This post is brought to you by: S.O.S. WE NEED HELP!
Since Darren broke our silence, many questions have been asked on how to help! THANK YOU! First, we are struggling with what should have been a somewhat easier goal than we ever imagined. Our basic goal was to sell our house, some of what we owned,give to those in need, and take the money from the house and build two tiny houses . From there, our next basic goal was to live frugally and sustainably while we paid off all debts and be debt free. Our ability to do that would free up time to live in relationship with others, as we took up our cross and follow Jesus with our time, money, and relationships with others. We should have had enough money at the time of selling the house to build our tiny houses, and begin using most of our income to pay off debt. We love(d) all the variables that were part of that goal, such as: raising servants instead of entitled children, teaching our kids to value people instead of things, and a more quiet place to spend time together as a family in God’s beautiful creation of the great outdoors.
We never imagined we would hit every road block possible on our way, and now we are sitting here numb, still valuing our same goals, but a little paralyzed, seeking God on what we need to do RIGHT NOW. As in, TODAY! It would be very easy to give into fear and doubt, to doubt God’s leading and provision with SO many things going terribly wrong. So, what has gone wrong? This may be the hardest post I have had yet to write, as I am extremely empathetic, and do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings.
One thing our family has been working on over the last 18 months or so is a quote I gained from the book Boundaries. “Take responsibility for your own: Feelings, Attitudes, Behaviors, Choices, Limits, Talents, Thoughts, Desires, Loves, Values. Actively pursue resolution of the problem, even if it is not your fault.” These words ring in my ears as I evaluate every aspect of our current problem. What was our poor planning? What did we forget to consider? Who is at fault for what? How do we forgive faults that have majorly affected our family? And the list of questions goes on.
So what happened? This was a new experience for everyone involved. It was our contractor’s first time being a contractor (on a completed project), and it was our builder’s first time building a tiny house. As you may recall, we said yes to filming our build for a couple reasons, 1. their ability to offset the cost on better materials, and 2. our main reason, that our houses would be “complete” in a timely fashion. Darren was planning on building our house(s) himself, until the option of the show became available. If Darren built them, the reality of that decision is that when he was not at work, all of his and our family time would be spent on building the house(s) for 6+ months, and into winter. Saying yes to the show meant that we would have to get a contractor and builder, which would cost more money. We decided that our time as a family over the next several months was worth more than a stressful season of Darren building it himself, and worth the cost…which we had from the sale of our house.
What we did not expect is that our contractor would make numerous mistakes, as well as go over budget by 17 thousand dollars. We did not expect that we would need to re-do much of the work inside and outside the house, and that our houses would be unfinished at the end of the project. We have ended up having to spend every dime over the last 2 months on finishing and repairing work that was not done, or was incomplete, or even done wrong. We have encountered one disappointment after another with the building of our houses, trying to take one moment, one day at a time, trying to encourage our builders, trying to make sure communication is open and we are all on the same page, and the budget is in line. This ended up being a tragic nightmare, instead of a great experience. Did I mention Darren’s car had to go to the junk yard a couple weeks ago!!!
At this point, the water lines are frozen, the houses are having trouble keeping up with the cold outside, the mini splits are using too much electricity and draining the solar batteries, and though we’ve tried to finish the house projects that were incomplete, they have been passed over for trying to get our solar panels anchored into the ground after terrible winds knocked them over, getting the electric lines trenched underground to the houses, buying and burying a cistern to be filled with the well water, leveling out the land on which they stand, etc. We knew that our time and some finances would need to be put to the land we are living on, but before we could do that, we had to work on the homes to make them even livable, between many leaks in the gas lines, showers and kitchen unfinished, water pump needs incomplete, several holes in the pvc under the house, and an endless list of projects not finished.
On Monday of this week, we also learned that for a couple of different reasons, we are not going to be able to live on the land we are currently on. One of those reasons being that our generator is scaring the deer of a near-by hunter, which has led to other issues. So all that leveling, anchoring, cistern digging, and trenching was a waste of time and money that we didn’t have in the first place because of our contractor’s budget mistakes. We are fighting the temptation to look back, and to instead cling to God in this present moment. We can come up with many could have/should have statements that will get us nowhere but in the dumps. The responsibility we hold over our situation leaves us feeling a bit humiliated and dumb, to be honest. I’m not sure how we could have foreseen these issues, but none the less, we feel pretty awful.
So gloom and doom out there, as requested by several of you, here is what you CAN do to practically help! I cannot begin to accentuate how HUGE these needs are RIGHT NOW in our daily lives.
* Legal counsel
* Donating to our Go Fund Me account https://www.gofundme.com/mikesgotiny
* We are looking for a place to live for the Winter.
* We need a new place to put our Tiny Houses On Wheels (THOW)
* We need help moving the THOW, and un-doing our trenching/cistern/deck work
* We need to sell our extra building supplies ASAP.
* We need to sell our RV, and winterize it somewhere
* We need help distracting the girls with friends while we do some of the laboring
Many people have told me that they’ve been here, in a spot where it is hard to keep moving without crying, and that we are not alone. Thank-you to those who have prayed, bought us groceries, and volunteered their time through the first part of all this, as well as to our church, The Gathering Place, who took us in for a time! We hold onto the truth, and that is that God will never leave us of forsake us (Deuteronomy 3:8), we are holy and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12), and God has a plan for us (Jeremiah 29:11).
On a side note, I have begun homeschooling the girls this fall with Classical Conversations City Light. We love it there! One consequence of doing that is that we cannot participate in our MOPS group as there is no home school child care, and the same goes for Bible study. So I am missing being in the word with my sisters in Christ! Also, because of our situation, I have taken the winter months off of teaching at the gym, since winter is unreliable and the country is a hard place to depend on in the winter! Currently, I will be starting back up with online fitness and health coaching with Beachbody, and a consultant with Norwex (chemical-free cleaning products). I will be hosting monthly groups/orders on both! Contact me if you’d like more information or some accountability and direction with your health and fitness goals!
My final thoughts through all this deeply disappointing situation is that I claim Ephesians 3:20: Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen
Melody is a full time mother, CEO of the Mike household, NASM certified Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Beach Body Coach, Norwex Representative, Singer/Songwriter, Organizer, Jesus Lover, Wife, and well, you get the idea, a woman of many hats. Adventurous and creative, she loves spending time outdoors and encouraging others to be Lean, Clean, & Green.