Dearings’ New Home Lifestyle Session | Phoenix, AZ


Apr 5, 2017

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My bestie Leeann, and her family, recently moved into a new home. If you haven’t read the beautiful story on her Instagram page, here it is:


“After 8 years of #BuildingShangriLa, our family found our forever home.  Can I tell you a story about God showing off? Very good.

After our daughter was born two years ago, I started to feel anxious about when (and if) we would move. The worry became louder as the kids grew. Contentment evaporated as I spent hours combing through homes in different parts of town. Was a 45 minute commute worth this “dream home”? What about that one?

My husband, who is much more patient than I am, cherished his 30 second “commute” to our acting studio. He loved that he could run home multiple times a day to quickly kiss the kids, or jump on the trampoline. He understood the gift we had been given, even when I didn’t see it. Discontentment is a funny strain of sin. It’s very quiet; so quiet it feels almost innocuous. But it has a way of staining the lens you see life through. Bad feels worse. Blessings stop filling you up.

And so, I finally turned my questions toward God.  In the middle of the storm I created for myself, He imprinted four words on my heart.

“Bloom Where You’re Planted.” The thought split open the noise of my questions, like a dry path through the middle of the sea.

And so I surrendered my idea of the dream. God was telling us to wait, and I finally said “okay.” As I cleaned the house each evening while our babies slept, I would repeat the phrase to myself. “Bloom where you’re planted.” We painted another room, replaced another door. “Bloom.” Remodeled another bathroom. “Bloom.” It became my totem, my daily prayer.

Slowly my heart began to change. I dug my heels into Shangri La, and found so much joy there. I had fun minimizing our belongings. I made a game of maximizing tiny bathrooms. It became a creative experience, and the house ceased to feel small. Quite the opposite. We reached a place where I realized, with a heart full of joy, that we could easily live in that home forever. I stopped searching for the “forever” home, and embraced that forever was here and now.

Basically, we stopped looking.

Then we stumbled on a house. A house right across the freeway. On Bloomfield road.

“Bloom Where You’re Planted.” Bloomfield.

Coincidence? Except that I don’t really believe in those.

We walked through the house, and realized it checked off every box. And more than that. It was almost eery, friends. Every detail was chosen for us, down to the cut out in the wall that housed (to the half inch) our vintage hutch from Matthew’s grandmother. The short commute for my husband. The larger lot. That the builder chose the exact light fixtures that I had JUST installed in Shangri La weeks before. It was like God put the blue prints in the builder’s hands and kept whispering to him the whole time.

As we walked through the house, I heard the scripture blow through my heart. “I go to prepare a place for you.” – John 14:2

I was asking God for my dream house, and He told me to wait. Why? Because He was building it for me. While I was asking Him for it, He was building it for me. Three minutes from Shangri La. He was building it for me. Can you even imagine?

If I had said “No, Lord” and purchased the first home we saw, we would have missed the place He prepared for us.

This is not a story about a house, but you figured that out by now. It’s a story about a God who loves us more than we can understand, who delights in giving us every good gifts in His timing.”

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