Not for Sale
After having our house on the market for a little over 6 months, it was time to take it off.
These past 6 months have been somewhat brutal, but we came away learning a lot, and in the end, we know that God will provide for us as He sees fit, not the way we think is best.
There is a lot to try to sum up about this whole process and it will be difficult to condense it into one post, but I will do my best.
Here's the story...
A little over 6 months ago, my parents' neighbor's house became available. Due to extenuating circumstances, the owner was no longer able to keep the home. After walking through the home with my parents, we thought that the home could be a good fit for our family.
It needed quite a bit of work done, but the overall layout was a huge improvement to our current housing, it had a basement, and it had a completely unfinished room that we could turn into our school and play room.
We figured the only way to know if that is what God had for us was to put our house on the market.
In order to make our house show better, we packed up about a quarter of our possessions and stored them at my in-laws'. (Bless them for letting us keep all of our junk over there for 6+ months!) This, in and of itself, was a big task and honestly, it was super irritating and frustrating to need something and realize it was packed up and out of the house.
In the end, we had 35 showings in 6 months. That is a lot of cleaning my friends. Not to mention having four young children to care for (one of which was a new baby) and homeschooling.
I'm not going to lie. My attitude at times was not pleasant when I had to, yet again, wake the baby up from a nap and pack up all of our homeschool stuff and get the house spotless for a 10 minute walk through by someone who didn't want our home.
And while I think I managed my stress fairly well, it was an extremely stressful process.
Showings come up rain or shine (and yes, oh how I remember loading all of the kids and some extra stuff into the van during a torrential downpour only to find out that the people simply drove by and decided they didn't want the house). I always felt obligated to say yes to a showing whether it was convenient or not. Wait, who am I kidding? Cleaning a house for showings is never convenient!
Holidays were kept to an absolute minimum for fear that having just a few extra things out would show potential buyers just how small our home really was.
And while I feel slightly bruised from the process, God's grace hovered around us through this process and was felt through the prayers of others and the direct encouragement from His Word.
For part of those six months, we only had one vehicle. That meant if we had a showing, I had nowhere to go, and yet during that time, not one showing was scheduled during the day time. They were always in the evening or on the weekends when my husband was home.
At other times, my mom or a friend were able to help me speed clean to get ready for showings. And truly, the older kids were such a blessing during those cleaning sessions. Don't get me wrong. It was hard at times and there were bad attitudes springing up, but we learned to get through it and get the job done.
Part of my struggle through this process was wrestling with contentment. I know that in the past, some women have said to me how lucky I am to be able to stay home. And yes, while I do feel like I am living the dream (for real!) and wouldn't trade it for the world, it doesn't mean that it hasn't come without major financial sacrifice.
It is very hard to be disciplined and not spend over budget on a daily basis (and I fail continually!) and it's especially hard when you desperately want a bigger home for your family. Not just because it's the cool thing to do, but because sometimes you just want to be able to have a tiny bit more room to stretch so you're not tripping over stuff.
But, it's not wise for us to take on more debt or to have a higher monthly mortgage payment because with that is going to come greater stress and a less secure financial future.
So What Are We Going to Do?
Before I even knew we might be going through a moving process, I began to methodically go through our home and get rid of extra stuff. I have continued that process over the past year and will continue to do so with an even greater commitment to get rid of what we absolutely don't need.
This process alone can have many lessons to be learned along the way. Not only for my husband and me, but for our kids.
This world is not our home and neither are it's possessions, but sometimes it is hard to learn to go without them. And it's even harder to learn how to utilize the space you have been given when you feel like you and your family are spilling out all over the place.
But the bottom line is, we are completely and utterly blessed just the way we are.
Satan would love to put blinders on our eyes so that we miss the complete and utter joy that is available to us every single day if we would only keep our eyes on Christ.
God has given us everything we need for life and godliness and we rest in His sovereignty. He is El Roi, the God who sees our situation, Emmanuel, the God who is with us in our situation, and El Shaddai, the God who is sufficient to meet the needs of His people.
It is in this that we rest and stake our claim on contentment and peace.
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