Archive for September, 2012

Distraction

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Personal Moment
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The purpose and goal of all my life circumstances, good or bad, is to glorify Jesus Christ, but in recent days I’m finding it hard to stay focused on the goal. I feel myself trying to drown my struggles, specifically struggles regarding the house, with distractions. I try to stay busy planning this event or working on that list of chores and I convince myself that I have to do these things to keep my mind off of the situation or I’ll go crazy. Now I’m not suggesting that being productive is a bad thing or that wallowing in my sorrows is the better course of action, but I am saying that using productivity to hide from the struggles God has given me will eventually put me on an endless pursuit of distraction instead of keeping me in pursuit of God and His glory. If I chose to chase distraction, then the chances are good that I will become exhausted, hardened and numb, unable to hear His voice because there is no silence for Him to be heard. If instead, I take a moment to think and pray, the door is opened for God to speak His perspective to my heart and my struggles suddenly are being used to make me soft and moldable for His purposes. You see, by burying all that I am going through with distractions, I bury God with it and all glory is lost.

Now being the busy sort of person that I am, this is a very hard reality for me to live in. However, as a mom, I desperately want to be an example to my girls of a woman who faces her problems with prayer, not one who buries them. To be honest, some days the best I can do is cry like a baby, but on those days the thing that makes the difference is running to His feet in a quiet moment instead of running to an endless list of things to do. But here’s the real truth; my current circumstances are just a training ground for bigger mountains and deeper valleys that are yet unseen but will most certainly be in my future. If I do not learn how to chase God instead of distractions in the struggles I face now, the result will be a very hard, dissolutioned old woman and that is not who I want to be for my girls. The glory of God is a human soul transformed and enjoying the fullness of who He is no matter the circumstance; so when in the silence of a moment I fall in His arms, I am made a little softer to His transforming touch and thus a little stronger for His glory.   Therfore I will press on towards the goal and I hope I have encouraged someone else out there to do the same. (Philippians 3:13-15)

I am a housewife. A lot of people look down upon the profession because it is not paid and does not require a degree, but it is a profession none the less. Our job description is extensive and pretty much limitless in its scope depending upon the current needs of any given situation. We plan the meals and do the grocery shopping, cook the dinners, do the dishes, wash the clothes, pay the bills, plan family events, keep the living areas in some state of cleanliness and that’s just managing the house.  If you have kids like I do then you are also the full time nanny, which includes changing diapers at least 6 to twelve times a day, keeping the children clean, clothing the children, picking up after the children, preparing snacks and meals 6 times a day and providing entertainment/educational activities in-between.  It’s the life of a servant in most of its aspects, but those of us who choose to accept the position, do so not because we will ever get paid what our jobs are worth, but because we feel that our families are worth the sacrifices we make. It is most definitely a full time profession.

Now, most people who work in a full time profession typically have some sort of office or work environment where they operate to properly complete their assigned tasks.  For the IT Analyst it’s the cubical, for the craftsman it’s the workshop, for the retail worker it’s the cash register or the warehouse where he or she spends the day shelving shipments of products but for the housewife it is her house. Whether it’s a mobile home in the backwoods of Alabama or a mansion in Manhattan, a housewife’s home is her base of operations to organize and complete the myriad of tasks that face her each day so you can imagine that a homeless housewife would be faced with quite a functional challenge. It would be like a craftsman trying to fashion a bookshelf outside where his tools are scattered and exposed to weather or the retail worker attempting to organize a truck load of products in a 5 x 7 cubical. They could probably manage to come up with some sort of solution for the short term but to adequately continue their work in the long term they would need a proper work environment. For the past year and ten months I have been a homeless housewife; thanks to the generosity of my parents, I and my family have not been completely homeless, but for all functional purposes, the effect has been the same. The first twelve months were by choice for various reasons but the last ten have been the result of the home building process from hell and in the following paragraphs I am going to attempt to relate some of the turmoil that my family and I have experienced due to the utter incompetence of Compass Pointe Homes.  First, let’s just start with the facts:

