Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Another One Bites the Dust" and today's prayer of grace

The song by Queen "Another One Bites the Dust"
is probably going to apply once again
to another house quest.

This has the most promise of everything we've seen.

It is on 5 acres.  The pond to the right belongs to the property.
The swing set and house beyond it does not.
That land was sold off to a brother who built the house,
raised his children in it,
and then moved on when he was able to buy 50 acres
complete with an airfield---in the middle of nowhere.
I hear that the ones who live there now are nice.

Front of the house.

Front with a view of the huge building that goes with the house
and acreage.

View from the back of the big building.
The pond trickles down to a bit of a stream.
The ribbon of black to the right is a major roadway,
Rt. 800.

So what is wrong?
So much is right, yet enough is wrong to unsettle us.
The biggest kicker is the distance from our small town.
It's way out in the sticks
and though there are several shortcuts to a main highway
for my work trip,
I'd be kidding myself if I didn't admit that some days
it would seem like forever to get home.
A trip to the grocery store will be a minimum of 30 minutes round trip
on an extremely hilly road that has no areas for passing.
Realistically, we are looking at 40 minutes or more,
which is a lot when it is now 15 minutes round trip.

The building is huge, but cut up into rooms
that are not viable for Mike's needs.
He and the brother of the deceased owner
(his widow is selling it),
walked around discussing what walls could be knocked down,
and how it could be adapted.
The brother is the one who built the building--
he makes his living building homes.

He built the two additions on either end of the house:
a master bedroom suite and a huge eat-in kitchen.
Both are quite nice.
The main house is small though and needs work.
The basement esp. would need a major renovation.

I'm not a DIYer though I watch HGTV shows
and buy the magazines.
Even if I could wallpaper and paint a wall
without getting the paint
 including a generous coat on me,
my fibro condition has worsened to the point
that I have barely enough energy to do my teaching job.
Strip wallpaper?
Paint several rooms?
Expect my brain to pick out carpet and colors and so on
when some days I struggle with concocting a simple supper?
Too little faith?
Or just enough realistic acceptance?

I don't know.

Meanwhile, I call this building home.
It has 600 sq. ft. of unfinished basement--
through which everyone enters
as there is no parking on the front street
and no walkway around the house.

Upstairs is another 600 sq. ft.
 which consists of a beautiful craftsman style
dining room and living room that flow together
and a decent sized kitchen (small, but doable).

The kickers are the tiny bathroom
and the teeny, tiny bedroom.
One bedroom.

No place for grandchildren to nap,
because the bedroom is directly off the living area
and thus not cut off from family noise.

No place for daughter and family from Texas to stay.
No place to go in and close the door to each other
unless we want to lie down and sleep
(I cannot sit up and read in bed
--too hard on my neck and shoulders--a recipe for a migraine).

This is our 'backyard'.
Lovely pond, huh? Not!
There is instead an alley
with a car repair business across from our garage
and another one up from this one.
Fantastic neighbors and close friends though,
on both sides of our house--
we recognize and are grateful for that blessing.

No place for a dog ---coal trucks on busy street
would make roadkill of one--can't risk that
and no viable yard for a fenced in area.

So what is God planning?
I so want to know.

Please understand that I think of those with much less
and feel ungrateful.
I am grateful that I have this.
But our marriage needs another room.
My sanity needs a dog.
The mother in me needs my kids and grandkids to have a place to stay.
If that's asking too much, then I'm guilty.

This is not what I planned to write.
However, I guess I needed to get it out.

Devotions yesterday morning
gave me this from one thousand gifts
by Anne Voskamp:
"In a storm of struggles,
I had tried to control the elements,
clasp the fist tight so as to protect self and happiness.
But palms curled into protective fists
 fill with darkness. . .
and this realization. . .
My own wild desire to protect my joy at all costs
 is the exact force that kills my joy.

Flames need oxygen to light.
Flames need a bit of wind. . .

Broken glass ignites in light and there it is,
the secret of joy's flame:
Humbly let go.
Let go of trying to do,
let go of trying to control . . .
let go of my own way,
let go of my own fears.
Let God blow His wind,
His trials, oxygen for joy's fire.

Leave the hand open and be.
Be at peace.

Bend the knee and be small
and let God give what God chooses to give
because He only gives love,
and whisper surprised thanks.

This is the fuel for joy's flame.
Fullness of joy is discovered
only in the emptying of will.
And I can empty.
I can empty because counting His graces
has awakened me to how He cherishes me,
holds me,
passionately values me.
I can empty because I am full of His love.

I can trust.
I can let go."
(pages 178 & 179)

Wow! I didn't know when I read this
and thought I needed to share it
that the person who needed it most
was me.
And that when I told my daughter
I would cry over losing this house,
I wasn't taking into account God's grace and love and wisdom.
I am not crying and that is a relief.

Today's Prayer of Grace
Dear Lord,
I have so much to learn
and You have much to teach me.
Give me the wisdom to be still
and the discernment to hear Your voice,
today and every day.

From One Hundred Days of Grace for Women

Blessings to you all as we begin 2013.


  1. It's been such a hard search for a home! I know God has one out there for you and I hope it shows up soon. :)

  2. Looking for a house is quite the trip. When i have looked before there was one place where a lady collected frog things. THere were frogs in every room...frogs...everywhere i looked.

  3. I understand how you feel Beth. We waited years before we were able to build this home. There were many days I thought the Lord had somehow forgotten about us. But He never, ever does.
    I know He has a place for you - one which will meet all of your needs. This one does look beautiful. I love having five acres and the peace and quiet of this place. We're used to traveling thirty minutes for practically everything - but of course we're retired and don't have to make the trip every day or at the height of rush hour.
    I'll be praying for you as you consider what is best for all of you. I know that longing. I'm sure the Father understands and has a good plan for you.

  4. Praying the Lord will fulfill the desires of your heart and give you peace in the process.

  5. Hoping you find just the right place in just the right time. (And that's a lot of snow!)

  6. As Leslie said, one of my mottoes, too, is "right place, right time." I so have to rely on who, what, and how, and where is dropped into my life. Back in Spring/Summer of '07 the Lord laid it on us to move back to our former house we had sold to my daughter and son-in-law when we were leaving for Uganda in '94. When they were headed for divorce, it was dropped back into us, and, as much as I've always loved the house,although it's not particularly large and in a small yard [38' wide, for instance], the reason has been b/c of prayer walking that has been necessary for people in our general area and for the Bhutanese refugee relationship that was going to be dropped into my life some time later. So, whether things are perfect here or not, the key is being where the Lord wants us to be. I DO love the house, but sometimes when driving around and seeing others, I get jealous. BUT we can afford this, and I know the Lord is using us. When I die and go to heaven I'll have my "new house" and won't have to be concerned about any of the needs, the repainting inside or out, the re-roofing [probably in a couple years], etc. So, can only trust in the Lord's decision for us. Know you will.


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