It’s time to let the cat out of the bag: in just a few weeks, we’ll be exchanging our old mobile home for a new one! This has been a long time in coming. We first tossed around the idea back in January, but it wasn’t until June that we signed the official paperwork, and that only after months of praying, saving, and calculating the benefits and drawbacks of such a drastic change.
As I was packing, sorting, cleaning, and giving things away this week in anticipation of the trade-out, the stress started to get to me. I know that this will be a good thing for us for many reasons, but moving is still difficult. It finally dawned on me earlier today that I am not waiting well.
There are good things about waiting. I honestly love my current home. Despite its rundown appearance, there is much that I will miss. Our separate living and family rooms, enormous front porch, and circular kitchen are all blessings that I won’t have in the new house. I still have a few weeks left to enjoy them. Waiting ensures that we’re not rushing into this decision and aren’t taking things lightly. We have time to crunch numbers, think things through, and save up for moving costs. And, though somewhat cliche, waiting gives me the opportunity to improve on my patience.
I struggle with waiting. I’m not a patient person. Contentment doesn’t come all that easily to me. When I feel completely out of patience with something, there are a few things I’ve learned to do that greatly help change my attitude.
When I’m frustrated, the first thing I try to remember to do is to pray. As simple as this act may seem, it’s my go-to for absolutely every circumstance in life. If I’m honest, I often underestimate the power of taking a few minutes to pray, but as I give over my grouchy feelings to the Lord, He is faithful to give me peace. Even if He doesn’t act in the way that I hope or expect Him to, praying still is an amazing resource that we should never, ever overlook.
While waiting for my new home, I’m trying to be thankful for the things I’ll have to give up, like my covered front porch and separate living spaces. Finding things to be thankful for during seasons of waiting can be hard, but the effort it requires are well worth it. When we purposefully search for things we can be thankful for, it shifts our mind-set from what we don’t have to what we do.
The shower, tub, and one of the two sinks in our master bath no longer work. I can get irritated at the things that aren’t functioning (and trust me, it’s easy to do!), or I can choose to be thankful that we have two bathrooms, the other of which works fine aside from the overhead light (we just use a flashlight at night). And while most other homes of this vintage have only a single master sink, we have two – so the one that doesn’t work isn’t nearly as big of an issue for us.
Change what you can.
There’s not much I can do to speed up the house exchange process. Builders need time to build the new one, so I just need to be patient as I wait. But I can proactively wait – I don’t have to sit here doing nothing. While we’re waiting for the next step, we’ve been busily sorting and packing. Part of my frustration has to do with our disorganized possessions, so during the packing process, I’m taking time to throw away broken items, donate unused things, and organizing what we intend to keep. This has gone a long way toward keeping my mind off of the endless waiting all while producing the benefit of improved organization.
Make do with what you can’t.
I can’t add a third bedroom to this house, which is one of the biggest reasons we’re making the change. We don’t have room in our second bedroom for all four of the spark plugs’ beds, but since we do have the separate living spaces that I like so well, we were able to section off a portion of the living room as a bedroom for Baby D. It’s not perfect – we accidentally wake him up a lot since his room is not enclosed – but we’re making do. We also use our big front porch as an outdoor play space for the spark plugs. They love the fresh air; I love that they have another place to go to keep them out from under my feet.
Keep your eyes on the eternal.
Second only to praying over the issue, keeping my eyes on what really matters is the best thing I can do while I’m impatiently waiting. Yes, the new house will be wonderful with its working plumbing, third bedroom, and mold-free walls, but in light of Eternity, we’re really just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The ride might be a little more comfy in the bigger house, but a new home is not a “be-all, end-all” goal. I shouldn’t be striving for the new home; I should be focusing on living a Godly life until the Lord calls me Home to be with Him. Houses and possessions pale in comparison to living forever with Christ!
Your turn: What do you do when you’re in a season of waiting? What things help you to pass the time and to keep a Biblical perspective when you’re in limbo?