The purpose of our blog is to educate our readers on the current Boise Idaho real estate market, to inform potential buyers and sellers of the process of buying or selling a home in the Boise area, to provide pertinent home improvement ideas for current homeowners, and to present desired community information for Boise and the surrounding area.  We hope you enjoy the content.  If you have questions or ideas on things you would like us to write about, let us know!

July 18, 2020

Untold Stories of a Boise Realtor: First Dip Into Real Estate

First Dip Into Real Estate

For my story this month, I thought I would share with you how I first dipped my toes in the real estate industry.  For this story, you will need to imagine me back as a college student (or actually a recent grad).  I've added the picture above to help you get there.  I've always had a huge interest in real estate.  It probably started when I was little and would spend weekends with my mom visiting as many open houses as possible.  So when I was getting ready to graduate from college with a degree I knew I would never use, I began to explore how I might get involved in real estate.  I was living in Seattle and wasn't quite sure where to start.  Luckily a dear family friend quickly came to my rescue.  She knew someone in Seattle who owned a real estate company.  Perfect!  She helped make the connection and I was quickly hired to start immediately at this local company.  I was sure it was my quick wit, professionalism, and dashing good looks that helped me get hired so quickly.  I learned soon thereafter that they would have hired just about anyone :). 

Eager to learn all there was to learn about real estate, I woke up early, ate a good breakfast, dressed myself in my classiest,  and drove myself downtown Seattle on a dreary June morning.  First painful lesson - downtown Seattle parking would quickly eat up all my money.  Second painful lesson - I wasn't about to learn anything about the real estate industry.  I was walked to my desk by a very tall, intimidating man dressed in a very expensive suit.  He told me to sit at this tiny desk, pointed to my phone, and told me to start making calls.  I looked around the room at about 8 other employees who were already busy punching numbers on their phones.  My real estate job turned out to be a cold calling sales job.  I was to make cold calls to real estate agents in the Seattle area to try to sell them memberships to the company's directory.  Not exactly what I had in mind.  I was miserable - EVERY DAY. 

I called home crying to my parents.  I hated it.  I wasn't cut out to make cold calls.  So about two weeks in I decided that I could not do this one more day.  I got home from work and emailed my boss (that very tall, intimidating man dressed in a very expensive suit) and told him that I would not be in to work the following day or really any day after that.  I knew that emailing was not very professional, but I was sure if I told him person he would eat me.  He responded by saying that I couldn't quit over email.  In order to get my two week's pay, I would need to come in and have an exit interview with him.  Nope.  Wasn't going to happen.  I told him I didn't need that pay and that I would not be able to come back in.  So on I went with my life.  Thankfully, I was able to secure another job at my beloved Alma Mater and decided that I just wasn't cut out for real estate.  It would be another 10 years before I started my actual real estate career :).  Oh, the best part was that when tax season came around, I received my two week's pay in the mail!  All's well that ends well!

Written by Becka Marston

See more posts by Becka Marston HERE!

Posted in Becka Marston
July 15, 2020

The Power of Words

The Power of Words

Lately, we have all been barraged by words. Media is no longer relegated to a few articles in a newspaper, casually glanced over during breakfast. It’s no longer objective and informative; no longer coming from a few reliable sources. It’s now as accessible and constant as the air we breathe, laced into nearly every daily activity. The current state of things only amplifies that, as there hasn’t been a slow news day for months. Everyone has been affected, and everyone has input. We’re being told silence is violence. Emotional investment is so high on every side that there seems to be no option to remain quiet. So much is on the line, and when we feel helpless or unwilling to change things through action, we resort to words. Everyone is talking, writing, yelling.

As someone who has always valued the power of words, I have found myself particularly caught up lately in the flurry of ideas and discussions. Like everyone, I feel strongly opinionated and often find myself wanting to be informed. The additional information then leads to stronger opinions or shifted opinions. Soon, the influx of information inserts itself into conversations with people or social media posts, often without passing through the filter of God’s Word or being given the time to percolate in and through truth. I’ve found myself leaving nearly every social interaction wishing I could reel back in certain things I’ve said.

This same regrettable over-speak can be seen on the small, personal level and the massive, world-wide level every single day. The more that is said, the more error is present (Proverbs 10:19). Unfortunately, retraction is never really possible. What’s been said and heard is done, and it has unavoidable, irreversible impact. Like never before, we need to value the advice of God’s Word regarding what we take in and what we put out. Communication and language are beyond important- they are God-given means of edification and information and correction- however, He has designed a process for using these tools/weapons.

