They say it’s like love–when you least expect it, you find it.
My search for a home began as a pipe dream at the ripe young age of 16. I told my mom and dad that someday, I would get married, buy a house, and fix it up, and fill it with a gaggle of kids (okay, maybe I didn’t say gaggle, but that’s fun, come on!) I started saving back then, a few dollars a month, for this future dream that came quicker than I thought!
After talking about buying a home downtown for nearly two years, a friend recommended I talk to a realtor they knew. He was a God-send! Sooo patient with my ten million questions, and understanding the character I was searching for. I first saw and fell in love with my home in early spring, only for it to be taken away. (Cash buyers are super sneaky!) A week later, it was back on the market because the Fresno heat drove the new buyers to the coast–and the rest is history! A few signatures later (ok, like 68, but I wasn’t counting…), and a to-do list a mile long, the home was mine!
No husband or gaggle of kids yet, but here I am in my first home. On a rainy day, in my favorite hand-me-down recliner, with a cup of coffee (decaf–because I’m a grandma), reflecting on this crazy fun journey. I learned a couple of lessons that are worth sharing:
Waiting and unmet expectations
As cliche as it sounds, throughout this process, I completely recognized that God’s plan was sovereign over my own. Sometimes, I had to beat it into my own head, but I remembered so that counts for something, right?? There were sticky notes everywhere that reminded me of His timing, His provision, His plan. I bet my coworkers thought I was crazy with post-its all over my desk!
First–I never imagined going through the home-buying process would be so dang emotional! Seriously, almost as bad as my worst broken heart. I cried. A lot. I got excited, dreaming about what projects I would do. And offer after offer stole those dreams away. Quite literally, I couldn’t have done it without the support of my parents and little sister. The waiting seemed endless, and I found it incredibly difficult to enjoy life when in a constant state of the unknown. So if that’s you right now–quit that! Life is one giant unknown, so just sit back and enjoy the ride! Let the tears flow and let the laughs be loud and from your gut.
Second–signing papers was a weird, hollow experience. I had this childhood dream of sharing this moment with my husband, in all it’s cheesy Hallmark movie glory. And oh, how different this was. Suffering comes in many forms, but they all are the loss of something–for me, it was this dream. Still a work in progress, giving this unmet expectation over to God, but I realize now that He was teaching me all along. This home may not be the one I stay in forever, but it is what He has given me today. And as a steward of his gifts, I needed to use it for his kingdom. That I can do. It gives me such peace to intimately know the very God who commanded us to do so.
Amazon picked a recommendation a while back called “The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to be Perfect to be Beautiful”. The title alone got me to buy it without reading a page. Which never happens. I own the fact that I am “that girl” sitting in the aisles at Barnes and Noble reading for hours until I find a book to buy.
Anyways…in the book, Myquillin Smith shares her beautiful home, how it is practical, welcoming and personal. I LOVED THIS! It embraces the mess of actually living in your home, the stained dining room chair, and the kids artwork tacked to the walls. Part of embracing this gift God has blessed me with is living in this moment, sharing it with my family and friends. So, my goals are to give my home a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. A simple slipcovered IKEA sectional that welcomes Sunday naps and football, dishes that are chipped and worn from long dinners around the table, and artwork that tells a story.
My favorite quote of the whole book is her reminder to never apologize for your home. Usually when guests show up, its “Oh, I’m so sorry for the mess”. Why not turn that into: “Come in, sit down, here’s a glass of wine, stay awhile”. Doing the former only creates a language that we are disappointed in our homes. Plus, some of the best times I’ve had have been in the smack middle of the mess–you know, the kind where you literally have to push the dirty dishes from last night to the side of the coffee table to kick your feet up with a friend who stopped by to chat.
All that to say, what’s stopping us from living–actually living–where God has us, right NOW? I give you my blessing to live–in that cramped dorm room with three strangers, in the small apartment with nasty carpet, in the 80 year old fixer upper or the home of your dreams. Share your life with people. Give love with every unexpected visitor or encounter with your roommate. I promise that finding your worth in where you live is nothing short of a disaster. But, finding your identity in a God that is the giver of all good things? That’s something I can get on board with.
Please support Myquillin Smith by buying her book “The Nesting Place” here: https://www.amazon.com/Nesting-Place-Doesnt-Perfect-Beautiful/dp/0310337909/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1477873105&sr=8-1&keywords=the+nesting+place