I can’t believe that I let all of the Summer go by without posting a single update here! My posting on Instagram has been spotty at best, as well. I’ve felt some very strong soul-checks about social media usage lately, and that has prompted me to spend as much time disconnected from the digital world as possible.
Frankly, I don’t think I’d have survived this summer with my sanity intact if I’d been wading through the Competition and Comparison that social media carries with it! It’s one thing to know on the brain level that these two Big C’s are not real and can take you to crazy town, fast. It’s another thing altogether to stay aware and present enough to keep your perspective in check!
It’s been a rough few months, let me say that.
Our realtor listed my little family’s very first home for sale in early July. I knew we were in a difficult neighborhood to sell, but I started out confident that we could sell at our full asking price and in a relatively short amount of time! The weeks began to tick by, though, with no positive feedback and not a single offer in sight. It became far more discouraging than I expected it would be. From the outside looking in, it looked like a mess.
Meanwhile, we moved into my parents’ basement apartment and started to feel our way into a new life. Living in a home that’s not our own is different. Living with people that have different expectations than what we’ve grown accustomed to is different. Living so far away from everyone else we know is different. It’s all different! Some of the changes are good-different and some are hard-different.
I hesitate to call any of it bad. It’s like I always tell my sons, “Don’t ever say this is too hard! Let’s just call it a challenge instead.”
So: This is challenging!
While we have a kitchen of our own downstairs, we don’t have a dishwasher and I’m washing all 2,000 dishes a day by hand! Also, my parents and I each have differing ideas about the difference between clean and cluttered, and about how the children should be parented. We all have different sleep/waking rhythms and breakfast, lunch and dinner schedules. It has been challenging to lubricate these rough edges and get our intersecting ideas about how life should be conducted to work together without rubbing each other the wrong way.
That said, my mother very sincerely told me recently, “I am so very happy with all of you under our roof now.” And she means it. My mom is happier now than I’ve seen her in a long time.
There are some wonderful things about living with my parents, too! Our new home is in a rural area, and we have acres of woods to explore and enjoy right in the back yard. We’ve been able to observe deer grazing from the porch and shooting stars in the night sky. I can hang a hammock in the cool tree cover and take a nap next to the rushing water of a small creek that runs through our property. We have plenty of space to play and privacy when we need it. I could actually get too comfortable here, quite easily.
I don’t think comfort is what God had in mind when He prompted this move. But He is merciful and good, and He has provided more than enough for our family in this season!
While we waited, we spent much of our time sorting through possessions- both our own and my parents’- while considering what we should be let go and what is worth holding onto. Merging two households into one takes a lot of time, as we have discovered.
In July, Eric and I took the kids to the mountains for a week, where we stayed in the sweetest little Airbnb cabin and sought out waterfalls along the Appalachian Trail, while enjoying a much needed break.
On the second night of our trip, a storm knocked out the electricity to the mountain community where we were staying, forcing us to really, truly disconnect. It was the best possible thing that could have happened!
I started a new homeschool year with the kids as soon as we returned from the mountains, hoping that the added structure would distract us from the waiting. It did.
I baked homemade blueberry muffins, because carbs always help.
Hawk turned five, and I baked him a chocolate fox cake for his birthday, because some carbs are good… and more are better.
It took almost two months, but we finally got an offer on the house. It was much lower than we had hoped to get for our home of 11 years! The offer was a full $10,000 less than we had originally listed the house for. It was enough to pay off our mortgage, but only barely. We had to pony up all the closing costs out of our savings account, so we actually brought a $5,000 check to closing with us to get the deal done. That kind of loss hits low in the gut! We loved that house and left it better than we found it, but we were still “behind” financially as long as we stayed there.
Two steps back, one baby step forward. Closing is behind us now, and we are now virtually free!
I don’t know what’s next for my family, but I’m trusting God to show the way. I want to pay off my student debt, and for us to travel a little bit, and to consider what I really want to spend the second half of my life doing and where that should happen.
One wish I’ve carefully weighed over the last few months has been my continued desire to write. Obviously, I haven’t been giving that wish much practice lately, but it has still had much of my attention. I’ve asked myself, What do I want to accomplish through writing? How can I make enough room for it in my overwhelmed life? Why do I keep coming back to writing, even after long creative droughts, year after year?
Making the decision to renew the hosting for this blog has given me the push I needed to get back on track. Now that this crazy summer is coming to a close and all the loose ends are finally coming together, I am ready to get back into a regular writing and blogging practice. I have no plans to take it too seriously, but through the years I’ve found this outlet to be one way God has used to lead me into places where I hear His voice more clearly!
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Onward, into Fall we go.
How was your summer, my friends?