House Looking

I like to look at houses. I have enjoyed this as a pastime for years.

When I realized how stressed I was, after Dad died, I started looking at houses for fun. Then, when we thought we would have lots of cash coming in, we moved up the time frame for looking for a house and I was on the house hunt in earnest.

That hasn’t worked out quite as we expected. The $ from financing our Houston house isn’t due till 2017–not this year, as we were thinking. The $ from Exxon hasn’t arrived. The $ in Dad’s account was in an IRA, so that won’t be coming out either.

But still I’ve kept looking.

We have our house already paid for. We have enough for a downpayment. I’ve been pre-qualified for a loan.

Recently, however, I’ve discovered that the process of looking for a house has become stressful.

One second I will think–and say–we will just quit looking until all the money has come in (so 18 more months) and the next I will be texting the real estate agent about a house to look at.

One second I will think that there is nothing wrong with our house and we should stay there. The next I will be sure that this one house, that I haven’t liked at all, would be perfect.

I stopped and talked to Carolina today. I told her this and that the stress was getting ridiculous. I didn’t tell her about all the stressors. (What if we spend the money we have? R doesn’t want to get a loan, even temporarily. Etc.)

She told me the story of the house she and Tim live in now.

When they first moved to Abilene in 2006, they had a weekend to find and buy a house and there were very few on the market. They saw a handful and purchased the best one. They lived there until the kids had graduated from high school… so the next four or five years.

Then she got a job on the hill and they decided they should move.

They started looking at houses.

She found a house that was beautiful, but it sold before Tim could see it.

She found a house she had always loved (a mission family home), but it was too expensive. Then the sign was gone and it was sold. She kept looking.

Then she got an email. “I hear you are looking for a house…”

It was from the owner of the house she had always liked. The sale had fallen through. The price had dropped to below the cost of her present house. The owner was willing to make a “contingent on selling” contract.

Six weeks later, with their old house sold and already having moved in to the new house, Carolina was happy. Never again–she told me–has she looked at someone’s house and thought, “Oh I wish…” This is her house.

What she did is pray about it. She prayed about it and she stuck with that prayer.

God, you know I’ve prayed about it, but not consistently and not well and not being sure of what I asked for. I want to change that.

I don’t know, God, what we should do about the house. I have conflicting information, conflicting emotions, conflicting emphases.

You, on the other hand, know exactly what we need, what will be best for us, where will be best for us, what will work out in the long term… God, please bring that into our lives and make it obvious. Let us know what house to buy, how and when to buy it, and let it work out. I have wishes, Lord, and wants and dreams. But I also don’t want to get into a financial, legal, or emotional mess.

Please, Lord, if we are supposed to move, show us the house we are supposed to get, make it obvious, make it clear, make us happy about it, and help us get it. Move us in the right ways to be prepared for that house, as far as finances, preparing and selling our house, and going from one house to the other. Give me wisdom on releasing furniture and books and other things, so that we will fit comfortably, even expansively, in the house you know should be our home.

Also, Lord, please take the topsy-turvy, ricocheting attitudes, anger, and frustration with the house hunt out of my life. Replace that wasted effort and emotion with joy and peace (and a determination and the ability to get all my work done well and quickly).

Thank you, God, for loving us. Thank you for sending Carolina to remind me that you do care about where I live and when and how. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to move. Thank you, Lord, for preparing the house that we should move to for us.

Please bless those whose house it is now and bless those who will be buying our house.

If we are supposed to stay in our awesome house for a while, please also give me peace with that. It’s a good house and I like it, even if it isn’t perfect as we would prefer. Help me to be grateful for what I have and to recognize your gifting in it.

I do want what is best, even if I don’t know what that is, Lord God. Please grant us that best.

Even my prayer seems to be going in circles. Maybe I’m just circular right now. Thanks, Lord, that there aren’t sharp edges on circles.