An Advent Timeline

An Advent Timeline

Today, we get back into it. Our routines. Normal living. Healthy eating. Ordinary life. And I’m looking forward to it. I still greatly appreciate that there’s one more week of the Christmas season. (Let the Christmas music play! =) But I’m also looking ahead to what 2010 will bring …
Before I get too ahead of myself, I would like to share a few posts on my family’s Christmas (finally). This first one goes back just a bit more to Advent … and ties right into the year ahead …

In my family, we experienced an Advent like no other. I learned some personal Advent lessons along the way. But we also were blessed with an unexpected gift that touched each of us: we sold our house!

To give a brief background, a few years ago, my husband and I felt called to invite my mom and step-father to move in with us. We looked into remodeling our current home but quickly realized we would be better off building. When my step-father passed away in February, we felt all-the-more convicted to bring my mom into our household. We put our house on the market shortly after Easter. We had an offer early-on that fell through. And it was slow-going ever since.
The day after Thanksgiving, we took our house off the market, to take a break for Christmas. I was looking forward to the break, of not having to keep up with the cleaning and the stress that goes along with the call for a showing.
So, if our house was off the market, how is it now sold? Well, here’s what happened, in a timeline format:
Wednesday, Nov. 25: Last showing before our break (or so we think).
Friday, Nov. 27: House goes off the market. Relief!
Saturday, Nov. 28: Husband gets a call from an acquaintance who’d like to walk through our house. Sigh. OK, OK, we’ll do this one.more.time.
Thursday & Friday, Dec. 3 & 4: The cleaning is killing me. So hard to be motivated. Where’s my break?
Friday, Dec. 4: The real last showing.
Tuesday, Dec. 8: Feast of the Immaculate Conception. We get an offer! We try not to get our hopes up. Offers can fall through, like last time.
Tuesday, Dec. 15: The cleaning is killing me again. I want to enter into Advent and prepare for Christmas, not clean for an inspection. I complain. I pray to Our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph. They help me tremendously!
Wednesday, Dec. 16: The inspection. Also my mom’s birthday. All went well. Really well. It looks like a done deal! And during the Gaudete week! Rejoice!
We are so grateful. So blessed. What an incredible, unexpected Christmas gift! We endured an Advent that was a bit more penitential than we had planned. It was a sacrifice to set our Advent plans aside, but these were His plans for us. And His plans are far more important, especially when His plans really are our plans in the grand scheme of things. For His plans involved Advent, but they expanded beyond Advent, too. The Lord is so good, providing what we need, even when we don’t realize what He’s doing. He doesn’t always work the way we think He’s going to work. But He does work in a much, much better way.
Our new year will begin with a BANG! in the form of a lot of busyness—sorting, packing, cleaning, etc. We close on Feb. 5, moving out the weekend before. This gives us about four weeks.
And since we will be building (not breaking ground until the ground thaws a bit =), we will first move into a temporary home for about six to eight months. Most likely an apartment or townhouse of some sort. It will be an odd experience, living in a temporary home, but we can do anything for a short while, right? But how do you pack a family of seven for a small, temporary, rental space? What do I bring? What do I store? (These are not rhetorical questions. If you have ideas and suggestions, please share them with me!)
Oh, yeah, and one more very important thing that has to happen: my mom’s house needs to sell, too. (Come, Lord Jesus!)

I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 1:6

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10 thoughts on “An Advent Timeline

  1. That's wonderful yet daunting news!

    Sometimes I think it's better with a shorter deadline…I'm such a procrastinator that I get much more done when timelines are tight.

    I think a lot of things to store would be obvious. Keep in mind that a builder's timeline will be probably be longer. So pack up your Christmas and Advent boxes, but mark them well, and keep them accessible in your storage.

    The hardest decision for me would be which books to keep out. It's not home unless I have my books. Put away all my photos, knick-knacks, etc, but take away my books and I'm non functional. 😉

    If you don't already, maybe you can put all your books into a database (there are some need tools that scan and put the info). Then mark the boxes well and know where you put them. Even if you don't retrieve the books or Can't retrieve them, knowing what you have will save you from buying duplicates while they are sight unseen.

