Decision Has Been Made….

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We make decisions everyday in life.. Some are so easy they are a no brainer as we like to call them around here. Others can be really difficult and some, near impossible.  As you know, we have been trying to move for almost the last six months and for various reasons. Mostly health reasons but also financial reasons. We have been living in a house that is severely underwater (homeowners you understand what I mean by that). We had such a high mortgage payment and by the time the bills were paid each month it didn’t leave nearly enough to live on and pay for medical things we need also. So, the medical always went by the way side because after all, everyone has to eat don’t they?

Six months ago I began placing advertisements in papers etc that we were looking for a home to rent long term back near my family in the state of NJ. Our thinking was, renting has got to be cheaper than what we were paying in mortgage and insurance each month and then we could afford what we needed, plus I would be close to my family. When this began I did what I always do and put everything into the hands of the Lord and asked him to lead us to or lead the right people to us, to help us not make anymore mistakes and that we would go where ever he lead us to even, if we didn’t understand it.. The reason for that, because we know no matter where God will put us it will be right for us because he ALWAYS provides and takes care of us.

Well, it’s been what I can say an extremely frustrating six months. People agreeing to rent to us then disappearing, people mis representing the area we are too move to, three times people sent us leases to sign and then pulled out of the deal at the last minute .(thankfully no money had yet been exchanged but it was very close all three times) Lastly, one man pursued us to rent his home for three months, when we finally said yes, he discussed all the particulars with my husband, everything was set and then… we got the lease. The bottom line was, this man wanted us to move into his home, care for it like our own (which we would have) AND pay for all his repairs in the home etc that would have been HIS responsibility as a landlord and then send him a rent check every month. Needless to say, we were NOT going to rent that house but, that was the last one left. No one else had responded to our ads. There was no where else to go, we were now three months behind on our mortgage and we hadn’t paid our property tax yet either.  We had about a month ago put in for a mortgage modification but still, hadnt heard anything from them either and we were sure they wouldn’t work with us because in this day and age of owning a home, the banks, care about the banks. They don’t care if you can eat each month they just want their money.

So I spent some time in church last week and a lot of time in prayer over the last two months (more than usual) and I said to the Lord on Weds of this week, “Well Lord, this is it. The house is half packed, the living room is full of tons of stuff to be sold, we have no where to move to, no idea when something will come along, the mortgage is three months behind and we haven’t heard back from them. Now what? I know you’ll provide and I know your time isn’t ours but Lord, we need something good to happen and soon”..

This past Friday was Good Friday and also my 44th birthday. My husband and I were sitting in the den a bit dumbfounded not knowing what would happen next and then the phone rang. It was the mortgage company. They decided……….to drop our interest rate to the going rate of todays market, and…..they dropped our mortgage payment by almost $600.00 per month for the next THREE years. Our mortgage payment went from $1500.00 per month (thats insurance included) to $850.00 per month which also includes insurance and taxes. You can’t rent an apartment much less a home for that. So the decision has been made ,we will stay in our home for the next three years at which time the bank said they will re modify the loan again. We will be able to afford the medical care we need even if I have to travel for mine. We will be able to put money away as well. It’s obvious to me that God for whatever reason was leading to this decision because nothing else we tried to do to move worked out and trust me, we tried everything known to man.

No, I wont’ be closer to my family as I’d like to be but now I”ll have the financial means to travel up to NJ anytime I want as before I did not. So as I said above, God always works things out for good in His own way even if we don’t understand it..

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What Has Robyn Been Doing?

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Hi there remember me?

Yeah thats about the gist of it.. Again, I apologize for not having posted in a bit but things have been a bit crazy in my life. When aren’t things crazy in my life? When I’m sleeping? No, not even then. You wouldn’t believe the kinds of things I dream if I told you.. My mind is a scary place. Sometimes I don’t even wanna go in there!.

In my last post you may remember me telling you that we had found a place, had a lease from the owner and were just about to sign and send the security check but I that I didn’t want to say too much for fear of jinxing it? Well, I guess I should have told you!. Ready for this? Thursday of last week my husband called the owner to tell her we had signed the lease and would be mailing the lease and the check out on Friday morning to be on the lookout for it. He left a message and we waited for a call back. We knew we’d here from her since she’s always called back within an hour or so. Five hours later, no return call so I thought, eh, she must have gotten busy, we’ll hear from her. And…. we did…

I went to check my email about 7 pm that evening to find an email from the home owner. I thought maybe she was just busy and couldn’t talk so decided to email instead. After I read the first sentence I felt like I’d been kicked in the gut. She wrote” I am sorry to tell you that we can’t rent to you. It is due to a personal situation I would rather not go into but I am sorry we are just letting you know now. We are regretful this has happened but we do hope you find a home soon”.. Honestly, I was dumbfounded. This was the FOURTH, count em, FOURTH lease that has now fallen through at the last minute. I was upset, angry, sick to my stomach etc but decided to take the high road and I replied with ” I too am regretful and sorry about this as we really loved your home but we understand life throws us curve balls we never expect. Thank you for letting us know”.. I was surprised that she also responded to my email and said it had to do with her daughter although no real detail and that she would keep her eyes out for a house and let us know if she came across one. I don’t expect to hear from her..I have to tell you that I am beyond exhausted with all this. Things like this have been happening to us since January now. Four leases, and they all fell through just as we were to sign on the dotted line.

