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Logo of AdAgrA 2020: A Living Parable

How & Why to Move to the Country Part 3

Keith Hankins Renee Hankins


Through our not-so-normal testimony, we aim to encourage you with the reality that there is no one way to experience country living. Come and har how God led us to our ‘Living Parable’.


  • January 15, 2020
    11:00 AM
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3 essential 6 to making the transition our focus determination and faith. Notice I did not put money on there. Didn't have any of that. In the session we're going to talk about our transition from our 1st country home to the place we have now and how God just. Use everything around us to to help us to make that transition like my wife mentioned. There was there was another crisis they came up that propelled us forward. We were. We were already. At the end of our lease. At this current home we were just leaving and we were going month to month. And. Came to a point where we were in there about 5 months after the time we should been gone and the landlord said well I need you guys to be gone in a month I wanted to use a house for vacations and for of a case bought for my wife and I and and so we had about 30 days to find another place we were already looking barely a barely 30 days we were already looking for another place and it was difficult it wasn't it wasn't very easy to find. The place that fit our budget. Still had a moderate commute and and we were still trying to be committed to finding a home our we're are we worried it was a lovely part of Texas it was some hill country out there whereas the rest of Houston is flat. So we were really loving the the hill country aspect we were loving them Vironment we had met some new people neighbors and things were really tries to you know moderately close to. We were involved in the community at this point and. So we started looking and it was it was really kind of tough to find that they were looking for and I got discouraged. And I actually started looking back in the suburbs of Houston again in an area called Katy Texas which is on the west side going out towards San Antonio and that was as far in as far as I was willing to go but we started looking at subdivisions again and. And so by and by. None of those things came to fruition every house that we looked for we there were not approved for or. It was it was too much a war or whatever the situation was it just wasn't right and and our our prayer was still for the Lord to bless us with the country home even though we have Star looking back in the city again our heart was still in the country. I just want to say that this house living here was we met with the nuff. Difficulty. In the country living experience and a 1st time country living experience to make us want to move back to the city there should have been enough if I mean I think that was kind of a proving ground if you will dealing with the snakes dealing with the gangs to Cal there's my son mentioned dealing with. Living in a dress an old drafty house this is a very pretty picture of the house is what we saw online but that's how we dealt with it was not in that condition after. By the time we were leaving or just before we moved in and we did we were dealing with a lot and so we wanted a place that was more comfortable so we had the comfort country living experience we wanted to move on and live in a place that was you know at least. A little bit bigger so we all had you know enough space. Escalation would have been good you know. 2 bathrooms instead of one that would have been a blessing so we were asking for much but we begin to pray and ask the Lord. For what we want and it's Ok to share with him the desires of your heart He asked us to do that right. So we begin to list out the desires of our heart. And we begin to claim Deuteronomy Chapter 6 verses I think $1011.00 and. And so that's what we prayed for that's what we're asking God for and the time came where we actually had to move and. My wife put it to me that oh the last thing we did in desperation was reach out to friends I'm not sure if you wanted to touch on this. But Ok so what ended up happening is that we were debating on this White House that we were approved for in Katie and as a last ditch effort I asked my wife to talk with her friends at the Community Bible study and to see if they had any by they knew was renting a house and so. She came back and said what she did that reluctantly because it took a lot of humbling and swallowing of pride to even do that. But she did it and I'm thankful that she did came back and said. No nobody has anything right now but everybody is looking and they're praying for us now is big Again this is a community by will study of not have been is everybody was over of different faiths but yet these ladies and it was all ladies they came together and they were praying for us they were reaching out for us next thing I know. I'm getting calls from realtors. People say hey come look at this house Come look at this house Come look at this house these things were not on the m.l.s. in the Bellville in the in the surrounding area and they were saying oh hey check out this one this one specific for this area so I started looking at these other m.l.s. listings that I was not aware of and all these people just came came pouring out with all kinds of resources and. We started looking at homes that were closer in. Some we still didn't find the right place you know this there's a place and then there was the right place right and we were looking for the right place for us and so. One of the ladies offered. No she she had a friend of hers who did have a house that was available we didn't find out until the lady offered for us to come stay with them for a short time she said we don't have anything yet but I know the Lord will provide want to come and stay with us now they lived. In the area called Somerville Texas which was about. About 40 minutes away from we were currently living at this place which is going to be a further drive for me to get to work it was going to increase my my. My commute by another 35 minutes or so so instead of driving for an hour to get to work it was going to be like an hour 45 minutes or so for me to get to work and I was very very reluctant and also said Who is this person and why are they you know wanting us to come and live with them. So