That sound you hear is me exhaling….it took a while (a really long while), but at this point we have a house…(although given how things have gone here so far, you think I’d wait until after I have the keys to actually say that…)
We have sent all or our references to the letting agent and he has contacted us to set a time to sign the lease. So on Friday afternoon we sign the lease and on Monday we move into our new place in Raheny! (pronounced: Rah-HE Knee)
Now before I go on, let me clarify…I’m still wrestling with the fact that it isn’t in Clontarf. Maybe that is just me being a bit thick headed…because as you can see from the map below, while we aren’t in Clontarf, I could throw a baseball from our back yard & make it to Clontarf (if I had a day or two to warm up of course…and didn’t have Carl Crawford’s elbow…I’m sorry, how much are the Sox paying this guy each year? Okay…end of my rant.) Back to Clontarf/Raheny…See how close we are living to Clontarf?
The hard part is that in my head, for the past 12 months, Clontarf is where we’d end up. At the same time, we’ve had a sense this whole time of the Father saying in every area of our transition here, “Just pick one, & I’ll bless it!” But, I still thought it was going to be in Clontarf…I just had no idea it would be so impossible to let property there.
That all makes it hard for me to be excited….I mean realistically the place is great…I’m just having a hard time being excited at this point. So that said, here is my quick rundown of our new place:
The good stuff:
– In a good neighbourhood. (as a guy with 3 beautiful teenage daughters, and a gorgeous wife, all of whom now live in a major city, a good neighbourhood was important)
– 5 Bedrooms!
– A large sunroom.
– A great backyard with a nice picnic table.
-All the appliances we need (although in various states of working order)
– Close to to bus stops & Dart Station
– The girls love it.
– It is the price we’ve been looking for.
The not great stuff…
– Did I mention it isn’t in Clontarf?
– It needs a paint job (& since I still don’t have a job yet, guess I can be painting)
– We will be needing to get some furniture as it is a bit sparsely furnished…
I mean clearly, over all, the good far outweighs the not so good.
And part of the reason we’re able to get a house as large as it is, in the neighbourhood it is, is because it needs some attention…(kind of like when we were able to own a beautiful Victorian home in Ithaca, because it was in a college student area, while we never could have afforded it in one of the nicer Ithaca areas. Generally, you don’t seem to find affordable, great neighbourhood & in perfect condition in the same property…at least we don’t…so we generally pick two & then decide what we can do about the third.
And thankfully painting & furnishing is all stuff we can do over time.
And I’m Still Learning:
I think one of the main reasons God’s brought us to Ireland, and given us a year where we aren’t planting/leading a church is so that Liz & I can really focus on our kids. I won’t speak for Liz, but I ended to be a bit of a work-a-holic the first 10-11 years of the Ithaca Vineyard, and I’ve spent the past 2 years trying to undo & unlearn that. While I allowed the Ithaca Vineyard to come first more than a few times…it was always Liz & the kids who suffered (although looking back, I know it was me who suffered too…and other than some weird sense of accomplishment, didn’t really gain anything in the deal.)
So what does this have to do with our house?
Well, when we left, after agreeing to rent this place in Raheny…I asked Liz, “what if the place we looked at in Clontarf became available? Would you take it.” She refused to play. And I responded, “I’d do it in a second.”
Now the house in Clontarf was in the perfect location (in my mind) & beautiful…However, it had 3 bedrooms…a twin bedroom, meaning room for one twin bed…and a box room…meaning it was about half the size of the twin. So we would have needed to cram the 3 kids into those 2 rooms. But other than that….the place was amazing…
Yeah, that’s about as far as I got in my head before I had to decide, we need to be in a place that the kids love far more than we need to be in a place that is “strategic” as far as I’m concerned.
So I don’t know…is that what God was getting at the whole time? Maybe. Or perhaps it was just a bonus lesson to show me where my heart is still at if I’m not careful.
That’s where we are at…we’re all looking forward to having our own home again. And if you like to paint, bring a brush & come on over next week.
And in case you need more proof of my issues:
I am not a violent person…yet occasionally I have dreams where I hit people (trust me, they always deserve it.) But you know how when you’re dreaming & it feels like you’re punches don’t really have anything behind them…like you’re tangled up in blankets.
Well, I’m having a dream last night…actually this morning, and in my dream, I’m hitting this person, & I decide I need to stop these wimpy dream punches & really hit this person…
Next thing I know I’m awake because I punched the night stand & smacked my knuckles.
I need to go spend sometime with my kids…