This time last year, we were homeless. That sounds majorly melodramatic considering we were just in between homes, and never spent a night without our heads on a comfy pillow, air conditioning, or a warm home-cooked meal. Nonetheless, we had closed on the sale of our first house and the closing for our new home was being pushed back further, so technically we had nothing to our name. With three kids, one being only three months old, we moved into the guest room at my in-laws' house and we all lived out of a few suitcases. The kids thought they were on the best vacation ever, my husband had his mother's cooking, and I had helping hands. My in-laws were excellent and generous hosts, but we hadn't lived under someone else's roof in a long time and fear and anxiety sat heavily in our hearts as we owned no home and waited for our closing date.
As we reached the first set closing date (and then the second scheduled closing date), this and that always came up with paperwork or bank details and we were rescheduled to an even later closing date. Holidays are a big thing to me. I like to go all out with decorations and activities and creating an environment of my own in our home that says "special." We spent Halloween, and then our daughter's birthday, and then Thanksgiving..."homeless." In the beginning, all I could focus on was the waiting. I'm not one to ask for help easily, and I always feel like I'm infringing upon others when they are lending a helping hand. Due to my own hang-ups, I cringed opening up someone else's fridge. I hid away to nurse my new baby. Anyone try disciplining your children in front of grandparents?! Ain't no love like a grandma's love...amiright?! Never mind arguing with your spouse, or heck...having sex as a grown married adult under your parents' roof. Oh the horror! 🙈 All that to say, even with gracious and wonderful hosts, the waiting sucked.
Suddenly, I came to a have a chat with God. During the process, how I waited was making me miserable. I began to realize that this was a wonderful scenario. The daily tasks that normally take me away from my family and rob me of time with my kids, were no longer there. I had no house to clean or project to take on. There wasn't yard work to be done or things to be fixed. I tried to help, but in reality my mother-in-law made 99% of our meals, cleaned like a mad woman, and took the kids to school while I stayed in bed nursing the baby. Opening my eyes to the gift of all this free time had turned my waiting in anguish, to cherishing the wait. This newfound revelation caused me to allow the kids to have a huge bubble bath in the middle of the afternoon, or to play a board game with them before dinner. I sat down to eat A HOT MEAL (instead of a cold one after I serve everyone else) more times than I have in all of my adulthood. God revealed gentle blessings that I was overseeing because the wait seemed like punishment instead of enlightenment.
We eventually closed on our home and everyone was actually really sad to not be under one roof anymore (albeit we only moved five miles down the road). I look back now on that time and realize God knew just what He was doing. That waiting period was a time to refocus, to strip down the extra and hone in on what really matters...family. So often in this day and age, we want things yesterday. We've become accustomed to instant gratification. Ever wonder how we waited the five minutes that AOL used to take to load with that annoying dial up sound? Oh geesh, now I get annoyed when my iPhone doesn't take 42 crystal clear pictures of my toddler picking her nose in a matter of 12 seconds. Patience is no longer our virtue. We have lost the art of waiting.
What I learned in the season of being "homeless" was that the wait is so very important. When we wait in limbo, we have time to reflect on the blessings of the past, knowledge to recognize the gift of the present, and perspective to anticipate God's hand in our future. What a great reminder as I enter advent and literally await the arrival of Jesus. He's coming...let's revel in the anticipation. I know, I know...it's like the nine months of pregnancy that everyone tells you to "cherish" as you waddle around peeing on yourself, unable to even see your lady parts, and you think, "How can I possibly do that?" But then you're three months postpartum and missing feeling little kicks in your belly. Those annoying people were "soooooo right." Enjoy the wait. Trust me.
This is Candace. She hates long walks on the beach and would prefer a short drive to get a doughnut. Her creative spirit leaves her husband constantly guessing which room she'll decorate next and her kids requesting elaborate birthday parties. She'll tell you the truth, even if you don't want to hear it. But don't worry, she'll make you laugh to soften the blow. Her heart longs to share the realness of her life and provide someone else a "me too" in a moment of isolation. Words are her thing; she writes to heal. God grasped a hold of Candace as a teenage mama, and she's been desperate for His love and sensitive to His voice everyday since.