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  • Why I'm Not Likely to Buy a House Anytime Soon

    Somewhere along the way in our Western culture, we made up societal standards of success for each other. They're like unspoken rules that govern the way many of us live. One of them is owning a house. According to the culture at this point in my life (I'm 30), I'm supposed to at least be thinking of buying a house if I haven't sealed a deal already. Already? Thirty years is no time in my opinion. I mean, hasn't it flown by like crazy? If you think about it, I've only been an adult for 12 years and statistically speaking, I'll live until I'm 80. That's at least 50 more years of adult life. And I'm expected to have bought a home in the first 12? By the numbers, it sounds a little premature to me. I'm writing this in response to seeing some of my peers close on their first houses recently, and it made me think about why exactly I'm not in that position. If you’ve been thinking about it, too, maybe something here will put words to your feelings and encourage you that you aren’t the only one who doesn’t want to buy a home. Here are my reasons why I'm not even entertaining the idea currently.

    Settling Down

    I'm just not ready. I don't know that I ever will be, but I mean, sure, maybe one day. If you're ready to stay in one place for the majority of your life, well hey, you're doing the right thing by getting a house. I recognize that owning a home doesn't necessarily keep you in one place. Many people own a home, but rent it out to other people because they are living somewhere else for some other reason. But I know that if I made that big of a financial decision to actually purchase a home, in reality, I'd want to actually stay in it, because I'd be thinking "I'm still paying for this right now, so why would I want someone else to enjoy it?" while I'd also be paying for where ever else I lived. Of course, if money weren't an issue, and I could buy a house out right to let someone rent it, well, that's a completely different story, and there would be no point to this entire blog. For now, in my current financial state, the state I'm sure many of my peers are in, I could not see buying a house as a rental property as a good investment at all. But back to settling down, the bottom line is even though owning a home doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck in one place, it more than likely means you will be. It’s basically our default thought process. For example, my housemate was discussing an idea to store some things in a friend’s garage, because in his words, “They own the house, so it’s not like they’re going anywhere anytime soon.” There are always exceptions to the “rule,” but I don’t think I have make the point any stronger. I mean, most of the time, people buy a home because they want to settle down.

    Finances

    I touched on it just briefly already, but there is no way I see owning a home as a smart money move. You always hear that renting is throwing your money away, and instead putting it into something you will own is much better. I can see that later in my life, but I still think it’s too early. I’d rather be investing in opportunities that actually create wealth for me, not just sitting on a hill somewhere. Obviously, buying a house, keeping it up and even making it better, and selling it on could return a great reward,  just like buying and selling anything, but it takes capital and a housing market mind to do that. For the majority of people, that isn’t our lifestyle, but we are still persuaded into believing that we’re doing ourselves a favor by buying a home now. Financially, for the average person my age, I just can’t see it. I don’t claim to know everything about money, but I do not want to know what it feels like to have a huge chunk of my money and future money going to something the cons outweigh the pros on for the time being.

    Maintenance 

    You know when you're renting how someone else mows the grass, fixes that leaky faucet, broken refrigerator, or well, anything else broken in your apartment or town house? Yeah, that doesn't happen when you have your own home. Yes, you can take pride in what is yours and revel in your handy ways when you're taking care of your own place, but I've found a lot of pride and happiness in taking care of the places I've rented and have had way less stress in my life so far not having to deal with the broken this or that. The thing about buying a house is it's not over once you've paid your monthly bill or even paid off your house for good. All the extras are coming out of your pocket, too, and honestly, I'd rather spend my "extra" money on other things for the time being. 

    Baggage

    This is sort of along the same lines as settling down, but what I mean here is the weight that comes along with having material possessions. Please hear me out, having stuff (and even nice stuff at that) is by no means inherently bad. But feeling the weight of their existence IS an inherent reality. Owning a home is certainly still a privilege, but it's also a responsibility. We can definitely choose our mindsets and not adopt one of fear or worry, but the fact remains: it is something that will occupy space in your brain and take up time and effort in your life and rightfully so as that is essentially what a responsibility is, but for me, that is not what I want on my mind right now. 