    You might enjoy being in a smaller rental in seeing how you can "make do" with less — less toys, less books, less kitchen things — just less stuff.

    I'll be praying for you in this journey.

  2. Wow, what a story and year to remember!!!

    Packing, you will be amazed at how little you actually need to get by. I think the hard part will be having change of season clothes on stand by, since you will be there through spring and early summer!

    Gosh, prayers for all to go smoothly, moving is hard on kiddos, seeing all their stuff packed up, get ready for wild days! What exciting times for them though?

    Congratulations on selling your home, a wonderful gift for sure!

  3. Very, very excited for you guys! We should just get together and chat a bit about your packing, but maybe you won't have time for that. 🙂 A bit of advice would be to put the kids' clothes in the next size up in an easy spot in storage. I packed a bunch of clothes that I was sure I wouldn't need and before I knew it, I had kids (esp Max) going through growth spurts. You really can get by on a lot less. Have the kids pick a certain number of toys and pack the rest for the new house. They haven't missed a single toy (and there are lots of toys that will never return to them, I'm sure.) And if you ever find that you need something that is at the bottom of the pile, you can do lots of borrowing. 🙂

  4. Big changes — good changes. We did that once — moved in with Doug's parents when the oldest kids were two and not yet one. I'll email you a few suggestions (the few I remember!).

  5. We're in the middle of the temporary housing/rental situation right now, as you know. I have to say the one thing that is REALLY nice is not having to fix anything. or shovel. We just e-mail the property owner.

    As far as packing goes, I have a ton of boxes in the basement that I haven't unpacked. I packed them the way I did intentionally, knowing this was a temporary move. Almost all of my decorative stuff (wall hangings, vases, knick-knacks, etc) is in storage. A ton of our books are in storage — I kept out what I knew I'd need for prayer, work, and school, but the rest I figured I could get from the library if I absolutely needed it. The kids have a ton of stuffed animals — they each picked two or three and the rest are in boxes.

    I also packed a lot of stuff in clear plastic storage bins (you saw the pictures of my basement on my blog a few months ago), but I don't know how accessible your storage is going to be.

    Let me know if you need any other advice. or if you need help moving. or if I can watch at least some of the kids sometime (like moving day).

  6. Congrats on your new adventure.

    I have been there and done that. Living in an apt. till home is built.

    It really is amazing what you can live without. Pack almost all of it into storage and pretend you are camping. It is really fun to live like that.

    Then when unpacking really sort what you want to keep and then donate what you really did not miss.


  7. Wonderful news . . . congrats! . . .and prayers that your mum's house sells soon, too!

    I'll just say that you can live w/out soooooo very much! WE did for three months 'cos of this move to HI, as you know. You have seasons to think about, and, honestly, clothes are the most important thing. You can get by with very little (get some cheap shower curtains for the rental and store the ones you have, if you want to; it's likely much of what you have you'll rethink about using/throwing away when you get into your own home again). You'll want most of your kitchen stuff, but not all of it. And, if most of your stuff is stored locally, LABEL everything so it's easier to find if you have to go dig something out. 😉

  8. Sarah,
    Oh, I am so relieved that you sold your house, thank you God! How exciting and amazing that is. I, unlike many of your readers, could actually help (and I can volunteer my husband too!) Please let us know if we can do anything,
    God bless,

  9. Oh, thank you all so very much! Your ideas are so good! I think I'm looking forward to living without all of our stuff for awhile. To see what we really need. And what we don't. It's a balance, isn't it? I do hope we will all grow in simplicity and detachment. But I'll try not to put too high of expectations on us … We're seven humans after all =) Please keep us in your prayers during this time (most of the year!) of transition. (And to those of you who are local, I'll probably be calling you soon regarding those offers of help!)

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