Saturday, March 13, 2010

Fickleness, thy name is Leslie

Last summer when we were In Yellowstone with Peter’s family one of my little siblings in law (who shall remain nameless) committed an enthusiastic display of dishonoring one’s parents. Peter and I have often used the incident as a case study to discuss how we might have handled it. We never came up with any concrete answers. Of late we’ve been talking about children and behavior quite a bit since it won’t be long before we have a little angel who is testing boundaries on every side.

It was a hot day and we had been out and about under the sun so we decided to walk to an eatery to get some cold ice cream. One child was not satisfied with this plan and wanted to drive to the restaurant. So, to show the depth of his/her unhappiness, s/he stomped on his/her mother’s foot. That’s right. We were on vacation in one of the most gorgeous places on earth, we were on our way to get ice cream. Yet s/he was upset enough about having to walk a short distance that s/he stomped on her mother’s foot- the same mother who had arranged said vacation and was preparing to pay for said ice cream!

I’m sure I did a million (perhaps a billion or kajillion) things that rivaled and surpassed that incident in my childhood. But doesn’t such blatant brattiness just make you mad?! Yet I found myself thinking last weekend that I am not much different than that child sometimes. At least in my heart; I haven’t resorted to any physical foot stomping that I can recall.

We were in Houston from Saturday evening until Tuesday afternoon searching for a place to live. We started looking at townhouses on Sunday afternoon. The first one we looked at was charming and our favorite of the day. In fact nothing else that we saw came close to matching its charm or price. It boasted a very low price which we didn’t know the reason for at first. The next day we found out that it is a short sale. I still don’t fully know what a short sale is. From what I was able to gather, I know that it has been repossessed by the bank and now they are trying to get it off of their hands. Even though it’s a good deal, short sales are apparently difficult to deal with and can take a longtime to close.

Monday we spent all day at the realtor’s office working on paper work. We put an offer down on the short sale but as the day dragged on it became clear that it might be a difficult road. The selling agent was nearly impossible to get in touch with and has a reputation for being a wheeler/dealer. This day was exhausting for me even though I was sitting on my behind the entire time and was rarely required to exert even a muscle. Mentally, however, I had to exert more that I am accustomed to! I was struggling to understand the terminology and some of the seemingly basic concepts of the real estate business. I felt nearly brain dead at the end of the day. As I got more tired and became less certain about the possibility of this short sale going through, I got discouraged and in my mind and heart there was quite a bit of grumbling and complaining.

I reminded myself of my sibling-in-law. I was stomping on God’s foot when it appeared I might not get what I wanted. I mean, we’re able to buy a house. We’re having a baby. I have my health. I have water to drink and food to eat. I have a super-awesome, fluffy cat. Yet I’m upset that I can’t necessarily get the most charming townhouse?!? Oh dear. Once I reflected on my attitude and prayed for a change of heart, I told Peter that I would be content if I have to live in a cave. (Though frankly I hope it doesn’t come to that.)

Tuesday in a stunning display of fickleness, my attitude changed completely. We went out to look at four more properties and we found one that we loved even more than the short sale. This other property also happens to be a good value. Monday I was so disappointed that the short sale might not work out. Tuesday I was so excited about the other property that I would be disappointed if the short sale did work out in place of the second one. (Though I still really like the short sale property.) Is there any end to the vacillating of human emotions? (Or is it just me?)

Luckily God is infinitely wiser and less fickle than I. He knows our needs and wants. We trust that He will provide a place for us. Thank goodness I have very little control over all of this because on my own I’m pretty certain that I am capable of botching almost any decision no matter how great or small.

Our realtor is getting in touch with the realtor representing the second property that we really liked, and we still have the offer down on the short sale. And now all we can do is wait. Waiting is a faith-building experience which it appears that I am sorely in need of! We would appreciate your prayers.

If nothing works out we’ll take it as a cue to start looking for a cave. Though in Houston I don’t know if we could even afford a cave. The flood insurance would probably be too high. We’ll keep hoping for a townhouse.


Vanessa Rogers said...

I still visit you even if you lived in a cave- but considering Houston's humidity issues, we might melt to death ;)

Anonymous said...

I had forgotten the Yellowstone incedent completely. The pain did not stick. I guess you learn to overlook a lot as a mom. I am pretty sure God does too. By the way, that sibling inlaw does remember the incident too without any proding a reinactment happened without actually physical contact this time. You will both be wonderful parents.