here.

Hi.

I’ve been a stranger.  Like. TOTALLY a stranger.  Like. WOAH WHERE DID YOU GO stranger.  And it’s not that I didn’t want to visit.  In fact, I would have been here more often if I could get Siri to write my posts for me while I am driving.  Because I write LOTS in my head then.  Like at LEAST a post a day.  And then somehow, I start to work or hit the gym or text or SOMETHING and then I forget.  But please note.  I totally feel guilty.

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So. I applied for graduation and as of today – this moment – I have 234 days until I am finished. (I have a countdown on my phone that have to talk myself out of checking because I obsessively want to look at it every day. And I totally can’t help myself and I look again.) Two classes this summer, and two classes this fall. Pray. This semester I have taken three classes – Chemistry, Macroeconomics and Business Communications. And it utterly kicked my ass – not all the time, but definitely in waves. And I think that I have learned a little more grace for myself and for other people. In college (like real college when i didn’t have two jobs, a social life, a mortgage, rent, car, insurance…you get the picture!), I never understood how people could forget something so simple as HOMEWORK. I mean, just WRITE IT DOWN for crying out loud. And then now – twice I have gone to two different professors and explained that I forgot homework. Just forgot. Not that I didn’t want to do it. Not that I couldn’t have found time (something that I have this crazy talent for). Just plain ole’ brain-fart forgot. Neither one of them would allow me to turn it in late. But hey, oh well.
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So I find myself planning EVERY second of every day Monday through Friday. To the nano second. When I get home at 8 or 9p, I usually have an hour’s worth of stuff to do (laundry, dishes, prepare food, get my bag together for the next day, try to remember how MANY pairs of shoes, panties, and workout outfits I will need for the next day). And it becomes my power hour. I cannot sit down, I cannot stop moving until everything including washing my face and brushing my teeth is done. If I do, I cannot get back up. But with this regimented schedule during the week, I find my weekends EXTRA carefree. I have always been a fairly free spirit when it comes to playing. If I have the gas in my car, I will go do it. And for the past 3 months, my weekends have been super fun. Boo moved to Atlanta in March, I’ve been to Denver, the beach, dinner, railroad park, Regions stadium, bars I haven’t been to in years, random nights where I stay out later than I am used to, on blind dates and have just been happy. My poor roomates have remarked that I have the strangest schedule. Truth.

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Speaking of roommates, I moved into a house in February with some really awesome girls. Super sweet, super easy, and they handle my weirdness well. Nothing like roommates to make you realize how not normal you are. Or is that just me? I love having the company – and the ease of good roommates. I can only hope they say the same thing about me! I try…

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I’ve made some new friends lately. They are my age, single, and love to sweat it up. And I am starting to feel like me again. It only took me 6 years to get back to this point. But I know the journey from 24 to 31 has made me into SUCH a better version of myself. Kinder. Softer. Hopefully a little more knowledgeable and definitely more forgiving.

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March 6th was the 2 year anniversary of my divorce – and I can truly attest that divorce has a half life. It was some time in the last few months that I just felt, well, NORMAL. Not damaged, not angry, not blaming others, just normal. Praise God from whom all blessing flows, because without His Mercies, I would be in a ditch. I went to a Capitavating conference in Denver in March and it reminded me (as I need reminding EVERY DAY) that only God can put my broken heart back together. There are STILL times – few. FAR BETWEEN. But times that I get overwhelmed with the feeling of how damaged I am which leads me down the path of no one will ever love me into I’ll be single for the rest of my life and right back to how irreparable damaged I am. And don’t get me wrong. This heart has been shattered by SEVERAL men in my life and it is ugly and black and lifeless on its own. But God promises to repair it. to make it whole. And He assures me that I am beautiful. That He DOES see me, that HE is and will be everything to me that I’ve seen fail in the past.

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I also turned 31 in March. Don’t worry, I still continue to tell people that I am 30. I think that is a mix of not feeling 31 and how crazy packed life has been. My sweet loves took me to the beach for what was the best Birthday in a long while. It was FREEZING cold. But we drank wine, played Maajong, shopped (of course I was the ONLY ONE who bought anything), slept, watched Downton Abby, jammed to good tunes, cooked, and laughed. It was SO good for my heart. And there was this ONE cheese plate – I can’t stop thinking about it! Best meats, best olive oil, best cheese, best nuts…I mean. To. Die. For. And we drank more red wine than most people drink in a year. Not really. Well, yes really. Whatever. It was good.

