Over the past weeks it has been to fun to finally be able to spill the beans and tell you about the major changes that have been going on behind the scenes for several months now– we are in the process of selling the townhouse that we’ve lived in for 7 years and are building a new home just a few miles down the road.
As exciting as it has been for me to talk about all the details, I must admit that I’ve also felt a little awkward at times. I mean, I’ve always felt fine about talking about our current house; it is smaller than many peoples’ homes and isn’t without its quirks and imperfections. But up until this point I’ve blogged about small space living and decorating on a budget, so it feels kind of weird to be talking about a bigger, brand new house.
I never want to come across like I’m bragging, nor do I want the posts about our new place to be a pain point for people who are in the period of waiting, either to buy their first home or forever home or to get into a space that is better suited for their family.
If you’re not at that point, this may seem like a silly thing to worry about. But if you are in the waiting stage, you know exactly what I’m talking about, and I know exactly how you feel. I have been in that place myself for the past 4+ years. In fact, in one of my first blog posts that I wrote back in 2013, I stated that my goal was for us to move by the end of that year. Here we are in mid-2016, and we are just beginning the moving process.
I often would scold myself when I would catch myself day dreaming about being able to leave the townhouse behind and move into our forever home. After all, we have been well taken care of here, there is so much about the townhouse that I love, and we truly, truly have so much to be grateful for. But part of me yearned for the stability that would come with a house that I knew we could be in for years and years to come.
Maybe houses aren’t your thing. Maybe you enjoy the excitement and experiences that come with getting to live in a bunch of different settings. Or maybe you are perfectly content where you already are. But I would bet that we’ve all experienced a period of waiting for for something.
And that waiting thing? It can be so hard.
I remember when I was young and single, waiting and wondering if I would find the person I wanted to marry. I remember when Donnie and I were engaged and graduating from college, waiting and wondering whether we’d find jobs with our newly minted degrees. I remember when we lived in Arizona and wanted so badly to move back home closer to family, waiting and wondering if the right job situation would work out. I remember when Donnie got laid off (twice), waiting and wondering if we would be able to make ends meet.
Every time we were in one of those waiting periods, I ran the gamut of emotions. I would get angry that everything didn’t go the way that I had planned it all out. I would feel sad that the thing I was waiting for always felt just out of reach. When I got over the initial frustration and sadness, I would be hopeful about the possibilities for the future, even if they weren’t going to become a reality right away. And eventually I would become excited because I had started to notice a trend: every time one of those situations was resolved, I would look back on it and realize how much I had learned and grown in the midst of it.
During one of these waiting periods when I was feeling especially frustrated, my oh-so-wise mother said to me, “Abby, sometimes it is not about the destination. It is about what God wants to teach you along the journey.”
And she was so right.
That didn’t mean that in the midst of the waiting it wasn’t sometimes incredibly, incredibly hard. I, admittedly, have still been known to throw a fit or two in the middle of a time that required more patience than I felt like I had in me to give. I have shed more than a few tears when a particular situation hasn’t gone the way that I had planned. But I have also been able to look back and be grateful that a God who is wiser than me orchestrated every circumstance more perfectly than I ever could have asked or imagined.
As I think back on this period where we have stayed in our townhouse, waiting for the perfect time to move, I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for the opportunity to revive our once ugly, outdated house into a cozy, welcoming home for our family. I’m thankful that Connor gets to go to school in a wonderful district, in a school that he loves. I am thankful that carrying a small mortgage all these years gave us flexibility with jobs and ultimately allowed Donnie and I to make the leap to working on the blog together full time. I’m thankful that we’ve been able to be in close proximity to our families, our friends, and our church. And this is just scratching the surface. There are truly so many awesome things that happened and lessons that we learned, and though I didn’t always understand it at the time, I wouldn’t change a thing about it now.
So if you are in a period of waiting, take heart, my friend. There is beauty that comes from those times of wondering and hoping. There is a journey that can create memories, teaching moments, and bring just as much (if not more) joy than arriving at the destination, if we’re just willing to look around and take it all in. Most of all there is a God who loves you, who wants his very best for you, and has more in store for you than you could ever have planned for yourself. And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing.