This house I live in with my man and our four children is really the first place that ever felt like home for us.
The first year we were married, Andrew and I lived in a little duplex. We didn't unbox many of our wedding gifts. We slept in a king sized waterbed circa 1980. We had mismatched furniture. We didn't own a vacuum cleaner and our lovable yet hairy dog had to pass through our tiny, king sized waterbed holding room to get to the backyard. Oh, life was good!
I just worked too many hours to think about making that humble dwelling homey and he just didn't want to waste any time on a place he knew was only temporary. My nesting instincts were frustrated at best but I worked long, odd hours in a retail job and, well, when I'm that tired I cease trying. Life was about to get better.
Being the real estate wizards we are, our first purchase was not a house to call home but two small four unit apartment buildings. I was blessed. I got to pick from the two vacant units. Which one would I call home? The downstairs unit with no washer and dryer or the upstairs unit the tenant had fled. I chose the latter. Can you say nast-y?
Sensing my mounting frustration, I had some very, very dear friends help me. One gave up precious, precious time to clean the much with her very hands. One came while I was working (I had no vacation) to unbox some of my most beautiful wedding gifts and transform the pitiful into pretty. Tears still threaten to spill out of my eyes when I think of those precious sisters and what they gave.
We lived in that classy ghetto apartment for exactly one month.
That's right. One month. Then my man comes home one day and announces, "I think we should buy a house." He shows me two then the one he thinks we can get because of our real estate wizardry and all. We make an offer, negotiate and close in ten days setting a record in fastest deal start to finish. I was in somewhat of a tailspin. Happy, weary, ready.
We moved our one pickup truck load into our 2200 square foot house and laughed at the fact we'd just practically stolen a mansion from some of our very good friends. We loved our house. We picked out furniture decorating everything just right. I look back and chuckle at what I thought was so rich looking.
We dreamed of filling the rooms with children...and we did. We filled the rooms, the closets, the nooks and the crannies. Full. Our house became packed with children and their stuff. About two years ago, I went crazy. Full-on frustration overtook the organized homemaker of yesteryear as the stresses of a full life, full house and full schedule began to take their toll.
I joked that we were going to have to move out of this one and move back in or just plain move for me to ever regain the organization and functionality I had lost as I flat ran out of space. I began to pray for God to give me a solution or at least help me to let go of the frustration and honor him in my daily life in my home.
In October, Andrew came home and said, "Let's sell the house." By the next week we were preparing to sell. Eight days of painting, flooring, sorting, selling, donating, boxing and my house was in perfect shape. We've unloaded ourselves of about a third of our stuff. It's gone. Sold, donated or trashed. Awesome feeling. We've packed about a quarter of what we have. Again, the lighter the better. My closets are once again half full, cupboards organized and shelves so neat. Woo-hoo!
Now just waiting on God to bring the one buyer he has for this sweet memory-filled home and waiting on him to reveal the next step in our family's journey together. Exciting times in these parts!
We are clinging to some very solid truth. "All hard work brings a profit." (Proverbs 14:23) and "...He (God) determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live." (Acts 17:26)
Enjoy the results of our labors!