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I’m trying not obsess about next steps. Here I am about to get my degree. Finally. Something that has kind of held me back. But not really. But kind of. And all my jobs in the past have been to push the ceiling on how far I could go without a degree. Like, DUH I don’t need one. But now? What do I want to do? I’ve utterly downgraded my life. And I wish I could downgrade it even more! So I don’t NEED to make money like I used to (staying in a job just to pay bills for stuff I don’t want. What I want is out of that cycle!!) You know that question? What would you do if money was no object? Yeah, I don’t know the answer yet. It’s mulling in my brain. And it looks REALLY different than what I thought it would be. I had planned on going to nursing school. Full. Speed. Ahead. Not that I won’t do that – I am not scared of it – that I won’t be able to finish or I am not smart enough. But as I pray desperately for God to help me see my path, what I DO hear is “wait”. Like, just get through this ONE step. Get to December. Get through 234 days. Just that. So. That’s what I am doing. Pray for that? Pray that I can figure out next steps. Or that I would be able to wait. How ever you want to pray for me – I will take it!

So here I am, friends. Back.

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REAL ESTATES

So.  Having this problem with selling my house.  And I start to understand a little bit about these stories about people just dropping off the keys and NEVER making another payment, regardless of how much it affects their credit (because let’s just be honest.  I don’t know too many people with good credit any more.  Or I should say I know more people with bad credit than steller credit!)

 

So back in 2008, the ex and I bought a house.  It is DARLING.  I mean, I really really really love my house.  Its got beautiful windows, original hardwoods, a mudroom where I can do my laundry and it was JUST the right size for a starter house.  Three bedrooms and one bathroom = 1200 square feet.  And I am sorry, more room just means you buy more stuff to fill it up and its more surface area to dust.  Gag.  Dusting.   I LOVE the fact that it is a corner lot, so I have two neighbors.  A dentist who splits his time between this house and his real house in Mountain Brook, Al and a older lady behind me who is on disability.   And my house is in front of a stop sign, which means that (under normal circumstances) people drive fairly slow on the road.  Which is just excellent.  It is an easy yard to take care of (mowing the yard, etc) and the grass I feel like, grows EXTRA green there.  It’s just a pretty house!

Well, so in 2011, amidst ALL THINGS related to my car crash, we became no longer married.  Part of the deal is that the house becomes mine but the loan from the bank still has both of our names on it.  So over the course of a year I have applied for refinancing, I have looked into “government assistance” programs, I have contemplated a “short sell” and at the very last option, looked into selling my house.

So me.  30 year old me with a decent job and never having missed a payment on her mortgage.  I KNOW I shouldn’t qualify for really any programs because I pay my bills!  And I have a job!  And I DON’T REALLY NEED Government Assistance (that word tastes nasty to me).  BUT turns out if you just STOP paying your mortgage, its the only way to actually get “attention” and be able to opt-in to ALL these plans that Dear Sweet Mr. President has helped create to stimulate the economy.

So here is the kicker.  I have been dropped by 2 real estate agents.  HA!  My house, that I love so much, is what you call under water at this point in the economy.  And all we really did was purchase a house before the bottom dropped out.  It wasn’t a BAD purchase!  It wasn’t expensive in the first place!  And I swear, I wish Banks (or Wells Fargo, who I hate with a FIREY passion) would just listen to Lawyer Documents (apparently they don’t) so I wouldn’t even have to MESS with this.  But the Real Estate Agents both want to list it SO LOW that I would have to come to the table with $50,000.  Literally.  $50,000.  In Cash.  One of the agents said, well that shouldn’t be a problem, you are from Mountain Brook so your parents will pay for that, right?  Ummmm…no.

So I asked them to list it higher, because I believe that if this is what God wants me to do (and trust me, I’ve been praying left and RIGHT for almost 2 years) that he will sell the house for more than a Real Estate Agent believes it will sell for.   And response is?  I am “not interested” in listing it for higher.   Well I am not interested in being classy today either, but I will for both our sakes, yes?

