Welcome Home
September 1, 2011, 6:00 am
Filed under: blessings, humor, love, Parenting | Tags: , ,

My house whispered “Welcome Home Johnson’s, welcome home.” Ten years, a decade, one hundred and twenty months, five hundred and twenty weeks, three thousand six hundred and fifty days. That is a long time. It is the longest I have lived in one place in my entire life! When we moved to Bend, September 1st, 2001 I had dreams that this would be the place. The one place, we could put roots down, and raise our four children.

In April we had adopted John and Christian. In July Scott resigned from the Youth Pastor position, at a church in the suburbs of Sacramento, where we had been living for four years. Scott and I had been praying for over ten years for an opportunity to minister and live in the town of Bend, in Central Oregon. We wanted a place where we could settle and stay until our kids were out of high school.

Scotty was on one last ‘houseboat camp’ with the high schoolers. Strapping my then 4, 41/2, 5, and 6-year-old children into car seats the size of small recliners (the smaller, less expensive ones would not work with the lap belt system of my 1979 Suburban), I drove to a new frontier. I am sure, I was quite the sight, riding high in my huge statement of a vehicle, pulling into this beautiful mountain town, and having two blonde haired, white kids, and two very, very, black skinny boys looking out the windows.

I had some very high priorities on my house hunting list. I did not want to move twice in the same town. I wanted to find the house that would become the home the kids would always know as ‘the house I grew up in’. We had not sold our home in Rocklin, so we needed a place that would possibly rent to us until we could buy it. I knew I wanted big bedrooms as all the three boys would be in the same room. I wanted a yard bigger than a postage stamp and one with character not just a cookie cutter house. No easy task for any realtor, and oh yea, I had four days.

After three days of searching, and endless conversations with my parents, who had met us in Bend to help. I was resigned to go back to Sacramento without a permanent place to move to. I was sad, tired, a bit overwhelmed and questioning everything. The confidence and joy I had driving into town had faded to the whiny tired voices of doubt. What the hell were Scott and I thinking? He left his job, we were moving to a town I had been to one time in my life. This was not in the brochure and a far bigger adventure than I had planned.

The last day in Bend, we expanded our upper limit by $5,000 (thanks to my always, over generous parents). A house came up that we had not seen previously, that caught my interest. I went to look at it in the evening after taking the kids to the county fair. It was a hot night, the mountains were pink, and a peace came over me. On a small gravel road called Rawhide, the last house on the left hand side, just before the llama farm, was our destiny.

In what I consider a series of small miracles, the house was empty, the lease to buy offer accepted and we were able to move in September one, 2001. Now ten years later with all the kids in high school, my home still whispers to me “Welcome home Johnson’s, welcome home”


6 Comments so far
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And though I was only there once…. it screamed of peace and joy and comfort from every pore of it! (I think it had something to do with the family there that gave it Life… 🙂

Comment by Jane

Jane, I know I tell you all the time but please hear it again, you are wonderful and a huge inspiration to me. Thank you for reading, commenting and encouraging me.

Comment by Kari

And I can still remember bouncing around my house because the new neighbors had kids! Then my sister and I went over to your house with a plate of brownies to welcome you to the street. We addressed you as Pastor and Mrs. Johnson and you smiled at us and said call us Scott and Kari because that is who we are. And though your home might whisper to you “Welcome home” I get to scream it across the fence 🙂

Comment by Kate

Thank you so much for your love and support through the years. I am so glad to be Neighbors and friends

Comment by Kari

I remember sitting in your backyard for the first time and commenting, “Man, all your kids friends are going to want to be hanging out in your backyard.” and you looking at me and very seriously saying, “That’s kind of the point.” Yes, yes it is.

Your house may say, “Welcome Home Johnsons” but you guys live in a way that simply says, “Welcome. YOU are welcome here.” and that is an amazing gift all 6 of you share with Bend on a daily basis.

Comment by Alissa

Alissa, your comment touched me deeply. To have someone else recognize your desire and acknowledge that they have seen it come true is a gift from God and I thank you for being his vessel.

Comment by Kari

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