On November 8, 2011 my husband and I signed paperwork with the company, Compass Pointe Homes, to begin construction on our home in a quiet little neighborhood in Conroe, Texas. At the time we were told by the sales representative that as long as our loan application was approved and our design center appointment was completed in December, that construction would begin in January and the house would be completed within four to six months after that. Our loan application was approved immediately and without any issues, our design center appointment was completed on December 13, 2011 and our pre-construction meeting was completed January 9, 2012. However, despite what we were told, the forms for our house were not even set until March 7, 2012 after countless e-mails sent by us to find out what was going on. They gave us a myriad of excuses including telling us that the construction loan for the house was not yet approved, which turned out to be completely false. It was later discovered in a phone conversation, that the construction of our house was being entirely funded by the sales of other homes because Compass Pointe was financially insolvent due to a bad investment. This bad investment would turn out to be the source of endless trouble. On March 28, 2012 we received an e-mail from the sales manager assuring us that despite the delay, Compass Pointe was still confident in a June closing date. We were then told by in another e-mail from the sales manager on March 29, 2012 that the slab would be poured the following week which didn’t actually happen until May 14, 2012; this was almost an additional two month delay. On May 18, 2012 we received an e-mail stating that lumber for the frames would be delivered the following week, however, the lumber was not delivered until June 7, 2012. In an e-mail on June 22, 2012 the sales manager assured us that we would now be closing by mid-August. At the end of June we finally threatened to pull our contract because after the frames went up the weekend of June 8th, they were left exposed for over four weeks after countless promises that the roof would be put on. On July 7, 2012, the operations manager sent us a written project plan that showed the house as completed on August 9, 2012. We then received a letter signed by the CFO of Compass Pointe Homes, stating that the company had the financial capacity to complete our home according to the schedule that the operations manager had sent us so we decided that since we had come this far, we would continue our contract based on the letter and project plan. It is now September 19, 2012 and our house is not finished. We were told that our house was to be bricked over four weeks ago and they just finished bricking on Monday, September 17th. I have not even mentioned the fact that we had locked our interest rate based on the project plan provided to us and because the house was nowhere near finished by the time it expired, we had to go through the hassle of trying to re-lock it even though interest rates had gone up. So this is the insanity that has been the building process.

I can’t even begin to describe the emotional turmoil I and my family have been through in the last ten months with all that I have described above but by God’s mercy we have remained strong. My husband has spent countless hours on the phone and writing e-mails trying to deal with the incompetent, unethical staff members that are employed by Compass Pointe Homes and yet he has strived to remain patient and reasonable; my parents have been completely displaced by having a family with two small children come to live in their home for much longer than was originally expected, and yet they continue extend generosity and be supportive; I have lived in utter disorganization and endured the emotional strain of not knowing when I would be able to run my own home again and yet somehow I have been supernaturally sustained. So my point in writing this account is not to make people feel sorry for me – We have made our choices and every hardship has its divinely appointed purpose. I write this so that other families can have the information that we didn’t have when we started this hellacious process. There is no legal action that can be taken, as builders contracts are heavily weighted in favor of the builder, so I feel it is my ethical duty to inform everyone who will read this that if you wish to have a house built, do not do business with Compass Pointe Homes and always do everything you can to find out the financial solvency of a builder before you sign on the dotted line.  We are still fighting with them to get our house finished before my daughters third birthday in October and hopefully very soon this homeless housewife will once again have a home. Until then please continue to keep us in your prayers!

Building Altars

Posted: September 4, 2012 in Teachable Moment
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One of my daughter’s favorite things to do is look through my scrapbooks. We spend lots of time flipping through pages of Christmas memories, birthday celebrations and candid moments. However, as I look at each page and watch my little girl delight in all the pictures decorated with glitter and stickers, I can’t help but think about the seasons of life that the pictures represent. In each season, there are memories of joy and pain, but looking at all the photos arranged on the page make each memory seem like brush strokes on a painting of God’s mercy… It’s like I am standing back to look at a much larger creation and suddenly all the colorful little moments captured in pictures are there to remind me of how God was revealing himself in each time of my life. Well, this makes me think about the Old Testament. There are countless references of God commanding his people to build altars, which were intended to be reminders of something God had done. For instance, in Genesis 35 God commands Jacob to make an altar where He appeared to him when he fled from Esau; this was not only for the purposes of worship, but also so that Jacob would remember that God had answered him in his distress and his faith would be strengthened.

So to me pictures are like little altars…They serve as reminders of the things God has done in my life to reveal himself to me, and as moms I think it is important to teach our children how to build these altars. As we go through life, with its mountains and valleys, it is easy to forget that God is using our journey to paint a much bigger picture of who He is. We must teach our children to remember because remembering is how faith really grows. It doesn’t really matter if its pictures in a scrapbook, entries in a journal or a box full of special mementos, as long as it’s something that will remind them of who God is and that He is the masterpiece revealed in the colorful seasons of their lives.