The Bible has no shortage of references to the power of the tongue, to either do good or harm. It is the megaphone of the heart (Luke 6:45). We know for sure that our hearts are far from perfect, given to deception (Jeremiah 17:9) and zeal without knowledge (Proverbs 19:2). The last thing we want to do is speak freely and frequently from the heart, without first investigating its state and how it is aligning with the truth of God’s Word.

Proverbs 18:4 says, “The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook.” Like we see around us, the presence of opinion and information is like a giant lake: deep, wide, and plentiful. However, not at all pure. Wisdom, however, is fresh and alive like a spring bursting forth from a mountain. It’s worth taking the time to climb up to, although this requires more effort. Once there, information is worth ingesting, and worthy of sharing. The deep waters are public opinion, social media, rants, and careless conversation. The fountain is God’s Word. If we take the former in disproportionally to the latter, our minds and hearts are polluted.

We all can fall into the thinking that we are wise on a topic, and that our wisdom is worth sharing. The more we consider ourselves to be well informed, the more prone we are to speaking out. The Bible, though, argues that the truly wise person is the quieter one who knows listening and reflecting is more important than speaking, and at the very least, must serve as a precursor to words. As the saying goes, it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. Proverbs 17:28 says the same: “Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.” The Bible calls anyone who is unthoughtful with his words a “fool” (Prov 15:1-2; 18:2,6-8,13; 29:20). This is in complete contrast to the way we treat language today.

I enjoy and appreciate stream of consciousness in writing, and in conversation I often value this as transparency. The sharing of one’s heart can often look messy, and there’s a beauty and relatability to that kind of rawness. The creative writer in me wants to defend this practice. When viewed through the lens of scripture, though, I am reminded how careful we need to be with this. Language is a wild horse that needs to be bridled (James 1:26; Prov 18:21). Words are weapons. The Bible isn’t devaluing discourse and processing through sharing ones heart. In fact, it is valuing it much more highly than we do and reminding us to treat it with an abundance of caution.

We have to remember, amidst this trend of speaking out quickly and passionately, that a slower, measured response is almost always the wiser approach. It’s easy to jump to conclusions about others’ reluctance to speak out on something, but more often than not, this is a testament to their wisdom, not their carelessness. The words they speak in due time, or choose not to, will be through the filter of time and truth, rather than emotion.

 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore, put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:19-21

When it comes to what words we allow ourselves to ingest, and which we deem worth sharing, let’s keep in mind how the Bible speaks of language. It is powerful enough to satisfy and bring life (Prov 18:20); to build up, fit the occasion, provide grace (Ephesians 4:29); to be sweet, judicious, and persuasive (Prov 16:21-24). But, when used flippantly, it can be deadly, corrupting, foolish, and troublesome (Prov 21:23). With increased access to communication, there is all the more need to weigh our words carefully, to take time holding them into the light of God’s timeless truth, so we can deliver what will edify, build up, and remain beneficial through the changing tides of opinion. 

By Anne Gould, wife of Mark Gould

For more articles by Anne Gould, click HERE

Posted in Anne Gould
July 14, 2020

Boise Housing Market Update | June 2020

As expected, the gradual reopening of Idaho brought about a gradual increase in sales for the Boise housing market.  In fact, the number of closed homes was up 37.5% from last month!  Pending sales were up 4.2% from last month, and more impressively, were up 17% from June of last year.  This increase in the number of homes under contract is not only a result of pent up demand created during the initial COVID-19 quarantine, but also due to the fact that the Boise region has been attracting out of area buyers both pre and, perhaps even more, post the onset of this pandemic.  

Though May statistics showed a small dip in the median sales price, June brought us back to a new record high of $375,000.  This is a 6.3% increase from the median sales price in June of last year.  It is anticipated that prices will only continue to rise, as inventory levels are still far below what is needed to keep up with demand.  In fact, the overall months’ supply of inventory (MSI) in June hit its lowest point since Boise Regional Realtors started tracking the metric in January of 2016.  Basically, 1 month’s supply of inventory means that if no more homes were listed as of today, it would only take 1 month for consumers to buy up all the homes available.  In a balanced market, on the other hand, it would take between 4-6 months. 

