Tag: house

A letter to a friend about to lose her home

I wrote this in response to a friend who just found out she is about to lose her home, something her husband was keeping from her due to her panic attacks and fear. Their financial situation is much as ours was 4 years ago. They live on what work and finances God provides (which makes it tricky to work with the bank and government agencies), have been struggling for a while, and she was scared. This is now an open letter to those in that position, those who are struggling with crippling fear as they look at a future of change. Frankly it could be a letter to myself 15 years ago. And again at 10 years ago. And 5 years ago.  And possibly a letter to myself again in the future. 

 

You are NOT alone. We have been through it, Ame (one of several friends who  knew all that was going on during and helped me through) has been through it (and held my hand through it, including through the panic attacks), I have been through it, many of us have gone through or are in the process of it.  Many moe will find themselves in that place.

The panic attacks do come but once you let it out a bit (you need to let it out like steam in a pressure cooker or you will fall apart) you choose, you choose to stand firm, to be strong, to support your husband anyway- he was protecting you knowing you panic, knowing you can’t cope. He was trying to protect you. It is your turn to be strong anyway. It is your turn to help him and help your family by choosing not to fall apart. Yes, you will. It happens. But then you pull yourself up by your bootstraps and do the next thing. No point in worrying about anything else. You can’t do anything else. All you can do is the very next thing.

I know about the not being able to verify financial info with the bank and government agencies- we tried to keep our house and because of our unusual income sources (how do you explain manna living to a bank?) we never could get anything to happen.

The thing is God is way bigger than that. Bigger than our fear. Bigger than our relationships with people. Bigger than houses and jobs and money and things. WAY bigger.

 

 

I know it is hard.

It is REALLY, REALLY hard.

This is where you get to tell Satan he is a LIAR and choose to ignore all the whispers and shouts he is sending at you.

You get to choose to be strong anyway.

You get to stop telling yourself all the things you can’t do and choose to say “I may not be able to do all that BUT I CAN do this, right here. Right now. I can be grateful for the things we have. I can be grateful that my husband loves me so much he tried to protect me from this knowing how weak I have been. I can support him anyway. I can show my kids how strong I can be and make them proud so they know how to deal with all this stuff that is bound to come at them in the future.”

Be brave, Girl.

You can do it!

You don’t have to do everything right now.

You don’t even have to apply for help if you feel God is not leading you to (we never did- God provided through other means and it was horrible and hard and amazing and miraculous) but you can choose.

You have a choice. Right now.

You can do the very next thing. That is all you have to do.

You don’t know what will happen in 5 years, a year, a month, next week, 2 days, 2 hours, geez- you don’t even really know what will happen in 2 minutes.

All you have is RIGHT NOW.

And that is ALL you have to cope with.

All you have to deal with.

All you have to be strong for is RIGHT NOW. Everything else is gravy.

God is good. He loves you. You are worth it. And He is a very ready help in times of trouble.

Just saw this this morning and it struck me as important:

I Will Go Before You

I will go before you
and will level the mountains;
I will break down gates of bronze
and cut through bars of iron.
I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. (Isa. 45:2-3)

God’s imagery of going before us lets us know that he desires us to go on a journey. This is not so frightening. Most of us are aware that the Christian life requires a pilgrimage of some sort. We know we are sojourners. What we have sometimes not given much thought to is what kind of a journey we are to be taking.

Not realizing it is a journey of the heart that is called for, we make a crucial mistake. We come to a place in our spiritual life where we hear God calling us. We know he is calling us to give up the less-wild lovers that have become so much a part of our identity, embrace our nakedness, and trust in his goodness.

As we stand at this intersection of God’s calling, we look down two highways that appear to travel in very different directions. The first highway quickly takes a turn and disappears from our view. We cannot see clearly where it leads, but there are ominous clouds in the near distance. Standing still long enough to look down this road makes us aware of an anxiety inside, an anxiety that threatens to crystallize into unhealed pain and forgotten disappointment. We check our valise and find no up-to-date road map but only the torn and smudged parchment containing the scribbled anecdotes and travelers’ warnings by a few who have traveled the way of the heart before us. They encourage us to follow them, but their rambling journals give no real answers to our queries on how to navigate the highway. – John Eldredge, The Sacred Romance.

