I wrote a little post here, way back when we still lived in Canada, in which I mentioned something about our house selling at the eleventh hour…..and knowing that the timing of God would be perfect. My “eleventh hour” at the time would have been defined as “right after we move out of the house, but just in time to close before we had to purchase a new home and move right in.” My eleventh hour was all about my family only moving ONCE. Moving only once is neat, tidy and respectable, and I like that.
But God didn’t have a plan that was anything at all like mine. And if the plan of God had been laid before me a year ago, I would certainly have backed away from it, because it was messy and disorganized and clunky and awkward.
So, there’s a mercy, God does not tell us what’s coming. I would not have the stomach for it.
I had a picture of our first year in Spokane being a quiet year in the country. Three or four months at first where we didn’t know anybody, but wished we did. A year in which we enjoyed the fact that life was not busy and stressful, and nobody expected anything from us. So we could just hunker down and “Do School”. Doing school is like an idol for me. To be free to do a school day every day is my equivalent to retirement in Tahiti.
For our first year of life in Washington, I had this vision of elk and porcupine in our driveway, blocking our path to the mailbox. Of ten feet of snow keeping us stranded at home where we could read books, hang wallpaper, organize stuff, and just do school.
But instead, we got something we never wanted, and we never thought we’d like it. Instead of porcupine and elk in the wilderness, we are living right in town, Jon is walking to work. And we are just LOVING it here. I can’t believe it. But we all love this life. And we have this because God did not sell our house at my eleventh hour. And when the house didn’t sell, we had to pick a rental house.
While we were holed up in a cabin in a KOA in Cody, Wyoming, sometime last August on our way across the country, we found the only rental house in Spokane large enough for our family. And immediately rented it, sight unseen, doing all the paperwork from a UPS store while our kids melted in the sun outside. Turns out the rental house is way in town, no elk, no porcupine, no quiet. And all those school books had to stay in BOXES…because there’s no room, no shelves. Some of them are in a storage unit. Oh MY!
Our house continued to not sell for quite a while beyond that. And then, when it did sell, it sold for a crazy low price to the most difficult and cantankerous family we have yet encountered, bless their hearts. They have continued to be cantankerous right up to today. fussing about the functionality of the 50 year old novelty elevator in our old house. It’s as old as I am, and just doesn’t want to haul lots of people up and down any more. I totally get that…..
I said “sold” but I should not say “sold” yet. Because today….this day I am writing on which began 44 minutes ago…..is the day when the sale of that house is scheduled to close. And on this day, we are poised to make an offer on a house right smack in the middle of “in town” Spokane. A house with tons of character…..just tons….but not a porcupine in sight.
This has been absolutely, and without rival, the very most disruptive and re-orienting year of our lives. Moving turns out to have been one of the smaller things we did. We have had some really sad stuff, some REALLY scary stuff (like, in the middle of packing the Canada house, when Jon had a “bad reaction” to a bee sting, and I thought he had died right there in my lap…..for a couple of minutes….then I followed his ambulance to the hospital and thankfully drove him home later) , there were a whole lot of sweet, sweet things that have washed all over us (like driving Jon home that day, camping for 42 days, Christ Church Spokane, NCFCA speech and debate, and how much we love Spokane, and lots more).
We had this plan for our year, and none of it came out the way we expected. But I love the way it is all swimming into focus now.
So, I hope I will remember that the plan that I lay out for myself is really not the one I need to hang my heart on. Because I am serving a living God who has my very best interest in view. And He will put me where I can grow best. And I can just be thankful and look for how I am to walk in that way. It’s a good way. It’s a better way than the one I was attached to.
Still, I am hoping that in 24 hours we will no longer own that wonderful house on Churchwin Street in Whitevale, but will be on our way to owning that porcupine-free property with all the character. Unless God has a better idea. I can be thankful either way.