With a nickname of Diva or Princess, and step one of how to change a tire being “Call Dad,” it seemed highly unlikely that I would become a homeowner at the age of 23. But what I love about the word unlikeliest is that it is defined as “likely to fail.”
Ok, so it was unlikely that I would become a homeowner while being single at the age of 23. But, really, if we are being honest, I am probably going to fail. I fail a little bit every day when I can’t even find where to put the battery in the smoke alarm and my friend’s dad stays to change the outdoor light bulb with the assumption that it would be a bit of a strain on me. I watch vents fill up with dust, one particle at a time, and I think about how I should finally figure out how to change the filter and I should finally take the screws out and give it the good cleaning that everyone tells me it needs. The creaky front closet malfunctions daily and I slam it harder and harder and (at least for this one) verbalize how dysfunctional it is and how unnecessarily loud it is and ponder on how a new door would really improve our quality of life.
One small failure every day.
But, the cool part is, this house is a gift from God. How do you know that? asks the skeptic. Simple: I could not have done this on my own. You should be so proud, they all said.
This house is not my own.
I know it sounds crazy, but the pieces just fell in my lap. I called a Realtor on a whim, I passed the financial screening by chance, I interviewed 15 and landed on 2 roommates, the For Sale sign went up, I inspected, I said yes, I signed, they signed, the For Sale sign went down. For me, that’s how easy it was. I looked at maybe 4 houses. I picked this one. The chances of success were slim to none and the pieces didn’t line up and here I am with a key and a mortgage.
This house is not my own. Looking back, that couldn’t have been me with all that energy to go through all of that in two months tops.
1.5.14 came and went and we celebrated one year in this home that we call The Nest. We made it one year without major catastrophes and with a newly installed shower in the basement to show. People have flooded the doors with love and care and support; people who we didn’t even ask to come have studied the homemade wreath with Scrabble letters arranged into The Nest while they rang the doorbell and waited for us to answer and to welcome them with open arms. They have picked up paintbrushes, carried boxes, installed plumbing, carried out trash, and filled the sink with dishes and the air with laughter. We have scuffed up walls and stained carpets to prove that lives have been lived here. Held in close by the small dimensions and our nest-like stucco ceilings, we’ve laughed and we’ve cried and we’ve erased the chalkboard again and again with new prayers and new chores.
Sometimes it tells me to Thank God for tomorrow! and other times it demands that I vacuum by Sunday. But it always tells me that The Nest was established on 1.5.13.
Our phone has a cord that makes the phone practically dysfunctional in this modern world. It rings every day, again and again with a loud piercing ring. We usually pick it up and slam it back down, never giving the one dancing on the invisible lines a chance. The best part is, we never even gave out our number. I see and hear the phone every day and I think about how functional it could be if it just didn’t have a cord and if we just gave people we even cared to hear on the other line the number. We could greet them warmly and they could leave us friendly messages when we are off elsewhere and that red light could flash that we have friends waiting to be heard, instead of the few fake times we answer with Hello, this is The Nest. How may I help you?
There are so many possibilities for that phone. But for now I fail a little more every day when I hear it ring and I know I don’t know the person on the other line and I realize I have no idea what the phone number even is.
1.5.13 are the only numbers worth remembering.
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
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