As is evidenced by the MSI as well as by our brokerage’s frequent, personal experience with extreme buyer competition and multiple offer situations, our market could certainly use more inventory in all price ranges.  If you are considering selling, we would love the opportunity to sit down with you.  Although hot markets like ours can make selling without out an agent more doable, we have valuable expertise in marketing and negotiation that can help you not just sell your home but sell it for the best price!   Additionally, if you are looking to buy in this competitive market, we are experienced in helping our clients make offers that give them the best chances of being the winning bid.   We’d love the opportunity to serve you, even if it’s just answering questions about the market and helping you determine if now is the right time!

If you're interested in knowing more about the current state of the market, check out the full Boise Regional Realtors Market Report HERE

 

 

Posted in Housing Market
July 10, 2020

He Knows, He Hears, He Answers

He Knows, He Hears, He Answers

Though our family has not yet been hit by sickness, deep suffering, loneliness, or financial hardship during this pandemic, we have, along with many others, experienced disappointment.  The most recent disappointment came with the news that Camp Perkins, the kids’ highlight every summer, would not be able to host traditional youth camp this season.  Although we were expecting this, we had been praying and hoping there may be a way the kids could still go.  

The day we found out about the suspension of camp, I was talking with my daughter Taylor, who had been faithfully praying it would not be cancelled.  She couldn’t understand why God hadn’t answered her prayers. I could relate to her confusion, as I have wondered the same thing many times during this pandemic as well as in other troubled times in my life.  I pray for something I feel is a good thing, but it seems God isn’t answering, or at least not in the timeline I would want or the way I have requested.  

In moments like these, I have been comforted by the truth in a quote of Timothy Keller’s.  I used the quote to comfort Taylor and hope it may bring comfort to you as well.  God doesn’t always answer our prayers exactly the way we pray them, rather “God answers our prayers exactly the way we would have prayed them if we knew everything He knows.”  Our God can see it all--the present and future!  He can see everyone, and He knows how this virus will affect each of our lives.  He knows the pain, frustration, and suffering each person will experience, but He also knows the good that will come from it.  It is not out of cruelty or lack of care that He hasn’t brought about its end, but rather out of His love for us that He allows it to continue.  

I recently had an experience that gave me a personal glimpse of this truth.  Due to a combination of concerning signs, we decided to take Taylor in for a health checkup and a blood draw.  She HATES needles and has a great deal of anxiety every time we need to get shots.  She had never had a blood draw before and was very anxious.  I too was anxious, not knowing how I could help her get through not only the initial poke but having to have the needle stay in for the draw.  When it was time, her flight and fight instincts kicked in, and I needed to help the nurses hold her down. As a mother who loves her child and hates to see her in pain or fear, my heart broke--having to restrain her from escaping the needle as I stared into her tear filled eyes and listened to her pleading for me to let her go.  But I knew letting her go would not be what was best for her.  This blood draw needed to happen. So, I held her hand, prayed for her, spoke words of love, comfort, and encouragement, and eagerly awaited the ordeal to be over.  We made it through, praise the Lord!  

Reflecting on the incident, I realized my thoughts and feelings during that doctor visit must be similar to the Lord’s.  He knows we need something, but He also knows the fear, anxiety, and pain it will take to get what we need.  Often that fear, anxiety, or pain causes us to cry out for relief or escape, but the Lord knows the future and knows we need this for our good and growth.  So, out of His love and care for us, He holds us down.  Just as I hated watching Taylor suffer, He hates watching us suffer.  And, just as I was standing by Taylor as she went through it,  He is standing by us--holding our hands, praying for us, comforting us, speaking words of love and encouragement over us, weeping with us, and eagerly awaiting our pain to be over and the good to be accomplished. 

If you are doubting God’s love for you in this season or wondering at why He hasn’t answered your prayers, I hope you will be encouraged by this picture of His love and by the truth that He is near, answering your prayers in just the way you would want them answered if you knew all He knows.  

“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE  

Posted in Katie Miller
June 15, 2020

Finding Freedom in Conflict

Finding Freedom in Conflict

Years ago, I was visiting a tiny Alaskan junction town. There was little there besides a locally-owned fill station. Out in front, there were the skulls of two caribou, whose antlers had been interlocked in a battle, never managing to be separated again. They had likely engaged in an instinctual fight, over territory or a female. The vast majority of the time, the victor was the one less injured, less tired, and willing to stand their ground the longest. The other would simply concede, and all would return to normal.

In their case, though, the butting of heads had ended up a permanent conundrum, that led to their death, not before a fair amount of struggling and suffering. They’d found themselves stuck together in a fighting posture — unable, we can assume, to make amends, concession, or establish domination.

