Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Juggling it All

We are in a very busy season of life right now.  We recently moved to a new state and there is so much involved in getting settled.  So many balls in the air it can really feel overwhelming.


Our last house is still for sale and trying to take care of all the aspects of it's care and dealing with the real estate agent has been very time consuming.  Right now my husband feels our agent has shown significant incompetence and we have severe doubts as to his ability to sell our home properly. 

Last February, we had excellent buyers and got all the way to the day of closing the sale. Literally on the morning of closing day, we got a call after they did a final walk through and were told that the house was flooded. Apparently the pipes froze and burst overnight. This was devastating news. My husband took it especially hard. We not only lost the sale, but now we had to do major repairs on a house 2,200 miles away. 

But God. 

Little did we know that the Lord was about to perform a miracle for us. 


We were stunned to learn that our home insurance policy did not cover flooding. Did you catch that? Did NOT cover flooding! 

Our trust and hope was in God alone. So after we reported the damage, the insurance man simply said they would cover it.  Wait, what? 

This was an absolute miracle. We did not ask questions. We praised God! 

My husband decided he and our 14 yr old son would travel back to the house for a month and repair and restore the home themselves.  My husband was able to use it as he would any other job through his construction business. 

For some reason, this was really hard for me to accept.  Fears crept in. Sinful, faithless fears. All I could think of was what if something went wrong. Here I'd be, in a city I'd only lived in for a few short months, all alone with our 12 year old son. After some wrenching tears, I turned from my fears and gave it all to the Lord and supported and helped my husband 100%. I was not bothered with fear or worry from that moment on. 


My husband and 14yo son drove the 2200 miles (took 3 days and 3 nights to get there!) and they were able to do ALL the repairs for half the cost of the insurance check we'd received.  So the extra money allowed him to actually be paid for his time there as well as have new carpeting installed.  And the house turned out BETTER than it was before. 

My husband does things correctly and very thoroughly, as if he were doing them for himself.  He doesn't leave a stone unturned and makes everything really durable, water tight and perfect.  He's an amazing carpenter and an even better man. I love him!!!  

He actually found some damage in the house that wasn't reported in the original inspection after the damage that other men would have just left undone.  I'm SO glad I rose above my fears and supported him.  God knows best and my fear was a lack of faith in the Lord to work things out.


During the repairs our real estate agent reported he had four buyers lined up who were just itching to see the house.  But my husband told him to hold them off for a couple days till he could finish the house. 

When the house was finished, and he was home, my husband called our agent to inquire how the showings went and got bad news. There had been NO showings because our agent told them all BEFORE they'd even seen it that the house had been flooded and scared them away. Great! :) If they had seen the house first before they were told of the repairs, they would have fallen in love with it. 


Now, my husband's list of grievances with this agent have outgrown and he wants to terminate the contract with him but the agent is unwilling.  So the problems with this house just keep trickling in and it's wearisome to think about them. 

In the process, we have learned that the upkeep costs an empty house out in the country are enormous. In winter, we have to keep the heat running so the pipes won't freeze.  In summer it's weekly lawn maintenance.  The enormous financial strain on my husband is mind boggling and I'm praying for the Lord to relieve us of the burden of this house as soon as possible. 

While our former house issues abound, our new life is rife with other complications. My husband's trying to get his new carpentry business off the ground. He installed kitchen cabinets for a man in exchange for a 2 year website contract and that is still hanging in the air because the web guy doesn't appear to be very bright or ethical.  He said he'd make a logo for him but the ones he's made are pretty cheesy and so that ball is in the air, too.


Another ball in the air right now is the house we are renting has high radon levels and we've just done three radon tests - all the windows have to be closed for three full days. That's hard to bear when it's over  90° outside and we have no central AC. Can't use ceiling fans during a radon test either. 

So we tried to get out of the house as much as we could but the nights were really tough to take.  Sweltering.  We rejoiced when it was done and we are hopeful that the landlord will put in a mitigation system soon.  

The other balls in the air are just getting settled here, finding a church to fellowship with, finding new friends, homeschool activities, etc.  We found a nice homeschool group which we joined, but it's hard to get to know people when only a handful of the members ever show up at any of the events.  


My husband has visited several churches in the area, but hasn't found one he likes yet.  We're looking forward to when we can join with a body of believers.  We're starved for the oxygen that comes from being part of a healthy, God fearing church to both give and receive help, prayer, encouragement and worship the Lord with. 


Meanwhile, I am trying to make this house into a home for us and give our children as much of a feeling of comfort and security as possible.  We're doing good and still laughing and I just praise God for his goodness to us every day.  I'm so, so thankful for all God has done for us.  There's no way we could juggle it all without the Lord and His unfailing grace.


Updates:

1) Our house sold for full price two months after this post! Praise God!!
2) The unethical website guy did NOT honor his contract with my husband. I look at it as a blessing because dealing with this man for two years whenever we needed to change something on our website would have been a real grind. We ended up using Vistaprint which we're much happier with!
3. The landlord never did a thing about the radon!] 


Praising God anyway, who is able to do exceedingly more than we can ask, hope or think!

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