Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Change of heart...

It's been longer than I'd planned between blog posts, but when we drove away to Cairns last Tuesday morning for a two-night refresher of soul a phone call came through during our lunch stop that literally caught us unawares and we've spent the last week letting the news sift and settle as we pray over the ramifications for next year.

We'd been in this house just eleven weeks and finally felt settled, life becoming a gentle rhythm of routines and Mr E having just finished teaching for the year we were looking forward to beginning his six-week summer break with this mini-holiday up the coast. It was needed after our recent move and a few late in the year health challenges.

About two hours into our drive we were eating fresh baked pies at a cafe in Cardwell, right beside the ocean, when the call came through.
The owners of our rental home had decided to sell.
Prospective buyers would soon begin coming through and we'd be given 24 hours notice of each inspection. Our private secure home, our sanctuary from the world, would now be on display and a stream of strangers must be allowed access because legally the owners have that right.

I was angry.
My heart was raging for the next 24 hours. In fact I wanted to pick a fight with the owners just so I could shout how rude and unfair this was, how they should have told us eleven weeks ago, how they were insensitive and selfish. I wanted to be heard. 

Over the next few days I shed some tears, and bit by bit unpicked all the anger and the accusations that I never got to make, giving my hurt to Jesus, the Great Unpicker of all my less than lovely attitudes.

The anger didn't go away immediately but each day since my meltdown it's gotten less, until today I realised it's not there anymore. 
My soul is calm, my spirit is bright, my outlook is positive.

Legally, even if the house sells, we have the right to stay until the end of our lease at the close of next September.
We might, we might not. 
The thing is that life is a set of incidents which by themselves make no sense, but when brought together by His hands you realise there was more going on behind the scenes than you imagined.

We can sit here and plot our path, we can make wonderful plans and hope the best things.
There's nothing wrong in that.
Unless you're rigid and unyielding, refusing to let go and follow a different map when those plans are clearly not to be.

When we hold on too tight to what we want, something wonderful and amazing and 'just right' may slip right on by.
Regrets are not new to me, but they occur less the closer I walk with Jesus and let His ways take precedence over my own, even (especially) when I don't fully understand them.

And I don't understand what's happening right now.
But I know Who holds our life in His hands and I trust that what's to come is better for us than what we have now.

Placing my hand in His each morning is a day by day decision. Not sure why I have to keep making that decision but it's probably because I still see my way as the best way? 

"Thank you, Jesus, for another day" upon waking, coffee brewing and my Bible open and ready to guide me...yeh, my way really isn't the best, but when His way becomes my way it never fails. 
The right everyday decision.

So we're letting the peace of God reign, but we're also being mindful not to leave precious things around the house while we walk this season of intrusion.  
"Be wise as serpents, innocent as doves", Jesus instructs us. (Matthew 10:16)

The night before we left for Cairns I found these stitcheries from 2014 in my UFO box and decided to display them as a bunting. I trimmed each block before fusing Pellon behind them, cut fabric for the binding and left everything on my cutting table to finish the next day.

When morning came around Mr E suggested we pack and go north for a few days so I closed the door on my sewing room and prepared for our trip instead, but when we arrived home again on Thursday, still a tad raw from the news of the house sale, I didn't feel like sewing at all, so I scooped my pieces up and put them aside with the idea of finishing the project next Christmas instead. 

When peace returns, when you allow it to fill you, some of the things you previously rejected become interesting again. And that's what happened this morning.

I thought about the words in those three little stitcheries.

"Hosanna" originally means 'save me please' and you know, I really needed saving from my angry attitude this time last week.

A "merry" Christmas spirit is exactly what I felt robbed of for a while but now I am merrier than ever because I realise my security, my sanctuary, is not this house. It's Jesus. 

"All is bright"...yes it is. Now that peace has returned and our eyes are fixed on what is to come and not what is behind, we can see through the darkness of our initial despair and into the everlasting Light which fills us with hope.

Whatever surprises have unsettled your life this year, this month or today, lift your hands to Jesus, let the anger and disappointment wash away and look forward with hope.

