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Reader Testimonial: A Place to Live for Three Months

Tiffany at My Litter emailed in the following testimonial that I thought many of you would enjoy reading:

I am surprised to find myself writing this post. We have always been a “cash” family and know the benefits, but you never know when having that extra cash can really save a situation.

My husband and I have lived in the same “starter” home for the past 12 years. When we moved in, we had one child and tons of space. Now we have seven children and no space!

We had talked about moving, but liked our small house payment and with the economy the way it is, we were nervous about making a decision like that. However, when the opportunity came to move two miles away into a house twice the size for a very reasonable price, we decided to jump at the opportunity.

Things fell into place perfectly. Our old home sold quickly and we were going to be able to lease it back from the new owners until our new house was ready. Things were too good to be true.

At closing the new owners decided they wanted did not want to lease us back our old home, we would have to move out in two weeks and find temporary housing for three months until we could move into our new house.

We were shocked.

I immediately began looking for somewhere to live, but didn’t expect to have any trouble. I was wrong.

No one wants to do a short term lease for three months. They would much rather wait for that 12-month contract and not miss the chance to have someone lease longer.

I started looking for apartments, only to find that our family was too large. Fire code prohibited us from having anything smaller than a four- bedroom apartment, and there was not a single four-bedroom apt. within 15 miles of where we were lived.

We had two days until we had to be out of our old house and still did not have anywhere to live. We moved everything we owned into storage and decided that we would have to get two extended stay hotel rooms (that connected) for the next three months.

I was sick to think of how stressful that would be with nowhere for the kids to play and the difficulty of making meals. My husband and I decided to say another prayer that someone would consider a three-month lease to a family with seven kids and a dog!

The next morning as we were moving the final large items into storage, we got a phone call from a friend who had a neighbor with a home that he would consider leasing. But not realizing that we only wanted three months he quickly tried to back out.

My husband felt impressed to ask him once again if he would consider it if we paid him cash for the three months upfront. To our surprise, he said yes. I cried tears of joy all the way to the bank–something that I am sure will never happen again when withdrawing money!

The almost $6000 to keep my family together and not in a hotel for three months was worth it. That money would have been spent on a mortgage payment over that period of time, but had we not had the cash saved and only been able to pay a month at a time we would not have had that option.

It can be difficult to be frugal, to clip coupons, and put things you want on hold, but this situation reconfirmed to my husband and I that paying cash or having the ability to do so is the way to go.

Tiffany and her husband Paul are the parents to 7 fabulous kids who all have killer senses of humor, which makes their lives just that much more fun, crazy and wonderful! Paul works full time in sales, and when he is not coaching the kids sports, is a blogger at I Heart The Mart. Tiffany is the Director at a private Christian preschool and in her spare time (between the hours of 1am and 3am) she blogs at My Litter.

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26 Comments

  • This made me cry. What a blessing!

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! That was a huge blessing to me. My husband and I just recently moved out to CA to help a small church plant, and the move/ transition has been tough. Hearing your story did increase my faith! Thank you!

  • Mary STrong says:

    You have a lovely family and God was watching over you.
    God Bless,
    Mary Lou

  • Richelle says:

    Hey, wasn’t she on “Extreme Couponing”? I love her!!

  • Amy says:

    God answers prayer! Sometimes very quickly. 🙂

  • Richelle says:

    What a great testimony. God is so faithful! I believe that when we are good stewards with our resources (not just our money, but our time and talents as well), God delights in flexing His muscles to reward our diligence by pouring out blessings when we need them most. My Hub is the head of a community service organization at his job. They are doing a project this week, that was supposed to require him to work 2 days with no pay. We have a family of 7, and one income, so even with our frugal lifestyle, this would have been tough for us. Nevertheless, my Hubby was determined to honor his volunteer commitment to the people he’s helping– so the night before the job started, Hub and I prayed for miraculous financial provision. At the end of the long first day of working, his boss pulled him aside and told him, “I am very impressed by your work on this project (as he had organized the whole thing), so even though it isn’t company policy to do this, (there are about 20 employees working this project, NONE of whom are getting paid) you deserve to be paid for your efforts, so I am going to pay you for both the 2 days.” My Hubby was beaming to me when he related the account. Praise God!

  • Danielle B says:

    Wow. Great post. I just love it!

    My husband just found out yesterday that he’s going to be moved to a store 1 1/2 hours away from where we live in just a few months. Even though we’d talked about the chances for this happening, neither of us thought it’d become reality this soon. I spent most of the night tossing and turning, worrying myself sick over what would happen with our current landlord. We just signed a new 12 month lease back at the end of April. How could we break our lease and still get a good reference check for moving somewhere else? Our landlord has some serious lease-breaking consequences, none of which we could afford.

