We spent a month getting our house ready to sell. The uncertainty of the crazy market had us doubting we could come out with any kind of profit on selling our four-year-old home. So we scoured and staged from top to bottom. If there was something we could do with minimal expense to increase the likelihood of a sale, we did it. Half of my garage was filled floor to ceiling with "excess." My house was immaculate, appealing, and spacious, and I dreaded keeping it that way as long as would be necessary with four children and no husband to help. My anxiety was tangible.
You see, amidst that hard work, we also prepared to send my husband off for training and deployment. He's a reservist, and he's been activated. We bought what he needed and wanted, and he packed his gear three separate times (no kidding). He managed one-on-one dates with each of our children and took me out every Saturday night for a month. We rewrote our wills and prepared powers of attorney and sold his car. I took fresh pictures of each of the kids with their dad and bought frames that could record his voice. There were tears.
And then, the next time I doubt the Lord's generosity, I want to remember this particular week...
Day 0 - After a day of last things, we stuck the for-sale sign in the front yard and fell into bed exhausted. The house was officially listed for sale that evening. We were packed to leave the next morning to drop off my husband for pre-deployment training.
Day 1 - Having vacuumed our pretty carpet lines and set out the fancy towels, we left home and drove four hours to deliver things to the armory, his new civilian office, and ultimately my parents' house while the first house showing occurred. I received an email with feedback that night from that first showing that said, "Clients liked it and are submitting offer." Boom.
Day 2 - I dropped my husband off at the armory at sunrise. More on that goodbye another time. Around lunch we received an offer from the first showing; it was low and unacceptable. Meanwhile another showing was scheduled. Feedback from that one asked if we would accept a much higher cash offer to close in two weeks. (I will not write about my mental response to having to get out of my house in two weeks, because it involved cursing.) We were glad people like our house; we like it, too.
Day 3 - Realizing we may be moving sooner than expected, my daughter and I toured the only two apartment complexes within 15 miles of my parents' home that have four-bedroom units available in the next two months. (I had planned to get a more affordable three-bedroom, but my generous parents are upgrading our temporary accommodations.) We learned the second showing guy was a realtor who wanted to flip the house, so we told him to submit an official offer if he wanted us to consider it. Meanwhile, our realtor discussed a more appropriate offer with the first showing family of five (yes, I googled them).
Day 4 - By the end of day four, we had a signed contract for our full asking price with a bit of closing cost assistance and had decided to apply for the gorgeous first apartment we visited, partly because my daughter loved the pool. It would be ready the week of our closing date, the same week my brother had already planned to fly to our house for a visit. As one friend said when I told her about these dates all aligning, "God is just showing off, now." For a moment that night, we had second thoughts about the expense of the apartment. Maybe we could get a house for that much?
Day 5 - I spent a few hours researching rental houses in the area and nearby on-base housing. I even visited a rental house with a landlord willing to do a short-term lease, but none were in an area I felt safe alone with the kids. So that afternoon I completed the online application for that first apartment.
Day 6 - We were approved for the apartment, and spent most of the day visiting and playing with dear friends who live only a couple of miles away from our soon-to-be apartment home. My kindred-spirit friend listened and loved on me while our children played; we even had margaritas with our Taco Tuesday lunch! Afterwards, I took all the kids to see the apartment complex, and my oldest son, of course, noticed the stock of candy at the coffee bar in the clubhouse!
Day 7 - The children and I drove home to our "under contract" house without the stress of keeping it pristine at every moment. It was odd to walk in the door, knowing my husband wouldn't set foot in the house again. At the end of day seven, I fell into bed exhausted.
Yes, because God can move mountains when he wants, we are selling our house to the first buyers to view it on the first day it was available and moving into the first apartment we viewed. Throughout all of this, my husband and I were able to text regularly (which was a pleasant surprise), so he could weigh in on each decision. But in the end, it's absolutely clear that God is in control, and we are not.
Friends, family, and readers, feel free to direct me to this post the next time I freak out!