Can you believe that it’s been almost a year since we moved to Texas? Yep, at the end of this month we will have lived here one whole year. It’s been, like, the third longest year of my life. Before I get started let me say again, as sort of a disclaimer, that I have met some great people here in Texas. However, I’m a Midwest girl to the core and there’s no place like home. Okay, moving on….Big Poppa and I were feeling rather nostalgic today so we rode around the area and looked at some of the houses that we visited on our house hunt early last year. Actually, it was his idea because I was afraid that if we went looking we would realize that we really should have made a different choice. We like our house and I kinda like to leave well enough alone. As we rode around, I got to thinking, that our house hunting excursion and subsequent move was probably one of the best team building and relationship strengthening exercises that we have ever been through, both practically and philosophically speaking. Although, the situation had the makings of the perfect storm.
Big Poppa didn’t have to look for a new job, he just wanted to look for a new job. Always one to keep his eyes and ears open for new opportunities, he heard about this specific position and warned me that he was applying. I use the word “warn” because he knew how I felt about the thought of relocating. I didn’t like it. We had been in this position before when he applied for a job in Ohio. I cried…hard, but then I decided to go along with the program, but it was too late. He had already withdrawn his name from consideration. I felt guilty about this for years. So, when the Texas position opened up, I promised myself (and Big Poppa, but silently) that I would not stand in his way. Obviously, I was a bit bitter but, I made some very conscious decisions about how I was going to conduct myself in this situation (I didn’t tell Big Poppa about these):
- I prayed that God’s will for our lives concerning this move be made very clear to the both of us;
- I decided to lay aside my bitterness and anger and to proceed joyfully (that might be a stretch) as a help to my husband; and
- To submit to my husband’s leadership (yes, I actually said submit. Just follow along.)
Now, you are probably thinking that I had no choice but to submit since he’s the one with the job but, what I did know about my husband was that, if I had protested enough he would have called the whole thing off. I just didn’t want to do that to him again. He was beyond deserving of this new opportunity and I’m his biggest fan. Was I sad and angry? Yes. Was he aware of my feelings? Yes. Was I toxic? No. For weeks leading up to our house hunting trip we tossed around our wants and needs for our new house. I worked closely with a relocation specialist at my husband’s company and our real estate agent in Texas. By the way, our first tip to anyone looking for a new home (especially if you are relocating to a new area) is to get a great agent. This woman was phenomenal. She knew the area extremely well, worked hard to get what we wanted within budget, and was very well connected and respected within her profession. Loved her! Stay tuned, there will be other tips because, in hind sight, we did some things that we can’t believe that we did and would never suggest that anyone else do either. Like…enforcing a ridiculously tight timeline.
Our house hunt was only one week. That’s right, we flew to Houston and our mission (because I was a bit, shall we say, rigid) was to find the perfect home in one week. I took into consideration that we still had to sell our current home, close on the new one, move across the country and get settled all before school started. You’re wondering could we have leased a home before we actually bought one? Yes. Could we have possibly made two trips instead of one? Yes. However, I didn’t want to, I wanted it to be over and Big Poppa just wanted me to be happy or at least to stop looking sad. He had high hopes and understandably so because most women absolutely love looking at new houses. Under different circumstances, I do too, but, I didn’t approach this with that kind of enthusiasm. We looked at countless homes that week. In fact, we actually exhausted the inventory of 5 bedroom homes, in our budget, for that area. After a while they all started to look the same to us until one day we walked into an absolute stunner. I’m talking 5,000 square feet of absolute perfection at an exceptional price! The problem – at least for me – was location. Big Poppa didn’t seem to care about that much. After all, he’s not home a lot so location wasn’t much of an issue for him. It was here, standing in the great room, that he realized that there was not going to be a house that I just loved because I didn’t want to be here. He was disappointed. Not because I didn’t want the house so much, but because things were not going to be made right that easily.
So, we pressed on, our week just about to end. Unknown by me, Big Poppa had also made some conscious decisions about how he was going to conduct himself during this time in our lives:
- He prayed that God’s will for our lives concerning this move be made very clear to the both of us;
- He accepted my feelings and decided to put my needs and wants first;
- Submitted himself to me, and our children, as a servant leader to care for us and protect us as we went forward with our move.
Ironic, huh? I like to think of it less as irony and more as love. On that Thursday, just days before we were to return home, we walked into the house that we now call home. I can’t say that we were both unanimously sold but, I can say that we both got everything that we wanted without one cross word. No arguments, no budget stretching, no bickering over counter tops or flooring or who gets the bigger closet space. Kinda impressive under the circumstances. We learned that we can trust each other and that no matter what, we really do want what’s best for one another. What could have been a contentious situation turned out to be a blessing. Even though I still don’t necessarily want to be here, I do like the story about how we ended up here in this specific home. Oh, and you will be happy to know that after our drive around today to look at the other contenders, we still like our home the best.