Archive for July, 2009

WE CLOSED ON OUR FIRST HOME YESTERDAY!!!!

New HouseTO GOD BE THE GLORY!!!!! WOW…where do I begin?

First of all, let me start out with this.  I told the Lord that if he blessed T and I with this house to begin our lives together, that WE would forever give HIM the glory, praise and the honor.  Because I know that this awesome feat was not by our might or power, but by HIS spirit, sayeth the Lord 🙂

Our journey started right when we returned from Jamaica for a friend’s wedding.  We saw these new homes that we envisioned ourselves in.  We were all set on renting an apartment, until one of my co-workers, I like to call Momma Jackie, told me that we should be in these homes!  She encouraged us to apply for them b/c in her words, “T is too big of a man to be in a little apartment!”  I was also encouraged, ever since the DAY we got engaged to purchase a house by my VP and to take advantage of this market.

We thought, we have nothing to lose! If we get approved, great, let’s move forward – if not, we’ll start our lives elsewhere and save up. We applied and got pre-approved! The loan officer said that, “we were MORE than qualified!”

My heart lept – we were going to be homeowners! Terence and I filled out the purchase agreement/contract, we paid 2% to take the house off the market and our journey began.

But it wasn’t an easy journey.  We pulled the requested documentation together and sent it off to the loan processor and our loan went into underwriting.  I was kinda nervous about this whole process, but the loan officer ASSURED me, that we were more than qualified and that everything would go smoothly….

Until our tax transcripts came back! To make a long story short, my fiancé and I are in a home based business, where we have over 408 LEGITIMATE tax write-offs, including but not limited to, training costs, travel associated with the business, mileage, etc.  Because we’d taken a business “loss” with our write-offs, our adjusted gross income (some new law that was supposedly enacted in April) was no longer high enough to be qualified anymore!

Talk about heartbreaking….I literally crumbled, I have to say.  I thought to myself, why did we get ALL of the way here for God to allow this to happen?? Then I heard a song on my heart, based off a scripture, “He did NOT bring us out THIS far, to take us BACK again! He brought us OUT to take us INTO the PROMISED LAND!”  T ministered to me, as I cried and we prayed about this together.  T prayed that we were walking on faith, that we would get this house.  Everyone around me prayed, my friends prayed, my parents prayed, elders at my home church in Richmond prayed, even extended friends of friends prayed intercessory prayers for our house.

The very next day, we called Bank of America to start the loan process with them.  We explained what happened earlier and the loan processor advised that, unless our home based business was our primary income, they do not pull adjusted gross incomes or factor in tax returns and business losses from home based business and that they would verify our W-2s and keep it moving.  We were pre-approved in a matter of minutes, over the phone.

Bank of America sent us our loan application around the end of June 2009 and we filled it out.  Before we mailed off the loan documents, my sister and I prayed over them. We recited God’s promises to T and I, found in Malachi 3:10 – Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.  We stood on the fact that we’d submitted ourselves (spiritually, physically and FINANCIALLY) to Christ and he promised us in his word in Matthew 6:33 that we should:  seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

We also submitted our pre-approval to our seller, who advised us, after a bit of debate, that they would still pay our closing costs (approx. $15,000 worth of costs)!!!!

I will be honest, I wasn’t as concerned about the closing costs, initially, I just wanted the house – but praise God for sending me such a faith-filled future mate – the whole time T NEVER faltered in believing that we should have to pay NONE of the closing costs.  And God honored his request!

T and I REJOICED in the good news.

Additionally, my job advised me that after filling out the application for their home benefit program, we were pre-approved for the remaining amount of downpayment as part of their benefit to first time homebuyers!! PRAISE THE LORD! That means, at the time of closing, we would owe NOTHING!!

We begin to stand on faith.  We went to church that Sunday at Jericho City of Praise and celebrated as the vision was fulfilled to build Jericho’s Active Senior Citizen Facility.  During the message – they said God is no respecter of persons, and what he did for Jericho – he will do for US! Immediately after church, T and I applied the word! We went to our property, took our shoes off and walked around – thanking God for our house and laying claim to what he had for us!

