Monday, April 28, 2008

God knew I needed a toilet seat?

A portion of Wendi’s post today reads as follows: “And He, again, was the farthest thing from condemning you could imagine. And He really understood, like got where I was at. He knew I would be there. He knew it was okay to be there. He used my being there to show me some really important things that I would not have learned had I not been there. And then He invited me to move on from there. He brought me into a group of people who love Him.”

For me I’m certain that Wendi at Every Day Miracles will become a part of the group of people who love Him as I do; that I will continue to turn to. Many of us have mentioned in recent posts the power and connection that develops between woman, bloggers, moms, and writers that have never met but are linked together via the Internet, in Him. Many of these connections and relationships are even deeper than those who share our lives with us daily. I’m grateful for the blogs God has recently directed me to and look forward to many cups of coffee with them in the future.

I recently found myself in exactly the same place as Wendi while cleaning my basement last week. Yeah, remember the basement, the one behind closed doors that I mentioned was a physical manifestation of my life; only surface clean. Well my home was surface clean like my life is surface clean and I’m working on making it (my home and heart) clean on every level and getting into every nook and cranny. Well I’m happy to report that the majority of the basement is clean, in fact empty! If only it were as easy to weed our hearts! Sigh!

My “ah ha” moment, my revelation, when God said to me “I knew you’d be here, It’s okay that you are here, and I knew you’d be needing this” was when I found a toilet seat of all things in the bathroom cupboard of my basement. It had been there since before we moved in. That must sound pretty odd, what a vision. Me standing in the midst of a messy basement, finding a new toilet seat, and hearing God say “I knew you’d be needing this.” Bear with me…

First off, I need the toilet seat because the one in my upstairs bathroom broke some time ago and all our butts were pinched in it each time we sat on it. So my lovely hubby’s solution: white duct tape! Even funnier right! We could have purchased a new seat but we are not putting money of any sort into maintaining this home. Why? Good question, and one that comes with a painful answer.

My husband and I gave birth to children number 4 & 5 in February of 2004, twin girls, while living in a dinky home all of 900 square feet with only 1 bathroom among now 4 girls! A nightmare! Our home at been up for sale for quite some time, so long that we had given up on looking at our next home for purchase. Finally, in April of 2004 our “dinky” home sold. Our next purchase was our dream home! We felt called to Romeo, MI where we attend church and had a deep desire to really get rooted in the community and even deeper rooted in our church. But, our dream home was in Clinton Twp. We disobeyed. The closing of this home proved to be problematic with one red flag after another. And, even though we both knew deep within our core that God was clearly telling us not to buy this home, we did any way.

We ended up in an interest only mortgage which was locked in for three years. We’d give ourselves some time to “grow” into the payment and gain equity in the house then refinance before the three years was up. We’re in Michigan where the housing market has literally fallen out and the foreclosure rate is record setting. When it came time for us to refinance, our home was worth less than we owed on it and wouldn’t appraise high enough for us to get a new fixed rate mortgage. We spent three years basically renting this home from the mortgage company and now were faced with a $500 per month hike in mortgage payments with no end in sight because the market isn’t coming back up any time soon. This home was never ours to begin with and is obviously no longer a good investment and selling wasn’t an option since any sane person wouldn’t purchase a home for more than its value, especially in Michigan at this time. Our only option was to let our home go back to the bank. But only after many repeated attempts to refinance through our lender, only to be told “no” at every turn. Neither of us saw the value in trying to grip onto a home that we feel God never wanted us in to begin with. There, I said it, I lost a house. Notice I didn’t say “my house.” It was borrowed from the bank for a season and now it’s been given back. God is my provider and will continue to provide!

To say I’ve learned lessons from this is a serious understatement and lessons I certainly would not have learned without landing myself in this very place. My husband and I battled to be “head of household” for many years. This made our home life so wrecked with havoc! The first lesson we gained from this was our proper order of things in this home and I can’t tell you just how peaceful our home has become since taking my position as neck. The neck is just as important as the head, even more so. The head can’t stand on its own, it requires and demands support! My husband is head of our household in all means including our finances as well. I keep him organized so things don’t get forgotten and we discuss the finances so we are in agreement but the responsibility now falls on him.

I had been working part-time from home and have since left that position to take up my real passions and minister to my children and family the way they all deserve. If we were busy gripping onto saving a home we don’t belong in, we’d never be able to afford to do this. I’d be sacrificing and surpassing my God given gifts as a mother, wife, writer, and photographer to keep up with the Jones’.

We’ve grown leaps and bounds, it has been a painful process but one I’m glad we’ve endured. Our priorities are in line, we know where our purpose lies, and we’ve many steps closer to leading our children down the right path and ensuring their success as well.

Nothing on this earth belongs to any of us, it all belongs to God, and it’s all on loan. At one point in time we’ll all be asked if we are willing to pass it on to someone else as someone passed it on to us. I’m now more than ever less concerned with owning my own home. A home is made up of the people in it, now the color on the wall. Of course God knows the desires of my heart and he wants to fulfill those desires and I trust he will meet and exceed our needs when it comes time to leave this house and move onto our next house that we will make our home.

My home will be defined in the laughter that resonates through the walls, the hash marks on the walls as my children grow, the sticky apple juice on the kitchen floor, the memories we’ve created that hang on the wall, and the Lord that is the glue that holds it all together. That can be created and will be created in any resting place whether the county says it’s mine or not. My children won’t remember whether I paid a mortgage company or a land lord, they will remember that I was home when they arrive from school each day.

The desires of your heart, are they Godly desires or desires that conform us to this world? I used to be one of the people who were conformed to this world and each new day brings me a step farther away from the world and closer to the Lord. Although painful, this circumstance, this lesson, has brought about the greatest level of growth and revelation in Him. I’m grateful to God for loving me so much that he reveals what is wrong with me, he and the spirit press on me until I get it! Thank you Jesus!

I was at one point ashamed, afraid of the stigmatism associated with a person whose house has been foreclosed on, but I’m not ashamed. Like I told Wendi earlier today, mine, hers, and your value is not measured in what others think of me, or even what I think of me, but what God thinks of me! God loves me! I mess up, he knows I’m going to mess up before I do and he loves me anyway. He loves you any way!

4 drops of sunshine:

Wendi said...

Good stuff!! I feel privleged to have played a little part in this post. :)
These life lessons are so amazing aren't they? Sometimes it really hurts to grow and change, but oh the JOY!!

Leslie said...

amazing how God shows you things isn't. Love your posts.

and about getting fat. Im so trying.. really really hard.

Erica Young said...

Oh trust me, I am hoping and praying every day for a miracle!

mamachristina said...

I love your analogy on the head of household and the importance of being neck. awesome.