I was a little reluctant. She said well let's just go and visit with I said Ok we'll go and visit so we took the whole family over to these people's house and. First of all as it was a very nice place. And they were initially offering for us to come and stay in their bunk house right and so they had a you know their home where they were living in then they had a bunk house which actually was the 1st house they lived in when they 1st moved to the to the property and so we got there and they live on a huge spread this has really nothing to do with why we stayed there but they live on this 400 acre property ranch they had they were running cows they were doing this they were doing that a whole lot of stuff and. So that was impressive but I was still wondering why why was she asked us says you know to come here and so we got in and I'm meeting them for the 1st time my wife already knew that the lady from the Bible study. But we got to meet the husband I you know whom I'd never met before and I never met the lady and these 2 people were the most godly Christian people I ever met in my life they were neither Venice they I don't know what faith they were they were Christians but I don't know exactly which faith they were of or what you know nomination and at that moment it didn't even matter they were showing us the love of God the 2 sweetest people they were there were like almost like grandparents to us and they said you know we we really want to help you guys out. And initially we're going to you know if you want to you can go and look at the bunk house we were going think of that they already decided they were going to let us come and stay we were trying to figure out we wanted to go and stay. They said we you know you guys go look at the Black house but we really want you to stay here with us. We have some space upstairs and we think it would be you know perfect for you guys so we went and looked out the bunk house 1st because we were thinking oh we want we don't want to intrude or anything like that like the bunk house was nice and it was a space for my wife and I to stay in there was a not a little room in her mind of us a lot of this space here. And you know I had a kitchen everything in the conveniences we needed we have our privacy but she said Ok well when you come inside look on look at the upstairs we were back inside she took us up stairs. Ok Ok my bad I'm jumping ahead so we didn't see if there is we went we went home we had to visit we went home and we were trying to decide we're going to do. So because nothing else came through at the moment we decided Ok You know what I'll just bite the bullet I'll make the drive we'll go and stay with them. Because we're trying to the place and Katie it was open to us what we did it just wasn't because this place the office the opportunity to still be in the country we lean more towards and I suffered going through the drive to do it and. Yes. The place out in Katie was gorgeous it was beautiful tiled it beautiful like a light wood flooring that I had never seen before everything about was beautiful in the back it had a big gully or what would he call those by you like huge by you the one that goes this way and then it goes out that way away from in the neighborhoods in there and it had been. Annihilated by Harvey hear you say that yeah and so they redid the whole place and it was gorgeous. We struggle with next year when hurricane season comes back what are we going to be standing in as gorgeous as it is what is it going to be like and I know the we weren't approved for it so I know the Lord was protecting us from something because it had flooded again. Thankfully we haven't had any more floods and in Houston since but. That was a bit of a challenge and some verse of think about. And it was enough to pull us back in but drive through the subdivision once again we felt tight we felt claustrophobic and in that feeling alone was enough to say no we need to say where we were you know. So we decide to go and stay with this family this husband and wife this couple and. And after we decide to go it's almost like Moses decide I think that is wise designing Prosser is the god opening up the the receive form. We decided to go I you know swallow my pride once again it was as you can see is a little pattern going on here. I swallowed my pride and we accepted the offer and we went out there we were preparing to stay in this bunk house. And then that's when. The couple said they wanted to come and stay inside we had not seen up stairs yet they took us inside their house upstairs and there was. It was yeah it was pretty much the whole house upstairs and there was a room about this size and they had if I'm not mistaken about the sizes from here where the kids could stay. It was a little bigger because it was a little not a little nook back over here they had 3 queen size bed and it. Accounts with the with the entertainment center. And we think oh Ok we can all stay here but no that was just for the kids across the hall there was a suite for my wife and I that had its own bathroom. And then next door another. Room with its own bathroom for the older girls and you know it was just for Casey it was just a case so each of these 3 they had their own queen size bed. Oh you had a twin sized bed I'm sorry. My bad. Ok yeah it was 2 queen size bed is an Ok. So him laying all that out of the the main point along thinking the main point is because she was extremely humble and she remind you know she was always reminded this is God's this belongs to God for us we were just so excited because we had hot water now and we you know when it was cold outside we didn't feel it you know it was it was like a break that the Lord was giving to us from from this we loved we loved the area here but it was just after a while it just started wearing on us and so coming to the to this family's home was it was pretty yeah it was a break and a blessing for us to just kind of exhale for a moment to get ourselves together again. Just it was kind of like the dream you always think about there like a big hole in the back and 4 wheelers and all those let you go driving around so it's like this is a dream come true wish this was ours. So you know we got it so we got to taste that that what it felt like to have a truck and being on the huge acres of land and have everything that you could ever want we got a taste of that for about 6 weeks. While we were there we were while we were there we were still searching for a home so when we never just felt so comfortable we that we just observation that wasn't our home right. So while we were there that's that's when the breakthrough happened. The lady we were staying with had a friend who had a house that was occupied. And she said but this is coming available in about 4 weeks if you guys want to stay we'll we'll let you stay on until the House comes available and we said Ok well let's go take a look at some a wife to go look at it and she did a drive by and just did a video or pictures something. Which is kind of where you see somebody drive by with phones like out the windows right. Because of where because where they are now we see people going by their take appears like hey what are you doing. We're not leaving but. What is this is just kind of a nice situation where it's very picturesque. So she went to take a look at it she said Honey I think this is a really nice we should come and look at it and so we want to go look at it. And. Meanwhile I'm trying to get all my money's together. You know for 1st and last month's rent down payment and all this kind of stuff when know what we're going to end up doing whether we're going to buy war or rent long term or whatever I'm I'm getting you know I took out a loan because I was prepared to put down a down payment on a home I had truck repaired to take care of all this kind of stuff I was thinking of again depending on myself to try and make this happen long story short we get to this house. And we have an appointment with the landlord and. They and sitting down this is Gentleman another very godly man. We said you know we want to go take a look at the house we looked at it we loved it. I want to say with a talk with him about you know at least in the home and. He said he likes us. You know they were already they'd already decided to lease it to us before we even met just because of who we knew just because they were they were friends this person refers to him to to them and they were going to they were going to lease us the house based on that alone. So character and and relationship with the Lord all that stuff went ahead of us the Holy Spirit was working on our behalf moving ahead of us before we can even get to the situation God was already preparing the way and so when we got there and I'm saying now I'm ready for Ok we need to sign a 2 year lease. We're going to need 1st last 1st and last month's rent plus another deposit this this and this I get to the table. And the gentleman says Ok so here I want to look at the document and I'm going to document it says you know the least in terms of month to month and I was taken aback I was like well why don't month to month you know General lease He's an attorney by the way. I said why you are you doing a month to month and he says well. I do for 2 reasons One is if the tenant doesn't work out I'm not in a long term contract with them to get the Senate wants to move because something comes up because things come up they can just give me 33 days advance notice and you can leave I'm like oh never thought about it that way see it 1st I was taken offense to it but then it was like This is a benefit and then I started thinking back my mind what is God preparing us for. You know if we're not stuck here for one or 2 years we can leave whenever guy cause us to go somewhere else and I started to think about that as a huge benefit a few months into our lease though the gentleman said we hope you guys stay for a really long time. And that was a testament. So we can leave or we can stay but it's all based on what God is going to be doing in our lives. And that was a that that's amazing to me I still think about that today. But secondly on the on the finance a term just hit ignore on the banks. This is the home that we now we move so. Which was a significant upgrade. And. There is yeah there's escalation on it and it has a garage the park outside we do anyway that's a pecan tree there in the front yard they use because every season we're still picking up because it take them inside the crack but there's like $27.00 or 30 other pecan trees on the property this is a $64.00 acre property we're only lease an acre once again and we have access to all the rest of it to explore so just like the property before us where we had we were released in one acre one and a half acres and had access to 100 this is very similar and again God is showing me. You don't have to have all this money that you think you need to have I don't need to take out loans and whatnot for down payments I only had to put down a month and a half's worth for my deposit when I was preparing for like 3 months and so I didn't need as much money as I needed so i've had been patient I could've kept some money in my pocket you see and. So God was just kind of showing me that if you depend on me I'll take care. Stop depending on yourself and so he's and this is the house where when we got there we didn't know we moved in but to the right of it to the right over there was a pear tree and we did it we got the 1st year old. That that summer and is it looks really frail wish we had a picture of what it looks like right now. It was a really really really frail I think it had been struck by lightning or some sort of like splits but way bloomed it. It was so full of pairs that you can't even see them are. Actually looks like the heart. Is like the branches the branches look like they're you know. You know it's all in full bloom there's a heart right in the middle of an islamic god telling us that he loves us I mean it's it's amazing in the back there's a hill the dips down. As just Valley can look across and you see Catalin and all kinds of stuff in the background over to the left over here there's a there's a there's a church and behind the church there's a playground there's a basketball court there's a. There's a fig tree there's a fig tree is a pecan trees all these things that the pastor Oh well they were the pastor but the landlord because he owned all the property even the property that the church sit on he said you guys and he from the trees. You can play on the basketball court can play on the volleyball court. All this stuff that we had no idea was there and available to us became available to us and. So that was just part of the just kind of finishing up the testimony where you're