“Lift with your knees, not with your back.” Awww, that’s rubbish, I thought, as the familiar piece of advice drifted into my mind as I prepared to lift a heavy box. I pushed my fingers under it and lifted it into the air. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t rubbish after all. If you have ever moved, (and I assume you have) you know the feeling… and the desire to be really lazy and just get this junk out of here! I would like to announce: we have finally moved! If you go back (like way back) you will see some of my first blog posts, which I am a bit ashamed of. Originally, I started blogging and talking about moving and the stress of not being able to sell one’s house, now it has finally happened!
The year opens, and some time in January or February I hear we are putting our house on the market again, my initial response being the articulate, mono-syllable sound of “UGH!” you can image how thrilled I was…not. Our house had been on and off the market for some time over the past years, and cleaning the house with a three hour deadline (something we demanded for any showing), every single week, was not how I envisioned or hopped my summer would go. We hadn’t been able to sell it in the past for the price that logically made sense. I had not expectations for this to go well, in my mind, the best case scenario to reasonably expect was it wouldn’t sell, and we could hope against hope that no one who wasn’t interested would ask for a showing.
Tired of the mortgage on our mini-farm and a desire to expand in products and ability, we put the house on the market in May for a much reduced price and waited. Less than a week passed before we accepted an offer, and the house and land were no longer ours, however, we made sure that we had a two month rent-back period. Then the whole burden of finding a property immediately fell on our shoulders. You would expect that the craziness would begin, the packing would commence and we would be drowned in unwanted stuff. And it did, well…sort of.
There is this little-known thing called procrastination, and apparently it runs in the human race (who knew, right?). We kept putting off the packing for six weeks, then insanity hit. It grew frantic as the days counted down to the date we would have to be gone.
Finding a house
Back in May, a house in a quiet area of town with fifteen or so acres attached was having a garage sale. A wonderful friend of ours saw the advertisement on Facebook and forwarded it to my mother, add that the lady who owned it was interested in putting it “on the market” soon. I specifically remembered the first time I saw the house. It was Sunday afternoon, I was just returning from a four day speech and debate tournament (featuring high stress, low sleep, and headaches) when my enthused mom insisted that we stop and look at it. I can only imagine what I must have looked like in between a zombie-like state and intense irritability with any human contact, (I probably looked like a zombie as well).
Regardless of the tournament “hangover”, there was one great feature of the house and property that caught my attention: I would have my own room. To understand the significance of such an attraction, we have to go back to when I was ten or eleven, I was dying to have my own room, to have my own space where humans couldn’t bother me, a place to sort through my thoughts and feelings and (rather vain) tears. That intense longing for my own room I still carried with my and immediately (without any more consideration) made known that I was completely fine with buying this house. Plus it had woods, so life was going to be good.
However, the house needed numerable repairs. There was a thick layer of carpet (bright red and purple and brown) over the floors, the house had not been updated since the 70’s and the kitchen proudly held it’s bright orange counter-tops with pride. Oh, and let’s not forget the sparkly popcorn ceiling, home to a whole community of spiders. I remember remarking to mom that “someday, when we have remodeled and redecorated and repainted, and made everything perfect, and perhaps we sell this house in the future, forty years from now someone will walk in with the same astounded expressions and sarcastic comments we have used and say ‘do you know when the last time this house was redecorate? 2017! Look how old this stuff is, I cannot believe they actually painted the walls this color,’ holding their head high and taking care to make as little contact with anything as possible. They will look and the bead board we painted white and marvel at how anyone would want to cover such gorgeous paneling! Or they would think how much this house could be improved with some lively carpet with kitchen-counters to match!
In the end…
Is it not all a matter of perspective? And the perspective we had, one week from the move-out date was one of being overwhelmed. A few days later, we had moved all the boxes and the furniture, we were sleeping at the new house on mattresses (we had pulled out the carpet and painted the plywood with porch paint), but there was just so much stuff. Stuff that didn’t belong with anything else, was too valuable to throw away, to awkward to stick in a box, and too many pieces not to. During those last days I experienced one of the only panic-attacks of my life.
Then there was the cleaning the house, my parents staying into the night to finish cleaning, and in the darkness, hoping there was nothing else. To tell you the truth, I don’t know how they survived.
But we did, thanks to God’s steadfastness and the strength he gave us. Now is the time for after-thoughts, the mulling over the experience in your mind, looking for nothing in particular, several things stood out to me. First, isn’t God’s timing amazing? Here we are, putting our house on the market, it selling in the first few days to spare us the pain of showings, and just so happening that our friend went on Facebook that day, and just so happened to see that garage sale post, and forwarding it to my mom, and it just so happens they are looking to sell it, and right when we needed a house? Second, that God will sustain us. I can honestly tell you that I often neglected thinking about God during the move, because there were so many more important things to think about. But even though my ignorance, he gave us the miracle of actually getting out of there!
I feel as if so many of us push God to the back burner during pressed, stressful times because we have things that seem to be more of a priority, that produce more obvious and immediate and tangible effects than meditating on the word of God, or conversing with him in prayer. I am ashamed to admit that I do the same. At the times when I should be leaning on him more, not less, are the times that I don’t. And every single time, I. Wish. I. Had. How much more comfort could I have gained, and in turn more peace, that would have made it much less of a traumatic experience?
How much longer will it take me to realize that resting in God’s promises is so much more fulfilling than choosing a path without them? The truth is, I don’t know, but by the grace of God today is another day to learn and grow in faith.
Until next post,
P.S. Sorry this is so late, wifi is coming tomorrow so I will be able to post in the mornings instead of at night in the future. Also, house pictures will be coming!