When Life is Just Not Fair…

…Hopefully you have a husband like mine who will send you to coffee with yourself to take your mind off how bad of a day you had. Seriously. I knew that I needed to leave for a little while tonight, but I was not going to ask, Chris is getting a cold and I told him, “But you are getting sick you don’t want to be home by yourself with the kids tonight!” His response was very sweet, “not any sicker than you were when you were taking care of the kids all day.” And so here I am at Ristrettos, with my computer and my little Connor starting to fall asleep in his carseat (none of the other kids would have stood for that, they did NOT like their carseat!) I ordered a mocha and a chocolate raspberry scone.

Last night I was wondering why it is that we find ourselves in this situation again. A couple years ago we had a very similar situation happen to us when we were moving out of a house we were renting, and here we are again. The other day we got a very upset call from our landlady, she was upset because someone had reported that our house was not up to par, there was “rotten” food on the counter (food I was going to be taking out to the chickens, and probably a load of dirty dishes I had not yet washed by hand), and poopy diapers on the back porch(because that is where we keep them rather than in the house), and the yard is still not picked up from the flood. The only problem is that this person was not given permission to be there and let herself into our house while we were gone. Anyway, all of this to say that our landlady is expecting our house to be clean at a moment’s notice so she can show it, to either a prospective renter or buyer. Let’s be reasonable here, and at the very least, communicate your expectations of us before you are mad at us for not meeting your expectations.

Why on earth is this so hard for me? Why do I have these arguments with her, over and over in my head? Why do I want to defend myself to her so badly? It’s hard because I feel that she is being unfair. She is not seeing the many hours that I am working hard to clean HER house. She does not appreciate the fact that I plan to leave her house in better condition than we obtained it. She does not see that I have appreciated living there all these years and months, that we have loved the house and have many many wonderful memeories in her home. She doesn’t realize that her actions are tainting the ending of a very special chapter in the Burns life story. I don’t want to create and enemy, I want to bless her, I WANT her to be able to get a renter in the house right away and I understand that she is stressing about money and taking it out on us.

I think we are here again because we did not learn the lesson we needed to learn last time. It’s so hard for me to not take her accusations personal, she is in essence accusing me of being a lazy slob. I know I am not, but it doesn’t make it any easier to hear that from someone who doesn’t know me. My neighbor thought we should change the locks, but I don’t think that would help the situation any :) I’m ready to move on, and yet in a way I am sad to be closing this chapter of our book. We’ve had so many good times here, we’ve met some incredible people who have made such a profound impact on our lives. I’ve given birth to two of our children in this home. We’ve crammed four children in one bedroom that is 7′ x 7′ and have been challenged to be creative about making our small 750 square foot house work for a large family of seven. It’s been home for the last two and a half years, and even though it’s small and we are ready to move, we will always remember this place with fond memories.

So what lesson have I learned through all of this? I guess when life is not fair; cry a little, have some chocolate and pour yourself a cup of coffee, and then focus on all the things that you’ve/I’ve been blessed with. I am so thankful that we moved here, right after our house burned down, if was a place of refuge after a very frightening experience. And now we’ve endured a flood together. Through the hard times God makes us stronger as a family. Lord help me to “get it” and to find peace in You so I can lead my children in walking in peace through the storms of life. I need your grace Father, I can’t get through this next week without You. Thank you for blessing me with such a great husband who leads me in his quiet way, not pushing me be gently encouraging me to find rest in You through small things like a bar of chocolate in the van. You have given me so much Lord, I am so thankful for all of your blessings, and thankful for the trials for I know they draw me closer to You. I know they too are designed by You to strengthen us. Help us to lean on You and to not think too highly of ourselves. Please soften our landlady’s heart and help us to please You in the end. Amen.

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8 Responses to When Life is Just Not Fair…

  1. Alane says:

    Wow, I thought my family’s house was small growing up (it was 1200 sq ft for a family of six). I’ll be praying for your situation with the landlady. In CA, it’s illegal for a landlord to enter a rented property without first notifying the tenant (not that you’re wanting to take legal action I don’t think, but the landlady shouldn’t have even been in the house, like you said). Blessings!

