Now the Lord said to Allen and Denae Hébert, “Go from your neighborhood and your friends and your home of twenty years to the land that I will show you.” (cf. Genesis 12:1). So they loaded up their truck and moved to the Rock, Round Rock, that is. St. William, Baseball and Donuts (cf. Beverly Hillbillies Theme song).
Back in 1992, after a little over one year of marriage, Denae and I bought a brand new home in Northwest Austin. The 2600 sq. ft. two story home was more than a young married couple with no kids needed, but we had faith that God knew what he was doing and led us to that home for a reason. During our time on Jenner Lane, we welcomed nine beautiful children, made many lasting friendships, participated in building a new Catholic parish community in Northwest Austin and saw many other families move in and move out of our little area of Milwood in search of new beginnings, larger homes or career advancement. We performed three major remodeling jobs on our Jenner home and numerous enhancements over the years including dividing two rooms into three, building a 400 sq. ft. deck with the help of family and friends, adding a covered porch and a 500 sq. ft room above it, a major kitchen remodel, converting our gameroom into a bedroom, and our formal into a music room, constructing a large playscape and treehouse, installing artificial turf in the backyard and replacing our downstairs floors more times than I can remember. We had parties for the kids birthdays, hosted prayer gatherings for marriage and family life, and the Catholic faith in general, dances, karaoke, nerf wars, water fights, and fireworks (courtesy of the Wardlaw and Tavarez families). We made this humble Milburn house into a home full of joy and overflowing with life and love.
Following the Prompting of the Lord
We were happy and content in our home, but God had a different plan for us and God’s plans are always better than our own. At the prompting of the Spirit, we left the faith community of which we were founding members and moved to St. William in Round Rock. There is no other explanation for the events that compelled us to move other than that God wanted us to move to this parish. St. William is not necessarily the parish we would have chosen. It is the largest in the Diocese (over 6,000 families – 26,000 people), and at the time we joined, they had just completed building a new church building but the campus facilities were not yet completed and thus most parish meetings and functions still took place at the old campus a few blocks away. We were leaving behind our faith community, many fellow parishioners which we had known from the very beginning and we were leaving our best friends. There were some attractive features about St. William, but on paper the benefits vs. the drawbacks would have told us to stay where we were.
St. William was only about a 15 minute drive from Jenner, which is not bad at all, we even had some fellow parishioners in our neighborhood, but we really wanted to live closer to our parish. Our best friends had moved a block away from our former parish and they absolutely loved being across the street from it. Unfortunately, the neighborhood next to St. William is much older and the homes were smaller than what we currently had, or so we thought.
Fast-forward five years. Once again God had plans for us, and after picking up one of my older daughters from Confirmation class on Sunday and driving to a baptism party, I decided to try to find a shortcut through the Round Rock West neighborhood to get to the party a little faster and the route took me on Lime Rock Dr. The street is beautifully lined with trees and lo and behold, there were two houses for sale not even one block from St. William. I asked my daughter to pull up the homes on Zillow and to my surprise one of them was larger than our current home and it not only had a swimming pool, but was on a half acre of land. Within a week Denae and I put an offer on the home and it was accepted. We closed about 3 weeks later on the feast of St. Joseph, March 17th.
While the new house is not perfect and the moving boxes are not all unpacked yet, we are slowly
but surely making it a home and spending the kids inheritance in the process. But our treasure is not on this earth, it is in heaven. We walk to mass each Sunday and to all weekly Church events, including daily mass and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. We are exponentially more involved in the life of the parish (which is saying a lot since we were pretty involved before the move). It is almost like we moved “on campus”. We are not entirely sure why God brought us this close to the Church, but we are open to following where He leads us and trusting in His divine providence.
So if you are in the area, drop by, the door is almost always open (all three of them).