So as I always do, it’s in Gods hands as its always been. Where have I been since my last post? I’ve been spending more and more time with Jesus. HE is the only one who gives me peace even in the midst of turmoil. I pray all day everyday. Small prayers throughout the day and longer ones at night. Lately even more so. Ive also been spending atleast an hour each night before bed with Him in Scripture. He is my constant in this insane chaos I call my life. Unfortunately not knowing where we are moving to or when or even if now is taking up most of my thinking and blogging just has to be put on the back burner until I can clear some space in my head.

I keep asking God if we aren’t supposed to move back home. In my head that can’t be right for I know the reasons I need to move back home but maybe God has other plans. I just wish I knew what they were. Maybe I am being tested. I tell Him all the time that I trust completely in Him with everything, with my very life. Maybe He wants to strengthen that trust because right now we are pretty much up the proverbial stream without a paddle in every single area of our lives and I have given our lives and everything in them over to the Lord.

So peeps, I am not sure what happens next but I know God does. So I will trust and wait on Him.

PS: I hope this post made some sense. I am having a really hard time lately putting my thoughts together. If it was a little all over the place, sorry about that..

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An Unexpected Tree with Roots

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Hi everyone,

I know I have been putting up a lot of beauty review posts as of late and thats because beauty, makeup etc. are one of my passions but today I had some thoughts I wanted to post about. For the benefit of any new readers I will recap briefly. I am originally from New Jersey and have been living in South Carolina for the last twelve years. The decision to move here was one that at the time I was not…….shall we say, very emotionally involved in. My mom who was my best friend my entire life had just passed away and I was down the proverbial rabbit hole for a very long time and it was pretty dark down there….At the time we moved, you probably could have said we were moving to Russia and I wouldn’t have batted an eye..

We arrived in South Carolina on what would have been my moms birthday in 2002. It took me some years, more like six to finally climb out of the grief induced coma I’d been in. When I did wake up I realized that during these dark years there had been some pretty bad financial blunders made. Some our fault some not our fault but the end result was anything we had of value was sold, we had a law suit in which our lawyer told us for more than four years we were destined to come out with at least thirty thousand dollars when in reality it was approx. sixteen thousand dollars and all that did was get us out of debt the first time. Yep, I said first time. There would be more debt to come due to the fact that while I was no long asleep in my grief I was now running from it and what better way to do that then to become a shopaholic. You can probably imagine how that went.

I then spent the next five years hating everything about where I lived. I hated the heat in the summer which lasts much longer than in NJ, I hated the fact that we didn’t really have any friends due to our physical issue’s , they didn’t make it possible to do much socializing, I hated that I couldn’t seem to find any doctors down here that understood my medical condition and all it’s problems nor were any interested in learning how to help me, I hated that I had no family here, I hated that I had no money nor the good health to travel back home if I wanted too. I hated my house, I hated everything.. I spent many days and nights just sobbing because all I wanted to do was go back home but we had no money, no credit and after the economic crash of 2008 our home was approximately 70K underwater and looked as if it would always be underwater. All I did was complain and cry that “I wanted to go home”

Finally somewhere mid 2013 after much,much prayer the Lord answered me and I suddenly felt peace at my surroundings. I learned to accept the fact that if I couldn’t change them I should learn to find some kind of happiness in them because afterall we’re stuck here until who knows when and walking around sad, angry and depressed didn’t work out too well all these years. So I bean to engage more in my life here.  Well in October 2013 I thought I would give it one more go trying to find a way or ways to move back North near my family, better medical care etc. I began placing ads on CraigsList posting that we were looking for a home to rent long term, what we needed and wanted etc. To my shock I actually got responses. I say I was shocked because we have six dogs and most landlords, the moment they hear you have more than one pet they say no. I was getting many inquiries from home owners who would rent to ‘all’ of us. It seemed God had finally opened a door for us. Over the last five months we’ve come close to renting a few nice places but those deals fell through at the last minute. We are currently set to sign a lease on a home back up North but I don’t want to give to much more information for fear of jinxing it.

