Emily Shares…….

how to PIONEER CHANGE today!

Tag: ypac

The Renovation

Brian and I were overwhelmed by the love, support, and help that our friends and family showered over us with our new move and adventure.  We want to share just how much it is appreciated and how much it has impacted our start here in Yorkville, IL.  We had several different ideas about where we could live here in Yorkville; all the while we prayed that God open the doors to where He would like us to live.  The process seemed a little frustrating at first but we never gave up hope knowing that He had a plan for us.

Brian came across this property and it intrigued him.  At first I was very hesitant, honestly the idea of living on the same property where we ran our business did not sound appealing to me.  I did however know that we at least needed to take a look.  That day arrived and we were looking at 9 listings total, this one being the second to last.  When we pulled in the drive it instantly felt right.  Brian and I took a tour around the buildings and the house and the land.  As we watched Brinlee run so care free in the yard, we both looked at each other and knew this is where we would call home.

We continued to pray that our offer would be accepted, after a few back and forth counters, we all agreed on a selling price.  God continued to open the doors.  Funny thing is I don’t remember much about the house that very first day we walked through it.  I remember the kitchen was big and it stepped up to the pantry and that is about it!!  I was in complete awe of the land I had forgotten or overlooked (may be a better word) the house.  I guess “the smoke got in my eyes” so to speak.  I remember my girlfriend asking me what the house looked like and I honestly told her, “I don’t remember.”  Her exact words were, “What do you mean you don’t remember?!?!  You are buying a house and you don’t remember what it looks like?”  Yep!!  I did remember the feeling we had while standing and watching Brinlee run and that always eased my mind.

Well fast forward to another walk through and nothing could have prepared me for what kind of shape the house was really in.   It was disgusting, nothing we couldn’t handle just more work than we originally thought.  The smell of smoke and cat urine saturated the air, the floor, and every inch of the house.  Dirt and cobwebs caked on the walls and ceilings.  We never got the feeling that it was too much though, we knew we were on mission and that this was a home where life would be shared.  We closed on June 27, 2012 (my mom’s birthday) and started working on it June 28th!

That first weekend we had a crew of people here helping us renovate this house.  Brian had put together a list to help keep us organized and I directed the crew.   I must mention I was 9 months pregnant at this time.  We scrubbed everything insight, ripped carpet, pulled staples from the floor, removed doors, removed wallpaper (not fun), replaced urine soaked floor boards, moved our stuff from our Morris home into the buildings here on the property, scrubbed cabinets, and my dad mowed for a total of 8 hours with a zero turn commercial mower that we rented to get the lawn looking decent again.  Six short days later our beautiful baby Haven would surprise us by being 19 days early!!

Many blessings came with her being early.  Brian and I were able to be in the hospital air conditioning during some of the hottest days this year and get a much-needed break from the day in day out work on the house.  I recovered quickly and was able to get back helping so that our little family could move in as soon as possible.  After Haven was born we continued by priming and painting every inch of wall, ceiling, and floor.  We had the carpet and wood floor installed, I scrubbed nicotine off of the windows, we cleared out a basement and attic that were full of junk from the previous owners, and we scrubbed the cabinets again, and had the ducts clean.  I am almost positive a small animal was sucked up through their machine.  The duct work company told Brian it was the dirtiest house they had ever done.  Their vent normally lasts them three houses but it was no longer usable after they did our house.  We are so thankful we spent the money on this as there was rat poison in the registers!!  With that being done we were ready to move in.

With two children 21 months and 1 week old, it was a slow process.  It was important that I get the girls’ room done first so Brinlee’s transition was as smooth as possible.  After that we slowly moved things in from the building while at the same time continued to do small projects like paint doors, hang fixtures, etc. I know I put this in my other blog but we believe so strongly that God’s hands guided this project each and every day giving us days of rest when we needed, provided the perfect people for the perfect jobs to make things go quicker, gave us encouragement on days we were feeling discouraged, and has continued to provide each and every day.  We are so blessed and so thankful and very truly could not have done this without the help of so many.  Many of whom helped watch and care for Brinlee so we could get in as soon as possible.   In 20 short days we rehabbed an entire house and 6 acre property….THAT IS AMAZING!  This is part of one of God’s glorious plans and He will help us do great things through this property.

