A tornado went through the town we were wanting to move to, changing the market there but it didn't matter because our house didn't sell.
We found a house that we loved and we made an offer, which was accepted, but our house still didn't sell.
We lowered the price on our home, and it still didn't sell.
So we lowered the price again. Shortly before Christmas, with our contingency offer expired, we took our house off the market so we could enjoy the holidays without the stress of showings.
There were a lot of people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, who asked if we were going to bury a statue of St. Joseph in our yard.
Simple answer: no.
This spring we put our house back on the market.
Finally, we had lots of showing, lots of interest, and then one day we had two couples look at it. They both loved it and wanted it. We asked them both for their best offer by noon the next day. In the end we accepted an offer of a newlywed couple for more than our listed price.
Meanwhile, we learned that the house we had wanted in the fall was now "Sale Pending". We quickly had to find a house that was within our budget, not a dump, in a good neighborhood, and big enough to hold a family of seven. We were really nervous.
As we looked online we saw a home that fit most of our requirements: in a good neighborhood, three bedrooms, lots of space, a nice yard, well cared for though outdated so Travis could put some sweat equity into it. Amazingly, the home was safe from any major damage in the November tornado though most of the homes around it were ruined. It seemed perfect for us, except that it was listed out of our price range.
Now, I don't want to mislead you: there were times when I was frustrated that our house wasn't selling and we seemed to miss opportunities. But when I look back on it all I can so clearly see the Hand of God, holding some things back and moving other things around so everything would be better than we could have ever hoped for. Even during it all, even with my worries, I still had a strong feeling that it would all work out. That peace and confident trust were really important to me and so I want to share with you
There's three things we did in our hope to sell our home.
1 - We trusted in God's goodness, not superstitions. Burying a statue of St. Joseph because it's supposed to make your house sell is nothing but a superstitious act. As Christians we don't believe in superstitions - we believe in God. Of course there are people who have done this tradition in a faithful and not-at-all superstitious way. Personally I still don't like it, but that is a personal preference and we can disagree. If you have done this as a part of a prayerful practice then I'm not talking about you.
I know that Catholic stores sell Home Selling St. Joseph kits. I know that there are even nuns who make and sell these kits. But it is also quite common, especially in certain parts of the country, for realtors to pass out chintzy St. Joseph statues to every client with directions to "Bury him and you're house will sell!" It is one thing to place St. Joseph on a piece of land or a home you wish to buy, to use St. Joseph to claim the land, and to put it under his patronage. It is another thing all together to bury his likeness in the ground because doing so is supposed to give you the results you want.
2 - We placed the intention in Mary's capable hands. When our home went on the market for the first time I was preparing to do a consecration to Mary using the book 33 Days to Morning Glory. During that time I entrusted Mary with my hopes that our home would sell to a nice family who loves God, and that we would find the perfect home for us to raise our kids in - a place we could all be happy for a long time. I asked her to pray for me, to talk to her Son about my intentions When I would become frustrated I would tell her, "I have no more wine!" which was my code word for: Fix this, please! When I would start to doubt (in her prayers, in God's faithfulness, whether we would ever move) I would ask her to untie the knots in my life. With her on my side I never doubted for long.
3 - We placed an image of St. Joseph in a place of honor in our home. To most people it would have looked like just another Catholic decoration, but every time I passed that image of St. Joseph I would ask him to find someone to buy our house. I spent a lot of time thinking about how St. Joseph had to find so many homes and shelters for Mary and Jesus, from the stable in Bethlehem to Egypt to Nazareth. I know he's good at finding homes and so I asked him to also help us find a perfect home for our family.
In the end, God is our loving Father and He wants what's best for us. It is good to remember that and to trust in His timing and His perfect ways.