Monday, March 29, 2010

Memorial Box Monday, Home Sweet Home

So what is a Memorial Box? Well it's a special place that you put special things in. Things that remind you of a specific time in your life when you've felt the hand of God at work. To read more about Memorial Box Monday's go visit Linny at A Place called Simplicity

This story goes back to 1998. Me, Peter and Olivia were living in a small two bedroom apartment. We didn't have much money, ( did we ever? LOL) but we were happy. The biggest problem in our lives was a very mean upstairs neighbor. The apartment we lived in had no insulation so unfortunately you could hear every little move anyone else made. We all knew that so just made the best of it. We had a really nice neighbor downstairs who told us not to worry, he said we didn't make any noise.

As soon as this certain upstairs neighbor moved in things took a turn for the worst. Now being the third floor and a tiny apartment, the only people who would rent it were young "kids". They were always loud, and had parties all night. It was annoying but if we asked them to quiet down they usually did. It wasn't great but we dealt with it. As I said we didn't have a lot of money and the rent was really cheap and the apartment was in a good neighborhood and we had a nice backyard.

But this new one was different. I hate to say she was evil, but the hairs on the back of my neck would stand up whenever she was around. I seriously got the chills. She immediately started to complain about us. One day I shut my window, and I heard a stomp on my ceiling. No way! Did she just stomp on the ceiling because I made too much noise shutting my window? Well I went to another room and shut another window. YUP, another stomp. That's when I knew we were in big trouble. things like this started happening on a daily basis. We even went upstairs to try to remedy this problem. I mean she was above us! We had to deal with her stomping around on hard wood floors all day and night. She would have long and detailed phone conversations at 2:00am. Way too much info!!! I knew more about her than her parents probably did. So when we went up to speak to her and explained that we could hear her too, we hoped that she would realize it was the way the house was built and not just us being purposely noisy.

Nope! There was no reasoning with her. She continued to go out of her way to make noise at ridiculous hours. It's like she just hated us. Complaining to the landlord didn't help. We found out they were friends with her parents. Meanwhile Sophia was born. The first time she saw her, ( I bumped into her on my way out one day) She asked "When did you get that" THAT!!! Oh my goodness, who says things like that?

She basically made our lives a living hell for about two years. It got so bad that it started to take a toll on my health. I was a nervous wreck. I would take toys away from Olivia that made noise, I would have to hold Olivia because she was afraid of her. When I was in bed at night and would hear her car pull up outside I would get so nervous that I would get pains in my legs. Sharp , sharp pains.

Believe me we wanted to leave but just didn't have money to pay more rent anywhere else.
One day, the day that changed everything, Sophia fell. She was just learning to walk, she was 10 months old. She plopped on her butt in the kitchen. I immediately heard the neighbor yell " F***in' loser!" That did it, I snapped! I ran upstairs and unloaded on her like you wouldn't believe. I don't even remember what I said but it wasn't nice. I had , had enough. I then went and called the landlord, and unloaded on to their answering machine. Again a very colorful message was left.

Well about a month later, we got eviction papers! Yes the nice family who just wanted to live in peace were getting the boot. They gave us a made up excuse that we had too many people living in the apartment. Yeah, just the same ones for the past five years. Whatever! We were freaked out, me more than Peter who is the calmer of the two. We searched frantically for another apartment. Nothing, nothing and nothing.
I don't remember how but somehow we were directed to a mortgage broker. I just remember thinking we are wasting time. We were being declined by people who were checking our credit, and that was just to rent. We would never qualify to buy. It was a ridiculous thought. Peter didn't listen to me, probably realizing we were out of options. The people that would consider renting to us wouldn't once they heard we had two cats... and two kids!

We applied for a pre- approval and held our breaths and prayed! We heard back... APPROVED!
OK, we had three weeks to find a house, get a mortgage, and have a closing. No problem right?
Ignorance was my friend back then. Knowing what I know now about real estate as my husband is a broker I know it is almost impossible to do all that in three weeks.

We started hunting, we had a sweet agent show us houses in our price range. One night I was looking on line and saw this cute house on a pretty street. I could see it had a three season sun room and a yard. I just loved it. But for some reason I dismissed it. Probably price.

