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Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Journey of Moving House

Reno progress as of last weekend

Two years ago, due to the ailing health of my in-laws, we contemplated moving in with them to provide care and support since theirs is a 5-room flat, definitely bigger than our small 3-room flat. However, my father-in-law was reluctant to renovate their place and we didn't feel safe living at 16th floor with 4 little ones without window grilles! So, that idea was rejected. 

Next, we considered BTO (Built-to-order). After one failed attempt, we got a slot this year. But because we were one of the last in the queue, the good flats were all taken up. Plus, the location was very far from ideal. 

As the day to choose our flat approached, we felt no peace about the decision. So when Joshua suddenly came up with the idea of buying a bigger resale flat instead, I went to ask a property agent friend whether there was any available flats for sale at the block in our neighbourhood which Joshua and I thought to be at the best location. We were amazed that there was one! All these years, we had been thinking that it would have been nice if someone were selling their place at THAT particular block when we were looking for our marital home 8 years ago. 

Emboldened by the miraculous coincidence, we asked our in-laws' opinions and to our surprise, they were agreeable! All the requirements that my father-in-law had at that time were met despite the odds. God must have been the one orchestrating the whole thing. From the time we made the decision of buying a resale flat to the moment when we confirmed with the seller the price and got a buyer for our own flat was a mere 11 days!!! 

At one point, I had almost given up hope when the seller wanted to raise the price. The incredible thing was that the buyer of our flat actually increased the price he was willing to pay by the same amount too... We were simply bowled over by the dramatic turn of events.

It was all the more difficult for this to happen since we needed to do contra: to sell our place and buy the new place at the SAME time. The buyer also had to agree to let us stay an extra month after the paperwork is done so that we can renovate our new place and move before handing the keys over to him. The amazing thing is, he agreed to let us do so rent-free! Praise God!

Ever since then, I was met with many disappointments. Some of the items I had wanted to get for the new place were out of stock. But it was amazing how God turned it into a good thing because in the end, I found cheaper and better options for each and every one of them. Getting a loan was also an adventure in itself. It was a truly faith-stretching experience. 

There were many other challenges that I had to face.

As an introvert, it has been very draining for me to suddenly meet and interact with so many strangers: agents, sellers and buyers of flats, vendors, retailers, contractors etc. God had to be my emotional strength to restore me after each and every encounter. The worse was to liaise with people when selling or giving away furniture and other items we don't need anymore. So many questions to answer repeatedly. So many people who backed out over time and I had to find new owners for the affected pieces. *shake head*

There were also many occasions when I made decisions which were vetoed by God as he gently steered me in the right direction through the advice of good friends and arising circumstances. It was a lesson in submission and obedience to God's wisdom as opposed to listening to my own personal preferences.

With an already full and hectic schedule of caring for 4 children, doing household chores and cooking, I was hard pressed to find time to also research for good furnishings, get multiple quotations to find the cheapest options, put my in-laws' opinions into careful consideration, declutter our place little bit by little bit, liaise with contractors/movers, budget the whole project and coordinate everything with regards to fitting 8 individuals into a single house almost entirely on my own. I can only say that God is my only and true sustainer in all that crazy, heavy workload.

Not just that. I knew that having so much to do, I might be tempted to make this whole house-moving process an idol and neglect my obligations to my family and church ministry. However, God has been faithful to keep me focused. Life for my children had gone on as per normal. I could still devote the same attention to their physical, emotional and academic needs. In fact, I have kept this whole thing a secret from them. They still have yet to know that we are moving house in two weeks' time!!! I made sure to do all the extra work during their school and sleeping hours so as to minimise any interruption to the regular routine. I look forward to announcing to them the news during the last week of our stay in the current home. Then, I can bring them over to the mostly-renovated new place as a beautiful surprise. 

All in all, I can see God's hand in the entire journey and I have learnt that He is indeed the master planner and is truly in control of everything. All I had to do was to trust in His sovereign plan and rest in Him. Now that there are only 16 days to the actual move, I am incredibly excited. I shall soon see how God brings to fruition all that effort and time that I have put in for the past 5 months. I pray that this new home will be a blessing to my in-laws and many others I welcome in hospitality.

Romans 8:28
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

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