Couch

As you know we sold our beautiful, humongous, totally inappropriate for a family of our sort who is hard on furniture and home constantly couch.  We were perfectly content to go without a couch for however long.  Then our friends asked if they could stay.  We have plenty of extra beds (2 extra upstairs plus a single bed futon downstairs–if you ever are in the area and need a place stay you are likely very welcome) but remembering what a blessing this family had been for us, and how wise they had been in buying furniture that suited a stay at home family with lots of kids, we felt that we should get a futon we found locally that was well made and not too expensive.  We knew my dad was going to be over that way with the trailer because of some work he was doing and would be able to pick it up for us so it would be there on time.

The view from the hall archway.
The view from the hall archway.

We went to see it (it had been there for ages) and when we got to the store it was gone.  The same thing happened at the other store that had them.  Then, spontaneously on the way home we checked Kmart.They had one on sale that was okay but the sale was up that day and we didn’t want to rush.  They had another for a hundred more, without the sale price, though with the sale price it was double.  We prayed and decided to go for the more expensive but much better made futon. I checked with dad who said he wouldn’t be able to get it until they called to tell him the machine he needed was available for rental so we went to Grandmas the next day to celebrate Issac’s birthday instead of hanging around waiting. When I told Grandma what we were doing and why she gave us enough money to cover 2/3 of the cost as an early Christmas gift.  We were so excited at God’s provision!

The new lamp I got on clearance in the corner--not enough light in the room without it on so you can't see the beautiful glass bowl at the top).  The book shelf is our old tv stand painted my very favorite red.
The new lamp I got on clearance in the corner--not enough light in the room without it on so you can

The next morning Dad called to say he was going and we could pick up the couch.  I went separately so I could have it ready by the time he got there.  When I got to Kmart they didn’t have the one we wanted (Saturday they had had 3, now they had NONE.)  Hmmmm.  I called hubby and we prayed about ti.  He said to go ahead and get the cheaper one, which would then be completely covered by Grandma’s check.    We were sad about it because the other was wood and this one was metal even though this one seemed to have a good mattress ( with springs unlike our old foam futon which was horrible.)   When I got up to the front to pay they gave me the sale price (without me asking) because they had forgotten to take off the sale sticker and store policy said they had to.  So, we spent HALF the amount of the other and Grandma’s check then covered the couch AND the floor lamp, comforter,  and curtains I had found on clearance at Target the day before.

Living room with finished floor and trim, new futon and old (with a tapestry tied  on to cover the seat and keep it in place).

Living room with finished floor and trim, new futon (in the corner) and old (with a tapestry tied on to cover the seat and keep it in place).

The best part is that it turns out the couch is incredibly comfortable  and miraculously matches the room (while the other would not have).  The gold brown is exactly the same shade as one of our throws and the gold in the grey and white curtains (plus down the line we can get a cover for the mattress).  God is SO good!

And yes, you can see our pretty new floor which we all LOVE in the photos.  There is nothing on the wall because I can’t decide whether I want to try to hang things or just leave all the paintings on the mantel.  This of course lends to the college student look we are going for. 🙂  I am not very good at the whole spending money on decorating things and usually just reuse, plus the kids and hubby mess with everything left out soI try to keep things VERY simple (the last time I artfully arranged somethign was when I was pregnant with Rachel.  I left a silver plated heart shaped bowl on the table filled with silver and blue glass christmas balls and silver wrapping paper ribbon–it was pretty.  I came back to find all the balls strung on the ribbon which didn’t look nearly as nice.  They also peel the wax runs off of candles.  I only have bowls of drift wood and stones around since it is okay for them to pick them up. 🙂