    This morning my husband was dropping the rent check off at the front office dropbox. Just as he was walking back to his car, the landlord pulled up. He decided to just go ahead and ask her about our situation. To his amazement she said, “No problem. Since you all have been for so long (4 years in Nov.) just give me 30 days notice. And don’t worry, I’ll give you a good reference too. And if anything ever happens and you’re back in this area, I’d gladly rent to you again.”
    WOW.
    A night full of worrying wasted. God always answers, in HIS timing. We don’t have to strive and worry and fret and strive and fret and worry some more. He will take care of us, and if something is in His perfect will for our life, then He will gladly take care of those “this could never work” details. He shines the brightest in the most uncertain situations. 🙂 Praise His Holy Name!

  • Susan says:

    What a blessing! Thank you for posting (and writing) this blog entry. It was so real. Sometimes it seems that the things I read about would never happen in my life, but we have had similar experiences to this one. It’s good to know that there are other Christians out there whom God seems to take to the “edge” yet never leaves or forsakes.

  • Lisa says:

    Love this!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Arabella Pointe says:

    So glad it worked out for you. I am glad we decided to have one child–stresses like that rarely (if ever) happen in our household.

    God will provide! Loaves and fishes! Supermarket joy!!

  • My husband and I have several rental units and when one of our two bedroom apartments turned recently, I was surprised at how many desperate families there were who wanted to rent it. The truth is, rentals are risky. You never know that the person who signs the 12 month lease will stay there the whole time – the whole reason our apt was empty was because the previous tenants broke their 12 month lease. I wanted to help out one particular family so we rented to a family for 7 months. We worked out a deal with them so they would not leave in the middle of winter (a very difficult time to rent an apt) and they happily agreed to that. I hope they keep their end of the bargain, but I think they will. I’m glad this family found someone to work with them, too.

  • That is such a wonderful story!! What a blessing the way God provides – not always the way we expect! Thank you for sharing. My husband and I are just starting out, trying to put away money so that we can be ready someday for whatever happens.

  • Kristi says:

    LOVE this story. I’m grateful for the powerful way God has led your family and provided just what you needed.

  • Summer says:

    What a great story! Such a blessing!

  • Marie says:

    Thank you for sharing! God truly is amazing! This bought tears to my eyes.

  • Jen says:

    It was a challenge finding something the right size and price that would accept pets when we were looking last summer. Now we’re in a college town, and the landlords only seem to want to rent to students. There are plenty of houses that are for rent and the right size, but the owners seem to assume that each member of the household will be paying a share of the rent! None are geared toward families, where there would only be one or two working adults.

  • Charlotte K says:

    Thanks for sharing your story!! What a blessing!!
    May I just say that you for helping my uncontent heart by saying you lived in your started home for 12 years and over that time went from 1 to 7 children. I am struggling right now with being content in my starter home which is the largest and nicest home I have ever lived in with my 3 children. When we moved in 2.5 years ago we had 2 children now we have 3. All share a room and then we have a play room. The school room is part of the living space.

    Thanks to your post I am going to be thankful and patient with all that I do have and make my home mine and prepare to be here for year until just the right time comes instead of trying to make it happen!!!

    Many blessings!!

  • That is a neat story! I have to say though, growing up, some of my fondest memories are the times we lived in a hotel waiting until we found a place to live. We did it a couple times. Once we had a kitchen, the other time, we did not, although we used a hot plate a couple times.
    With a larger family, it can be difficult, but you would be surprised sometimes how those unusual circumstances can bring a family closer.

    • Teresa says:

      That makes me feel a little better. We just sold our house and are moving across country for a job tranfer. We thought we found a house and then it got sold a few days before ours. I know that it will all work out, but sometimes it is just hard. Hopefully my 4 kids will think it is fun. At least they have a pool and I am not paying for it.

  • sue says:

    Been there. Done that. Same thing happened to us- we sold our house and were going to build one ourselves and no one would rent for 6 months with 4 children even when we said we would pay cash upfront for all 6 months. The Lord will provide!! We brought our son to a birthday party of one of his Christian school friends and told a teacher our dilemma- she said she knew of a SIX bedroom house that someone owned but as a christian school teacher she couldn’t afford it–My husband ended up knowing the owner (my father in law had wired their house years ago) we ended up leasing the house –the owner wouldn’t even take a deposit.. The Lord will provide!

  • Honey says:

    We had a similar answer to prayer. My husband lost his job two years ago. Recently we went bankrupt and actually lost our house. A family in our church had to go away for a few months for military training. They let us stay in their house. They could not accept rent as the military prohibited them from doing so. Although it isn’t fun to think of moving again in 3 months, we are grateful for the provision of a place for our family of 7 to live!

  • Amber says:

    Such an inspiring story. Thanks for sharing!

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