Now that moving back home “has” become a reality, an even bigger reality has hit me over the last month. This place I’ve hated for eleven and a half years, this place I couldn’t wait to get away from, suddenly I took a good look around and realized, somehow we had planted a tree here and it even has some small roots.  We have a few good friends that I can count on one hand but as I always say, quality over quantity, I have a doctor who although doesn’t know what on earth to do with me does try and help best he can and I like him, we have a great doctor /patient relationship. I love our dogs vet. Very good doctor, very nice Christian man, we have a wonderful church congregation, our Priests and deacon have become like family to us. They are always there to help if we need it and there’s nothing myself or my husband wouldn’t do for them. Everything here has become dare I say it, “normal” to me. I have my routine stores I go to etc. So this place I hated has now become a place that I shall actually…………miss.. Still shocks me to realize I even feel that way.. I will miss our friends, it’s going to break my heart to say goodbye to them and to our priests and deacon at church, our vet too.

After realizing all this I know we could just stay right where we are but the truth is what is missing in my life and can never be replaced by anyone or anything aside from needing better medical care is…. my family.. We are small. It’s just my brother and I, his wife and their three children who are no longer children. All in their 20’s and one is about to become a father himself but they have been like my own children since the day they were born. So as much as I will miss certain things about living here in South Carolina and definitely the people whom I call friend, the need to be near my family is much stronger pull on my heart than anything else.

So in a few months I will say goodbye to those I love here, take them with me in my heart and move on to a different life, yet again, but one that will include my family again…

Sometimes a tree puts down roots and grows but, we don’t see it until we walk head long into it..

The Saga Continues..

That would be, the saga which is my life. Thought I’d post an update on our move. I think in my last update I told you about a home in Pennsylvania in a town called East Stroudsburg. We had the lease signed, the check for the first months rent and security were all sitting in the hands of my family in NJ. The last bit to pull together was meeting with the owner of the home whom we’ve been talking with by phone for three months, take some more photos of the home, my family to check out the house, the area etc and if all was well, hand over the lease and the check. We were to be PA bound.

All of this came to a screeching halt 72 hours before the above was too happen. I got a frantic phone call from my sister in law telling me that my brother who works with a guy that happens to live in the area of where the house we are to rent is, told my brother this morning after he learned what area we were moving to, that this particular area is not only drug infested but also violent crime and gang infested.  Yep, we’re talking Crips, Bloods, Latin Kings etc. I immediately called the PA state police to ask about all this and was told that the area I live in is not a “hot bed” but below me, meaning 15 minutes away where I would do my shopping and above me are hot beds..Lovely..so NOT what I needed to hear.

My husband then called the man who owns the home right away to ask him about this and why didn’t he tell us this when it was one of THE first questions I had asked way back when. His reply was that he didn’t know it was that bad. He said there were problems a few years ago with all the foreclosed homes but they had cleaned the area up and even had built up our area with more grocery shopping, malls etc. I thought o myself well thats nice. So I have grocery shopping and a mall near me but if I want to venture out anywhere past my area I’m in a war zone? No thanks.

I can’t figure out if this guy was for real when he said he really didn’t know the area was still that bad or if he omitted the truth because he wanted to rent the home and we had also talked about buying down the line. I mean seriously? How do you NOT know the area’s around a home you OWN? I hate to accuse him of something I am not 100% sure on but common sense would tell me otherwise. Because I have no other choice I will give him the benefit of ignorance but we will NOT be moving to this area. When I left NJ these gangs were just beginning to infiltrate and I was glad to leave it all behind. I’m not going back to it no matter how much I need and want to get back North.

So once again, we are starting all over with looking for a house up North. We have two pretty good leads right now but I will say no more about those until I know they are a sure thing.

My neighbor said to me the other day , he knows I pray a lot and put everything in my life in God’s hands and usually don’t make a move until I see which way the Lord is leading us. He said maybe this is God’s way of telling  you you’re not supposed to move back up North? Three deals have fallen through right when you’re supposed to sign a lease so maybe HE is giving you the answer you’re looking for.

I would tend to agree with my friend but it doesn’t make sense in my head. We can’t afford to stay in the home we’re in now. We need money for health care that we have no insurance for and the doctors I’ve seen down here don’t seem to be able to help me with my conditions. I miss my family so much it tares my heart out almost every day for the last twelve years so how could God want me to stay here?

Then again I know as well as most, God’s ways are not our ways and God’s timing is not my timing. Maybe HE’s trying to teach me to trust in HIS timing and ways. Maybe HE’s trying to give me a lesson in patience in the Lord. I’m not sure.

The only thing I am sure about is God and so we wait, we wait patiently as we can..

