The folks at postaday asked us to list for them our top posts for the year. Since my Internet still has issues with the idea that I am trying to USE it, I thought I would repost this one for those who may have missed it. Hope you like it; it got scads of views!
Reclaiming the Dream
I remember a dream house we moved into, once, that required walking through a nightmare before we could really own it. In a job relocation, we had looked everywhere for anything that would contain us all and that was not affected by the housing bubble. Funny, although it was the only house we could afford, it was clearly the biggest we’d ever seen. I mean, 4000 square feet with 7 acres far exceeded our hopes, in my favorite layout: an A-frame with wings. I thought it was a dream come true.
On closing day, our realtor apologized for having to board an airplane immediately for a business trip. A lie? Maybe, but certainly convenient for the realtor. The sellers skipped town, too. Our sold house was 400 miles away. The new job beckoned.
The promised cleaning had not happened. In fact, the house was far dirtier than at the showing. Everything unwanted from the attic lay strewn all over the game roomfloor—three garbage bags full of it. The kitchen looked like a murder had happened there. Probably someone had just dragged leaky packages of ground beef across the floor to the fridge when someone slipped and nearly fell in it. And had not wiped it up. Of course, the promised professional carpet cleaning existed only in the land of promises-promises. The finale for the day probably was the cat litter and feces on the dining room carpet and the animal barf on the laundry room floor. That is, until I lifted the nasty, old, wet, cleaning rag from the kitchen sink and found inside it a huge dog clunker. I screamed and nearly passed out, grabbed a plastic bag, and hurried the mess out the front door. And bleached absolutely everything while crying.
What followed was a month of the unbelievable. We mastered spot-treating carpet. I would steam clean every night until I could not remember how to turn the machine off, usually around 2 a.m. We learned how to remove vinyl wall-paper glue with a knife. We used five coats of sealer/primer on the purple paint. I list only part. No one believes the rest. Or cares, usually. Let’s say “the dream house became a nightmare.”
BUT—God went before us. Constantly we found signs of His loving approval. The perfect wallpaper in NEUTRAL colors went on sale for $4.00. A wonderful furniture salesman helped us find honest repairmen. We thank God, often, for the fact that of all the things that did not work, the smoke alarms did, since there was a fire, one night.
God blessed, protected, and boosted us as we slipped into this hard place. He gave us joy and strength as we plowed through insurmountable difficulties. One by one, each small space was ours, by right of conquest.
Lately I’ve been thinking about myself when the Lord first moved into my being. I think I know a bit about how He felt.
But He’s been up late, nights.
I am His by right of conquest.
2 thoughts on “Most Popular Post, So Far”
Oh my! What joy? What a nightmare! I’m thankful that you recognized the Presence who was standing beside you and holding your hand in the midst of the mess. A bittersweet memory.
Oh, that is true, dear friend! It was an amazing trial, that we’ve had only once before, on a smaller scale. You would not believe how horrible some people will leave a house. We found out, later, that the mom of this family was on drugs, which explains a lot of the pure filth and insanity, if you consider she probably spent most days in hell, where filth and insanity comes from.
Sometimes we were so tired that first month, that we would just sit down and have a cold drink and do nothing for a few minutes. I really worked the kids too hard, but we were almost pioneers, that month and it was an emergency.
I think of it now, and realize I made my kids clean up some other mom’s huge mess and insane wallpaper choices. It wasn’t fair to them, but I arose before they did, cooked and laundered for them, and stayed awake long after they retired at night, so I guess I took the brunt of it, while husband was learning his new job at work. Oh, it was hard.
But it became a sanctuary for us in a land that did not accept newcomers. For that, I was so thankful.