Monday, September 20, 2021

Lifes' Roller Coaster- The Uphill Climb

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay 

Starting a Bakery Cafe has been a dream twenty years in the making. If you asked us several weeks ago if we'd ever be where we are now, we might've said in a few years at the minimum, but not anytime soon. But here I sit, in a nearly empty room, hearing the echo of each tap on my keyboard.

It's actually happening!

It all started in July. First, we had a woman renting a room. The original plan was to help her get back on her feet and teach her what she needed to know to be independent within two years. But, instead, she's been with us for almost a year when she announced she'd found an apartment and would move out in a few weeks. 

The first pebble in the avalanche of blessings. We just didn't know it yet!

My husband and I were surprised but delighted to see she was ready to live on her own. But that left us with a few problems. First, we counted on the rent to pay down debts faster, and now we had an empty room. It was time to think seriously about what we wanted to do because she was our only obligation concerning leaving the city.

God had been nudging us to leave Philadelphia for at least two years. We've lived here our entire lives- in fact, in nearly the same area, spanning Olney and all around Northeast Philadelphia.

At first, we started looking in areas outside the city, but close enough that my husband could still work at the mill. Would we sell this house? Would we rent it out? If we did rent, would we rent rooms or the entire house? What would we do concerning the kids? It was a conundrum we were having trouble deciphering.

One bright morning, I was sitting where I am now and decided to have a heart-to-heart with the Big Guy. I'd been holding back, not giving everything up to Him completely. I knew it, and so did He. So I sat back, closed my eyes, spread my arms, and repeated over and over, "I give everything to You, Lord. I'm tired of figuring out what to do. Anything You say, I will follow. Just tell me what to do, and I'll do it. Give me the strength to do it, and I'll do whatever You want."

I said it over and over until I was smiling. Then, I felt a massive weight off my soul- I knew He heard me.

I swear I felt God sigh with relief and say to Himself, Finally

There's one small thing I'd forgotten about when you give God the reins. When He wants to move, He moves. We were about to take the roller coaster ride of our lives.

Within the first few days, my husband found a house in the mountains with a store attached. 

Two days later, we got a call from a family friend, pastor, and real estate agent asking us if we were interested in selling our house. He had no idea we were looking.

My husband told him about the house we were looking at, and we went to see it that week. 

We bid on the house and got it, but the sale depended on us selling ours.

A few weeks later, we were mostly packed, made renovations, and we were ready to have buyers see the house. It wasn't even on the market, and he had four families lined up!

We went from this:

To this: three weeks. Not just this room- the entire house

One family came in, loved it, and bid. We happily accepted. The settlement should be within two weeks. 

Now, we wait. When we settle, and the money is deposited, we'll go up and settle on the new place.

And then, the move begins. The tentative moving date is October 9th.

Some of you who know us are celebrating with us. Others are worried. How can we do this so fast? Are we making sound decisions?

We're doing this at Godspeed. As for the decisions, we feel God is putting us right where He wants us. So allow me to alleviate your fears and share the wonderfulness that is God.

The air is clean and fresh. Whenever we've camped near here, my husbands' hacking cough stops. It's a debilitating cough caused by the chemicals he works with at his job- he can't laugh too hard, or he has trouble breathing. But not up there. 

There's no bread bakery in a fifty-mile radius. 

We are surrounded by farms (potential suppliers), campgrounds (potential customers), and a few stores and small diners (potential commercial customers). 

But wait, I hear you say. There are diners near you. Aren't they competition?

'Near' means twelve miles away, in each direction. The campgrounds are about three miles away. The house is on the main thoroughfare between two larger towns and gets traffic from construction workers, truckers, campers, hunters, and fishermen when their seasons start. So naturally, the diners want fresh bread, and most of their menus differ significantly from what's on ours.

And no one there makes good coffee or bakes fresh bread. Any bread is store-bought, including bagels.

Have you ever eaten a toasted bagel breakfast sandwich with a fresh cup of steaming hot coffee while watching the trees change color on a cool, misty morning in a campground? Don't you want to?

That's where we come in. 

There's even a community meeting place right down the road. We've been involved in our community meetings for years and did many things to help support the neighborhood. And now, God put us right where we need to be to do it again.

The store even has a second floor with one room perfect for a video studio test kitchen. Everything we've ever talked about doing is coming to fruition on a one-third acre patch in the mountains of East Waterford, PA. 

And we couldn't be happier.

Yes, we know things will get more challenging, especially concerning licenses, inspections, permits, and zone changes. There's a lot to do, and we plan to be up and running the actual bakery by spring. In the meantime, we'll be making videos, taking pictures, and blogging about our journey into a small business. 

I promise to keep you posted!