In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.

Brioni, 3yo, November 2009
While David has been organising the shed, the girls like to go down and spend time with him. They like to sweep up the sawdust that's on the shed floor, and it doesn't really matter if they miss a patch.

Aisha, 4yo, November 2009
Aisha especially likes to hang out with David in the shed, working at whatever she can.

With all our grand plans to jump this petroleum-based ship and start anew in rural New Zealand, it’s been hard to know where to start (or when). We’ve been aiming for this for so long that it’s hard to see that we’re actually closer to our goal, although in the time it’s taken us to get this far, we’re more certain than ever where we’re going (Northland, NZ), why we’re going (the future of our family), and how is pretty obvious (airplane).

In order to leave our little corner of suburbia, first we had to renovate the house, then we had to wind our business down. Sometimes it’s been tempting to have a fire-sale and just walk away, but each dollar earned now will be doubly valuable in the future when we can’t earn the same income. We’re moving to an economically depressed area in a country still in recession, and many New Zealanders leave their beautiful islands in search of fortune in Australia! To be migrating in the other direction is bit of an anomaly.

When we started in earnest, our house renovations took about a year and a half, helped along by Benjy (an Israeli backpacker who stayed with us for about six months), and David stopped ordering more stock and concentrated on selling what was already in the warehouse. Now the renovations are complete, but we’ve got a baby on the way, and sometimes it seems that we’re still no closer to getting out of here.

So I’ve been packing up the house — aiming to fill and finish a box a day — so that some progress is made. We’d like to sell over the Christmas period (about the same time Baby D arrives), and I know I won’t want to be packing up then, so everything that I do now lessens my future workload!

In Queensland, the settlement date from a house sale could be anywhere from three weeks to several months after the initial contract is signed, so we can’t plan a definite departure until we’re offered a contract (and it becomes unconditional).

In our ideal timeline, we’re aiming to fly out of the country a couple of weeks after Baby D’s birth, but with government departments shut over the holiday period, the prospect of first getting D’s birth certificate, then applying for and receiving the new baby’s passport while still making a January flight seems far-fetched. But I’ve taken down all the details of contacts in the different departments so I know who I can chase to speed up the paperwork if I need to.

Of course, our timeline depends on finding the right house buyer at the right time. We just need one buyer. And God knows who that is.

So will you pray that our house will sell and that we will take the right steps? Thanks.