We are here!  Texas.  And as I’ve come to slowly realize, saying we live in Texas is more like saying I live on the West coast if I lived in Oregon, because Texas is HUGE and apparently all parts are not definitely created equal.  We live in the Dallas/FT Worth Metroplex, in a subdivision, almost it’s own city, called Lantana.  Weird, yes.  But the amount of sprawl that has occurred in this area since 2000 is unbelievable–this is the largest metropolitan area in the South and the fourth largest in the United States.  It’s nothing that I can properly explain, especially coming from the weird city of Portland, Oregon–you just have to see it to believe it.

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When Tyler and I came to Dallas in October to look for a house, the search was overwhelming.  There were too many options!  There were amazing places to live all over the metroplex.  Houses and neighborhoods and strip malls and restaurants and any kind of medical office you could ever think up (talk about plastic surgery heaven), sports arenas, schools–every inch of this place is teaming with people and things to do.  And let me tell you, coming from The Woods to this was a breath of fresh air!  HA!  If I was more romantic perhaps–or well not me–I would long for those days in the Forgotten North (a name that Tyler and I have now affectionately dubbed Somers, CT), but let’s be serious:  I do not belong in The Woods.

Right now we are renting in Lantana while our home is being built. I KNOW.  We are building a house!  Crazy, right?  Yeah, we definitely still think so.  In fact when we came looking for houses the LAST thing on our minds was buying a new home, let alone building one.  The Lord was so faithful in navigating us through this foreign place, and he brought us to this community in the most unlikely of ways and just when we thought we were going to leave more confused than when we arrived, we found this place.  Totally scary.  But totally what the Lord has planned for us.  And totally beyond our wildest imaginations.  Who would have known that handing over everything I had fought so long to keep in my feeble clutched hands to the Lord would bring something that I had never thought possible…

Our lot!

Our lot!

Lantana is a master-planned community that was developed on 1,780 acres in Denton county and opened in 2001.  Since then there have been numerous home builders building homes to complete the community.  Our little neighborhood is one of the last.  There are 2 elementary schools and one middle school, with another elementary school planned to open in September, all built in within Lantana–people, this thing is massive.  There are close to 10,000 residents.  It’s not a city, but almost.

So the process of a semi-custom home is an interesting one, but as of right now, we broke ground last week (yippee!) and are scheduled to close some time at the end of May.  We are anxiously awaiting that day!  And for me, the best part of this whole thing is designing the inside.  Oh man! I get to pick the colors and cabinets and floors and all the finishes!  Seriously, I have been pinning like it’s my job any moment I can get on my computer, I have color swatches galore in our closet and a computer desktop that is littered with photos of kitchens and hardware and floor-plans.  I feel like I am in heaven when my creative juices are used like this.  I don’t know what it is–maybe it’s the challenge of pulling different elements of a room together to create a space that is inspired and beautiful…I don’t know, but my heart has been aching with desires to do something like this for years!

These are the wood floors for downstiars, the tile for the bathrooms, paint for my kitchen cabinets (!!), and tiles for the backsplash and master shower :)

These are the wood floors for downstiars, the tile for the bathrooms, paint for my kitchen cabinets (!!), and tiles for the backsplash and master shower :)

Though it’s “custom”, I say it’s more like “semi-custom”.  I can’t do whatever I like, if it’s not “standard” it’s an “upgrade”, which is code for “lots of moola”.  And it’s not like I can just move the fireplace from the corner to the center of the wall–not gonna happen.  And you kind of have to learn to go with the flow as you realize that they are up-charging you on things you could buy yourself for 1/2 the cost–you know smile instead of punch kind of going with the flow :)

BUT seriously, no complaints just pure thankfulness–a steady consciousness of thankfulness to the Lord for this place He has so graciously brought us.  Our family has settled in quite nicely.  I am so grateful for my boys and their willingness to go with the flow and trust mommy and daddy as we bring them from one corner of the country to the next.  I am so blessed by my husband and his new job and what amazing opportunities it has brought him and this family.  I am overwhelmed by the church we attend and the incredible community we are plugged into because of it.  And I am beyond excited for what the rest of 2014 holds for us.

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And speaking of 2014…

So when January 1st rolled around Tyler and I felt we should write down our prayers for the year–there are so many possibilities this year!  Personally and as a married couple and for our boys and our family.  We wrote them out and have purposed to pray for them. This is big for me because it could mean failure.  Oh man, it could mean that I’m human and don’t have it all together and God could say no and move us to Africa.  But the Lord has shown me in The Woods and now here in Lantana that no matter what the outcome, He desires me to come to Him, to pray fervently for my family and those around me and He desires to show me His will in the midst of me submitting my dreams.  The Lord is asking us to give Him our dreams and trust He will accomplish His will through the desires of our heart.  Trust in Him. Delight in Him.  Commit your way to Him.  And then rest waiting for Him. (Psalm 37:3-7a).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a big resolution person.  In fact most of my adult life I have shied away from writing down goals or dreams because of my fear of failure and disappointment.  I had convinced myself it wasn’t worth the pain of not seeing my goals through and therefore didn’t write them down or pray for them.  Umm, yeah.  That’s horrible, right?!  Yes.  But when you are a believer in Christ, it’s not about writing down a goal or praying for a dream and then doing all you can to force it to happen, but it’s about submitting these desires to our loving Father in Heaven who so desires us to come to Him with those goals, dreams, hopes, and even the fear of failure and disappointment if they do not come to pass.  He longs for us to be honest and raw about what is on our hearts and He longs to give us good gifts. In Matthew 7:7 it says, to ask and it shall be given!  Seek and you shall find!  Knock and it will be opened to you!  Jesus is telling us to ask!  Telling us to come to the Father with the things of our hearts–even if it’s scary.  Because He wants to bless us (Matt 7:11)!!

I encourage you all to write down your hopes and desires for 2014.  And when you do, lay them down before the Lord and let Him have His perfect way in all of them as you pray continually through the year.  You will be amazed, as I will be when December rolls around :)  If you have time read Spurgeon’s sermon on Achsah’s Asking–A Pattern of Prayer.  It’s amazing and I pray you find it encouraging if you were like me and error on not praying and asking because of fear or doubt or failure or what ever else… :)

Dani

…and, dear Meghann, you are the best at keeping me on top of this blog and I thank you for your encouragement and for even reading!

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