Sunday, May 20, 2007

What to write about?

I usually have a few ideas about what I want to write about but I feel like I have writer's block. I got a weird comment from an "anonymous" person that said some hurtful things and I have been pretty uninspired since. Well, maybe self conscious is a better choice of words.

God has been speaking to me about how I need to trust in His love for me and to not let what other people think of me become an idol in my life. That is something I have struggled with my whole life I think! Oh, to be free from that!

I can't believe we are moving in 16 days! Our house still looks the same as it did 2 months ago. No boxes packed. Zero. None. I won't really be able to start packing until Friday and by then we will only have 1 week left to get the whole house packed before the moving truck arrives at our doorstep. I realized this this afternoon and have spent the rest of the day trying not to freak out about it. One week! One week? ONE WEEK!!! That is what is going through my head.

Speaking of the house....still NO movement on the house. We have not had anyone come and see the house since April 1st. 6 weeks. It is beginning to feel really pointless to keep the house clean and picked up all the time since no one comes to look at it. We had an open house, we have a great virtual tour online, great pictures, flyers in front of the sign, an add in the paper and those moving magazines you get at the grocery store. We reduced our price by $4K and are selling at a price that is competitive/lower than some of the foreclosures in the area. And still nothing.

I know that God is doing something even though I can't see it. God is faithful and has called us on this journey so we will not FEAR and we will trust Him regardless of how long it takes our house to sell. I have to admit that I thought we would have more movement than we have had. I think I was pretty realistic about it taking a while for the house to sell but I didn't think it would be this slow. It is very tempting to be afraid that no one will come and see the house for months and months on end and that this house will become our enemy.

Do you know something ironic? When we lived in San Antonio we bought a house in the inner city. It was a lovely house and we have so many great memories there. People cautioned us not to buy a house in the inner city because we would lose $$ and that it was an unwise way to use our money. We wanted to live in the inner city because we wanted to love and serve the least of these and because we felt like that is what God wanted us to do at the time. When you live in suburbia it is easy to ignore the poor and needy but when you live right next to them you get lots of opportunities. It was also affordable housing for us. We felt like we were following God's direction in our lives and were willing to risk losing some of our money because it was for God's kingdom. Well, when we sold our house in San Antonio to move to Dallas, we ended up making a decent amount money on the house. It was almost as if God blessed our decision to follow him and take that risk.

When we decided to move to the subarbs in Dallas we didn't hear the same cautionary statement from people. No one warned us that it was a risky move financially and that we would lose money on the sale of our house or that we shouldn't do it because it was dangerous to live there. I find it ironic (and humorous) that it is entirely possible that we may lose money in our investment of this house. I think we get caught up too much about what the world thinks about money and too many times end up making decisions based on loving money rather than loving God.

I am not saying that I choose loving God over loving money all of the time or even most of the time--it is something that I struggle with. Every time I do a Bible study on what God says about money I am convicted. Money is one of those subjects that gets people's blood pumping. Our old boss said the three biggest things married couples fight about are money, sex, and in-laws. Money has been our top contender. We have learned about how to talk and communicate about money but we have had some pretty big blow outs over the subject. It felt like a real victory the first time we were able to talk about our budget without me crying or getting angry.

Once we figured out that we brought different values and perspectives on money from our own families it got easier. It still amazes me that what you are taught about money as a kid will have a major impact on your marriage. Even if your parents never sit and talk with you about money you will still take away values based on what you see your parents DO with money. As a kid you pick up on what is important when it comes to money (saver, spender, giver? talk about it, don't ever talk about it). It makes me think about what values I want our kids to have about money.

I thought I didn't have anything to say but apparently I did. Do you think our old boss was right, are money, sex, and in-laws the 3 things married couples fight about the most?


Grace said...

what is this i hear about people writing hurtful comments on your blog?!?! big GRRRRR...

we'll be praying that your house gets sold ASAP!

hmm.... definitely money, sex, and communication (how we speak to each other - words, tone, etc.).

Dr Eric T. Klitwerker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kelly said...

I totally agree with every satement you made in this post! I am still struggling to let the Lord "renew my mind" about money - in every aspect. My husband and I have had the same kind of discussions, where I'm crying or angry or BOTH! :)

This house deal is part of your journey of faith...I'll be praying for you and Jon as you trust Him and continue moving forward. Blessings to you all.

And continue to fight the temptation to be affected in your core by criticisms and unwise comments. Sometimes even those of us who are supposed to be friends and family can unwittingly say things that the enemy uses to bring discouragement. Stay strong, sister!


Sharon M said...

What about the whole "toothpaste tube" quandry? :-) I think that could make the list at #4, especially if he's a "middle of the tube" guy and you're a "squeeze from the bottom" girl.

Of course, the simple solution to that is to buy the pump kind...

Sharon M said...

Seriously though, I guess children could go up there too, although that might tie into sex.

Kelsey said...

I really hope that whoever gave you a hurtful comment won't come back here any more. That really sucks. You are a great writer and I love reading your blog! Especially since you guys are moving away soon, I'm very happy that this is one way we can keep in touch.
It must be hard to trust God right now, but you are doing a great job. I'll be praying that things will get worked out.
Dan and I fight more about money now that I am not working. I know I shouldn't think like this, but I still feel like the money he makes is his money that he is graciously sharing with us. Any time I make Bradley money I just want to put it away in a little account of my own and buy stuff I want with it... As much as he says it isn't true, I know that his wants (recording equipment ...etc) takes precedence over mine (digital SLR, finish my tattoo). Oh, yeah, and sex is just so personal how can you not argue about it every once in awhile?

