Sunday, April 15, 2012

To Rent or To Buy?

I am finally sitting down at a reasonable hour, and have my feet up.  I was going to polish the night off with a piece of Zitner's Butter Krak, with coconut covered in dark chocolate with pieces of toasted coconut jeweled in the coating- but the ever fleeting chocolate goodness left my mind when I was brought back to my Jersey roots with the bag of fresh bagels my parents brought.  An everything bagel was so soft and smelled so delicious, I couldn't bear to put it in the freezer with the others, and the room temperature butter called for me to curl onto the couch, write a blog entry, and enjoy.

We are signed. The contract is signed and returned.  A few weeks ago, we visited the new area and Mike returned the contract in hand, as I circled the parking lot with the kids in the car.  We visited a local park to get a feel for one of the town, and walked through a couple open houses to get a feel for homes in person, after only knowing them online and through pictures and realtor information sheets. We visited a few preschools, and found somethings we liked and didn't like.  Some ideas that would be a good fit and some that would be a poor fit for Naomi.

Our new venture is to answer the question. . . should we rent or buy a home? We have gone back and forth.

When I first took on my student teaching position at Crossroads Middle school, I remember my supervisor being very firm on one condition: Make the program my own.  I was very quiet and slightly intimidated by the hundreds of middle school music students that bustled in every morning for rehearsals.  It wasn't until one day when an antsy 6th grade bari-sax player was noodling around as I was speaking that I hushed the sounds with a firm and strong yell, "do not play while I am speaking."   The students in the class immediately sat up straighter and had their eyes bug out a bit, and the other music teachers in the office were making gestures through the window of cheering for - finally - an outburst of firm and clear strong direction. There comes a point when all this floating in the wind has to be grounded by a stronger sense of leadership and direction.  I owned that program for those few months after.  Especially my little lessons and groups.  I learned a great deal from owning it.

Mike has this one attending that he works with, who has a particular and unique method for implanting a pacemaker, and for Mike, his job has been to set up the whole area for each specific attending, until they scrubbed in to take over.  So he went ahead and did this specific cutting and maneuvering to get the area ready for this attending to put the pacemaker in, in this attending's own little way.  But, as Mike looked over to the window after being fairly deep into the case, he realized: The attending wasn't planning on scrubbing into the case! Mike would have never done the case this way, just because he was not comfortable with this technique--not enough to do the entire case on his own.  For this attending to not scrub in gave Mike an incredible learning opportunity to run the whole case.  Put in a pacemaker using someone else's method.  His brain was fried by the time he got home.  Afterwards, the attending said to Mike (more impactful courtesy of his thick accent) : "Oh there is a learning curve, there is an awful lot to keep track of when it's all up to you."

Yes.  A lot to keep track of when it is all up to us.  We own this adorable twin house, and it has been a huge learning curve.  I didn't realize how much of the learning curve I didn't learn until we systematically cleaned out 7 years of bad habits, cluttering, and neglect.  And we still have a few closets to go.

As I take the last bite of this clearly non-Pennsylvanian bagel, I must turn in for the night before I get too introspective.


My bagel this morning is defrosted, toasted, hot with melted butter and cold cream cheese.  Fantastic.

I was talking with Mike about some of the concepts from last night, and he put well the idea that we should live our lives with the zeal of ownership, but realizing that we are here, granted time and space for a short while, and entrusted with our lot.  We are called to be stewards of our things, home, money, and time.

As we aspire to know more about Jesus, we can keep an eternal perspective in our thinking.  Jesus addressed where we are from in His prayer from John 17.  "I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world." (John 17:15-16 ESV)  If we are not of the world, we have a home, which is where we are originally from.  Just as we call our physical place of birth or where we "grew up" our home, we have an eternal home where we will forever dwell, since we know the Lord.

As far as the actual decision wether to buy or rent a home in our next location, we are going to rent at first.  Hopefully, once we are out there, we will have a better idea of our favorite neighborhoods, boroughs, and areas.  We are already gradually narrowing down where from a side of a river, to a county, to a township.  Now that we have a township in mind, we will focus on neighborhoods and houses.  Fenced in yard here we come!  If you have ever met our children, you know that this will be a HUGE blessing all around.  We hope to prepare this kind of place for our kids.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:1-7 ESV)

For the record, I have had about 7 bagels since beginning this blog.  Two during a trip to NJ, and 5 from our freezer.  Everything bagels, poppy bagels, a sesame and an onion.  A perfect reminder of home.