Our situation has not changed, our health issues are not resolved, and we cannot see the path ahead.
But we are changed, and all is merry and bright in our hearts once more...



  1. My prayers are with you Sweet Jenny and Mr. E for a quick and smooth resolve to your home issues. Blessings Dear...xo

  2. best wishes and luck after this rocking news for you both. I have a theory about plans, always make them in pencil and have an eraser handy!

  3. Your attitude is amazing Jenny. Sometimes God has something EVEN BETTER for us.Hard to believe at the time when we are wound up in the midst of our circumstances. We can leave an uncertain future in the hands of a God who knows what is best for us. Not great timing. We have to put things in perspective at times like these. Sometimes at night I think to myself - are we all safe? No accidents etc. We have a roof over our head tonight, food in our belly....God knows the rest, and we are Blessed. Praying things will work out soon for you both.

  4. Hmmmm....Pipin' Merry I wonder if there is an adventure afoot!

  5. Oh Jenny, I can so relate to the way you feel about his news. Moving is so difficult and exhausting and just the beginning of making a house a home. When you love "home" you try to make it your own with decor that makes you happy and I'm sure your home is completely a reflection of who you are. The sellers will benefit by your homey touches that will make any buyer love the house and the feeling they get when they are there. Having recently moved myself, I completely understand the anger you felt. And true to the Jenny we know and love you have found a way to make peace with it because your faith is strong and your blessings are many. You have moved so many times already and the pictures you shared of this home are fabulous. It truly is such an intrusion to have strangers walking through your home and I am sorry that you have to endure that. I think they should have waited until your lease was up to start showing the house but people do unexpected things sometimes. Maybe the first "lookers" will buy it and make the move in date a year from now. That would work. You remain in my thoughts and prayers as you walk this new journey.

  6. Dear me, Jenny...what next? I would be angry too I am sure. I am pleased you have been able to come to terms with the owners' decision and have a peace in your heart. Sometimes it is hard to know what the Lord is doing. Perhaps the new owners will buy the house as an investment property and allow you to stay there. I do hope so. Big hugs and know that we are praying for you.

  7. feel for you, was moving around a lot myself, end of every lease which were only 12 months long, drove me near batty!
    so i bought a house ... it was hard, as on a pension but i finally found NAB bank that said we will if your 1st home buyers goes through! it did & it became my deposit! & now i have been here for 17 years!
    have you thought about owning you own home? it takes a little bit of effort to get it going but once it is, the repayments are usually less than what you pay for rent!

    good luck with the house & i'm sure everything will be okay.

    thanx for sharing

  8. Selina, we've been saving a deposit for the past 14 months...we won;t be eligible for first home owners in QLD because we don't want to build a new home...we want an established home with garden, trees, fruit trees, not a concrete home in one of the new housing developements in our town.
    We've got %5 and working towards 10% (minimun we need at our age for an established house).
    Lovely that you got your own home!! xxx

  9. Jenny, you are the dearest person with such sweet faith. You really inspire me with your attitude. Praying for you and sending virtual hugs. x

  10. Oh, blast! I can understand your frustration. I’m just hoping that a purchaser comes along quickly and wishes to continue to rent out the house on a long term basis. In the mean time, don’t let the current situation remove the joy of this special season. I commend your positive attitude.

  11. Such a stressful time for you just when things were settling down. I completely understand your anger and how upset you were. It's funny how we get used to things and when change is afoot we struggle and fight against it. This past week I also experienced anger and got upset over something that in no way compares with your dilemma but just unsettled me a bit. Silly really as I have since found solutions after calming down. I love the pics of your project and it is looking lovely. May you find peace and acceptance . Angel hugs.

  12. Oh Jenny - I so feel for you! I was so happy for you when you found this new little nest, and to have the owners do this to you, especially before Christmas is just awful. Especially to give no warning that it was in the horizon when you took over this lease. So thankful that you could put your trust in the Lord - everything happens for a reason to those who love and serve our Lord. We can't see beyond the bend in the road, but he always has a wonderful surprise waiting for us. Enjoy the rest of your time in your new little home - who knows, maybe the owners will change their minds yet, or......!!

