I had to make a spot to sit on the sofa in my living room this morning. Even sitting here cross-legged, computer on my lap, my knee is crammed into a tupperware bin of boy clothes that no longer fit one kid and are still too big for the other. Boxes are piled half the distance to the ceiling all around me, and I keep wishing that I had rolled up the living room rug before covering most of it in boxes. The movers are totally going to track dirt all over it.
Three weeks ago we were planning on renovating our home. We have worked for 2 years on plans to do an addition that would give me an office separate from our school room (because the co-space thing isn’t working so well) and would also make space to host guests when they come. We were adding onto the kitchen and putting in a screened in porch. Since we bought this house 7 years ago, our plan has been to add on to it. We spent lots of dollars on architectural plans and with the assessment from one poor appraiser on the completed project valuation, we found out that we would be more or less under water to do the renovation.
Bummer. Big. Fat. Bummer.
That Friday, our contractor messaged about start dates for sub-contractors to begin work on the renovation and also happened to mention in his email that on a personal note, he and his wife loved our neighborhood and wondered if we could keep an ear to the ground to let them know if we heard of anything coming on the market. My husband emailed back, shared the predicament and said that we realized that we might have to consider moving after all. (An idea that for the record, I had long since moved on from since I was so excited to stay here and renovate a space that I already love. And while we have considered moving to land a year ago, I haven’t much wanted to just make an in town move. I should also note that since I’ve been homeschooling this year, I’m SUPER glad that we didn’t move to the middle of nowhere because my extroverted self might have withered and died in the great space of solitude country living.)
James and his wife came to look at our house the next day…while I was still in Colorado. I was still sad about not renovating, but told my husband that perhaps if I just looked at a couple of houses, I could wrap my mind around the idea of considering a move. I called my realtor friend Melissa, who is a fantastic realtor in town, and she and I planned to look at a couple of houses on Monday just to help me see what was out there that would suit us. We looked at 6 houses, three of which we walked in and straight back out of (when you know it’s not right, you know.)
Tuesday, James and his wife came to our house and we sat around the dining room table and wrote a contract to sell our house to them. I had liked one of the houses that Melissa and I saw on Monday, so we put an offer on it.
And in one week from yesterday, I’m moving to a house that I absolutely love and wasn’t even looking for just less than a month ago. And it’s painted brick which has always been my favorite. (Because God is so sweet to even care about painted brick for me….)
Funny thing is that I was trying to figure out how to still manage to stay in our house with the way we are being called to live, and I just couldn’t make it work. My friend, Chrystal, and I talked about it while I was in Colorado and she encouraged me to just lean into the life that is around me even more than I already was. I prayed and let go my notions of what life was supposed to be looking like, and 5 days later I was packing. God is crazy like that.
Because see…there are ways that I could have made it work. I could have asked Casey to move out so I could use her room for my office…but that felt disobedient to the call we have had for a few years to live “Plus One” in our home. (If you want to know more about that, watch my keynote from Allume to hear that story and understand my heart for hospitality in our space.) I could have put my kids in school full-time, but for right now, that isn’t what we feel like is best for them or for our family. I mean, I could have worked it to make it be what I wanted it to be….but it didn’t feel right. So I took Chrystal’s advice (and my own that I preach to myself to just be curious) and I leaned in to the unknown.
Four days later we had a contract to sell and to buy and we are moving now in less than a week.
Curious living after God, huh? (Of course He would have me living this out to maximum capacity while I’m writing a book about it all.)
And in the midst of the moving and writing a book and running Allume, I found myself just a hot mess…amidst stress and emotion and boxes piled high all around my house.
Yesterday I posted this on facebook:
And ya’ll… lot of comments came flooding and I got tons of direct messages about it, and for crying out loud, why do we all pretend that life doesn’t just flat overwhelm us sometimes?! And why on earth was anyone surprised that I’d have ended up sobbing in my closet? For real, I got several DM’s from people thanking me for being honest…and that honestly just makes me sad that as women we aren’t supporting one another enough to even have the honesty to have breakdowns.
WE ALL HAVE BREAKDOWNS!
So amidst the chaos that my life currently is, I want to say a couple of things. One, I totally appreciate and welcome any and all prayers, rememberances, thoughts, and encouragements as I am personally in a GINORMOUS season of transition… (I also welcome chicken pot pie and stew….I mean, I’m just sayin’.) But the other thing I want to say is this….
I want to be a person and I want you to be people who support one another. I want to be a part of encouraging vulnerability and mess and breakdowns and picking one another back up when our kids scream terrible things and we have to take away all their toys and we cry on top of laundry baskets and hide in closets, and in cars, under covers piled high and stand alone in showers that wash tears away as fast as they fall. Can we be normal and give one another the grace to be normal too?
Life is hard, and curiously following God looks like a whole lot of not knowing where we are going and one day planning to add on to your house and 5 days later moving. Curiously pursuing God might land you in your closet crying because the unknown is scary sometimes. And ya’ll….that is OK! His mercies are new every morning, his goodness is for those who love and follow Him, and the peace that passes all understanding isn’t actually even needed til all understanding is gone.
I’m with you friends. I’m for you. And I’m glad that we can be honest here about fears, failures, joys, successes, and hiding in closets when even though things are exciting in life, they can simultaneously overwhelm too.
So tell me… where do you hide out when it all feels like too much? And when you’re overwhelmed, I’d love to know specifically what the Lord says to you to encourage your heart? Lets encourage one another in these spaces of real living, shall we?