June 22, 2011

Wait Gain

It's a funny thing...timing.

Sixteen months ago we put our house on the market in anticipation of our move in June. In our minds, it was perfect timing. We would sell our house to a perfect family, sail through inspections, close on the house without a glitch, deposit a nice check with profits from our house, and move out just in time to hop on a plane to Singapore without a care in the world.


Instead we learned a huge lesson in timing.

It all started with Buyers #1. They bought our house within the first two weeks it was listed....they wanted it for full price and without inspections (a small red flag...but I like red so we went with it). They were pre-approved....and had a Rottweiler...but they were pre-approved! I made reservations at a local hotel for the month we would be homeless before moving and had all our utilities disconnected the week we were supposed to close. I was amazed at the perfect timing of it all.

And then it all fell apart.

We were frustrated but I took what seemed to be bad timing and figured we were meant to stay in the house until we left Texas and the next buyers would be our perfect buyers.

Buyers #2. We got the offer about a month before we left. I don't even remember the selling price we negotiated, but it was easily $10,000-$15,000 less than asking price. We would still be making a little money on the house and they seemed to be solid buyers. I was at the house when they came to do the inspection so I got to meet them and liked them instantly. I tearfully told them that I felt like they were the perfect family for our home.....we had a sweet moment together.

The day of the inspection I was wearing a t-shirt from a church in Florida that said No Perfect People Allowed. The inspector asked me about it and I happily engaged in a conversation which ended with him telling me that he was a miraculous healer AND had a DVD to prove it. In fact he had a copy in his back pocket and gave it to me as sort of an inspector going away present. I flippantly asked him if that meant he healed any issues he found in our house and he didn't think that was funny.

As he was leaving he asked if I had any prayer requests for him and instead of telling him "no" and letting him drive away in his Hummer, I told him any prayers for protection in our upcoming journey were always welcome. He came back into the house, shut the door behind him, laid his hands on me and started rocking me back and forth while he prayed something that I didn't hear because I was a tad bit freaked out at that point.

Let me just say that I absolutely do believe God heals. I also love when people are willing to approach God on behalf of someone else. I just get a little suspicious when you try to give me a DVD of yourself and then put your hands all over me when you've just been hired to check my roof.

It was strange but I considered it an interesting part of our house selling story and didn't let it discourage me about our wonderful Buyers #2.

The week of closing we were in our hotel in Singapore waiting for our stuff to arrive so we could move into our apartment when we got the call that once again, the closing had fallen through.

I'm pretty sure I stayed in bed the whole next day and had an enormous pity party for myself. I was mad and disappointed and frustrated to the point that I wanted to throw something....and I'm not the throwing type.

I eventually got to the point where I was willing to admit that Buyers #2 must not be who God had in mind for our house because I happen to believe that God is much, much bigger than title companies and loan officers and if He wanted them in the house, they would have been in the house.

I pondered the purpose of God's timing and what that meant for us. The lessons we were supposed to be learning. Patience? Contentment? Self-control?

I may or may not have asked Scot to work on all of those so I could tell God that we had learned our lessons and were now ready for the house to sell so we could move on.

About a month after falling through for the 2nd time, Buyer #3 came along. He low balled us big time, but was willing to pay cash. That meant a quick close and he would buy it "as is" so we settled on a price almost $35,000 less than our original asking price and $5,000 less than what we paid for it.


So maybe the lesson in the timing was to not hold on too tightly to worldly possessions.

Got it.

Closing date was 4 weeks out. 4 weeks came and went and apparently the guy had all his money in Africa and it was being mailed to the states $1 at a time. 8 weeks came and went. 12 weeks came and went and I have now nicknamed this guy "Out of Africa". He lived in London, had his money in Africa and ended up being about $12,000 short which his business partner was going to lend him but then he didn't and then his mom got sick so he couldn't fly to Texas. And then we got tired of his story and put the house BACK on the market.

I am beyond discouraged and at a loss for words when asked about the ordeal. What were we missing? A situation totally out of our control and it all came down to timing. Summer loomed before us and we could take it off the market, rent some furniture and live in it again except I really didn't want to do that.

Maybe God wanted us to keep the house and THAT explained the timing.

Maybe we were serving as a warning to others in some way. Beware of cash buyers with money in Africa and London and stingy business partners.

I honestly had no idea what the issue was.

Now it's May and I'm on the phone with a dear friend who sold her house in a week. I had my big girl panties on that day so I was genuinely happy for her and basking in the notoriety our drama afforded me. She expressed how surprised she was our house hadn't sold and happened to mention that she knew a family that wanted a bigger house and told me she'd pass on the info about our home.

Fast forward 48 hours and that sweet family put an offer in on our home. I liked every single thing I heard about them.....but was understandably cautious that it would happen.

Then I started hearing that still, small voice. The one that won't shout above all the other drama going on in my head.

My timing doesn't always revolve around you.
My timing may have very little to do with you and what you have to gain or learn.
My timing may have a whole lot to do with others in your life.
My timing is always perfect.

A friend of mine told me about her own drama and without pause said "we pulled a Jenkins" in reference to having their first deal fall through. Do I laugh about the fact that our house selling drama has become a new noun? I do...a lot.

Do I get a kick out of the look on people's faces when I tell them we went through 3 buyers before the perfect ones came around? Sure I do.....I get a little enjoyment in the shock value of what we've been through.

Will my realtor and I be bonded for life? Absolutely. She's been an absolute blessing through all of this.

More than that I learned a very important lesson.

It's not always about me.

God's will. God's timing. God's purpose.

