God been planting into your heart? I’m here to tell you, they are there for a reason. Give yourself the freedom to believe in them and pursue them. Then, let God blow you away by his provision and faithfulness.

I really wanted to end if there, because darn, wouldn’t that have been a nice ending? But, the Spirit is also saying to me:

“But, remember, His timing isn’t always your timing. Sometimes you gotta go to battle for those desires. Sometimes you’ll have to face those fears and do scary things for those desires. Sometimes it may not go smoothly. Sometimes it may not go according to your plans. And, sometimes it may get so hard that you’ll consider defeat. But those are the times you need to remember where those desires came from – they’re there for a reason -and then never forget the kind of God you serve.”

A.K.A. I can’t give up on my adoptions and all the unknowns there. And you, my cherished reader, you can’t give up on your unknowns, either.