It's been a hard couple of weeks. A month ago, I began exhibiting symptoms that were ultimately proven to be from a stress fracture in my left ankle. I've been wearing an air cast for three weeks and have seen some improvement. But it's been difficult to navigate de-cluttering our house, cleaning out our basement and getting everything spotless to get our home on the market while wearing a large gray boot.
It's been hard to split my attention between homeschooling our three children and organizing our home for sale. It's been tough to homeschool at all when asked to leave our home multiple times per day for showings. I've struggled to balance our need for stability with the flexibility required by the situation. I'm trying to extend grace all around - to myself and to my daughters as they alternate between excitement about a new home and grief about leaving the only home they've ever known. I'm slowly but surely learning that I can't homeschool daughter #3 in the ways that worked for daughter #1 or daughter #2. My children are nothing if not individuals.
Yet through all of these difficult things and my anxiety that has accompanied them, I have heard small whispers from God. Whispers to rest. Whispers that He is in control and will be with me no matter where I live. Whispers that His radiance is a gift I couldn't hide even if I tried. Whispers that I should listen not only to Him, but to those around me.
When faced with selling and moving out of a house that's been occupied for ten years, the to-do list is a long one. We had multiple items that needed attention in every room. Some of them were handled by a repairman, some by a painter, some by our family. All required time, attention and management. It's so easy for me to fall into the trap of believing I am responsible for it all. I'm not. I believe that where we live is ultimately up to God, not me. And He's been guiding us along this path faithfully and clearly - not by directing me, but by directing my husband.
A few weeks ago, we found a home we really liked. By the time we got upstairs, J was sold. He loved it. We were a week or so away from putting our house on the market, but went ahead and made an offer (contingent upon the sale of this home). Negotiations went back and forth with the seller. We made what we felt was a reasonable offer and the seller still wanted more money. I wanted to just agree, largely because I didn't want to have to go through this arduous process all over again for another house. But J agonized over it, talking it through with me, running the numbers on his spreadsheet and just feeling generally unsettled. We ultimately decided to stick with what we thought was our best offer - even if that meant walking away from the house. To our shock, the seller accepted. It was so clear to me that J was listening to God through this process because he felt so much peace after we agreed to stick with our top price and not be moved, even though he was the one who first fell in love with this house.
When it came time to look at offers for the sale of our house, J was again the voice of wisdom. After six showings in three days, we got an offer. My instinct? Take it and be done with it. J's thought? Make sure we get the best offer. He asked our agent to follow-up with the other agents who had shown our house and see whether any of them planned to make an offer. Ten hours later, another offer came through - better than the first in every way. So our house is under contract and we wait only for the inspection to happen before sighs of relief can be expressed by our entire family.
If the last few weeks have been hard (and they have), I can't imagine how difficult it would be to navigate life without a partner like J. He is wiser than he realizes and more comforting to all of us than he knows.
In the midst of all this craziness, I missed writing J a birthday post celebrating his 38th birthday on Monday. Please consider this evidence that I am so thankful for him, evidence that he's the one I want by my side in good times - and hard ones.