Things in my life don’t always add up. I’m not a mathematician. I tell people the rent for my condo is $500 when it’s $800. I think my house is twenty miles away when it’s seven. I’ve been a real estate agent for over twelve years and tax rates still boggle my mind. And without a note written on the palm of my hand, I have to guess what the rates are like today. Sometimes I feel my life is just one big algebra equation filled with X’s and question marks.
Three years ago, I put my home on the market. The home we bought as newlyweds filled with four kids, saw a total of four dogs and countless goldfish was no longer where we lived, it was what we sold. I was in paradise. From painting the shutters to replacing the floors, every item on my honey-do list got checked. From rearranging furniture to organizing the pantry, I was living the dream. I was in control of my house. The house I lived in became the house of my dreams. Yet I made a crucial mathematical error.
Living in the perfect house doesn’t make the perfect home.
Placing a third of our belongings in storage felt freeing. However, storing away the giant pink elephant that had taken residence in our living room for over a decade didn’t change things. When we unpacked in our newer, cleaner, prettier home, the same old habits, attitudes and family dynamic came with us. As a matter of fact, the elephant took up residence in our new living room and I covered it with a giant leopard rug tying it into my Tuscan safari theme.
Problem is, my new living area is smaller. There’s just not room for the elephant anymore. Addressing pain is hard. Solving mathematical equations is hard. Subtracting dysfunction to multiply freedom is hard. Differentiating between enabling and responsibility is hard for a right brainer like me. I don’t always see things as they are. I don’t always learn by getting the right answer once. To experience a finite answer, I require practice. Lots of practice. And I don’t really like homework. It’s much easier to guess and romanticize than to sit down and do the math. I’ve been doing lots of problem solving this year. Facing my past so I can embrace my future, elephants and all.
I can’t wait to tell you how I’m loading a gun and taking aim at the elephant, how I’m learning to use truth to perfect my shot and utilizing tools to subtract from my problems and add to my successes. Finding my way instead of feeling my way is a challenge, a real honors class for a regular gal like me. However, even when things don’t add up, I’m learning I can always have The Answer.
The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. Romans 7:25 The Message