looking for place just ask the Lord what it is that you desire and leave it in his hands and that's why I put on here. Focus. Determination and faith are the 3 more most important things that I found and making that transition and not necessarily money. Because God can provide in so many different ways that we have no idea how he's going to do it. So focus focus helps you to stay the course right there so it's so easy to just turn around and go the opposite direction get overwhelmed by all the obstacles that are fun of you. In doing this you're being a little bit stubborn and I think we showed a bit of a bit of stubbornness in not wanting to turn away and and go back to the comfortable life. Focus for us was going to a country property even if we needed to not get in that get into our gas oven to another lease agreement with an apartment or house inside the city. And sometimes focus will cause you to humble yourself and do things that you wouldn't normally do on the other circumstances. Ok. I have so many notes here but I can't get too long. Yeah Ok. Having some criteria does give you just give me some focus I do encourage everybody to join de Westbrook's community. His network if it's I think is still up in going. Country living university dot com. As a resource I think you guys got their resource card as you were coming in for the 3rd session because you had that out. And he says all the ins and outs about how everything works and what to look for and property again. We would have not found the current property that we're in if we were not living in the community and we're not involved ourselves with the community right that came straight from networking. Yeah. So all that came straight from networking it wasn't about us even you know searching for work with a realtor and none of that stuff. I'm sure. It was leasing instead of buying that may be different for different people but that's what we're we're what he taught and that's what worked for us to lease so that you're not bound into a property you actually can you know be free to once you find find the one that you really want to be at you're free to pick up and move. And that's and that's a big that's a been 10 because also because he taught that if you're not able to see that home through the 4 seasons like drive by and look at it investigated and look inside and look at how the land is you can't see through the whole 4 seasons and you might not know what you're getting if you buy it and then you're locked in and then you find out the whole place floods or the place leaks or what have you that's why he said he thought that right now granted sometimes if you go on a m.l.s. listing. And especially if you look at a rural property they will show you the the map of the of the property like an aerial view and they can show you where if it's a flood zone. Where. Every I would call I haven't I haven't looked in a while. But there are zones on property like a vis where there's lower lying ground where if you have heavy rains that area my flood out. So those are things you'd want to be watching out for and so and try to buy a property of front not knowing that that's going to take place and not doing your research on the property you can fire self in a world of of unnecessary stress because you're dealing with things that you don't have to deal with. And so that's one of the plugs for leasing ahead of time and really just getting out into the area networking with people and getting to know the community one other thing that Dave says or talks about is Yanks know your neighbors because you don't know. What they're into if there are you know a log in company or or whatever they may come through and want to be one to buy the property that you're purchasing in so you don't want to have. Hostile neighbors and when you get into buying property you're you don't know what you're you don't know what you're dealing with is more than just run up on this proposition Oh this is beautiful I think I'll take it you know you have to consider what else is going on around their property you have to consider what other people's intentions are and make sure that you're not in the middle of some kind of. Land grab or or war or something's going on and we've heard some horror stories about people who bought property and found themselves in no injured or hurt or something like that as a result of somebody finding minerals and knowing that there's minerals on that property and they're warning that property you know. And these are things that are there were foreign to us before and now we're getting to know and understand them so those are things you want to look out for so this is very wise to go and embed yourself in the community 1st before making a commitment that makes sense so. Our take on it would be to get involved with God 1st and foremost. In my experience I I asked. And I asked the Lord to help with the process it wasn't really about when because every time it was about now. Because we realize that we were kind of going by we should have been in the country a long time ago having you know our kids knew and for ourselves we 1st got started but we realized we were running behind so we asked God you know to show us the way and open up paths and then I began I didn't wait I began to look for something and we began to look at our resources and try and find. The house that we were supposed to be so it was a combination of 2 things was you know asking God and then also. Working and not and that waiting that inch across. The. Skis. As you asked do you do you have a goal of owning your own property and if you do how do you balance that with being content where the Lord has you and looking forward to the future of owning How do you how does your family do that in your current situation if you're wanting to own someday. That's a question. We actually. We actually do want to own one day because we have goals of. My daughter wants to. Have a lifestyle center we'd like to own a restaurant one day we would like to have a place where people can come in retreats where we can do exactly what the couple did for us and have a place where people can come for refuge or be able to stay and Jess have acreage and homes where people can actually settle down for a little while and take a break and even rent free to where they can just rest you know I mean there's nothing like having the stress of not having to worry about bills