I felt sadness as I pondered this unfortunate set of skulls. Mostly because I imagined the days of torture once they’d become intertwined; before the last one standing died. As one would’ve moved, the other would have protested. As one longed to eat, the other would have pulled their conjoined heads away. The conflict would have prevented any progress or sustenance of life. Eventually, one would have become too thirsty, unable to convince the other to cooperate toward a water source. Or perhaps their struggle broke a neck. But, one no doubt died before the other, leaving the survivor to carry the heavy corpse of the other until they simply were forced to lay down and succumb to their own unavoidable demise. What a sad picture. What a way to go.

We sometimes engage in our own head-to-head combat in our relationships, always running the risk of entangling without solution. This can be a natural human tendency of cohabitating with a different person, who has a different set of preferences and opinions. Conflict is unavoidable, to some degree. But God never intends His people to remain in confrontation. He has established and exemplified ways for us to reach reconciliation with one another.

We are not peacemakers by nature. From the time sin entered the world, we have been born with a much stronger tendency to “look out for number one” than to consider the viewpoint of others, or to fight for their advantage over our own. Although many of us hate open conflict, this doesn’t exempt us from stewing within with resentment toward others. To overcome this sin and achieve restoration in relationships, we need the Holy Spirit -- the same power that made Jesus not obligated but willing to endure the cross for the people who had wronged Him terribly. When relying on this power instead of our own, we can be peacemakers, because the greatest peace has already been accomplished on the cross (Colossians 1:19-22).

2 Corinthians 5:18-20 calls us ambassadors for Christ, specifically here in the area of reconciliation. Because of this, we cannot hold unforgiveness as a right, even when offering it seems to go against our nature and desire for justice. Far from harboring resentment, God calls us to seek peace immediately (Ephesians 4:26). He died to create grace where there was none, and to extend to us the same call as we relate to others in conflict. This, we realize, is more than just an unfortunate duty we have as believers, but a profound privilege. We see that as the power of forgiveness frees us from carrying the deadly weight of bitterness and hurt. When we are forgiven in such a way, we are humbled and driven toward repentance. Grace is a power much stronger than our differences and disputes.

Christ’s kind of love is unconditional. It is not hindered and does not even consider the things we are prone to weigh heavily, like cultural, political, and societal barriers. We see that modeled in the story of the Good Samaritan, as well as the entire ministry of Jesus. In a climate like the one we currently live in, where these barriers become polarizing, it is only the power of the gospel of grace that can bring reconciliation.

The church is called to stand apart from the world in how we handle conflict. Nowhere is it suggested we must do the impossible and avoid conflict altogether, but instead approach the situations full of the grace God has poured out on us, willing and eager to extend it to others.

By Anne Gould, wife of Mark Gould

For more articles by Anne Gould, click HERE

Posted in Anne Gould
June 15, 2020

Untold Stories of a Boise Realtor: Under the Blanket

Last month you heard my story about the random bed at a showing that may or may not have contained a dead or alive body in it. My client emailed me reminding me of a very similar situation we walked in on a few years ago during their final walk through. We arrived at the house and it seemed the seller had left so we could walk through. We started making our way through the main level, talking loudly and excitedly about their new house, when we walked into the living room to see a body-shaped form under a blanket on the couch. We looked at each other. Then at the body. Then at each other again. It seemed the form was breathing under the blanket. Should we poke it? Should we continue on with the walk through? We shrugged and continued on, turning lights on and talking normally along the way. The body didn't seem phased in any way and never came up for air. So we kept going. We ventured upstairs and took our time looking through the house. When we came back downstairs, we checked on the body one last time. It seemed it had not moved at all. After we left, I texted the listing agent to let her know about the body. She responded that she just found out the seller's teenage son had played hookie from school. He had no idea that the walk through was scheduled for that morning so when he heard us coming he "hid" under a blanket on the couch. BUSTED! That poor kid spent quite a while under that blanket while we walked through!

Written by Becka Marston

See more posts by Becka Marston HERE!

Posted in Becka Marston
June 13, 2020

Moving Toward Hope

Moving Toward Hope

I had written something different for my article this month, but the tension over racial injustices in our country after George Floyd’s death has burdened my heart and caused me to think much about my personal responsibility in the journey toward healing.  Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”  I don’t want to be a friend who further harms by keeping silent, and since this topic has indeed been a major theme of my contemplations these past few weeks, I felt it appropriate and necessary to write about it.  