I walked around my house and vividly pictured myself in it. There was some anxiousness in my heart, but I was standing on the Word of God, waiting for its fulfillment.

SN:  during this whole time, our loan was not in underwriting yet….just waiting to go to underwriting, so we’d yet to get our final approval!  We didn’t go to underwriting until July 20th.

As I was standing, I began to immerse myself in MORE word to stand on.  I got a word from my co-worker and VP about faith:

Faith is substance

Posted: 02 Jul 2009 02:00 AM PDT

I like the old King James translation of Hebrews 11:1:

 

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

 

Faith is not an abstract theoretical proposition.  It’s not wishful thinking.  It’s substance.  It’s action.

Most of my life I imagined faith as some kind of force field.  And the way we talk about faith dematerializes it.  By most definitions, faith is synonymous with hope.

The more I study Scripture, the more I detect a sharp distinction between hope and faith.  Hope is a desire. Faith is a demonstration. Hope wants it to happen. Faith causes it to happen and acts as if it’s already done.

Faith is not content to want it really, really bad.  Faith consults the drawings and gets busy building.  Hope is the blueprint.  Faith is the contractor.

Some of the things we’re believing God for will never happen in our lives because we stand in hope instead of walking in faith.

I knew from that, that I HAD to take my faith to another LEVEL! I was just hoping and believing – I put a little bit of action to it, but now it was time to WALK in faith!  T and I began to furnish our home.  We bought things for delivery for our kitchen, our den and our future bedroom.  We gave them the delivery address of our new house and had the delivery schedule for the first weekend in August, after we closed!  I WROTE THIS VERY BLOG, BEFORE WE GOT APPROVED! I changed one of my passwords to “NewHouseJuly” so that I had to remind myself everyday (not exactly that password, I can’t have yall hacking my stuff, lol – but it was close enough)!!  While addressing my return labels for our wedding invitations, I put our NEW address on there, in beautiful script and had them printed.  THIS IS OUR HOUSE – we proclaimed!  We got all of the utilities transferred into our names.  We made plans and moved forward on everything concerning our house – WALKING in faith, instead of just “hoping things would come around.” 

As we moved into the month of JULY and I thought to myself, here is the time for good news! July is the 7th month and 7 is God’s perfect number of COMPLETION.  The year is 2009 – 9 means MANISFESTATION.  So I thought, how perfect for us to close on 07/09 – where we will have COMPLETE MANISFESTATION of our vision that God gave us. 

I also began to read the prayer of Jabez:

Jabez was more honorable than his brothers; and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I born him in pain.” Jabez called upon the God of Israel, saying, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my border, and that your hand might be with me, and that you would keep me from harm so that it might not bring me pain!” And God granted what he asked.

and I prayed it….now then began to THANK GOD for it coming to pass….

Then we WAITED….FOR APPROX. A WHOLE MONTH…

and on 07/24/09 we heard the news that we were approved! It took OVER a month to finally hear those words and get that coveted MORTGAGE COMMITMENT LETTER!!! We even got a nasty call from the seller saying, if they don’t have it asap (earlier that day) then we would be in seriously jeopardy of losing the contract! It seemed like we had soo many obstacles against us, yet we pressed on! And FINALLY WE WERE APPROVED AND COMPLETELY THROUGH UNDERWRITING!!!!

I write this to encourage you – just b/c you hear a NO the first time (or the 2nd or the 3rd time) you attempt to do something, does NOT mean God doesn’t have it for you! Press on – fight the good fight of faith.  In everything, delight yourself in the Lord and he WILL give you the desires of your heart! 

It wasn’t an easy task…in fact it was HARD.  I had to literally get on the phone and BEG people to do their jobs.  I couldn’t take no for an answer… it was our first time doing any of this and at times we were completely LOST as far as next steps sometimes! But God…he showed us the way and navigated that thing until the VERY end! It was up until the last minute – we even pushed closing back one day…but it was DONE!

