Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Life with a side of stickers

Every now and again over the course of our life, we run into a patch of stickers. I speak both figuratively and literally. Yesterday after work, I ran into a literal patch of stickers, goat heads to be specific.

The previous renters did not care properly for the yard and as a result, I was met with a bumper crop of stickers along the side of our house. This was not a terrible thing, in fact I rather enjoyed the hour that it took to pull up those little demons. I wore thick leather gloves, but in the process of prying up the larger plants, I still got stuck quite a few times and this morning, my knuckles are full of holes, stiff and swollen.

The pain, though little more than an annoyance, got me to thinking about the figurative stickers in our lives. Whether we planted them, they were the result of carelessness or neglect, or someone else tossed them maliciously into our yard, we all have stickers that poke us and make us less useful and attractive (not physically) than we ought to be.

I really enjoyed pulling out those stickers yesterday. I hate stickers and relished the idea of getting them out of my lawn (even though the lawn is currently dead). This morning I went outside early to see the results of my labor and at work, as I bend my achy fingers, I am reminded that I am well on my way to having a lush green lawn that we will be able to tiptoe barefoot across.

I am less eager to pull the stickers in my life, I fear the pain that will come from pulling them and have actually grow rather comfortable with having them in my life. They keep others from getting to close and though they are painful and unsightly, they are mine.

My God is less impressed with my stickers and has offered to help me pull them. I think that I need to start dealing with my figurative stickers in the same way that I did my physical ones. Put on the thick gloves, and start pulling.

Monday, August 22, 2011

She Said No

Well I asked Kerri... she said no.

The pantry will not contain pants, nor will it be called the foodtry. The laundry however will at times contain pants... but at no time and under no circumstances will my lawnmower be stored in the laundry room.

So, here's the deal. Make no mistake, Let me be perfectly clear. The English language is fundamentally broken and needs to undergo a comprehensive overhaul. I will introduce a sweeping "and largely unintelligible" plan after the Labor day weekend. It wont be easy, but my proposal will be shovel ready and will win the future.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photos of the new Abode

A new look to the blog today, to commemorate the moving into our new house. I should really sign off and go move our stuff in. Lots of painting, raking and scrubbing to be had in our future. I sure am looking forward to turning the new place into our place. I will miss sitting on the the front porch sipping coffee and talking to passers by at the old house though. We will have to come up with a solution for that here.

A few of you out of towners have asked to see the new house. Here are a few pictures. I don't have any outside shots here, but will post some later.

Standing in the dining room looking into the living area. Out to the left is the sunroom and behind the fireplace is the den... my den, no TV, the den will be a quiet reading and working area. At least that is the idea.

From the previous shot, standing at the fireplace looking towards the dining area. The kitchen is behind the counter and the doorway leads to bath and bedrooms. We have two bathrooms! Woo hoo! 

Another shot of the living area looking towards the front door and more bath and bedrooms. That fan is too low for my forehead, it told me so just the other day.

The kitchen with red counter tops. Through the door is the laundry room and pantry. Why is it called a pantry, you don't store pants in there... do you? Maybe I'll be the first one to do so, I'll ask Kerri if I can tonight. Otherwise, I think we will call it a foodtry, or maybe a cantry. Come to think of it, maybe Kerri will let me keep the lawnmower in the lawndry room! I'll ask her about that this evening too. This photo was taken before the roosters invaded.

Another kitchen shot. Notice the tiny fridge under the counter! That is where we will store coffee beans and popcorn. Sarah's science project showed us that the best place to store popcorn is in the freezer... Now you know.

We can wait to move in and have you all over for dinner and games. I'd better get moving.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Welcome Home

Welcome home to us, not to you. Not yet anyway. We signed our lives away to the mortgage company on Tuesday, and just heard today that the seller, who has moved out of town, signed her side of the documents and we officially own a mortgage which allows us to live in a bank owned home for the next thirty years.

We are ecstatic and hope to move in by this weekend. Give us a few weekends to unpack and get settled and then, if you are on our short list of friends we may just invite you over for dinner.

Don't get offended if you don't get an invitation right away. With school starting up, things are pretty hectic at the Christensen house. (I can say that now. We actually have a house).

Monday, August 15, 2011

To Close or not to Close...

Two months doesn't seem like to incredibly long a time, does it? Well, it turns out that the answer depends entirely on what you are waiting for in those two months.

In June we decided that it was time to upgrade our housing situation from the one bathroom cottage we purchased back in 2006 and look for a second bathroom and a house to go with it. This process has made the last two months seem like a mere ten minutes... underwater, without oxygen.

Oh well, I hope that we have learned a little about patience and waiting on God's time. Waiting is hard, really hard. I think I understand how King Saul could justify not waiting for Samuel to come and offer the burnt offering in 1 Samuel 13. I am not saying that Saul was right or justified, I just understand how aggravating waiting can be. God's timing and our timing are not always the same. In my selfishness, I want things now, God doesn't always bend to my selfishness, though I think that He does indulge me more often than I am willing to admit.

When God makes or asks us to wait, I have found that I am ok with it, as long as I know the reason for the waiting or at least can see some point to it. In waiting for this house, I have not seen God's plan. For some reason, He has not chosen to show us why we have waited. He may never and we may never know, we may not need to. But through the relatively insignificant trails and aggravation of waiting for a home sale to occur, I think I have developed a better understanding of why we serve the Living God. He does not answer to me and life is not always rosy and pleasant, but that is not why we serve Him. No, just as I do not love my children because of what they do for me, I need to understand that God does not love me because of my actions and I should not love Him because of what He can do for me. He is an amazingly merciful God who gave His Son in order to adopt me into His family. That is pretty awe inspiring.

I wonder if we need to alter our prayers, where we thank Him for all that He has done, and maybe we should thank Him that He is. He is not named, "I DOES", he is "I AM". And so, maybe, after it is all said and done, I should stop focusing on what is going on in my life and start focusing on who He is, regardless of what is or is not happening. Waiting is still aggravating, but the only thing that focusing on the waiting did was to sap my time and energy from investing in my kids and wife. In the future, instead of constantly checking the email and waiting for the phone call, I think that I will play a board game with the family, read to my daughter, or maybe even take a spin at Mario Carts on the Wii with my son, and not waste the waiting time.

With all of that said, today, after a series of setbacks and extensions, eleven o'clock this morning was supposed to be our closing time. At the last minute, it was pushed back and once again we find ourselves waiting. just waiting, like Dr. Seuss in the book, "Oh the Places You Will Go". And so, today, maybe tomorrow or possibly the next day, we will close on the sale of our current house and hopefully on the same day, we will be able to complete the purchase of the new one. Maybe, but regardless, I am going to spend my waiting time more effectively.

I am a little curious, after we are done waiting for our house to sell and waiting to purchase the new one. What we will wait for next. Maybe the repair man, the auto mechanic, or maybe even the insurance adjustor! Aughh, now I am just scaring myself. Oh well, waiting is bound to happen, I hope that I can learn to wait better.