As many of you may know, Luke and I adopted our youngest son, Brooks, in 2018.  His birth father is African American, which contributes a beautiful piece of not only his physical identity but his heritage as well.  Until the Lord laid it on our hearts to adopt, in particular to adopt transracially, we were quite ignorant of the systemic racism existing in our country or how we personally, though unintentionally, were contributing to the problem.  By God’s grace and through the wisdom of many podcasts, books (listed at the end of this article), and conversations as well as through the kindness of friends of color who have taken the time to share their stories and perspectives, we have begun to gain greater understanding of the depth of racial prejudice that exists and the reality of our privileged position as White Americans. We’ve also begun to realize how much more learning we have yet to do and actions we have still to take to be a part of breaking down the systems and perceptions that perpetuate racial injustice.       

Though there are many stories I could share on how God has helped us better understand the unfortunate realities of what our son may experience in growing up as a person of color in America, I wanted to share one that was particularly revealing of my personal ignorance on the issue.  On our trip to Georgia to meet with our adoption agency for the first time, we asked the Lord to connect us with people who could help us better understand the unique considerations and responsibilities we would face as White parents raising a Black child in a White dominated society. God quickly answered our plea by gifting us seats next to a kind and smiling Black man who grew up in my hometown and was willing to spend the entire four hour flight graciously answering any questions posed, no matter how naïve or potentially offensive.  Of the many things our new friend shared with us that day, his emphasis on the importance of teaching our son how to maintain a respectable appearance and to respond appropriately to authorities was perhaps the most eye opening.  Though we intend to teach all our children the importance of carrying themselves well and being respectful and kind to those in authority, it had never occurred to me that Brooks, simply because of the color of his skin, would need to meet an even greater standard of respect and cautiousness to avoid a wrongful assumption of his actions or intentions.   Nor had it occurred to me that by not properly teaching him these things, I could be endangering his safety or even his very life!  This revealed for me in a tangible and remorseful way—a way reaffirmed by current events--that though our country has made some good strides in the fight against racial injustice, we are still such a long way from Martin Luther King Jr.’s hope of living in a world where people are judged “not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  

When I consider the distance between where we are and the hope of MLK’s dream being a reality for our son, I can feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem and discouraged about how to move forward—how to bring understanding, healing, and repair.  But as Shai Linne shared in his recent article, “Though I’m deeply grieved, I am not without hope…My hope is in the Lord.”  And, the Lord’s word has reminded me over and over during this time that the distance I feel between our current position and the full realization of the justice, mercy, reconciliation, love, grace, and salvation Jesus bought for us, should never stop me from moving toward it!   “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).  

Lord, I pray the events of these past several weeks would continue to motivate me to action, not just during this time of heightened media attention but throughout my life.  I pray I would not forget the extent of the grief being felt or the way that grief reveals the depths of the racial injustice still existing in America.  Lord, I pray you would continue to encourage me to grow in my understanding of how our history has played such an important part in creating structures that drive systemic racism and that you’d move me to take part in the very difficult work of peaceably tearing down those structures.  Please increase opportunities for me to develop deep friendships with people from all different races and backgrounds and to allow their unique experiences and perspectives to show me more of You. Father, help me to humbly admit where I’ve been wrong, to repent of harm I’ve caused, and to be part of your healing and reconciliation process.  Most of all, as Latasha Morrison says in her book Be the Bridge, give me your eyes so I can always “recognize the image of God in others” and your heart so I can “love, despite and even because of, our differences.”  Indeed, with You, Lord, it is possible!  Amen. 

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).  

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE   

 

Some Personally Helpful Resources on Understanding Racism

If you're interested in learning more about systemic racism, how you may unintentionally be taking part in it, and how to move toward the hope of racial reconciliation, here are some books, podcasts, and movies that have been helpful for us or that have been personally recommended for our future read/watch list:

BOOKS

PODCASTS

MOVIES

 

 

Posted in Katie Miller
June 13, 2020

Boise Housing Market Update | May 2020

Though we expect the Boise housing market will be one of the strongest in the country over the coming year, the COVID-19 pandemic and its related protocols have certainly slowed our typical spring market activity.  With both buyers and sellers adhering to local stay-home orders and avoiding non-essential transactions, there were fewer properties listed and fewer offers made in March and April resulting in 29.7% fewer homes closing this May than did during the same month last year.   