So let’s go ahead and just be clear on all that you read above.  A woman who has a good paying job, a good car, a great life ,CANNOT, as in UNABLE TO,  sell her house.  Now, ALL OF A SUDDEN, I cannot help but think about a widow who was just left with a house, or a single mother whose income is cut in half.  Or even someone less fortunate than me with less support and less education!     And it certainly does make you feel more sympathy for those who torch their own houses for the insurance money, or like I said.  Just walk away from the  debt.

So let’s all have faith and PRAY that God would be clear about where this house should go!  How about that, friends.  God is bigger than the real estate market.  This I am sure of.

company

Again I am alone in my house.  First there were sisters, then roommates in college, sisters again, a husband, then there was one sister, then there was the other sister, and now there are none…

Behold, I am doing a new thing;  now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness  and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 49:19

Overwhelmed at the thought of getting a new roommate.  Hating living by myself.  Not loving the option of selling my house in the economy (since we bought it about 6 months before the bottom dropped out of the economy.  Like, literally.) But there aren’t that many TRULY GOOD memories in that house.  Packing sounds so TERRIBLE to me, and I would end up throwing almost everything AWAY.

Now, dear friends, I have been praying for guidance on this house for about 14 months.  What is strange is that I keep WAVERING on what to do, and waiting on a clear sign.  But maybe its NOT a clear sign.

Maybe its a just a jump that getting out of a house that you used to be married, and then you weren’t –

the house that has half-done projects because someone started them, and then moved away –

the house that held tears and a failed marriage –

MAYBE its a jump because I am supposed to just TRUST.

Revelations 21:4  “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

So MAYBE I start packing up little by little, and not just NOT. Maybe I just lose the ties that hold me to Birmingham – the ties that haunt of dead dogs and deader life.  Maybe somethings are just MEANT to be left behind.

Deut 28:1-6 “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.”

whats in a name?

Lately, I have been struggling with my last name.  I know that is one of the craziest things to even care about, but it perfectly fits where I am in my life.

In the first place, I could go back to my Maiden Name – Saxon. Strong, almost violent when rolling off your tongue.  According to the Wikipedia entry on SAXONs, “The Saxons may have derived their name from seax, a kind of knife for which they were known. The seax has a lasting symbolic impact in the English counties of Essex and Middlesex, both of which feature three seaxes in their ceremonial emblem.”  But really, to me it reminds me of a place that I have grown out of – being Single.  On the one hand, it just erases what happened over the past four years.  To me.  Its like when people tell me that I should go see a plastic surgeon about the massive shark bite on my leg.  I LIKE scars.  They show me where I’ve come from, how much I’ve been protected and saved.  And it also reminds me of the pain.  I truly believe that one of the worst things that happens as humans is forgetfulness.  Not FORGIVENESS but forgetfulness.  As in how bad the pain was, how we made it through it, how we were refined and changes by it.  But let me be clear – forgetfulness is not the same as forgiveness.  I have never been able to hold words, events, etc against people.  One thing that is such a blessing is that I am easy to forgive others.  (For the most part.  Of course there are places that I am not perfect in that.  But that is for another day!)

I Digress.

Staying with my current last name – a name I inherited by Marriage – Douglas.

Again, Wikipedia: “Douglas (occasionally spelled Douglass) is a common surname of Scottish origin, thought to derive from the Scottish Gaelic dubh glas, meaning black, or black-green, (with an implied meaning of black water), referring to locations either at Douglas in Scotland or Douglas in Ireland” .  First off, I am NOT a double-S Douglas.  But in fact, I am not really a Douglas at all.  It took me so long to claim that last name as part of me – an entire 4 years -but now its not me at all.  I am NOT married and yet in my mind, I wish there was a term for “Not Married, Doesn’t feel Single, but really Divorced”.  And yes, legally, according to all Social Security, Driver’s License, Mortgages, Bank Accounts, Water Bills, Power Bills, Pay Stubs, I am a Douglas.  So I can’t go back to what I was before, and I am not really what I am right now.

 

 

So what DOES that leave?  How do I become my own person not tied to history – who was I was born to or who I was married to.  When do I just become….Me?