I was just talking to my sister the other night and shared that my husband and I seemed to be bickering a bit more than usual. We did discover the likely reasons why the patience levels were low and emotional levels were high. First, January is never our "high" month: it's dark, I'm home a lot, the holiday high is over. These are things that happen every year. In addition to these "usual" stresses, the puppies are not selling, my husband is unemployed, and we decided that we need to prepare our home for selling. Not little additions, if you ask me. In a way, it made us feel better that our marriage wasn't going downhill or that we were headed for real trouble. It's pretty normal for those stresses to spill over. After we discovered these little tidbits, we seem to have been refilled with grace for each other. Thank you, Jesus!
In light of our move situation, we have begun some of our home spiffies. We fixed a couple doors that the previous owner just stuck on and didn't fit the jams. I also painted a bit in our bedroom (I had painted some stripes that I have never liked, but never fixed!). Today I plan on walking through each room, making a list of all the little things that I can fix or need to purchase. For some reason, the previous owner put white outlet covers over cream outlets/switches. Really? Why would you do that? Now I have to redo it all. Annoying. But doable! Some larger items will have to wait til it gets warmer. We still need to put siding on our garage and have decided what to do, but can't until we have an income. There are several little paint spots that need to be touched up that I can do, nails to fill, holes to patch.
We also plan on contacting some realtors and beginning the interview process. Yes, we interview them. We found that to be a very good way of letting them know you are aware of the situation and they can't just take you for a spin. It is also a way of getting a lower commission rate, finding someone you click with, and discovering several ideas of how to stage a house for sale.
I have to admit, I'm having a tougher time finding as many things to be thankful for than things to request. I'm feeling extra guilty about this right now as the crisis in Haiti has happened. I should be much more thankful that I have a home above me, money in the bank to pay for it for quite a while if necessary, family and friends who are living and praying for us. These are things these other people don't have. They may not even have a Savior who gives us that eternal hope that doesn't disappoint, regardless of our circumstances. Maybe I need to put the news on today to keep me reminded of all I have. It may seem depressing, but in all my perceived need, I truly have more than most of those. They are the ones who need prayer. They are the ones who need a home, friends, help, the true Savior.
Does this mean that I won't ask for puppy families, a good realtor, or a job for my husband? Of course not. It just means that I will choose to DWELL on the blessings that I DO have. God has richly blessed us and I don't want to be ungrateful. Even in this time, we have come closer to His leadership, learned to rely on His provisions (which have been abundant), and are still learning how to rest in Him, not on ourselves. Character building! Blessings in not-so-hard-to-see disguise! Thank you, Jesus.