It’s been a year since we first stepped foot in the house that is our home.
It was a Saturday, it was an open home, It was very warm and it was the second day that the house had been on the market. Approximately five other couples were looking through the house at that moment, couples with children, parents, grandparents. I couldn’t get out of the place quickly enough.
I was feeling a bit of pressure, we’d set ourselves up to see four or five homes in a few hours and we were driving all over the place. It was a kid-free day for us…and the pressure was on.
By the time we reached this house – number three or four I think for the day, I was a bit over it. We’d visited a home I quite liked. I’m not a shop around kind of girl. When I see what I like – I get it, that might go a fair way to explaining my shoe collection. He, on the other hand does like to shop around he is a researcher and a comparer. The first house (the best to my mind) was on a 3/4 acres block bigger than our Redcliffe spot, it was on a main-ish road, but it was a home with more rooms and spaces than we had in the three bedroom cottage we were living in. And it had a swimming pool, a salt water swimming pool, an entertaining area around the salt water swimming pool … a swimming pool. On reflection the kitchen was kind of small – the lounge room was unusual, not to mention the dining — is it or isn’t it — area.
One of the other homes we had visited had a very large (it was the only selling point) “man cave”. The agent took us straight to what can only be described as a shrine to the 60 plus year old man’s fascination with the female form. I didn’t even enter what was actually a very large shed and probably had the potential to be a very nice space. We told the agent this wasn’t for us and left — nope we didn’t even enter the house. I dreaded to think what was inside the house if this was the selling point. The couple who had arrived at the same time as us had the same reaction. The agent emailed later to ask why we hadn’t been interested. I debated whether or not to point out that telling prospective buyers about a “sanctuary” that upon reaching the entrance, they discover is a shed with 9 foot high posters of semi clad females festooned around the walls, is perhaps not the best way to sell a home. I didn’t — maybe I should have.
Anyway by the time we got to this house (our house) I was a little bit over the whole thing. The couple from the previous house was here as well — we knew from their chat with the agent at the previous place that they were working within a similar time frame — they kind of had to find a home this weekend or life was going to get very difficult.
So it goes without saying when we got here I wasn’t exactly ready to look at anything. The icky-ness of the “man cave” was clinging to me. I was probably also running low on sugar… not a good combo … and I’d had to “do” small talk at a number of houses now. I was a bit exhausted. But we were on a mission. As we rounded the corner into this very nice neighbourhood we joined the three to five cars already parked on the footpath, and headed in. As we walked up the long driveway (something I’ve always wanted) I decided this house was too good – it was going to be at the very top of our budget maybe a little over it – I didn’t like the pencil pines on the driveway… blah, blah, blah.
Then we entered the house where we could see and hear the other groups.
“Ohh, that’s where we’ll put the lounge.”
“Your dining table will look amazing here.”
“This will be Nana’s room when she comes to stay.”
Kids jumping around, “Which bedroom’s mine? Which one’s, mine?”
It was as I attempted to leave one of the bedrooms for the third time, as someone else attempted to enter it, that I decided I’d had enough. I’d had a quick look around, and from what I’d heard one of these couples would be living here very soon, in fact I already felt as though I was trespassing. So after a very quick look around I was ready to leave. I had a quick chat to the agent – out of politeness, I was totally peopled out by this point – then I went out the side door to wait outside for my husband. I didn’t even look at the area where we sit to have our leisurely breakfasts, the occasional cheese platter, or our quiet afternoon coffee.
Thankfully he was not so quick to leave. He looked around properly, he fell in love with the house and the land. We left – all the other groups remained – we had one more house to get to – I don’t recall if we got there or not.
The house I liked was much smaller really, the land was smaller, but there was the swimming pool, well yes the swimming pool and the shed /studio. It had a few things in its favour, but he was not a fan at all – it was close to a busy-ish road and honestly the house itself was a bit of a rabbit warren.
So we had a discussion in the car by the side of the road. He wanted me to have proper look through this house – I wanted to have a swimming pool. He was convinced I liked the other house better because it was going to be good for the kids, and that I wasn’t looking for what would be good for me. He was convinced I was being selfless, I was equally convinced he was being selfish. I told him so – very adult of me. I cried a bit, further evidence of my adult-like behaviour. I didn’t throw a tantrum – not really.
I eventually agreed to look through the house again with no one else around – as an introvert the whole open house thing was all too overwhelming for me. So he rang the agent — I searched for a tissue to dry my tears. He was very straight forward — the house was out of our price range, was it a waste of the agent’s time to meet us back there or not? The agent said “No, meet you back there in an hour.” I was probably silent for a while (that showed him!) We made a deal – “If you get the house you want then you have to promise me that I can have a pool”… no prizes for guessing who said that (her name means gracious- well played Mum and Dad(!)).
The deal was struck – there may have been more tears. He said all he wanted was for me to have something good, he thought I deserved great things – even after my childish behaviour! This house was one of the great things. I was still thinking to myself that it was too good for me, too much for us, and one of the other couples would most certainly be moving their furniture in that afternoon.
Needless to say we went back, we had a look, I still wasn’t completely convinced. But we’d prayed about it – as had many of our friends. And I began to see that maybe he wasn’t being selfish after all.
Exactly a year later here we sit — I feel foolish, that happens fairly often. I know I was settling for the other house – thinking that it would be better than nothing. I possibly was doing so with the air of a martyr. Something I’ve done more than once before, both the settling and the martyr act. Settling, instead of waiting for God’s best is never the best option. In fact it’s a lesson that we (he and I) have learned before.
I am reminded that God has amazing things in store for us and when we settle for less because we fear we’ll miss out, we prevent him from blessing us as He desires. This is true for houses, land, relationships, careers …
This is the first time I have “owned” a home – yes at 38 years of age I signed papers to own a home for the first time in my life. I have waited a while, a long while. And yes, my husband was right – this home was/is the best one for us.
We have space for each one of us, we have space to expand should any of us need to, we have space to relax, space to be creative, to be extroverted, to be introverted, we can get in touch with nature – we even have space to entertain.
We have been blessed and yes I do know that it is only a temporary home for us.
But it is an amazing place and it’s the place that I needed to reach in order to rest.
He was right – I was wrong. I tell him fairly often and thank him for doing what was right instead of what I wanted at the time.
Yes I’ll write it once more – he was right, I was wrong.
He did just what he was meant to as the leader of our home and family. He made a decision for our best.