It's just not always about me but if I make it about me, I will totally miss all the amazing things He's doing in the lives of those around me.

There's a very good chance I am going to meet the woman who will be making her own memories in a house that held a lot of love for 6 years. I can't wait to give her a big hug...and I'm sure through tears...I hope to tell her that it was worth my wait for her to receive her blessing.

My wait is her gain.

If only that was the only weight gain situation I was dealing with this summer......darn Mexican food!!

June 03, 2011


We are being picked up in exactly one hour to head to the airport. I am BARELY going to make it. It seems that when my DNA was being all figured out, the gene for packing way in advance to eliminate panic and frustration was totally and completely left out.

Yesterday was full of fun, celebrating and saying good-bye....we were all completely exhausted by last night......hence (I do love that word), no blog post. I actually fell asleep on the couch which never, ever happens. Scot finally woke me up and I stumbled into our room and climbed into bed without even brushing my teeth and that NEVER, EVER happens. Seriously. I'm a huge believer in washing my face and brushing my teeth before bed no matter what. I have enough skin problems.....sleeping in my make-up is not on my top 10 list of things I like to do.

Last day of school!

Party at the apartment complex where we had a lot
of boys playing games that required no shirts apparently.

Garrett and Jack

Some of the moms and half a dad
(I had the wrong lens on my camera and didn't get
my friend Dawn either. So missing: half a dad and
the rest of Dawn)

Garrett and the girls
Using self-control in not making any other comments
about this picture.

Baseball on the tennis courts
An amazing picture? Not really. It's just that right after taking this shot I tripped over
a step and went sprawling. My camera lens is now cracked and I officially have my first
non-shopping errand to run when I get back to Houston.
Yeah me.

Dawn had bought hundreds of glow sticks and the kids went diving for them
when it got dark and proceeded to make all kinds of creations with them.
VERY fun idea!!

This next picture makes me a little emotional. Scot gives me a hard time because while Nathan will go for a $10 haircut, I tend to pamper Garrett a little more because....well.....he just has better hair and can wear it long. I love it long. Scot does not like it long. Today, Garrett decided he no longer wanted it long either.


The lady finished the cut and Garrett asked her to please cut it more. I was protesting and he looked at me and told me he was ready for something new. Ready for it to just be different.

And by different I think he meant just about everything that defined this year for him.

So I put on my momma smile and told him he looked amazing and watched a kid walk out of the salon like he had just had 10 pounds taken off of him. I was scurrying around scooping up locks of gorgeous red hair.

Just kidding.

But I really thought about it for a few minutes!

I am officially at the end of this blogging challenge. I have to say that it brings about some mixed feelings for me. It certainly has been challenging and I have not been perfect, but it has forced me to do something that often intimidates me.

I am humbled by and appreciate every one of you that has read my random ramblings. I have enjoyed how much I feel like people are more connected to us and our lives here. For that, it is all worth it!

40 minutes to go and I need to go change my airplane outfit again, take out my contacts with the hope that I will actually sleep, and spend some time hugging on my man that I won't see for a really long time.

I love you guys!!!

June 01, 2011

Ahoy, Matey!

I will be at the airport in 48 hours and have I started to pack? Noooooo

Have I pulled out the suitcases? Noooooo

Am I completely overwhelmed with the thought of packing for 8 weeks? Yessssssss

It has been fun talking to those that are old pros at the going home for summer thing. The tips for how to get everything back here at the end of the summer are worth their weight in gold. My friend Vanessa even brings back frozen items from Sams. But she's a professional having been an expat for more than 10 years....I need to work up to that level slowly so I don't hurt myself.

Every conversation is about when the departure for home is, where home is, and when the return to Singapore will be. How every one of us will be posting pictures on FB of ourselves hugging the Big Red Ball outside of Target in just a few short days. How exciting it will be to not be struck with complete dread when it starts to rain knowing we can just jump in a car and not have to be stranded for 48 minutes because there's no taxi to be found.

Right now, my emotions are all over the place. I'm excited to go home but wondering what it will feel like to be visiting my old life.

Not jumping back into it, but merely visiting it.

I am a little sad to be leaving here realizing that I won't be seeing any of my Singapore friends again until the middle of August. I can't wait to be with friends and family back home. I am sad to be leaving Scot for 7 weeks. I wonder how the boys are going to do. I am excited for the easy and the familiar.

You see? A mess.

My friend Lisa made a brilliant comparison. It's like going home from college for the summer. You leave behind a life that started out foreign and scary but became comfortable - to go home to what is comfortable and familiar but different - knowing that in a few short weeks you'll start the cycle all over again.

It's crazy.

So instead of being responsible and spending time gathering my thoughts and stuff together tonight, I made a big batch of spaghetti and meatballs...had 3 of Garrett's friends over for dinner and then took them all to see the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Imax. 3D. Johnny Depp.

Have I ever mentioned that in Singapore you have a choice between sweet and salty popcorn at the movie theater? And the sweet popcorn isn't just plain 'ol Kettle corn.....it's straight up caramel corn. To make it even better? You can get half and half. It is almost...and I mean ALMOST...enough to make a girl leave out the M&Ms, which no bag of popcorn should ever be without.

And we wonder why all my running has only produced a 3 pound weight loss.

Ok, wrapping this mess of a post up. I have two posts left in my crazy challenge and I think my mission to "get over myself" has certainly been accomplished.

If you question the truth in that? Just go back and read this post again. It's written by a girl that clearly takes herself a whole lot less seriously (and is significantly more scattered) than she did a few weeks ago!


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