If you are following the Cooper House Hunting Saga, you know that Jon and I have been looking for a new house since the spring. Why? Long story short, we found our existing home on a 2-day relocation house-hunting trip in 2004. Same with our last house in Florida—a 2-day house-hunting trip in 1996. Simply put, we have never lived in a city together, gotten to know the different areas over time, and leisurely looked for a home we both loved.
We’ve taken the concept of “leisurely looking” to a whole new level. Six months later….we’ve looked at every single house in our price range within about a six mile radius of our children’s school. And I mean every single house –either over the internet or physically—if it’s for sale, we know all about it. I’m not kidding at all when I tell you this has become the new Cooper Family past time: House Hunting!!! Every weekend and most free week nights, it’s just how we Coopers roll. It quite addicting, actually. Incidentally, our realtor and his family have become very close friends of ours because of it. Bonus.
In addition to houses, we’ve also looked at lots (not lots of houses, but lots on which to build NEW houses). And horse farms. And house plans. And disgusting little houses that we could rehab. And disgusting houses on horse farms. And plans to renovate our current home. We’ve attacked this house thing from every angle known to man. Let’s face it, we’ve been downright nutty. We’ve driven our realtor and our builder nutty. We’ve driven our poor children nutty. My sincerest apologies to all involved.
I have to admit, at first, I was just going along with Jon so he could get this thing out of his system. You know…scratch the itch. Kick the tires. I was not at all emotionally involved. I was way more concerned about my book proposal (hold that thought). But a month or two into the nuttiness, I realized Jon was really itchy. This house thing wasn’t going away. So, I decided if we were moving, at least I’m going to get a house I love. Thus, the emotional drama began for me. See, I get very emotionally attached to where I live. I spend 90% of my time there, therefore, my home is an extension of me. Even the messy, cluttered parts. Maybe ESPECIALLY the messy, cluttered parts.
Speaking of clutter, we needed to get rid of tons of it in order to get our house ready to put on the market, and I’m not even a clutter-y person. Staging a home for resale is always an interesting process. The more a person fixes up her existing house (to which she is already emotionally attached ), the more she is wondering what the heck she is doing looking for another home. The more she replaces old fixtures with new ones…the more she touches up paint and cleans carpet…the more she shines the sink and windows, the more she loves the place she’s created for her little family. Which is why the longer the process dragged on, the less I wanted to move and the more I just wanted to build on to our existing home. Which is where I thought we were finally headed until…
Note: I realize all the men just completely checked out mentally from this post. I lost you at “emotionally attached.” Stick with me, though. Here comes the Man Part of the Post. We’re talking interest rates!
Literally on the very day that I’m on the computer fantasizing about furnishing my newly built addition, Jon was fantasizing about refinancing. The skinny is that we locked in to a 4.5% on a 15-year fixed mortgage, and lo and behold, will have our existing house completely paid off in a very short time. Like completely debt-free. How incredibly awesome is that? Very.
I don’t know if we are still getting an addition or a horse farm or a gross house to rehab. It seems to change by the hour, depending upon Jon’s mood. So, basically, there’s no closure whatsoever.
Now, here, we’ve had a little bit of closure. Thank you for all the prayers, well-wishes and encouragement with the whole book proposal thing. The fact that the Book Drama and the House Drama are competing for my time, my attention, and my prayers simultaneously is further evidence that I need an antidepressant. As if we needed further evidence.
At the end of one of the crappiest days in recent Sandy history (over slept, kids late to school, cold rain, dead car battery TWICE, massive traffic detour, crabby children) I came home to, none other than, a big fat rejection letter from the publisher who I thought would be offering me a book contract.
The good news—and it really is good news—is that I still have not heard from the two literary agents who were interested in my project. So it’s not completely dead yet. But it was a pretty big disappointment, as you can imagine. I really thought this publisher loved it.
The even better news is that in all the drama of the last six months, God continues to speak to me. He’s teaching me all kinds of wonderful things, which is so God-like, isn’t it? And which is also the real point of this post.
So here you go: The Lessons I’m Learning in the Midst of It All
1. Whether my counter tops are builders-grade or granite; whether my chandeliers are gold tone or pewter, it’s all just stone and metal. It’s just stuff. And stuff in and of itself has no eternal value whatsoever.
2. My favorite part of looking at new houses has not been seeing all the fancy finishes, gorgeous floor plans or stunning views. Rather my favorite part has been the time spent with my family and friends. We’ve laughed long and hard, discussed dreams and goals and basically bonded in ways we wouldn’t have otherwise.
3. Letting my husband lead our family—even if it’s on a never-ending hunt for a house I’m thinking does not really exist—sure does take a lot of pressure off my shoulders to be all things to all people. This Recovering Control Freak is enjoying releasing responsibility to her very wise and capable husband.
4. The Enemy of my soul will use anything—even new houses and book proposals—to drive a wedge between my husband and me and distract me from God’s peace and perfect will for my life. I must remember to place my life, my desires, and my gifts at His feet daily.
5. God doesn’t expect me to completely understand how all His promises to me will come to pass. He just wants me to be obedient today. After all, this is my Year of Yes. So whether He tells me to prepare for a writer’s conference or hop in the car to look at, yet, another house, I just need to do it. God’s doing stuff behind the scenes I cannot even fathom.
6. While I love to write—and I really pray I get a book published someday—my real passion is not writing. My real passion is sharing with others the way God redeemed me from the pit. It’s teaching others how to hear Him speak. It’s helping people learn how to have a real relationship with their Creator. The writing part is just the vehicle God is using right now. With or without the writing…with or without the published book…I’m still pursuing my passion no matter what.
So tell me, what is God teaching you through the drama?