Sunday, September 27, 2009

Adventures in Homelessness Part 6

Has it really been 3 weeks since I blogged? It has been more of a roller coaster for me. I spent most of our first day back in Syracuse prowling the University neighborhood and calling phone numbers that I found on houses for rent. I found one about a block from where we were living over the summer and called the number and the man was there showing it at that time so the kids and I ran right over. It was a pretty nice 3 bedroom flat but when I asked how much it was he told me a price far out of our price range. I swallowed hard and said thanks and took an application knowing that we could never afford that much money in rent while Glenn is in medical school. The flat wasn't that nice. I took Glenn to see it and the man seemed really interested in having us come live there since he thought our kids were great and his daughter and grandchild live in the upstairs flat and told us that he would consider taking less a month in rent if we would cover some of the maintenance things around the house.

Knowing that we couldn't afford that apartment we decided to go and look at more houses to buy. We went to two houses that Friday, one was a "no" and the other one was an estate sale a little farther out than we wanted to live that we instantly fell in love with. It needed quite a bit of work but at the asking price we figured we could make it work. We offered the asking price since we knew it would sell that day because there were two other groups waiting outside to get in. On Saturday we went to look at another house that might be a backup plan and found out that our offer looked good but there were at least 6 other offers on the estate house.

On Sunday we went to church and Pastor Mark preached on "Lord Willing" from James 4:13-16 which says, "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.' Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.' But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil." It was a very convicting sermon for me because I had not been thinking "Lord willing" in anything. I had been that arrogant person who made my plans trusting that the plans I made were going to work out, that I knew exactly what tomorrow held. For four different houses at that point I had said, "We are going to buy such and such a house," but my gracious, sovereign God had other plans. We had fun on Sunday afternoon touring the new Golisano Children's Hospital at Upstate and checking out the Wescott Cultural Fair then on our way to a friend's house for dinner we got a call from our realtor telling us that our offer on the estate house was accepted! We were very excited and made a detour on the way back to Joel and Michelle's house to drive by and see it. We were finally going to buy a house, Lord willing!

On Monday while Glenn was at school I was so glad that we had heard that sermon on "Lord willing" the day before and had had 24 hours to let it work in our hearts because we got another call from the realtor telling us that the owner decided to not accept our offer because on the way to her attorney to check out our offer she got another offer that was cash and about $10K more than ours. I was crushed but trusting my God that He knew what was best. On Tuesday Michelle opened up some apartment websites on the internet for me to check out and I looked but did not really found anything in the price range we wanted with a place to store our bikes being a necessity. I went back to orangehousing and found a listing I had never seen before for a 3br, 2bath flat on Roosevelt, the street we had lived on this summer in our price range. I called about it and Glenn went to check it out that night. The landlord was working on it because the bathroom upstairs had exploded and so he is having to completely redo the bathroom upstairs and then fix some walls downstairs so it wouldn't be ready for a couple of weeks because he is only able to work on it on the weekends.

We had a visit from Glenn's Grandma & Grandpa Reynolds from Wyoming from Wednesday to Monday. It was fun to see them since we hadn't seen them in over 3 years. They stayed at a hotel close to where we have been staying that had a pool. The kids loved the pool and it was a lot of fun visiting with them. They even got a suite for us for a couple of nights at the hotel and we stayed with them which was a fun experience.

We went to see one other house while they were visiting us, a foreclosure that was an amazing house for not very much but it was going to require a tremendous amount of work to move into. It was not livable at this point so we decided to say no and say yes to the rental so we could get in sooner. I have been struggling with contentment with the decision to rent. God answered my prayers. Early on in the summer I had said that if we were to find a 3br apartment in the neighborhood that we were living in for less than $700/mo I would take it and live there for all 4 years. God provided that (and we even have a second bathroom!) so why am I so discontent? Buying a house would have been fun and provided us with more space but it also would have provided a lot of struggles and unknown financial expenses and stresses. I think that I am struggling because so many of my friends have been able to buy houses and get this first time home owners credit that is being offered that I really wanted. What is God's best and His plan for them is not necessarily God's best and His plan for me, for us. I am deciding to trust Him that He knows best and that He will take care of us and lead us and guide us day by day as we seek Him, Lord willing.


  1. Caryn Gilbert3:36 PM

    Sonja! I have neglected your blog too long. I would really love to see you again soon! I emailed your gmail address about apple picking this Wednesday in Weedsport with a bunch of moms. E-mail me if you are interested! Or just show up to Owen Orchards at 10:30 for a wagon ride, etc.
    You are all in my prayers!!!

  2. Sonja this was such a nice blog, I read it out loud with Peter, we both enjoyed it and feel for your family. I think what you said about what is God willing for other families might not be God willing for our own families, really made a lot of sense. And I totally agree with you on unforseen expenses on buying a house. With our house in Rochester these expenses kept coming, examples: dishwasher leaking into the basement, dead tree that needed taking down before it fell on our house, no blinds, marital counseling (ha!) etc. With a rental it makes many aspects of life so much easier, so I think your blog really had a lot of spiritual maturity. Keep up your amazing attitude with this major life happening:)


Thanks for reading my blog and commenting!