  13. My darling girl - such a privilege to see God working in your life. You give such encouragement!!!

  14. Good Morning Sweet Jennifer, you are such an inspiration to so many of us. Reading your morning post again brings me back to my dedication to Jesus and knowing he is Watching Over Us. It also reminds me of a song we use to sing as children in Church, I've got the love of Jesus Down in my heart aka I've got the Joy Joy Joy in my Heart. You certainly have the Love of Jesus. Praying for the best of everything for you and Mr. E. I believe in Jesus and Miracles. God Bless you Sweetie, love and hugs.

  15. We had something like that happen when we first got married. After discussing it with the owner, they agreed to change the lease, so that they couldn't show the house without our permission. We stayed there for 8 years, then, when we were ready to move, I even helped them find a realtor (they had moved away 7 years before) and even a buyer. It worked out for everyone in the end.

  16. Jenny,
    I'm so happy that you are feeling better about the sale. We can lay anything on God and he will take away our anger, our hurt, and our worry. God will lead us to where he wants us to be if only we trust in him. Bless you, Jenny.

  17. Something similar happened to us when we were a young family in the Air Force. We were building a home but could not move in for 3 months, when we paid December's payment the owner said his daughter wanted to move into the house and we had to be out by January 1st. We like to have never found a place to rent for a couple of months. I sure could have used your wisdom back then (at that time renters had no rights).

  18. Have a Merry Merry Christmas! Staying in God's will is the only RIGHT place to be even if it is uncomfortable or inconvenient, etc. The Lord wasn't surprised by the actions of the sellers. Hold on to the fact that He knows all and has THE plan! Blessings in the New Year!

  19. Your post is both sad and encouraging! The same happened to me many years ago when I was a newly divorced, single Mom. I went through the same emotions you did and came through it being closer to God and all of the family members who rallied around and helped me pack up and move. It is all in His plan and His time, even though at times our human nature rears its head and tries to take charge! My prayers are with you and your husband during all of this. Karin

  20. Boy that was a slap in the face. Only 11 weeks? I would have thought the landlord might have mentioned that in the beginning. I'm glad you can at least stay until the lease is up. But I'm glad you found that attitude adjustment you needed to accept what is and go forward.
    I feel for you though having to move again. I'll be doing the same come October or November but my second move in a years time was planned for.
    I hope and wish you a Merry Christmas!

  21. Oh Jenny, I know so well how you feel. The same thing happened to us two years ago. When we were told the owner wanted to sell the house we opted to find another place right away. The house we were in was a three story, and though it had lots of room for our "stuff", it was often difficult to constantly be going up and down the stairs for the least little thing ... not an easy task as I have fibromyalgia and it was quite painful. God was there and it took only one day to find a sweet, downsized one story home that we truly love and it's only five minutes to work for my precious husband. God has something special for you both ... more wonderful than before. On a side note, the house we left still sits vacant after all this time. Sad for the owner, but a sweet blessing for us to have left when we did. Hugs and blessings to you and yours.

  22. Oh Jenny, I pray God's blessings for you and your family. You are such a sweetheart. I don't know you, but love you.

  23. I'm so sorry about your recent news about moving again, let's just pray that He has better plans for you and your hubby..I hope one of these times you can get your own house and then moving will be a thing of the past...blessings and prayers to you and yours!!

  24. Oh dear - so sad for you. And the irony is that having made such a beautiful home of it, it will be more apealing to buyers! Keeping you in my prayers and I am a believer in fate so there will be something better for you around the corner. xx

  25. Thank you for sharing your process, Jenny. I think it's often a process, even when we know Jesus, when we know we are safe in his care, when we know he knows best. It's a process to come to that point, once again, where we are one with him, because we are imperfect. We are still learning, and he is very patient with us. He knows your heart. He knows you will make the right choices. You needed to be in this home for a while ... how long is still unsure ... and you will find the next right thing, as you wait upon the Lord. It may even be that the new owners still want to rent the house and you don't go anywhere. Whatever happens, you are in the right place, at the right time, and good things will come because of this. Love you.