Until I have more news………

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Housing Update…

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Its been a head spinning, stressful six months. I put my first ad on Craigs List looking for a new home to rent back up North. We had several things going against us. The biggest of those was our six dogs. I had originally put an ad up on Craigs list under my veterinarians watch to try and find homes for the three big ones because the truth is, it’s easier to rent a place with the three old small dogs than three large dogs. One of my larger dogs is my Lizzy who is a purebred English Setter. People were inquiring about her left and right. Then there was Matty & Jake my two lab mixes. No one it seems wanted either of them. I actually had one woman who came to my home and spent time with Lizzy and it looked like as if Lizzy had found a new home  but the night before the woman was supposed to come and get Lizzy my heart sank and well, honestly, I couldn’t do it. The pain it was causing both myself and my husband was horrible. A lot of people will say we are nuts but please take into account that our dogs are like our children so to us it was like giving up a child. I had to swallow the lump in my throat, call the woman and tell her the deal was off I couldn’t part with Lizzy. Thankfully she was very very nice about it all and said she understood and left the door open if we should ever change our minds to call her. 

Well now what? Here I thought I was being so strong doing “What I had to ” about the dogs and I just learned I wasn’t as strong as I thought I was when it comes to them. Now the question was, how in the world would I find somewhere to live with six dogs.. As I always do I turned to God. Yes, I speak to Him a lot. I told Him my problem and asked Him to help. I was kind of in a tizzy and then suddenly all the inner turmoil stopped and that “still small voice we all like to call intuition which I know to be God” spoke to me and I heard in my head, “Be Still and Know that I am God. Trust In me. Anything is Possible with God” Well, that was it for me. I thought to myself there HAS to be, just has to be a place for ALL of us and I know God will provide. So I trusted in God and placed an ad on Craigs List in a few different area’s I knew we could afford, including our needs, what we were looking for and… I put a lot of information also about our dogs.

Another obstical is that we are in South Carolina and we are moving back up to NJ. NY. PA and we couldn’t and can’t afford to keep traveling back and forth to look at places. So I would have to have people send me photos.

Sure enough to my shock (which I should know better by now being God is in control) I was getting replies. Lots of them. Some were laughable, some were not what we needed or were looking for, some were too far from where we need to be, some were too expensive, some were good and two of them actually got to the point of signing a lease until… we got duped by the homeowners. No, no money was ever exchanged its just that they pulled out at the last minute and one just totally disappeared. 

In Gods good grace we finally spoke to a man who owns homes up in Pennsylvania not too far from my family and in an area I am kind of familiar with. He sent me photos and the home is an older chalet type home built in the 1960’s. The house has good bones and really just needs a little TLC like paint and cosmetics. It has a brand new roof and a brand new AC/Heating system. No oil, No propane, No well water. All HUGE pluses and its a lot less per month than we figured on. We have been speaking with the man for months now who is really a home investor meaning he buys homes and either sells them or rents them. Next Sunday my family who is in New Jersey is going up to meet him, check over the house and the area just to make sure everything is the same as in the photos we were sent. At that time My family will hand over the lease and the security deposit and it’s ours.  We are allowed to have all the dogs with us too.

So once again, God in all His mercy and love for His children has provided for us. Maybe not as quickly as I would have liked without all the garbage in between but truth is “Gods timing is not our timing and Gods ways are not our ways but He will always provide. 

As soon as Lou is healed from his gallbladder surgery we will start packing again and we hope to be up in PA by June 1st.

I would have liked to stay in my home here in South Carolina because I do like my house but there is just too much against us here and has been since we moved here. There is no family here, we dont have many friends accept our neighbors Bill and Linda who have become good friends of ours over the years and who I will miss immensely. Our home is so financially underwater that it will never, ever be worth what we owe even if the housing market does turn around down here which there are zero signs of that happening anytime soon. The money we are shelling out each month on a mortgage payment, home insurance etc leaves us nothing to save an usually we run out of money towards the end of the month. In this house there is just no way to make ends meet. The medical care here, for me, and my illnesses is non existent and has been for the entire time we’ve been here and my body has suffered because of it.  

Yes, financially, in every way financially we will be starting all over again and it sucks at our ages but at this stage of the game it’s the best thing for us and it’s what needs to happen so we can survive financially, medically, and emotionally. My separation from my small family has been excruciatingly hard on my soul the last twelve years. Granted we are like a  lot of families, most times we wanna kill each other but we love each other, we are a small family and we’re all we’ve got…

So starting over isn’t the worst thing in the world and for us, it is the right thing to do and I also see it as fixing a mistake we made almost 12 years ago when we moved from home to begin with. It’s time to correct it. Lou and I will do what we always do. We will take one day at a time, put our lives and everything in them in the hands of God, let Him call the shots and lead us where we need to be..

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