Anonymous said...

I've heard it said that when people fight about money, they actually are fighting about different value sets, just like what you were talking about. Still praying for your house to sell...just remember, it doesn't take a hundred people to see your house, just the right ONE and it could be sold! Miss you and love you, Monica

amelia said...

Sharon-We have one of those tube compressor things that slide down the tube as you use it and keep it squished. It was never an issue for us but one thing I do that has caused some tense moments is that I forget to tighten the lids on kitchen items--like salad dressing. So Jon will go to reshake the salad dressing and if I forgot to tighten the lid then salad dressing goes everywhere. He has learned not to pick up things by the lid because it might only look like it is really on. I have discovered that I do tighten them when I put the items back in the pantry or fridge but for whatever reason if I know that I will be using it more than once I don't screw the lid on all the way. You can imagine the tension when salad dressing ends up all over someone's head and the floor!

Amanda said...

this isn't exactly related to your post, but I wanted to vent anyway.

Daniel and I did hear lots of concerns and cautions about us living in the inner city. We never had any problems the two years we lived there. Now we live in suburbia and our wooden bear, Bob, was stolen from our front door last night! I am so bummed!

Who said there was a difference? I haven't found much.

Anyway, I am praying your house sells!

Sharon M said...

I was thinking more about the children issue and I think it definitely deservers a place up there on the list, b/c it's not only about having children, but also how to raise them, interact with them, etc, which is a HUGE topic and can be potentially divisive if things are not discussed first.

Going back to the $$ issue, a lot of muslim women here, if they earn extra from their job, or if their husband gives them, say, a weekly allowance to take care of household expenses, and they have some left over, they usually save it for themselves. Of course, they have to worry about their husbands divorcing them and leaving them with nothing, or taking a 2nd wife and refusing to take care of the 1st one (which does happen, even though it's technically not supposed to).

grace said...

who are these strange people going on your blog?

amelia said...

Sharon- I totally agree about the children thing being a potential top 3! We have had LOTS of conversations about parenting and how we want to do discipline, what boundaries to set etc. Thankfully it hasn't been a huge area of conflict for us but I think that is because we tend to have the same ideas and values when it comes to parenting. We are able to approach any disagreements without our hackles being raised before the conversation begins. I know some people who this is a pretty big issue for.

That is interesting about the women where you are. It would be tempting to skimp on household items to save more "just in case". Do women feel secure in their marriages?

Anonymous said...

Women always need a little "mad money" bggry

Anonymous said...

Hello my M & M friend!

I usually lurk but tonight I will comment. First of all, I will miss you when you won't be with us next Fall at M&Ms. Your spiritual maturity has been a gift to me. You serve Him well and the verse you heard God speak for me keeps coming back to me over and over. I love you for listening for me. You are a treasure.

Oh to be more like you! Remember 2 years ago when Dave and I prayed about buying a house without having sold our other one? I felt everything you are feeling. It was scary b/c I was so certain we had heard God correctly to step out in faith. I questioned hearing His voice. More than anything, we wanted our first home to be a blessing to whoever bought it. God sent a youth minister who could not afford to buy it and needed us to pay the closing costs. We did not make as much on the house as I wanted to make. [Isn't that so like me to ask God that He use our house to bless someone but ask to make more $$ on it out of an unfounded fear?] But ultimately, God, in His mercy, rewarded us for doing what He asked. And here you are, stepping out again. What a blessing your home will be for the ones God has in mind. Such love for the Lord has seeped into every part of that home, and that love can only bless someone else. You handle this much better than I did.I had to tell you how you inspire me. And I will miss how God uses you in my life, b/c He has touched me through you. I think I have told you this but if not, and after your annon. commentor, I wanted you to know what you mean to me.

I am so sorry someone hurt you. I think all women struggle with trusting Him to love us and for that love to be enough. Even when I am surrounded by friends and loved ones, my strongholds of rejection and feeling unacceptable haunt me. I think the Lord allows this because He wants to be the source of all that's good in our lives. My prayer when I have my "moments" is that He would become so important to me that I am not desperate for anyone or anything but Him. That my life would be so full of Him that any human contact I have after that would just be icing on the cake. I think once I learn to be totally satisfied by Him, then I will be free from these strongholds and out of that pit. I will keep you close in prayer to be free from that high place/Ashera pole.

Since I did not see you today at church, I will send you a big cyber hug instead. Have fun packing!

As Rosemary Harris says, Praying with you,praying for you and expecting His loving reply.


PS it is arguments over parenting styles in our home, so children should be added to your list. I am blessed to have in-laws who are the parents I did not get, we have always viewed money in the same way, and sex has never been an issue. Just the arguments over how to parent! What a shock to become parents after 16 years of marriage and 4 years of dating before that!

amelia said...

Thanks Beth for those sweet comments! You give me way too much credit--I think that you are more like Jesus than you think you are :). You have grown soooo much over the last 2 years I have known you. Thanks for the encouraging words--I needed to hear them. I definitely want my "high places" to be holy ones and not idols!