The process of buying a house is remarkably like the stages of labor.
Step 1: It’s Time. This is the exciting moment when you realize you are actually going to have a house. You are going to get to see the home you have only been dreaming about for so long. You know that you are going to peer into the windows and know without a doubt, this house belongs to you and you alone. You are happy, you are gathering your things together, you are on your way to deliver.
Step 2: Hard Work. The giddiness is wearing off now, and it is starting to take all of your concentration to make it through contractions. You have to take one at a time–the laundry room, the kitchen cabinets, the inside of the oven, the box of unsorted legos, k’nex, crayons, and origami scraps. You are focused and in control, managing to still speak to the people around you in between your focused efforts to get this house here. But you are working hard, and you are tired, and you are hoping the end is coming soon.
Step 3: Self-Doubt. And then transition hits you and you want to run away. But you can’t. What you were telling yourself earlier about how you have done so much work means nothing now. Now you are acutely aware of the work ahead. And you know that even if it is only 15 minutes (translate 30 Days), it is the scariest 15 minutes of your life. And at this point, everything else falls out of view. The contractions are coming on stronger and harder and faster. The dishes. The kids’ bedrooms. Someone is coming to look at the house. The laundry pile. The dream house fell through. Where will we go if we sell? Underneath the beds. Negotiating. Violin Practice. Bank loans. Three meals a day. Owner financing. Bedtime. Closing Costs. Taxes and Insurance. Homeschool. Cleaning out the fridge. The weight of making decisions that will affect the next thirty years of our lives.
Step 4: False Labor. (I threw this one in for fun.) And then you go back home and resign yourself it’s going to be a while, and you may as well just focus on the day to day work of daily life while you wait on the right house to come available.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 1-3.
Step 6: The house is born. This is the step we haven’t gotten to yet!!! But I am believing that one day, we will find our house, we will step in and know we are home. It will look like us, and it will recognize the sounds of our voices. We will be home.
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I am looking forward to sharing the birth story of the house that I know God is preparing for our family of eight. This morning I filled the last page of this prayer journal that I started in early February, specifically praying about our house situation. (Paloma drew the cover art. I thought this looks like a good house if something so beautiful can grow here. I said the soil must be really good for a flower like that to grow. She said that it is actually a tiny little house and that is a normal-sized flower. But I had already glued it on and settled on that idea. So that’s what it is going to be.)
I am praying that God will answer our prayers for more space for this family, and that He will answer someone else’s prayers with this house that we are living in now. There are so many details. But when I choose to have faith over fear, I know that God is in control, and I believe that He cares about the lives of my children more than I do. I know He is preparing a place for us. In the meantime, I will start another journal and continue to try to find balance between keeping a flexible vision for the future and living life one beautiful, meaningful, sacred day at a time. Can’t wait to share this story on the other side.