Saturday, January 22, 2011

Re-Store

So our house is really right across the street from Vu's parents. This is such a blessing because of all the help they give us with Ransom. Ran likes the short walk, too.


We saw True Grit last night. The Celebrate Recovery service was canceled because of the weather and we could have spent the whole evening working on the house, but we thought we should use the time to enjoy each other's company for a while. Sometimes when you're working so hard on your recovery from a life crisis, you forget to take the time to just feel normal.


The movie made me think a lot about what it means to struggle with injustice and how it should be handled. I do believe, without giving anything away hopefully, that when you seek revenge you lose a part of yourself and a part of your innocence. It's also a lack of faith in God, though I don't want to see that sometimes. If we believe God is in control, the best thing we can do is leave the people who have hurt us to their own devices, knowing that God is taking care of things. If we step in and try to take care of things by ourselves, what does that say about how we think about our God? I know I need to also pray mercy on my enemies and seek understanding, and I'm working toward it.

One of the things I regretted losing when Vu lost his work was our ability to go to the associate store, to find cheap deals. Instead of giving up and dwelling on what we no longer have, though, we found something even better. Re-store. And the money we spend there goes to Habitat for Humanity, not some corporation. We got so excited when we walked in because we found all these beautiful light fixtures at amazing prices. We wanted to replace the old fan in the living room with a big chandelier, but at Lowe's they run about $300-$500 dollars.








This we found for $50 at re-store, and the picture doesn't do it justice. I think it will totally improve the space. Lighting is such a huge part of decorating. It makes everything feel bigger and sets the mood when done well.




We had picked out a cheap kitchen faucet at Lowe's because the one in the kitchen desperately needs to be replaced. We didn't have much of a budget, though. We sprang for the $40 one. Well, my oh my, on our way out of re-store, look what Vu found:





Beautiful brushed bronze (which we are using throughout the house when we can) only twenty bucks, and a million times prettier than the one we had before--now returned, of course. We found the exact one at Lowe's the next day. $140 dollars! God is blessing us continually, in big things and small.

More finds to come, and pics of how they're lookin'!

You're welcome to comment if you're out there, with ideas or thoughts or just a hello! The encouragement is always appreciated. Love you all.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Keys, New Life

My husband and I are making a fresh start. After having our precious baby boy, the most stable, inspiring part of our lives that I think pulled us through a lot of painful circumstances, everything seemed to happen at once. Diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer for my age and demographic, major surgery and major recovery, and then selling our home. And just when things seemed to be calming down, my husband lost his job. My original writings about this went into more detail but I don’t think it’s necessary to post them. Suffice it to say that I was hurt more deeply by one of his ex-coworkers than I’ve been hurt by anyone in my life, and that although he did very wrong and he broke company policy (but not alone), the way things happened was in my feelings by no means kind or fair. And though I’ve had strong suspicions of vindictiveness and personal gain, trying to figure what was going through peoples’ heads is not really possible and certainly not useful unless I want to drive myself crazy. People will reap what they sow whether or not I see it or know it. I’ve had to sort out a lot of dishonesty, exaggerations, misquotations and angry justifications. None of his ex-coworkers, most of whom he’d created positions for and strived to help in any way he could, called to console our family. It seemed they stepped right over the causality and continued on their way. The good news is, though, is that God used this painful experience of rejection and humiliation to help us re-invent our lives and discover our true friendships.

We had felt stuck, and my husband wasn’t happy with his work life but was scared to leave the security of his corporate job. God used an unlikely event set off by the weaknesses of several people to get us on the track we needed to be on. We had just sold our home, so we were technically left destitute. My husband was turned down for unemployment and we lost our health insurance—something that was scary because we have a baby and because of the health issues I’d been through. In reality, because of our financial situation, the homelessness was a blessing. We moved in with my husband’s parents—something we had planned to do temporarily while we looked for a new home and saved for a down payment, anyway, because ours had sold much more quickly than expected (in less than two months), and lo and behold, my husband got a job working from home! This was something we’d been dreaming of for a while. I’m a freelancer and to be freelancing together seemed like a great dream. We’ve been best friends ever since we first started talking and will choose to be close in proximity any chance we have, even if we’re just sitting quietly together, working.

At first I had no idea when and how we’d end up in another home. We wanted to live near my husband’s parents because of all the help they give us with our sweet boy, and we loved their neighborhood in particular. On one of our morning walks (it’s a great neighborhood for walking) we passed a house that looked empty. What was that in the window? We went to inspect. Sure enough, a foreclosure. After a couple of months of prayer, deliberating, hoping and despairing, trying to control the situation and finally giving up control, God blessed us with this house. It looked sad, dingy, dark and cold inside, but it had potential. Not unlike we’d felt inside our hearts over the past several months. We got the keys last Wednesday and our reinventing efforts have been some of our most therapeutic yet. Color is very meaningful to me, and here’s what I found myself choosing to cheer up the walls: Medici Ivory, Divine White, White Duck, Crème, First Star… see a pattern here?

“He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes.” Psalm 147:16

God is giving us a new beginning, and here in this new home we have a physical symbol of rebuilding our family. The first time we stepped into the house as owners, we stopped in the entry, joined hands and prayed. It’s God that holds a family together, and nothing else.