  2. Jenni says:

    Yeah, we looked it up and the law says that she is required to give 48 hours notice before entering the home, they can only enter earlier with the consent of the tenant. I don’t think she knows this but that’s okay, I’m really praying we wont have to get into all the legal stuff :)

  3. Sigrun Berry says:

    I empathise with your situation. We have had similar ordeals. I feel that we expect people to do the right thing by us as we do the right thing by them, but- yes- it does often not work that way. It is difficult to know what to do with the anger and pain it causes. I’ll pray for your peace regards the matter. God is your refuge and your shelter.

  4. Kelley Ahearn says:

    Jenni, did God soften Pharaohs heart…….? nope! Persevere as Gods people did and you and your family will get to the other side! Take no offense to this or it just might visit you again!Pray for those that persecute you. And to Christian, you are a mighty man to see the needs of your Virtuous Woman keep washing her!
    Love you and this to will pass,

  5. Ari says:

    Oh Jenni!
    This all sounds so hard to deal with. You have so much going on and it’s hard when someone chooses to think the worst of you and doesn’t try to understand where you are coming from! I’m glad and encouraged by reading your words about learning lessons and about asking the Lord to help keep your eyes on Him and learn from him. I’m so glad Chris was able to give you a night off and some chocolate. God bless you, Dear! I’ll be praying for you and will rejoice with you when this part of you life is over and you can move toward all the great things God has in store for you!

  6. Hi Jenni,

    Your writing expresses your heart so well.

    You mention that the landlord doesn’t see: “She does not see that I have appreciated living there all these years and months, that we have loved the house and have many many wonderful memeories in her home.” You went on to write, “She doesn’t realize that her actions are tainting the ending of a very special chapter in the Burns life story.”

    The phrases “She doesn’t see” and “She doesn’t realize” really stand out. Perhaps you may consider writing to your landlord and telling her all that is in your heart that you cherish about living in her little house. The only way for her to know that living there has been a special chapter of your family’s life is for you to share with her.

    Perhaps even the children, sources of poopy diapers and such, can write simple notes about what they have liked best about this home, about their favorite memories from living there.

    “Pray for your enemies and bless those who curse you.”

    When my two boys were small there were times when it seemed that they were constantly bickering. At these times I would have them (make them) pray for each other. (Usually standing nose to nose.) It turns out that it is quite difficult to fight with someone you are praying for. (Go figure!)

    Writing a letter to your landlord and sharing your joyful memories of living in this home may not changer her heart, but it is certain to change the attitude of your heart.

    Kelly Morrison
    P.S. Keep up the writing!

  7. Katie says:

    The same thing happened to me, and it made me feel so sick and hurt. I am an orderly person, but I had turned the house upside down in preparation for a dinner party. The landlord hadn’t even notified me that they were considering selling, and I think they had hoped to show the house without me or my roommate knowing in order to hold onto us in case they didn’t find a buyer. It almost feels like your family was violated in some way, doesn’t it? I’m sorry this happened, and I trust that God will soon redeem it for you in some way. In my case that hurtful event pushed me to consider buying my own place sooner than I’d planned, and it ended up that I now live in a place of my own that just happens to be a) much nicer, and b) next door to the old one!

  8. Nicole says:

    I was just thinking about a story I recently heard from a friend who’s baby was ran over by a car and killed. She was driving with her three year old in the back of the car with the mirror positioned so she could see her. The mom started to cry and the three year old asked “you miss Hanna?” “Yeah, Mommy misses Hanna.” The three year old responded, “Hanna life Jesus Heaven.” The mom was silent so the three year old repeated herself a little louder…”Hanna life Jesus Heaven.” Still no response from mom. A little frustrated the three year old says even louder still, “Mom, Hanna life Jesus Heaven!” The mom finally responds, “Yes Hanna is alive in Heaven with Jesus.” So the three year old matter of factly says…”Stop whining!”

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