I feel like we could write an entire book about the last 4 weeks, but I’ll just give you an overview. Four weeks ago we sold our house in Katy…exactly 8 years from when we moved in. We are currently renting a house in Magnolia until we find what we are looking for!
For a couple years we have been talking about moving to the country, getting some land and animals, with McKayla starting high school (gulp) in the fall we felt like it was now or wait 4 more years. In January we began searching for a house, or land…all we knew is that we wanted a couple of acres and to stay semi close to Houston…between our frequent trips to Texas Childrens Hospital and work for Jay if this owning his own business doesn’t pan out, we don’t want to be crazy far from H-town. Nothing was really jumping out at us, but we continued with the plan to list our house in early March…Jay and I both had complete peace about that which is highly unusual for our type A personalities, we like to plan 10 steps ahead, so this passiveness was wild and welcomed!
We expected we would sell ours quick but had hoped our buyers wouldn’t want to move before the end of the school year. Of course this was all pre-corona and the oil business taking a hit. We had an open house the first weekend we listed it, one of the families that came to the open house wanted to come back for one more look, we were already home and we didn’t mind, we loved that we got to meet them, their kids got to play with ours…after they left I told Jay that this was the family we had been praying for to buy our house. He laughed and said “they have to make an offer first.” The next day we had an offer in hand and my heart leapt…the girls were equally excited that their new friend Gracie would get to live in their house! (I later realized that Hannah had misunderstood and thought Gracie would be living with us, she was super sad when we told her that wasn’t the case.) We continued to look and still found nothing. Although I would’ve loved moving directly into our next house so I wouldn’t have to move twice in a year, Jay and I both had peace that renting was the way to go for now.
We looked at quite a few rentals in the Tomball/Magnolia area, they all had their quirks, I just kept telling myself “its just for a year!” So we picked the best of what we had seen and was zoned to the schools the girls would go to when we find out permanent place. Before we signed a lease Jay and I came for one more look, then sent a couple requests to have fixed before we moved in. 1. Make the roaches disappear, 2. It’s filthy it needs to be cleaned, 3. Upstairs was quite warm, check the ac. These aren’t huge requests, or so we thought. 1 & 2 were handled, but just to be sure we got our own bug guy and cleaning crew to come. 3 was allegedly taken care of. The girls had seen the house a couple weeks before, they had seen the bugs that I don’t like to talk about, so when we told them we had chosen a house, Amelia immediately chimed in “it’s the roach house, isn’t it?” Just the word makes my skin crawl, but in a mamas gotta keep it together moment I managed a laugh and said “we won’t call it the Rent House we will call it the Roach House”, all of the girls burst into laughter…because if we don’t laugh we might cry.
I woke up June 15th a little sad, later that morning we would close on the house that had been our home for 8 years, the home that we brought our babies home from China to, the home that we have celebrated many birthdays and gotcha days, recovered from too many surgeries to count and enough memories to fill up a lifetime…is it always this hard to move or is it the fact that we are moving to the Roach House? I opened up my email and read my encouragement for the day before I got out of bed (linked here because it’s a must read)…Embracing the Grit That Leads to Beauty – Encouragement for Today – June 15, 2020
I jumped out of bed, corralled the girls and said “Ok girls, it’s not the Roach House anymore…it’s our Rock polishing House, God is going to use this house in bigs ways to mold us and shape us if we are willing! Are you willing? It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.” Hearing them each call it some variation of Rock Polishing because those are hard words to remember was priceless!
After we closed, Jay picked up a moving truck, we took our first load Monday afternoon, it was a long 40 minute drive, we had barely pulled out of the driveway when Emma began to cry, then it turned into sobs, we all cried with her at some point on the drive, we tried praying, singing, talking, nothing was helping, she just needed to let it out, we all did. When we arrived it was hot, hot, the ac hadn’t been fixed. Rock Polishing. The leasing company sent someone to fix it again, and again, and again, every day for the first week. Wednesday was our first night in the house, it was still not working, they had to send someone to bring a few portable acs at midnight because it was 86 in the house. Rock Polishing. We spent our 3rd night in a hotel because the portable acs could no longer keep up. Rock Polishing. On our way to the hotel Jay said “at this rate we’re all going to be diamonds by Sunday”. I’m happy to report it mostly works, we are staying cool, but it runs all day long, so the ac guy will be back at the end of the week. This was just the tip of the iceberg with things that needed to be fixed. Rock Polishing. Bless. They sent a handyman out last week to complete about 20 items, just a few more things to get fixed and we should be good to go. Rock Polishing. The dishwasher didn’t work and had to be replaced, now we have a brand new dishwasher and I couldn’t be happier, it is by far the loudest dishwasher on the planet, but apparently so are rock tumblers, so that fits. Rock Polishing. By Gods grace alone, we have all maintained our humor about all the things.
“… we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame …” (Romans 5:3-5).
“Not a single ounce of your suffering is wasted in God’s economy. Our enemy works to grind us down with gritty circumstances, but God uses the same circumstances to forge endurance and character in us if we’re willing. Like those rocks, the grittiness doesn’t remove beauty in us — it reveals it.”
Wow, Heather! Thank you for sharing! It surely has been the most challenging year for many of us!
Good news is: G’ma is on a slow path to recovery! Time will tell how much recovery is possible.
We will finally get to see a Pulmonary specialist for Neil on Aug. 3. It has been a long, hard wait to get a diagnosis. The preliminary diagnosis was: Pulmonary Fibrosis, but everything got shut down before he could get further testing.
I love your story about Rock Polishing! The Goal: Diamonds!!! What a gift to lay at our Father’s feet one day!!!!
Lots of Love, Aunt Esther
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