Thursday, July 14, 2011

House Hunting and Soul Searching

Last week we started house hunting. We’ve decided on an area, which is more centrally located to the church we’ve been attending, the petrol station, and some other things. We’ve also figured out how much we can afford, which put a lot of available homes far out of our reach. We’ve been looking at one security estate in particular and hope to put an offer in on one of the homes that we saw there.

This particular estate, Twee Riviere, has two show homes that they bring people through. They are the best the development has to offer, especially the simplex that we walked through. (Out here a simplex is a one story and a duplex is a two story). Before we went through this simplex, Darin gently reminded me that we could not afford this model. It has a bigger kitchen and a bigger living area and was just a bit out of our price range. So knowing that we went in and OH MY GOODNESS, I was in love. The kitchen was huge. There was a whole separate area for the washing machine and a super long counter where I was already turning into an office In my mind. The living room was so bright and there was even a good sized space for a dining table. It was just perfect. Except this was not the kind of house we could afford.

Jump ahead a couple days and we are back at Twee Riviere. This time we are looking at two of the smaller simplexes. I can’t help but feel disappointed. There is no separate laundry area and no long counter for my imaginary office. We hurry through these two units and then stand outside talking to the realtor for a bit. He points out a unit next to one we just went through and said it was one of the bigger simplexes that had just come available. It will not be quite as expensive as the show unit because the lot isn’t as big. He and Darin talk about more, but my mind is spinning again. We get in the car and start our long drive back to our house.

At first, our car ride is silent. I don’t know why Darin isn’t talking, but I know why I’m not. I want the bigger house and I am pretty sure Darin is going to think I’m crazy. A few minutes later I find out I’m right. I cautiously bring up the idea of going back to look in the bigger simplex and am immediately shot down. Darin reminds me that we already talked over what we can afford and he also does the unthinkable: he throws back my own words at me to prove his point! Just that Sunday the pastor had preached on Isaiah 6 and one of his points was that “Obedience is a lifestyle” and I had written the following and even poked Darin to show him: It’s not only WHERE we live, but also how much we’ll have to spend to live there. Using our resources wisely. (we’d just been talking about if we should stay out near the communities where we have seen a lot of need or if we should move into town to be more centrally located). When Darin decided to use my own words against me… let’s just say I was not a very happy person.

The next morning I woke up and read this in “Jesus Calling”:

Worship Me only. Idolatry has always been the downfall of my people. I make no secrets about being a jealous God. Current idols are more subtle than ancient ones, because today’s false gods are often outside the field of religion. People, possessions, status and self-aggrandizement are some of the most popular deities today. Beware of bowing down before these things. False gods never satisfy; instead, they stir up lust for more and more.

Do you think God was trying to tell me something, because I sure did! You see, we had started out looking at a duplex, which I just wasn’t happy with. It was the least expensive unit available, but when I thought of having family come stay with us for long periods of time, I just couldn’t see it happening there. Then we looked at the small simplexes because there wasn’t a huge price difference and they have a much bigger garage that we hope to use as extra living space. However, the lust for more and more had already been stirred in my heart. I had walked through a model home that I felt was perfect for our family. I was dreaming about the long counter space in my mind, picturing myself sitting there in front of the computer writing emails and blog posts.

Now, I’d like to say that after being reminded of what I had written in my bulletin and after reading about idolatry that my heart has been totally transformed and I have learned to be cheerfully content no matter where we end up living, but now, even though I’m feeling good about living in the small simplex (if everything goes through) I find myself setting up house in my mind and the house I am setting up does not just have the basics. In my mind, I’ve designed the perfect play room that we can set up in the garage. There will also be space for homeschooling out there, complete with bright colored pictures on the walls and lots of bookshelves. I have a whole corner set up in the master bedroom JUST FOR ME! A comfy chair and a small table, maybe even a little desk. It’s not that these things in themselves are necessarily bad, but it is amazing how quickly the thought of accumulating more and more things can just fill up your mind!

I don’t know if any of you have starting reading the blog “Sit a Spell” by Heather Hendrick, but you should. She just wrote two posts that talked about a lot of the very things I am struggling with right now. Go read the post called “Barn Burning” and the one called “First the Purging” then read the rest of her blog. I can’t provide you with any links because I am not online right now, so you’ll have to do a little searching, but I know I’ve linked to her blog in the past.

3 comments:

Carrie said...

Hey Jonna, the same kind of thing happened to us when we moved to Columbus. We looked for houses here and there, toured dozens. We'd taken a little break from looking and then I randomly decided to look where we hadn't looked in a long time. I found an open house for the next day, we visited and I fell in love. It was out of our price range, needed more work than we could afford, and had gone into contract the day before the open house, but I wanted that house. Jeff reminded me of all things I'd been saying to him. So, I prayed to God. I asked Him why this house was so strong in my heart, was it Him who put it there or was it me? I prayed that we would be where He wanted us to be, not somewhere that I wanted us to be, no matter how long that took. Eventually, we found an almost identical house in a nice neighborhood, a better neighborhood, with less work and in our price range. I can't tell you how that made me feel. It was so amazing to see God providing for my family in a way better than I had anticipated or planned for us. He'll do the same for you--just try to relax and pray that you know to follow where He's leading you to be. In the end, you'll be happy where He plants you.

Anonymous said...

Hi all!
I saw pictures of the house that you went through - looked really nice! We'll continue to pray that God will direct you to the house that He wants you to buy. Don't wish that God would just talk down from heaven and make the decision for you? :>)

love you all!
Mom

Naomi Walters said...

Did you post a photo of the house you instantly fell in love with at first sight? It sounds like a lovely home. Too bad you couldn’t afford it at that time. Well, I hope you’ve found one that’s as great as that home, but within your price range at the same time. Have a nice day!

Naomi Walters @ Chicora