    Accumulation 

    This one is key for me. When I was newly married, we lived in a three bedroom home that was owned by the church where we served. Because we had the space, we accumulated SO MUCH STUFF. You don't even know it's happening. It wasn't until we moved out of that home that I realized just how much junk we had in less than four years, and it was a pain to deal with. Everyone knows moving sucks, and it's partly because we all have way too much clutter in our lives. As the years have passed by, my husband and I have de-cluttered our lives as we moved in to smaller places. Two years ago, we literally got down to two suitcases, two carry-on bags, and flew to live with family in England. Since then, we've been back in the states, but because of our circumstances, we've still practically lived the same way. When we moved across the country to California, we had a car full, and that's still the same as we live in community with other people who have all the stuff. Yes, you do have to have some stuff or access to it to live decently. Eventually, we'll get our own place again, but our resolve is the same: we never want to get into the trap of accumulation. It can easily happen when you buy a home, though, and like I said, if you know you're going to be there for a good while, then it really doesn't matter as much, but I don't want the space or availability for it to happen. 

    So there you have them: the reasons I'm not likely to buy a house any time soon.

    "BUT WAIT," you might be asking, "YOU'RE ABOUT TO HAVE A KID. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU AREN'T READY TO SETTLE DOWN? DON'T YOU WANT A PLACE TO RAISE YOUR FAMILY?" 

    Because yes, I am pregnant right now, and the answer is yes, I do want a place a raise my family. I just happen to think that you can raise a family in more than one place, which is most likely what's going to happen for the Drozdowski clan as we grow. It's all about how we each choose to live and operate our lives. Some of us are a little more unconventional than others. I’m sure there will come a day when I reassess these thoughts and see if I’m still in the same place, but for now, I feel comfortable with this. Will it be hard with a baby? Yes. But wouldn’t it be hard anyway? When you know you are being led in a certain lifestyle for a reason, and you see that reason, it completely affirms your decisions. As an adult, that’s the one thing I’m most proud of and see as success: being confident in the choices you make no matter what other people are saying. Knowing yourself and knowing the One Voice you’re listening to, you can’t go wrong.

  • M+R

    I watch a light, wet snow falling and a little bird visiting the front porch bird feeder from my chair inside at my Mama's mountain house hot drink in hand as I'm thinking about how happy I am to be here. This is just a visit, but I'll move here in May. The scenery will be different outside this window, much more green and growing, but I have hope the sentiment will remain. 

    In a matter of weeks, the tone of this post is absolutely more contented than the last one. In December, I was struggling in my wait to be with my family, to touch my beloved North Carolina homeland, and to be with child. Now here I am enjoying the company of my people, the sights of the best state in the country and all with my loved ones' knowledge, love, and support of the baby currently growing inside me. 

    The truth is that at the time I wrote my last post, I was unbeknowingly already pregnant having just concieved that week. When I found out on January 11, I almost felt silly for having any of my impatient doubts. But I'm still glad I wrote that post. I'm not ashamed I had those feelings. God was not dissapointed. He and I both knew that my inner spirit was more in tune with the truth than my flesh could feel.

    The baby is six weeks old this week. He or she is this tiny little lentil-sized person whose heart has just begun to beat. I have no major physical confirmations that he or she is even there, but I'm keenly aware of this child's spiritual presence. I did know something had changed in me right after the time the little one would have arrived. He or she awakened in me on Earth already existing in Heaven, so I now have this amazing revelation of the operation of the Holy Spirit within us. Just as a baby is housed within a woman's womb, Holy Spirit dwells within the inner being of a child of God with often times no physical manifestation of His presence. But there will always be movement that will come just as their is repose. * 

    In a week, I will be heading back to Redding, California, where my husband will already be there waiting for me. Redding and the blessings I cherish once again from that city will be waiting for me to come and grasp them. I will soak up every last drop of purpose we went out there for, and I will recognize both the sadness and the delight it will be to move on from it. 

    I know there may be some interesting times still to come in our transition. The irony of recieving things you've longed for and feeling fulfilled in ways you've wanted for a while is that once you've got it, you often long again for something you used to have or for other things still. As I desired to wait well, I want to transition well. Stay tuned for thoughts along the journey as always. 

