In November, 2004 we bought a stunning home at the edge of the Historic District in Whittier. It was by far the largest home we had ever lived in-with 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, a formal dining and living room, two fireplaces and a large room downstairs that I turned in to the most glorious craft room imaginable-that was my sanctuary. It had a gorgeous yard and plenty of space for everyone. We were blessed. But I wasn't content and continued to “shop” for houses. Looking back, it wasn't really the house that I unsatisfied with. There were other issues looming. 2008 was a devastating year for us. Not only were we a casualty of the economic crash, but our marriage was on the verge of catapulting to a very destructive end. It wasn't until we had to short sale this amazing house early in 2009 that I realized how much I really had taken for granted.
Together David & I worked hard to save and improve our marriage. Thankfully, we had held on to the house on Linda Vista and would be moving back there. I LOVED this house. It was quite a bit smaller, but it was in a very family friendly neighborhood. We still had 3 bedrooms and 1-1/2 bathrooms, but I no longer had the incredible craft room. I wasn't overly concerned because we planned on adding on to the house when things got better. We had a shed to store stuff in, which made it possible for me to use the garage as a craft room and so I still had “my space.” The kids made friends in the neighborhood and we were settling in. This was the home that I thought was our “forever home.” Where the kids would bring their families for the holidays; where I would babysit my grandkids. Unfortunately, the economy didn't pick up and at the end of 2009 we found ourselves losing this home that I treasured.
Thankfully, God had a place for us. My friend Helen saw a post I had put on Facebook and responded that they had a house they were renting out. We couldn't believe our good fortune. This was an extraordinary house! It was a hundred year-old home that they had painstakingly renovated. It had 4 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms, a 4-car garage, a yard that was like a park, and room for a craft room! We were astounded by God's graciousness to us. We quickly settled in. The economy still hadn't bounced back and our finances continued on a downward spiral. We did everything we could to conserve including moving David's office/warehouse home. Regrettably, that wasn't enough, and we found ourselves needing to move once again.
This move at the beginning of 2012 was a major downsizing. We found ourselves...all 5 of us in a 2-bedroom apartment. It definitely wasn't ideal, but we could brave any storm as long as we had our family together. In June 2012, Kayla decided to move out with friends. Sadly, it was a very tumultuous time filled with a lot of strife. I felt like the only thing I still had – my saving grace – my family, had been torn apart.
Oh, but God is so good! He can redeem even when things seem to be at their bleakest. Kayla's apartment was near The Rock Church. One day in September she called and asked if I wanted to go to a service with her...Of course I did! Not long after, David and the boys started attending, too. God was really healing not only Kayla's heart, but mine, and was restoring our family. Kayla felt led to do an internship at the church and started in February 2013. She graduated at the end of July and moved back home.
Yes, we're still in that small 2 bedroom apartment, but our family has been restored! Through all of this we have learned many lessons. We learned that where we live and what we have are not the most important things in life. Our relationships with God and our family are the true treasures. They are our “forever home.”
Wendy Tunison Designs: Just Us November