So, here's what's happening on the house front. We first went out to look on Monday morning, thinking we'd get a gradual start. On the way to meet the realtor, we prayed to find a home that would serve for hospitality and outreach. We didn't like much of what we saw that morning, and the one house we did really like was in a neighborhood that didn't feel completely safe. We hadn't completely ruled it out, and we knew it would probably sell fast (by far the nicest thing in that price range), so we felt suddenly compelled to look at other homes as soon as possible in order to compare.
So, we set up an appointment to see a house in another town on Wednesday evening; that one was gorgeous outside but severely disappointing inside - it really would have needed to be gutted and entirely remodeled. At that point, I felt pretty discouraged. I thought looking at homes would be so fun and exciting, but instead I felt frustrated and anxious that we wouldn't find anything appealing that we could afford. I had to constantly tell myself that the Lord had the right home for us and would lead us to it.
Then, we went out again on Friday afternoon. Aaron almost couldn't make it because of last-minute work complications, but he did manage to meet me and the realtor before we left the first home. That day, we found three homes that we could picture ourselves living in! One ended up having a contract on it, so right now we're down to two options that we really like, both in the downtown area of a cute town on a river. We've placed a long-shot offer on one (our first and maximum bid is significantly under the asking price); it's a two-story frame house built in 1920, all updated inside and nicely landscaped. If the seller of the first house doesn't accept our offer, we'll bid on the second home, a bungalow-ish house built in 1930 that has great bones but would need some updating inside and out. And maybe neither will work out, but I have faith that we'll find a good home soon. Exciting stuff!
edited to add: as we pretty much expected, the seller of home option #1 wasn't willing to work with our offer; we're working on cobbling together an offer for home option #2, and I'm feeling lots of anticipation about this one!