T and I are blessed so that we can be a blessing! We plan on honoring the Lord with what he has given us.  The first way is by giving this testimony.  The word says, we overcome by the words of our testimony.  I hope that you are encouraged and always remember to give God the glory – he’s showcasing you, so the world can see that he is TRULY GOD -honor him in what he does for you, so that he may receive all of the glory, honor and praise 🙂

In addition to thanking God, I really want to thank some angels that God sent to us to stand and greatly ENCOURAGED us during our walk of faith:

Momma Jackie for CONSTANTLY encouraging us and showing us what the Lord had for us!

Hyacinth for planting the seed!

 My baby sister & roommate, Racine for praying with me and standing with me during the loan application process and repeating those encouraging words we heard during service! For walking in FAITH with my at my new home and claiming it was ours! Even planning on where she would stay (she clearly was acting as though it had already happened, huh?)

Tiffany aka Ferg for rejoicing for us harder than you rejoiced for yourself.  For praying and telling your friends to pray and standing even when I was sad about the initial upset before the breakthrough came!

 Halleluya for listening after I we found out the bad news about the first lender.  I’m not sure how we ended up talking about it, b/c I was determined to keep it to myself – but God has a bigger plan! Thanks for encouraging, sending me scriptures and keeping me encouraged when I bumped my head and forgot to encourage myself! You’re prayers and scriptures were LITERALLY a GODSEND during one of my most difficult hours. Words will NEVER express my gratitude for helping me get over the hump.

Janelle for saying, it will come, you will close – regardless of the exact day, its coming.

Dara for sending a word of prayer via email on the day I felt like closing wasn’t going to happen at all.

My parents and Elders Thomas for stopping in the middle of the night when we first heard the bad news about the lendor and praying in front of a hotel together for T and I 😉 after a noni meeting!

The WONDERFUL ministry of Pastor Joel Peebles…who literally walked us through EVERY PHASE OF THE TEST – even up until this past Sunday when he declared that the TEST WAS OVER!!!  Thank you for allowing God to use you and for literally guiding Terence and I through this test!! It seems like whatever you are preaching about, you’re preaching DIRECTLY to Terence and I! What a great, anointed man of God!

All of my friends and family who offered encouraging words.

Every single person – even our seller who spoke the very encouraging words, “It will work out, it’s coming.” 

If I forgot your name, charge it to my head, not my heart!

And Lastly – Terence….you are a the man God meant for me.  You are SO strong and so  filled with faith, it amazes me! You encouraged me to lean on the word of God and inspired me to have the same childlike faith, even when we both didn’t see a way out.  I’m amazed that God chose me to spend this life with you and I cannot wait for MORE testimonies we will share together.  One can put 1,000 to flight, but TWO can put 10,000! I can’t wait to spend the rest of my days with you!!!  Love you!

THANK YOU LORD!!! TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR THE WONDERFUL THINGS HE HAS DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We got a HOUSE now…heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeey!!

More pics on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2317418&id=7819045&l=11169be2e8

 

Us @ closing

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Wedding Hair Update

I’ve decided to to it.  I was scared…mostly of your reactions.  But at this point, I remembered something – this day is about me and what makes me happy.

Before I reveal “it” – lemme share my fears…I thought you all would say I was shallow, that I was a hypocrite or that I wasn’t creative. That I didn’t stand by my committment or that I didn’t think I was beautiful the way God made me.

I’m scared that you all will say (and some of you have said) that I inspired you to be the way you are, so if I go back to the “way I used to be,” I will have let you down…

 

BUT as much as I’m scared of you people (LOL), I don’t wanna live my life regretting that I made a decision about how I will remember my wedding b/c of fear of what others may think.

SO…I’m getting a RELAXER for the big day.  I know, the SHOCK, the HORROR!!! But I’ve always dreamed of having long beautiful locks….and therefore….I’ma have em!

WITH extensions! LOL.  Before you get your panties in a bunch, I’ve tried ALL options….I’ve worn my hair straight this summer and I have gotten my roots PRETTY DARN STRAIGHT! (See below)

straight hair

 

straight hair2

And I thought to myself – HEY, I can do THIS for my wedding day!  Shortly there after, I went to a wedding ( the air conditioning)for a friend of T’s.  At the reception, I jammed out a bit, but not too much.  You know, the occasional cha cha side and the cupid shuffle.