and things for short time so you can kind of get yourself together and that is like the ultimate goal and I believe God is going to open that up as as we grow. Museums in and he still he still he still teaching us and bringing us to a point I think where he can use us even more and seeing how much he can trust us with his almost like letting a lion out you know I mean and just seeing how much can I trust you with Keith how much kind of trust you are. And as long as we show there were faithful to Him He will give us more as long as we can be good stewards of that was he's given us he'll give us more and we're saying that by and by. That it that you question with. Anyone else. My question is regarding your time away from your family with the actual long commute that's being a big concern of ours and we've been weighing it out whether it would be better to wait for a few years or have my husband be gone for a lot I mean a lot of time away in order to commute. What how did that weigh in on your decision to make that long commute. That's a good question. That decision. It weighed heavily because I love my family I love being with them and I don't like being away from them. And if I had my way I'd be with them 24 hours a day 7 days a week. That said when we decided to move to the country I realized that it wasn't going to be easy to find a job that would. That would pay out in the areas that we were looking at there would pay the same that I was. Making and my current job that that along with making that transition and knowing that there's some kind of a learning curve there. With getting into a new field or even if I went to business for myself getting enough clients to you know. Cover what I'm currently making to you know to being to make that smooth transition so that let me know how to do this thing in steps and not that I'm opposed to doing anything like working from home because that is my ultimate goal is to be able to work from home. It was just that Ok I can either wait until everything is perfect or I can act now because my kids and I getting any younger and that that was the biggest thing was that Ok we need to do something now because there are negative influences coming in that we need to get out so that was the deciding factor so if that meant that I need to sacrifice then that was what was necessary. And plus I got him on the weekends. I'm up and was Ok so you asked what made us a side to say in Texas as opposed to going to California or something like. Or any other state. So. We've been in Texas for 23 to 25 years respectfully my wife got there a little bit earlier than I did our family is there. 35 years Ok. Ok so having family there her parents are there my parents are there. So taking the kids away from their grandparents at the ages that they were didn't really seem like the right thing to do. Because our both sets of parents are getting older and we wanted to stay you know moderately close to where we can get to them quickly. And Texas and itself I think is a has its own advantages the economy's best I think probably one of the best economies in the country. Home schooling is Texas is a considered a free state not that we're in slavery but if you were to look at a map of what I wish we had a map here. Of there there's actually maps of what states are free and what types of. Restraints are restrictions of put on homeschooling families across the nation and Texas is considered a free state to where there is no regulation of how you homeschool we don't have to report anything we don't have to give a test scores none of that stuff we can graduate them ourselves. And are free. The weather is moderate and it is good for growing pretty much anything from tropical to. Some of the more complex vegetation if I'm not mistaken so it's kind of a balanced area there are no state taxes. So you don't have to worry about that from year to year. And this is prime for starting a business. So when I do decide to go full time in business I don't need a few clients to be to just kind of be able to run on a regular basis and it's easy to do there because it well I want to because the Republican state is just that Texas really promotes either home based business or business startups is just good it's a good place for that now it's kind of what I found and though it gets hot in the summertime I love Texas. And there some other states that we did consider like Tennessee I like Tennessee they have state tax and tax food. But there are some other states I'm curious about and I would move to but right now we're in Texas and I like it. Whose question I did. And the other question is. If there's no more questions I believe lunch is being served in 8 minutes. But again feel free to come by our booth downstairs if you have any more questions or anything like that. Or to talk about additional resources we'll be here all week too to chat with and we look forward to spending some time with you and we thank you for telling our class today. We're that. For the last table on this side and. Again my son is going to be have his gardening book that he wrote in The Green Room gardening I am a mother son we'll have some country signs that that he did some wood burning on a beautiful sign that you can get to encourage you to get out into the country so stop by will love it would love to talk with you play with you and whatever else you want to come by for we'll close it for you now. So Laura we just want to thank you for once again this opportunity to share our. Living parable with attendees here and we thank you for your Holy Spirit being with us we pray Father that we've been able to add some encouragement and a little bit of knowledge. To the journeys that each person is going through or some tip that they can share with a friend or neighbor or a family member we pray Lord as we leave this place that we never leave your presence or leave your side mostly more guy we. We want to be saved when you come again and we want others to be saved as a result of them seeing Christ in our lives so whether we're able to get out of the country are saying the same trust God that you are doing everything that is necessary for us to be saved we thank you we love you in your prayers on the Korean Jesus name and this media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more servant leader visit w w w audio verse or.


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