However, as Idaho and other states progress in their stages of re-opening, activity in the Boise housing market is picking up.  Pending transactions (properties with accepted offers that should close within 30-60 days) reached 1,957. This is up 4.7% from May 2019 and 25.4% from April 2020.  Since these pending transactions will likely close in June or July, we should see higher numbers of closed sales in next month’s statistics.  With the anticipation of many buyers and sellers who would have purchased and sold homes this spring now looking to make these moves in the coming months, we are preparing for a very busy summer season!

Though May marked a drop of 3.9% from April’s record, the median sales price was up 6.0% from the previous year, and new record highs are expected to be set in the months going forward.  The month to month drop was concerning to some, but it’s important to note this figure is not indicative of slowing demand or a weakening market position.  Rather, it is primarily driven by the fact that new construction, which is generally more expensive than existing properties, made up a smaller share of closed sales last month.  Fewer of the more expensive homes being sold results in a lower median price.   

As mentioned at the start of this article and as predicted by Realtor.com prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and by Veros Real Estate Solutions’ forecast post its start, we expect the Boise housing market will experience some of the highest appreciation in the country over the coming 12 months.  This can be a positive or negative prediction depending on your current position.  If you’d like to talk more about how this could affect your future buying or selling decisions, please give us a call!  We love any opportunity to sit with our clients and friends and help them navigate their real estate goals.  

If you're interested in knowing more about the current state of the market, check out the full Boise Regional Realtors Market Report HERE

Boise Housing Market May 2020

Posted in Housing Market
May 15, 2020

Finding Encouragement In Looking Behind and Looking Ahead

The past couple weeks I have felt discouraged by my sin.  How is it that after over 25 years of learning from and growing in the Lord, I’m still struggling with impatience, anxiety, and selfishness?  I could blame it on the circumstances of COVID-19 or my weariness with social distancing.  But, I know those aren’t the problem, they are simply exposing what lies within. 

I’ve likened this struggle to a mountain climb.  I’m no longer at the base, nor am I close to reaching the top. I’m somewhere in the middle.  In my discouragement, I can look back and feel my progress is insignificant and my efforts worthless.  I can believe the mountain top is too far away and the journey too difficult.  Giving up or giving in can often seem like the best option.  But, the Lord has been kind to encourage me with His truth.   Though the distance traveled seems small, it is purposeful and worthwhile.  There have been many battles with impatience, anxiety, and selfishness conquered and many lessons learned to strengthen me for the next one. I still struggle with these things, but the number of times they come up and the length of each individual battle has decreased, thanks to the work of the Lord strengthening me on my climb.  He has given me increasing joy as I travel with Him to the place He is leading—a place of ultimate freedom from my sin.   "You, oh Lord, make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11). 

The top of the mountain, that place of full freedom, still seems SO far, but He has promised I WILL make it there.  He has promised, if I call on Him, He will walk with me all the way (Joshua 1:9, Psalm 23:4, Deuteronomy 31:6, Matthew 28:20) , will catch me when I stumble along the path (Psalm 37:24, 2 Samuel 22:37, Isaiah 41:13, Psalm 145:14), and will carry me when I feel like I can’t walk anymore (Isaiah 40:11, Isaiah 63:9, Isaiah 46:4, Luke 4:11).  He has purchased that mountain top experience--my ultimate freedom from sin--and He promises joy as I am sanctified on the journey, even if that journey seems SLOW, and long and hard.  

In much the same way as the Lord encouraged the Israelites to remember all He’d done to bring them out of slavery in Egypt and to trust in Him and His promises for their future provision and joy, He is also encouraging me to look back on all He has conquered for me in my struggle with impatience, anxiety, and selfishness and to look ahead with hope and faithfulness to the mountain top He has promised to get me to.  If you’re feeling discouraged by a particular struggle, I pray you’re able to do the same and to experience joy, peace, and encouragement in the process.  By His power and grace, you have overcome and been given much! And by His strength and love, He WILL, if you call on Him, conquer that mountain and give you joy, peace, and freedom unmeasured (Romans 8:37, 1 John 5:4-5, 1 Corinthians 15:57). 

By Katie Miller

For more blog posts by Katie Miller, click HERE   

 

Posted in Katie Miller
May 15, 2020

How Do You Pronounce Boise?

It's heavily debated, even among locals, but the question remains:  "How do you pronounce Boise?"  Is it Boi-see or Boi-zee?  In this fun and informative video, our agent, Benj Foreman, seeks to provide an answer by giving some history and talking to people who live here.  We hope you enjoy it!  Benj puts out a new, fun, and informative video about the Boise area on his YouTube channel every Tuesday.  Be sure to check them out!

Posted in Living in Boise