Boxes and duct tape and Sharpies — oh my!
I have spent the past three days packing and labeling, wrapping our very fine Target (pronounced Tar-jay for this reference) place settings in some outdated newspapers, and noticing that the word fragile looks weird if you write it enough. Fragile. Fragile. See? For the next week and a half, we will be eating off of paper or plastic, and drinking out of those cups you get with kids’ meals at restaurants. I will be wearing flip-flops and only flip-flops for the next week and a half, as the rest of my shoes are all packed into one box — and I will say I am happy that all of my shoes fit into just one box. And I will also say I am happy that I remembered to put a couple of dryer sheets in the box. Opening that one might not have been pleasant otherwise.
Yesterday I found a bunch of photos. Some made me smile — my grandmother smiling after receiving a money bouquet on her 80th birthday — 80 $1 bills fashioned into blossoms. It was really a beautiful thing, and a great gift idea. (Is someone forwarding this to The Husband? Thanks.) Some made me cringe — pictures from my bridal shower. Three guests were blindfolded and, one by one, sat in front of me to APPLY MAKEUP. This was basically my worst nightmare. Especially since the game happened prior to the gifts being opened, so in every picture I am smiling happily at the various gifts looking like a 4-year-old who just played in her mommy’s makeup drawer. It is scary. Thankfully, these pictures were taken before everyone had digital cameras, so all the prints are safely packed away awaiting possible destruction.
This will be the third move for The Husband and I since we’ve been married (the fourth if you count my moving from my apartment to the condo that was ours together after the wedding). For two people who have only moved away to go to college, that sure seems like a lot! For a while, we thought this could be IT. Actually, we thought this should be IT. I mean, here we were, getting close to our seventh anniversary, both in our 30s, two kids and a dog — weren’t we beyond a “starter house”?
When we started looking, that’s the idea we had in our mind. We were super picky — as we should be. Anyone who isn’t picky about an investment of over $100k should have their head examined. Or, they’re independently wealthy and money is no object. And who wants to make a decision like that and then constantly second-guess themselves? Since we are sane and The Husband works very hard for every dime, we were super picky.
I wrote about how painfully long it was before I woke up and realized that I wasn’t helping the process. (Click here and here.) As I continued to pray for peace and direction, it dawned on me that I should be praying for The Husband in that as well. Yes, he can pray all on his own, but a little extra prayer support never hurt anyone! So I prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more.
And one night I noticed The Husband checking out houses in the area we liked, but with some changes. Smaller lot sizes, mostly. And then, after months of us searching the dreaded MLS ourselves (mostly me, actually, until my eyes stopped blinking and I saw listings in my sleep), we got connected with a realtor who sent us information on a couple of houses as a favor, because we were becoming friends due to mutual acquaintances. Meanwhile, we were hearing less and less from our actual realtor. Then, when we expressed an interest in a house the friend sent us, we received more information in ten minutes about it from her than it would have taken us a week to receive from our realtor.
So The Husband said if we hadn’t heard from our realtor in one week, we’d switch. That was something I’d wanted to do for a while, but I knew that I couldn’t change his mind, and I knew how loyal he is (which is a good thing, obviously). More prayer. In that week, another house came up. (Keep in mind, none of the houses that she was sending us were sent to us by our actual realtor.) We were able to see it on Deadline Day. We hadn’t received anything from the person who was supposed to be working so hard to find us a home, so we asked our friend if she’d take us on, and that she did. Nice timing, too, since we made an offer the next night and it was accepted the day after!
When we shared our news, someone who seemed a bit bemused by our picky nature asked if we’d settled. I was so confused by that question — how can it be settling when it’s so clearly what God wanted for us? I mean, yes, we started out wanting something a bit different, but as we continued on the journey and we both (especially me) focused on letting God lead, our desires changed. (Brings to mind Psalm 37:4.) Maybe this house would’ve been put on the market six months ago if we (especially me) hadn’t been so stubborn. Who knows… I’m just so thankful that things did fall into place and I am even more grateful for the peace that The Husband and I have both felt about this, and the (so far) smooth sailing we’ve had!
The peace of God absolutely transcends all understanding — that’s the only way to explain how much I’ve enjoyed packing this week!