It is amazing how much you don’t need. Really. What an odd but true statement. After living in a hotel for weeks not knowing what you have or don’t have you begin to question what you need. It is a strange middle ground.
As any good over sharer would do I posted our major life fire experience on social media. Not long after the post a realtor friend whose lake house had burned to the ground several weeks earlier offered to help. They had a home they had decided to rent; it had just been remodeled and she wanted to know if we were interested in taking a look. We were, we did and now we live here.
Fresh. Clean. Lovely.
"Beauty can be a balm that soothes the rough edges of life."
We gathered our new belongings. Said goodbye to our temporary hotel and all it joy it brought. (wink) And off we moved into our new normal. Our insurance had rental furniture delivered and completely set up; from the kitchen to the linens. I asked my sister-in-law to buy a pretty glass vase and fill it with flowers and our friend and school librarian loaned us artwork she had stored. Slowly the space took shape into a home. You know it is amazing what a few things on the wall, a bouquet of flowers and a small bowl of candy can do to had warmth and welcome to a place.
Suffice to say God showed up in so many ways. Sometimes you have to look hard to find it other times it slaps you upside the head. All I could feel at this point was gratitude. Gratitude for the family, friends and neighbors who reached out, opened their homes, sent gift cards, baked things, gave gifts. I could go on…
I often times have thought; does a cake really matter? Does an invitation for dinner? Does a gift card help? Or what about childcare or offering time? The answer is a resounding YES! It is all noticed, appreciated and mostly it MATTERS.
We all know people who are going through or have gone through things much, much worse than we are experiencing. What if we did not have insurance? What if someone had been injured or killed? This is what overwhelmed me with gratitude. The fact that this fire, the timing, the life interruption was no surprise to God. Our gift for his provision back to Him is how we handle it. This doesn’t mean we are happy about it. It is just a choice on how to deal with what’s dealt you.
“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”
Odd things have been refreshing like lack of clutter, stuff and things. It is like being plopped into timeout from life as you knew it. Sort of a sabbatical from what was with a tunnel way towards what will become.
A few years ago the word simplify was the BIG buzz word. Books, magazine articles and podcasts filled our options. So, I don’t want to go there but there is pretty accurate right now. We have very little as far as things go in our rental home, most things are rented, even the towels. It feels good. Now, this is not to say we lived like pigs with stuff stacked to the ceiling and cumbersome décor all around (sans my office where my organizational challenges shone brightly.) It’s to say even though life is heavy in some ways it isn’t heavy in the stuff department.
The day after the fire our house was full of Service Master employee’s rummaging through our belongings. It is just 6 weeks out and we haven’t even seen all the things that Service Master packed up. They were getting it loaded into the huge pods to be carried off for assessment. Assessment? Salvageable or not? How much is it worth? What about depreciation? They took photos of everything; even things in our showers. Another company took everything textile and electronic in the house to another warehouse. Yet another took care of our day-to-day living. We had fire investigators, insurance adjusters, and people texting offering to buy the house “as is”. It took me several days just to know who our contacts were. It is taking months to work through all the
belongings, attach a price tag to each while remembering when the item was purchased.
Have I mentioned Simplify?
The word started sounding better and better.