We went out with our agent again, we saw house after house after house. But none were right for us. Not that we were being picky, but they were just not right. I was loosing hope. We pulled up to another house. It looked familiar to me. It was pretty, and on a pretty street, and it had a sun room. Couldn't be... could it? Was it the house I saw on line? I didn't tell anyone about it. I didn't tell our agent . Only God knew how I loved this house. I'm in complete tears as I right this. I remember walking inside and feeling like I was home. Olivia and Sophia started laughing and playing. I can still see them running around the empty kitchen. I looked at Peter and said, "I know this house, I've seen it before."

Well the rest is history. Three weeks later we were the proud owners. Thanks to some really fancy foot work from our mortgage broker. We said adios to the neighbor from hell and lived happily ever after.
Remember those pains I said I used to get in my legs when I would hear her come home at night? It took about a year for me to relax at night. Every time I would hear a car when I was in bed I would get those pains. I would have to talk to myself and remind myself that it wasn't her.

We say now that Jesus went house hunting for us. And looking back, if she didn't push me over the edge that day and I didn't go off on her and ultimately get us evicted who knows how long we would have stayed, not believing we could own our own home. And how ironic that my hubby is now working in real estate!!

This is one of the most incredible things Jesus has done for us. It's not possible to pull that off in three weeks. It normally takes at least a month to get the mortgage approved,I've seen closings take months and months. I also have come to realize that, that was about the smallest window of opportunity for us to buy. The market was great and banks were giving mortgages to just about everyone. Jump ahead a few years and here you have the onslaught of foreclosures. Most of those people in reality couldn't afford the price of the mortgage. If we applied for a mortgage before or after that brief period we would never have been approved. I truly believe Jesus knew it was a now or never time for us and we just were not making that move on our own. So he gave us a little push. in the form of an eviction notice, LOL

One funny thing that happened right after we moved in, the listing agent came to take his For Sale signs back. He was very nice, he knocked on the door and congratulated us on our new home. Then he asked me if I was a Christian. Well I thought he asked me if I was Christine. So I said "no, I'm not". He looked at me a little funny and said "oh, I'm sorry I just thought you were because you have the symbol of the fish on your car". ( a sure sign of a Christian) I then realized I had heard him wrong." OH, a Christian! YES, YES, I'm a Christian,I thought you asked me if I was Christine"! We stood there laughing and laughing...

So when I get my Memorial Box, in it there will be a miniature For Sale sign. With a sold written across it!


Lacey said...

What a great story! I do believe things will just fall into place! I'm hoping that will happen with my baby girl!

Mom Of Many said...

I am sooo proud of you for doing a Memorial Box Monday post. Imagine how the Lord was smiling knowing that you were about to be evicted and be upset, etc, and He had a big surprise for you just waiting - how cool is that? Love it!! xo

Kelly said...

What a wonderful story! Sometimes, there's nothing "mysterious" about how things happen......they are very well planned (His Plan)!!

To Love Endlessly said...

What a fantastic post! I'm so thankful God gave you that much needed push to get away from that nasty neighbor of yours. What an absolute blessing from above!!

Lori said...

Awesome story! I don't think I will ever get over the creativity (and faithfulness!)of our God.
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good..." Genesis 50:20

Tausha said...

Great story, thanks for sharing.

mandd3 said...

What an awesome story! I just love the God things that happen in our lives. I am so ashamed that I was in my mid-30s before I started really paying attention, but also very grateful that I didn't have to wait until my mid-50s. Love the Memorial Box Monday idea.

The VW's said...

What a great story! Although, it reminded me of the days that we were living in a 3 floor apartment, poor as can be, and our neighbors were ruining our lives! I don't miss that place at all!

Isn't it amazing how our lives just work themselves out? What a blessing to know that God has our future planned out for us already! Thanks for this reminder! Hugs!!!

scrappy quilter said...

What a wonderful story of how God takes cares of all our needs. I love it!! Hugs

Kat said...

Just got a chance to start reading Memorial Box Monday posts and LOVE to see how God provides! Thank you for sharing!