So! After the last post, we went to look at apartments. Let me say, and this is a compliment, the first was a hole. The woman who showed it, showed up about 15 minutes late and we had to look at it with another couple, because she had left them waiting for over a half hour before us. If you are ever in a position to rent a place out, just know that the prospective tenants pay attention to your tardiness. Aside from being unprofessional, it shows them the kind of attention and care they will receive while living there. I know this seems hyprocritical because I am the queen of running late, but I would never be late for an interview and I am almost never late for work. Doctor's appointments? Yeah, my kids are unpredictable and they can sense my weaknesses. If I'm wearing my last clean pair of jeans, they just know, and find a way to destroy them as we're walking out the door. Lunch with my friends? You bet. I hate waiting by myself. Anywhere I go with my husband? Yes, because he's actually worse than I am at being punctual. But for a meeting to possibly enter into a rental agreement with an individual? Definitely not. And she didn't bother to vaccuum. It didn't go well. That place was rather disgusting and kind of falling apart. But I actually considered it. It was expensive too, but I was willing to make anything work and it just didn't look like we had any other options.
We only had one other apartment set up to look at. I scheduled it on a hunch; it had almost no information listed, and only had one photo of the outside posted with it. But it looked very similar to an aquaintance's apartment and I thought the inside of their place was beautiful so we decided to check it out.
I kind of feel like these two places were a perfect parallel for my life: One is what I try to force to work, but it's a crushing black hole. It never lives up to my standards. I enter holding my breath and leave gasping for air. The other is what God graces me with. I don't deserve it. It's always better than I'd expected, better than I could have hoped for. It's always perfect. And it's always temporary. I think the biggest mistake I've made in accepting God's blessings is that I somehow feel like they're mine to keep. But they're not something I can acquire. This used to be so frustrating and, sometimes, devastating to me. But I have learned a lot of hard lessons these last 6 months, all of them reluctantly. The most important one is that all of the temporary gifts and hardships are a purposeful contrast to Him who is never temporary. I may not get to keep the things I love the most or the things that I feel like I've worked hard to earn, but I get to keep the one thing I could never deserve. Learning to rely on Him has been an incredibly humbling and beautiful experience. It's one I will probably have to work at for the entirety of my life, but that's okay. It's a lesson worth the effort of learning.
For those of you who don't know, we checked out the small but clean and maintained apartment and signed the lease almost on the spot. It's about half the size of our last place, has required a lot of money (rent, deposits upfront, ac unit, closets, more utilities than we're used to paying, carpeting, etc) invested in it, and has not been entirely smooth sailing, but it's home. For now. :]
I feel so blessed.