  26. Thank you for this blog as I have been upset thinking God has not heard my pleas and that was because my faith wasn’t strong enough. I have asked for forgiveness and hope to do better as I realize that MY way is not often HIS way! Let it go and go with HIS way! He loves us and wants only the best for us in the end.

    Mary Jane

  27. Oh dear, Jenny. I know you were settled in your home. Maybe the new owners will be ones that are planning to buy a house for renting out. I'm sure everything will work out in the end. Hugs, Christine xxx

  28. Best wishes and hopes for a bright new year for you and yours. I do have faith that things work out for the best in the long run.

  29. Our God must have bigger and better plans for you, and in time you will see what they are.

    Always gracious in all you do and say, and oh so willing to share your love for Jesus so all the world can see. God Bless You!

    Big hugs to you dear sweet Jenny,


  30. Oh Jenny we went through the very same thing when we left sharemilking. We rented in town & like you, I set it up all nicely & then they put it on the market!! Unfortunately we were not signed into a Lease as you are so they could just sell it out from under us. It took 7 months to sell but it was a very unsettling time for all of us & I always felt "in limbo". I really feel for you my friend.

  31. Your beautiful faith and love of our Lord is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing this with us. I know the Lord has a plan for us all and sometimes I get impatient because it doesn’t match my plan. His always is better! God Bless you Jenny!

  32. Jenny, thank you and God bless you for sharing your story. It Is a beautiful reminder of the peace we can experience if we align our hearts with God’s will.

  33. Dearest Jenny, you and Mr. E. Are in my prayers. I am praying that what the Lord has in store for you will be so very wonderful. Merry Christmas!

  34. Praying for you and Mr. E. I would be majorly upset as well. But this too will work itself out.... Maybe you should start looking at homes again...Some owners will allow you to rent to buy. Meaning all the rent money you pay will be taken off the price of the home when you buy it. Will continue to keep you in my prayers. Merry Christmas

  35. Oh wow! That's tough news to receive just after moving in!! Is buying this home an option for you and your hubby? Maybe the owners will work with you, since they are doing such a difficult thing to you. I'll be praying for your situation.... God wasn't surprised at the news, He knew it all along! I love your Christmas bunting!

  36. That's such a shame and so unfair. I can understand how you must be angry.

    I always believe that when things happen that are not what we planned it's always for a reason. Ususally things work out better tahn we expected because we are forced to rethink where we are going. The tapestry doesn't always look like we planned it to but I believe the change is always for the best.

    God bless, Jenny have a peaceful and restful Christmas take the time to just enjoy it. I'm sure the New Year will bring new challeneges & decisions for you & maybe a new direction. All part of the plan, just we can't see it!

  37. So unfair of landlords to sign a lease agreement then decide to sell. This happened to my stepdaughter last year, 9 days after signing a lease to provide a home for her 3 young children the owners put the house into the hands of a different agent to sell the house. Her father told her to live in the house like it was her own and not to be cleaning every day for potential buyers to inspect, she also refused viewings at childrens dinner & bedtimes! She had to move 4 months later even though she had a signed lease. Take care Jenny!

  38. Some time ago, you mentioned the possibility of buying a house at some point in the future. Is there any chance that you would want to consider buying the house you are currently renting? Just a thought as you seem to be so happy there and the house is going up for sale. After just getting settled, it seems like a shame to be once again packing and seeking a new location. Hopefully all will turn out well! - Diane - from Minnesota

  39. Some time ago you had mentioned the possibility of buying a house at some point in the future. Would it be possible to buy the house you are now renting? You have sounded so happy with the location and everything about this house. It was just a thought! It does seem like such a shame just as you were feeling settled in and happy. Hopefully all will turn out well! - Diane from Minnesota

  40. No Diane, it's out of our price range and we're still saving the minimum 10% deposit we need to buy a home of our own (we are in our 50's and that makes things a bit harder with getting a bank loan in Australia).


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