Apparently, every five years or so, nearly everyone you know will be buying or selling houses. We hear from people with mortgages that the market is good for this now and we trust them, because we don't know any different, never having bought or sold a piece of property apart from our beloved Jeep. I can still see Jackson, nearly five, hands up on the glass front door as a stranger drove away the first word he read, spoke, our dark blue Jeep Cherokee that had outlasted all homes he had ever known.
He cried and I thought back then, "What are we doing?"
Still, it was just a Jeep.
So here and abroad friends are upgrading or downsizing and it's similar to 2010 when prices dropped everywhere and it was as good a time as any to move on. We were moving, too, back to the US, though while everyone was picking out paint colours we were homeless and nearly jobless and wondering, again, what were we doing.
It worked out in the end, of course. We stayed on with the job, with the parents, with some friends, finding our feet and our little family again in a humble three-bed apartment.
I used to be embarrassed inviting people over. They invited us into their homes with driveways and we had to tell them how to parallel park on a dead end parking lot without taking up someone else's coveted space. Matt would say, "People will know what we're about. They'll see this crappy apartment and know we're choosing a different way." And that was true, but still I hated it and longed for a home and a driveway and a paint colour of our own.
All that to say, we are not moving. But I'm still tempted by the stories and the pinterest boards. I love our house so much, maybe too much, and when we invite people here I'm embarrassed by the luxury of a driveway and a separate sitting room with glass doors.
The toilet that's hard to flush helps balance this uncomfortableness, makes me feel a little more down-home. When we stuff 15 people in all crevasses of our Dublin semi-D, I give toilet tutorials. I laugh as I mime, "Put some welly into it!" And they think I'm probably crazy. But I remember those days when I was afraid, and I wonder at how we got here, remain here, in this rental house we love.
And of course, I worry a bit, that maybe because I love it a little too much that God will move us on from it soon enough. Our lifestyle is always a little beyond our comfort zone, and our work here sometimes a bit uncertain. Visas hang in the balance and I remind myself we could very well only have six months left.
Or I might be worrying for nothing. This time - this home - could be a good gift, no strings attached.
Only God knows, and I trust him as I buy school books and leather man-shoes for the eldest preparing for secondary school. I trust him as I move the little two from one school across town to a closer school filled with strangers. I trust him as I take driving lessons, learn how to feed the wheel and back around corners in what feels like our last big cultural hurdle. I trust him as some aspects of our ministry are laid to rest while others spark with new life, sputtered chokes of first breaths.
I trust him, and that's the only move I'm making.