We still have projects weekly and sometimes daily and we are thankful for them.  It gives us time together as a couple and grows us in patience and in strength.  I could write about every detail of this story and it would probably be a best seller.  Most importantly this is now our home.  A beautiful, comforting and welcoming home.  It is our hope and prayer that people will visit often, stay and relax and enjoy all that this property has to offer….total peace and comfort.  The next step you may ask?  It is time to build out the buildings and make the vision of the Yorkville Performing Arts Center (YPAC) come true.  Keeping watching I will be updating often.

Gearing up and really excited,


Our Story

Three years ago Brian and I both felt very strongly that He was commissioning us to move to Yorkville, Illinois.  We were not exactly sure as to why this area, with the exception that Brian worked here.  We looked at houses up here that year and the following year and always came back to ours thinking, “We just can’t leave the house we are in.”  Well last year was different.  We heard God remind us that it was just a house, yes a beautiful one but something material.  We knew there were bigger and greater things for our life beyond a Victorian home.  We made the decision to move.  It was then that I made a commitment to really listen for God’s direction and exactly where He would like us to grow individually and as a family.

At the time we were attending our church, Community Christian at its Shorewood location.  We were in a series called “The Ladder” which spoke of growing in generosity.  Brian and I were both so moved and knew this was the exact area in which God was working on us and we knew it would be through our gifts and talents as well as our time and resources.  We told our pastor John on a Tuesday and our family on Thursday of that same week, where God was leading us.  That very same Thursday we found out we were pregnant again with Haven Amelia. Our babies are 21 months apart and 20 years apart from our Nikki.  It was at this time that He confirmed that I needed to make another life change, a change to be a full time stay at home mom.  I believe this is my most important job and always will be.

We know that each of our daughters is a gift from God each in their own way.  Nikki has taught us unconditional love, what it means to be a family and laughter when there were days I could barely smile.  With Brinlee we were reminded that God is in control and His timing is perfect, and that He can make miracles happen.  Haven is gift for listening, following, and sharing God’s work with others and absolute peace.  I am very humble that God has entrusted me to guide these beautiful girls!

I tell you about my kids because they are a huge part of this story.  It is important to Brian and me that we are involved in the community where we and our kids will “do life.”  This is where Yorkville really became home.  We always thought that we would find a house, move and that our transition to our CCC Yorkville campus would be the last one, but on the last day of “The Ladder” series Brian and I both walked out talking about how we felt God tell us it needed to be the first transition.  Wow did He speak loud and clear with that one and for good reason.  We started coming up to the Yorkville campus a little gun shy but were instantly comforted.  Brian and I were instantly connected with family after family who seemed to either need us or we needed them.  We started sharing again what God was doing in our life and our plan to move here and the types of places we were looking at living.  We put 3 offers in on 3 different places and each one fell through for some reason or another.  I was pregnant, impatient, and frustrated, not a fun combination for my husband.  I kept wondering why it wasn’t easy if God wanted us to be here.  Then my answers came with what we now call “The Property” and future home of the Yorkville Performing Arts Center (YPAC).

We bought 6 acres with a house, 2 pole buildings, a parking lot, a stable and pasture……hence the name “The Property.”  We renovated the ENTIRE house, had a baby, and moved in just 21 days. (That’s a whole other blog to come)  You ask how?!?!?  We believe so strongly that God’s hands guided this project each and every day giving us days of rest when we needed, provided the perfect people for the perfect jobs to make things go quicker, gave us encouragement on days we were feeling discouraged, and has continued to provide each and every day.  We are so blessed and so thankful and very truly could not have done this without the people God put in our lives many of whom came from our early transition to Yorkville CCC.

I believe so strongly that there is a season to each part of life and we are currently in a season of change.  We remind ourselves and each other almost daily to enjoy the process.  There are so many times in life that you can think, “I’ll just be happy when we get to this next part.”  I have to stop myself often, look around and remember that I am happy now, right where we are at in the midst of a lot of change.  My hope and prayer is that we can be a blessing to the community of Yorkville and Kendall county through YPAC and that our children and our community’s children  will learn and grow in an environment that was created because God whispered and He chose to give me the ears to hear Him.

Still listening,


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