(disclaimer: I usually think a lot about my posts before writing them, but I have a feeling this one might be a rant. Get ready to read a line or two from Debbie Downer...)
Who knew an address could make me nauseous? I'm being a bit overdramatic, but truly when I hear this address, see it on paper, or just mentally think of our house in Illinois, I get a fat knot in my stomach.
It has been the source of so much tension and frustration in our lives, and hopefully, the source of tremendous grace. I realize I haven't mentioned the house too much on the blog. I think that's because I'm still in some kind of denial about it. If I don't talk about it and don't write about it, the problems there aren't really affecting us. But the latest news regarding the house deserves its own blog rant.
We put the house up for sale in February of 2009. It stayed on the market even after we moved to Mississippi. We lowered the price several times before and after we moved to MS until it finally got down to $16,000 below what we paid for it. We saw two separate contracts fall through and one was only a week away from the closing. We paid mortgage on the vacant home for 11 months while we rented in Mississippi and waited for renters for 7 months. The renter we desperately settled on has 4 kids and is using Section 8 assistance to help pay for the rent - which doesn't cover our total mortgage cost. We switched realtors, prayed novenas, and buried St. Joseph. It's been an ordeal.
And now finally, after having a bit of relief from carrying that vacant house for so long, we learn what a great burden it is to be landlords. For Section 8 to approve of the house, a few minor repairs needed to be made. And then we learned of a mice infestation (gasps! I know you're thinking, "what kind of renters are they?"). Our property manager reassures us that the renter is actually quite clean and seems to take good care of the house. The only thing we can think of is that having the house empty for a long time and having a little creek and weedy area behind the house caused some mice to move in unnoticed. Either way, extermination is hopefully doing its job. And then the dishwasher needed to be replaced because the cost of a repair is almost equivalent to a slightly used dishwasher. And now the furnace needs a repair. And did you know, all of this costs money? Money that we kind of need right now.
I just want it gone.
And what's sad is that I can tell myself, it could be so much worse or at least we have a big beautiful home to live in now or we have everything we need right now and more, even with these expenses or so many other people have a lot less or have hurt a lot more or at least our families have been so generous or we won't have to deal with this forever, but some days it doesn't help and it's one of those days. And I'm just hoping that God's grace carries me to tomorrow when the burden seems lighter or I'm somehow stronger. What's that St. Paul writes, "When I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Cor 12:10).
Want to know the first part of that passage? "Therefore, I am CONTENT with weaknesses, insults, HARDSHIPS, persecutions, and constraints, FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST; for when I am weak, then I am strong." Whoops.
Maybe tomorrow's post will be filled with a little more contentment and suffering for the sake of Christ. But in the meantime, pray for me.