Psalm 66:12 We went through fire and flood, but you brought us to a place of great abundance.
I don’t always feel grateful for this house. I say that as a confession, because God clearly brought us here. The problem is the size of our yard. We live on a corner lot, and I’m quite sure, when I look at our neighbors’ properties, that ours is oversized. I can’t keep up with it, not to the standards of most people in this garden city of Pittsburgh.
But that didn’t cross my mind when I saw this house pop up on the multilist early one Monday morning. I had been looking for a year for a house that could work for Karis (a bedroom and bath on the main floor, since at that point she couldn’t do stairs), that we could afford, within fifteen minutes of the hospital, with no bridges and no tunnels to slow us down in our too-frequent emergencies. People told me what I was looking for didn’t exist. Even my realtor told me that. I was getting desperate, because getting Karis in and out of our walk-up flat without falling was increasingly difficult.
So, when I saw this new house show up just a mile from where we lived, I jumped in the car and came to see. Yes, it looked like it had space for a bedroom on the main floor. I rang the doorbell, and the surprised woman told me it had two bedrooms and a bath on the main floor, I immediately called my realtor. The price was right, and by Friday we had a signed contract. I had barely looked at anything but the main floor. If that worked for Karis, nothing else mattered.
I did all this on my own, since Dave was in Brazil. He told me on the phone that God had indicated to him we would buy a spacious house, larger inside than out. And indeed, that has proved true. We can host four other couples or a houseful of family or friends with no problem. We love our mixed-race mixed-ethnic neighborhood. Next to us is a Turkish family, and next to them a Vietnamese family; down the street a Romanian family. Dave and I are just mixed up: German-Jewish-Russian-Scottish-Dutch-Bolivian-Guatemalan-Brazilian. American.
But—there’s too much yard. Too much yard work for me to handle. As I griped to my sister recently, she said, “Why don’t you hire some help?” Dave said, “Yes! It’s cheaper than moving!” Thus, I’ve met a delightful, hardworking young man, and I can now walk outside with pleasure and gratitude instead of guilt and a sense of oppression.
Abundance comes in many forms. This Thanksgiving, I’m recognizing the joy of inadequacy. The relief of admitting I need help. The pleasure of restored gratitude for this house God gave us.
Should your path take you through Pittsburgh, we have space for you! And a pretty nice yard.