Literally, after TWO dances, my hair – INSIDE, IN THE AIR CONDITIONED VENUE, merely have a good time – TURNED BACK INTO AN AFRO!!! Well, actually it was sorta like a 1/2 afro, 1/2 straightened curl on the end.  My hairstyle was ruined, but I was glad…at least this wasn’t MY wedding.

I could only imagine, getting my hair perfectly straight, adding some extensions for volume..and then I would get nervous (I mean, hey, it IS my wedding day) and sweat just a little bit.  Then I would walk OUTSIDE where my wedding and reception will take place (no AC), and the September humidity would have a FIELD day in my hair! Before we said, I DO, my hair would be an afro, with perfecly curled extenions hanging out.  And God forbid, I cut a rug at my reception – Welcome to 1970!!!

Umm, no thank you!! LOL.

and before you suggest braids, a wig, a full weave in my hair or even wearing my afro – I’m going to shut you down.  I don’t like it for myself and I never envisioned that for my wedding day.  So while they’re perfectly viable exceptions for someone else – they won’t work for me 😉

So….in other breaking news.  I actually put the relaxer in this past Sunday.  Lemme just say, they are the devil!! The very reason why I put it in so early, was to give my hair time to adjust! I’ve been natural for almost 4 years, so my hair went into SHOCK when I applied those crack chemicals into beautiful virgin hair.  I got three massive burn marks on my scalp (and I used to always apply my own relaxers and my friends, back in the day, so I KNOW what I’m doing, lol) and my hair looked a bit thinner 😦 the first day.

However, I’ve already gotten it to a nice healthy glow and have added rollers for volume.  So it’s doing it’s thing. I’ve been getting a ton of compliments on my “straightening” job this time…I haven’t had the nerve to break it to some people yet 😦 LOL

The big question is how do I feel…

I feel regular.  That sorta sucks.  I feel Pretty…..Pretty Plain, LOL.  Honestly my fro made me stand out instantly in a crowd (even in DC, the land of the naturals).  I do miss that “OOOOHHHH GIRL, I LOVE YOUR HAIR,” thing I used to have going. 

At the same token, yall know me – I get BORED of hairstyles….QUICKLY. So committing to this natural for almost 4 years was a BIT much for me.  Soooo, it does feel awesome to have different hair 🙂 I’m excited to experiment with new medium length styles and really taking care of my hair with deep conditioners, etc. to get it ready for September 26, 2009 🙂

I’m also anticipating the PWC – POST WEDDING CHOP!!! I cannot WAIT to go short again..some sexy short sassy style, to cement my “maturity” but express my fun side.

Until then…

Nightmares!!!

brideonlooI keep having these reoccurring dreams…over and over.  Each time the theme is similar but the subject matter will change slightly, depending on the night.

I wouldn’t even call them dreams – they’re more like NIGHTMARES!

I have them about once a week.

And they’re all about this BLASTED WEDDING!

The latest one I had, I didn’t order my wedding dress accessories and I didn’t get a chance to get my dress fitted.  Only later, in the dream, I realized that I hadn’t even RECEIVED my dress.  Somehow I woke up the morning of my wedding I was like, “Darn, my bridal boutique didn’t call me!” AND THE WEDDINGS IN LESS THAN TWO HOURS! In fact, my dress has never been tailored?!?! Oh darn, now I have to wear my reception dress the whole day..but wait – I didn’t get that cleaned…so its going to have this faint red pin mark (which of course in my dream is about the size of a 3 inch red lipstick mark)!

and OH YEAH, I don’t have time to get my hair done, so I will have to do it myself!

RIDICULOUS, huh?

the sad part is, every morning I wake up on the verge of tears….panicked and feeling as though I need to get up and RUN and do something….

then about 5 seconds later, I realize it’s a dream and I laugh an uncertain, am I sure this was a dream? wait a minute, it’s gotta be a dream, it’s only July, my wedding is approx 3 months away, calm down girl – sorta laugh…

UGH!!!!!