Counting my blessings

God has been so good to us.

Four years ago at this time, we were in the final stages of packing up our house in Petaluma in preparation for moving. The Great Recession – which at the time didn’t seem all that great – had reduced our income by two-thirds which meant a two-thirds reduction in our living space.  We had gotten to a point where trying to make our bloated mortgage payment to Wells Fargo was like trying to “get blood from a turnip”…as my mother used to say. We couldn’t give what we didn’t have. And since we couldn’t offer up our firstborn as payment on our HELOC, like millions of others, we took the hit on our credit rating and sold our house in a short sale.

At the time, leaving the house that we had lived in for 17 years and downsizing to a rental in Cotati was painful. We take our commitments and our promissory notes very seriously so when we couldn’t keep up with the payments, we felt like we had failed. Also, the maintenance – or lack thereof – on the house constantly wore at us.  There were mysterious water spots appearing on the ceiling and termite holes big enough to drive a car through. Everywhere we looked we saw something that needed attention. Having a 2700 square foot albatross around your neck can really weigh you down.

So now, four years later, we have gotten some perspective on the transition. Being freed from the burden of the house was the best thing to ever happen to us. It lightened our load both financially and emotionally.  It’s a relief living in our very manageable condo. We’ve been able to get out of credit card hell. I am absolutely rejoicing when I look at the line on the Visa, MasterCard and American Express statements and instead of triple digits, I see a zero.

Add to that, that our kids seem to be on good paths and God has provided steady work and good health for Steve after his triple bypass surgery 18 months ago.

So for this moment in time, everything is okay. Then we get a call from the owner saying that she wants to visit us. There had been rumblings when we first moved in that she might need to sell the property for tax purposes. Okay, this is it. She’s going to drop the news on us that she’s putting our place on the market. After all, housing prices are up and she lives out of the country.  My guess is we’ve got until the spring and then we’re getting the boot.

Expect the worst? Yep, that’s my MO. There’s a passage in Luke that says if a son asks his father for a fish, will he give him a snake instead? If us sinners wouldn’t disappoint someone we love, how much better will a perfect God be to us? In my backward thinking, I’m sure I’m going to get handed the snake.

But almost unbelievably to me, our landlord gave us a fish. She is very happy with the arrangement and has no plans to sell anytime soon. Steve and I breathed a collective sigh of relief.

I relayed this story to a friend. “I can’t believe how good God continues to be to us.” I suppose I sounded like we had used up all the blessings allotted to us. Her response?  “He’s not done.”

Like the hymn says, “I stand amazed.”

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