Thursday, January 7, 2016

That time I got over myself and said, Yes!

Y’all, I’m so prideful, but I love when God moves above and beyond and around me. I love when my eyes are opened, and I see him patiently waiting. There’s no foot tapping, watch checking, or brow-raising. 

A smile. A wink. A gentle, “Are you ready now?”

Last summer—June 7 to be exact—we came home from a trip to find our upstairs carpet soaking wet and our downstairs ceiling falling out from the standing water. 

No big deal. Isn’t this is why we have insurance?

Then we found out we had mold—and not just a little mold that you throw some bleach on, but like a whole section of mold that had to be professionally treated.

And, these geniuses didn’t have mold coverage. (Who needs it in our dry West Texas climate?)

So instead, we took estimates, and I started breathing in a bag because suddenly we were going to be paying $30,000 just for the mold abatement.

I didn’t blog about our predicament. I didn’t post pictures on Facebook or Instagram of the ugliness. (We only post the pretty stuff, right?)

I wanted to crawl into the fetal position and close my eyes and hope that when I opened them, it would all be fixed and repaired and my house would be normal again.

I won’t go into all the lessons from our little leaky, moldy experience. (Abridged version: I learned more than I wanted about waiting and trusting God with the unknown, and God saved the day in so many ways through amazing people who did not charge what those original estimates were.)

But I want to focus this post on the connection between a woman’s heart and her home. Until recently, I did not realize how delicately intertwined these were.

I’m an introvert, and proudly so. I’m not a big crowds person. I’m not even a party person. But I love having people in my home. I love cooking and serving and having fellowship and meaningful conversations with a small group of people.

It’s how I connect.

But after June 5, I was too ashamed of my house, embarrassed by the ceiling and the holes and the mess everywhere.

Although the mold was taken care of the very next week, our house wasn’t “put back together” until, well, now. (And the truth is, our upstairs room still isn’t finished. *grimace*)

In the room upstairs, the walls and ceiling had to be torn out and re-done, and in the living room downstairs, the ceiling had to be re-done—none of which happened until September (i.e. 4 months later).

In our den, we had a whole different problem that also required waiting for repairs. Our roof was (finally!) partially repaired in October, and since then until now (i.e. another 3 months later), we’ve had plywood boards covering part of the ceiling.

If you saw it all, consider yourself family because what I’m trying to say is this:

My house was in disarray (and I don’t mean junk mail piles) for over seven months, and for over seven months, I did not invite anyone over for coffee or lunch or dinner or anything. That's more than half the year, y'all!

My connection levels tanked.

So here’s where the really humbling part comes in…

In October, we were asked if we wanted to host for life group again. The truth is, my spirit immediately said, “Yes! I miss hosting!” And my heart said, “Uh, but my house?”

So I pushed back on that—even though my sweet hubs thought we should do it.
I told my closest friends, “But, my house??”

They nudged me and offered repeated replies like, “Oh Laura, no one cares.”

In the midst of this, the person we were waiting on to do the last ceiling repairs—you know, the room with the plywood inside—told us he could come in mid to late January, which would most certainly be after life groups started.

I pushed back a little more.

And then finally, when the decision had to be made about hosting, I did something I hadn’t done yet.

I surrendered. And I cried a little. And I repented for being so vain and superficial. And I said yes to whatever God wanted for us.

And my sweet Heavenly Father showed me my heart and my home, woven together. While there was some ugliness (and vanity) there, my heart was also genuine in wanting to serve others not with the disheveled mess but with only the best of me, my heart and my home.

I forgot that He makes everything beautiful.

So that was November, and since then I finally resolved that come January 6, we would open our house for life group, plywood ceilings and all.

Despite that we were “under construction,” I prayed that God would move in our hearts and in anyone’s heart who entered our home.

In other words, I got over myself, and I let it go.

And you know what? Over Christmas break, our amazing contractor called to ask if he could come earlier. (I cried.)

By January 6 at 7 p.m., my plywood was gone. My home was warm and welcoming again.

I am still a little saddened that I let 7 months go by without inviting anyone into my home. But I’m thankful for the lessons I learned in this season—about waiting, about living in the midst of uncertainty, about humbling my pride, and best of all, about seeing God move.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here’s an ugly picture from the upstairs room. (Apparently I couldn’t even bring myself to record pictures of the plywood.) 

Now that I’m all humbled, who wants to come over?

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