Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Series of Unfortunate Events

If Lemony Snicket were narrating this post he would undoubtedly consider it his duty to warn you that this is not a story of 'a happy little elf.'

Without trying to sound too fatalistic or overly dramatic, this past year has just been One. Thing. After. Another.

Seriously, I itemized the last 12 months at work on Friday night, and it looked something like this:

Close relative 'A' makes poor choice which causes close relative 'B' their marriage, their job, and ultimately their home, just weeks after having major surgery.

Close relative 'B', still not recovered from surgery, is forced to find new home; not once, but twice.

After two full weeks of on-the-job training as a Residential Property Manager, said relative is notified on the eve of move-in, that it is 'just not going to work out.' Cancel moving truck. Rescind moving notice. Locate panic button.

Said relative moves in with family... Yeah, that would be us.

Three bedrooms.
Three adults.
Four children.
SEVEN cats.
Two birds.
One baby on the way.

No Partridge.
No Pear-Tree.

Several months.
Cabin Fever.

Three foot long hole in the carpet from 5/7Th's of cats, who are pesumably angry that they were not allowed into the rest of the house. I gave them my room, what more could they ask!?

More Surgery.

Husband's employer's company starts shrinking...50, 40, 30, 20, 12?
You can stop now.
Husband receives pink-slip.
Make that 11.

Baby girl is born--good thing that she is accustomed to close quarters.

Relative finds job/housing.
Daughters move out of kitchen/family/dining/bedroom/homeschool-room-thingy into what used to be The Parent's Room.

Baby is now almost four months old--still no job.
Shrinking savings.
Relative 'B' is overwhelmed by her new job; almost 60-year-old body is not what it used to be.

Mix all this with holidays, birthdays, suicide talk, suicide attempts (relative B), people pretending to have cancer (remember relative A at the top of the list? Yeah, who does that!?!), homeschooling and just-plain-old-trying-to-put-my-home-and-routine-back-together, and I realize why I find myself holding my breath as often as I do.

It is a lot.

It has felt like a lot for a long time now.

Despite this, I still have to smile at my kids and fix them meals. Not to mention the 120 finger and toe nails that need grooming, including my own. Those pesky things are as bad as the weeds threatening my yard.

I remember that God promises to make a way out for us; He says that he will not give us more than we can bear. I feel like I am at the tipping point. It does feel like I'm at my limit. I'm tired. I'm looking for that promise to make my path straight.

Remember the game Mercy? Well mercy, already.

This Friday my husband and I did the math and recognized that we can not possibly hold on to our house any longer. Even if we were to modify our mortgage we would still have too many utility costs. There are doctor bills from the baby to pay because we are living off of what was suppose to cover them. Staying here would mean that when my husband does return to work, it would have to be at the same pay scale, and with unemployment at 16% in our county, our expectations need to be realistic. He may have to change fields completely which means going back to school.

Part of me does want to move because every day that I am in this place I feel as if I am sinking into quicksand. I'm irritated that after seven years here we still have not been able to make it what we wanted it to be. I'm sad to let it go. I had one baby when we first moved in, now we have five. All the trees that are planted, we put into the earth.

 I feel like a failure.

How can you hate and love a place both at the same time?

I just want a fresh start. I don't feel like we could ever recover here.

On Saturday I stopped by some apartments not more than a block away from our home. They were intended to be condos until all building came to a halt last fall; two weeks ago they started renting them.

We have just enough money right now that we could pay move in costs and leave our home in respectable condition. If we don't act, we will begin falling behind on our mortgage, the rest of our bills, and then will have spent anything we might possibly be able to put towards relocating. What do we do about our home obligations though? It does not seem right for Christians to bail out on things they have committed to.

Oi. Where is Miracle Max when you need him? There are castles to be stormed and laundry to be washed.

I was surprised to find the rental office open on the weekend. I took the tour and was very honest with them about the spot we are in. The units are GORGEOUS and would save us about $500-$600 per month, if not more with late fees considered. Our application was approved and if we sign a 15 month lease, we would receive two months free rent. Is this the right thing? Is this the next little piece God is giving us?

I don't like being here at all. Please pray that we would find favor in speaking with our mortgage company, whatever that is suppose to look like. So much to do, and just now I feel paralyzed.

Here is hoping for beauty for ashes.

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