My husband and I bought a house this week. Closed on Monday, keys in hand.
Tuesday, we couldn’t go to the house at all.
Wednesday, the kids and I went over to the house to start cleaning during the morning. We didn’t get very far on the list of rooms. Just the bathroom truly cleaned, walls and all – they were such great workers.
In the evening, we went as a family to pick out paints and supplies for giving our old/new house a fresh look.
My mom, my kids, and I set out to go to our new house Thursday morning. I needed to make 2 stops – each place had a list of 4 things I needed to pick up.
It was in the second store that I realized that I had set us way back by picking up quite a few more things than just the 4 on my list. I wasn’t impulse shopping, but it seems like my mind is always thinking of one more thing we will need.
Even though we were setback in timing, I noticed we all had great attitudes – and that wasn’t something I wanted to damage. I took to heart that we were flexible – that’s not easy for me – and positive about the timing (also not easy).
I thought to myself this setback is a test of my commitment to choose a good attitude. (I’ve been learning a lot about the power of influence my attitude has. More on that another time.)
Left to myself, I tend to be a realist. I plan for worst case scenarios. I’m pretty good at estimating time, and when faced with large projects I get quickly discouraged because I calculate the commitment involved and it makes me want to crawl back in bed. So normally, setbacks bring out the negative side of my view on life.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
This whole process of buying a house has not gone according to what I had thought. The. Whole. Process. So even though we have our very own keys, four-walls, a roof, and land it doesn’t mean that the mindset of waiting patiently is no longer needed.
My attitude has been tested, my commitment to trust that the Lord has a good plan has been at stake. I don’t want to hide flaws in my character, I want to allow these setbacks to confront them, and by leaning into the lesson of being brought lower and lower my trust in God’s goodness grows.
A friend of mine once said while her family was moving out of state that, I just want to move and not sin. I love the determination in her heart to stay true to the Lord and not allow sin to get the best of her in thoughts, words, or actions.
My statement would be that I just want to move and confront my sin right there in the moment. Even if that means walking away from a difficult situation to pray. I know what bottling it does to my heart and I can’t afford to allow it to fester there.
On Friday, while cleaning (and just after sharing this picture on Instagram) I found that the perfectly good looking carpet in our house is disintegrating. Forcing us to decide how to proceed. What was supposed to be a few hour cleaning job to prep for painting became a full-stop setback.
Setbacks always come at bad times. Things take longer than planned. The work is more difficult than expected. My attitude is always a choice – none of these have the power to make me think, do, or feel anything that I know is wrong.
The lesson from this week: Learning how to handle setbacks before they handle me.