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Christian Contemporary Creative Nonfiction

Who knew that new floors meant hours of hammering and clouds of dust. Who knew I wouldn't be able to paint until the floors were done. The schedule seemed perfect on paper, but in reality we were already three days behind. Moving is inconvenient, stressful, and unpredictable. "I'm never moving again!" I said for the third time today. But it didn't matter because no could hear me above the cacophony of construction.

We had sold our family home to our oldest son and his family. We had purchased a condo. We were paring down. Four bedrooms to two, a family room and living room to one great room, a large backyard with a pool to a small cement patio with a pool on the other side of the parking lot. We were ready, but we had forgotten the aggravating details of moving.

I left in a hurry as I had to shower and get ready for a dinner at the church. I really didn't want to go but we had reserved two spots. By the time I had cleaned up and changed my clothes I felt a bit better. As we walked up the sidewalk to the multi-purpose room, my husband smiled and took my hand. Suddenly nothing mattered but a wonderful evening with my loving husband.

The tables looked beautiful and everyone was dressed in their best, and we found our seats among loving friends. The dinner was wonderful and the entertainment wonderful. Just when I thought things were drawing to a close the pastor stood up to begin his appeal.

He mentioned the repairs that were needed on the roof before the winter rains, that we had outgrown our children's Sunday school rooms, that we needed to add another two bathrooms, and that's when my eyes glazed over. This dinner was to beg for money. That's not how it was advertised. A summer get together is what the invitation said. We were already giving all we could financially. We were both retired from our teaching jobs, plus we just bought a condo. If I'd been brave enough I would have walked out.

My husband was listening with his ears and with his heart. The pastor asked each family to make a pledge to up our giving for one year and that would probably pay for everything we needed. And he wanted us to make our pledge tonight.

I didn't think that was fair. I wanted time to discuss things with my husband. Just then he leaned over and said." I think we can up our giving by two hundred a month, what do you think?"

"I was thinking fifty dollars, we don't even know what our condo payment is going to be yet,! I whispered louder. How can we make this decision until we know?"

"I think our expenses will be lower with a smaller home, and besides sacrifice is good for the soul." He smiled. That smile has made me agree to many things against my better judgement; but we were just getting used to living on retirement, and with the new condo, I could feel my stomach tighten.

Everyone around us was filling out the papers that had been handed out and the pressure was amazing.

My husband put his arm around me and whispered, "Things will work out, you'll see, God will take care of us. He always does."

That was true, but I was the one in our marriage who worried about the details. And these details didn't make sense to me. I saw him write the number two hundred on the paper, fold it in half and put it in the basket in the center of the table. We were committed. I did trust God and my husband but there was something that felt like anger stirring inside me. Anger at being tricked into coming to this dinner, and anger that we couldn't discuss this before making a commitment, but I was in church and everyone was talking and laughing around me so I pushed it down, and put on my happy face.

I didn't sleep that night trying to figure out where we could budget to come up with two hundred dollars a month. The choices were grim. My inherited worry gene went into full tilt. I got up early to go over to the condo and check on the progress. I left footprints in the dust as I walked across the new floors. I found the carpenter just finishing the last of the flooring. And even without sleep last night I could smile. I spent the rest of the day vacuuming and mopping up dust. Finally, we were ready to move in!

Our new furniture began to arrive and our kids helped us move stuff from the house, and we loved it. The furniture all fit perfectly, and after a few days, everything was put away, pictures were hung on the walls, the hardwood floors gleamed, and we knew we had made the right choice! This was now our home!

Our old dog, had a bit of trouble adjusting to no doggie door. Which meant he had to ask to go out. And then when he got outside there was no yard. So we took him for three times as many walks and spoiled him into believing this was the best place for us to live.

Three weeks after moving in I got the mail and there was a letter from the mortgage company. I was afraid to open it. This was it the final notice on the monthly payment for our condo. I opened it and began to read......'We made a slight miscalculation on your mortgage payment." My heart started pounding, maybe I should wait for my husband to get home. The letter continued...." We forgot to deduct part of the taxes you had already paid. So your payment will be two hundred dollars less than we had estimated." Two hundred dollars! the exact amount my husband had pledged!"God, thank you for taking care of us. We are so blessed to be in your care." And began to cry. How could I doubt? My husband walked in at that moment,"What's wrong?" I handed him the letter.

July 21, 2021 17:59

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2 comments

Sharon Williams
11:07 Jul 29, 2021

Hello Joan. Critique Circle here. This is a lovely heart warming story. Your portrayal of the writer was very realistic - I liked this lady, she was real not perfect, but human! There was a good structure to the piece: beginning, middle and end, and I do like a happy ending. Good luck, hope it does well.

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Joan Wright
01:51 Jul 31, 2021

thank you so much. Your critique was encouraging. this story did happen to me.

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