    * I got the language of "movement and repose" from a beautiful song called "Paper Hanger" by mewithoutYou.

  • How to Wait Well

    For a brief few days, I felt the sting of sadness the end of a year can bring. There's something about letting go of the past twelve months that's hard for many of us. It's a pity that Christmas is in the midst of, and for some people the reason for, all those low and lonely feelings. Christmas is a glorious holiday in that it is the celebration of Glory itself coming down to us. But Christmas is also the people and traditions attached to it, and when those people and traditions become only memories...well, it just makes us sad. 

    I've had a difficult time this fall. I keep feeling like I shouldn't say it's been hard, because in many ways, it's been easy, but I will say it has been the weirdest season of my life so far. Alot of our friends we made in the first year of BSSM came back for second year, and it started without us. I had moved past the expectation of second year for us once I knew it wasn't going to happen, but it suprised me how hurt I actually was by it once everyone was back. I did move on to a new expectation of just being here in Redding anyway and resting with no work or school responsibilites and, instead, working on getting pregnant. But September, October, November, and December have passed with the certainty of not being pregnant, so that has hurt, too, because even though I'm not worried anything is wrong with my ability to become pregnant, I just thought I had heard God say it was time to and because of that it would be easy and happen pretty much immediately.

    I had a life plan worked out revolving around getting pregnant this fall. So that has to change now obviously. I know it sounds like "Duh! Life happens!" but I hate that it has to change. It makes me feel silly for assuming I knew how everything was going to happen. I'm just not seeing what I wanted to see right now, and I haven't had that happen in life very often. No, actually, that isn't true. I've not gotten what I wanted lots of times, but there's something different about it right now. I think it's because during first year, I was filled with so much hope and anticipation of the future, and I experienced a spiritual deposit I've found hard to even explain much less process despite all the time I've had this fall. So it feels like a school year's worth of emotional and spiritual revival hype built up for seemingly nothing, because then it just stopped, and I wasn't a student anymore. I didn't have a title. I didn't have a well-defined place to pour into or from which to be poured into. Relationships and intimacy seemed all of sudden so much harder, because if I was going to have connection, I had to be intentional. I found a couple of places to plug into and I continued to meet new people, but nothing really stuck like it did during first year. I'm so grateful that a few friends we made last year are still strong features in our life here, and don't get me wrong, I still really love this church, but so many times I have wanted to be rid of this season.  

    The pain of waiting is a dull, nagging pain that convinces you it's not that bad and that you're okay, but then every two weeks it hurts so badly, you find yourself crying in your bed, or in the laundry room, or in the bathroom, or yelling at your husband because you can't explain what you're feeling or why everything in the world feels so inadequate. In the fall of 2012, God told me I would walk into a season of "a trudge," but right after that, we were launched into the craziest, fastest-paced adventure I had been on in my life because we decided to come here, and we lost our job, and moved to England and all that. I go back to that word, "a trudge," and wonder if it's now that God was talking about. This certainly feels like trudging. 

    I mentioned at the beginning of this post that for a brief few days, I felt the sting of sadness the end of a year can bring. But then I was reminded of the preciousness of my marriage celebrating our ninth anniversary on the 22nd. I got through Christmas with my husband and a couple of sweet friends by my side. And now I've come to these last few days of 2014 being able to finally write this personal confession of a blog, because I feel ready to enter 2015 now even though I still don't know when I'm going to get pregnant or how that's going to change the timeline I had previously imagined for myself. 

    If you haven't already noticed, this post isn't really a formula for how to wait well. I don't even know if I am waiting well, because for the most part, I'm moody and temperamental and don't seem to feel as confident as I have before. And what is it I'm really waiting for anyway? Nothing I want in this world can be as fulfilling as knowing God, and I already know Him. So maybe those of us who are burdened by the weight of waiting should put the object of our wait not on babies, or jobs, or success, or changes of situation but just on Him. Despite my frustration as God and I trudge along, I still know that He's the One for me. I can't explain it, but as you know Him year after year, you know that He's on your side, and He's going to make all of this make sense at some point.