Monday, June 24, 2013

Lemons and Lemonade

The Lord certainly works in mysterious ways.  I know that's a statement commonly used to try and explain or justify baffling life events.  But, I have seen the truth in it so many times in my life.  And this time it holds true again.  Allow me to tell you a story.
About a year and a half ago my husband and I moved into our dream home.  Twenty-three acres of gorgeous land dotted with graceful oak trees.  Seven thousand square feet of our dream home.  A pool.  A huge workshop perfect for HoP.  In a word, Paradise. 
We rented out our home in town to a woman who came highly recommended by her previous landlord and moved without looking back. 
Fast forward to August of last year. The rent checks started coming a day or two late.  By October it was a week or so late.  By January they stopped coming at all.  I'm not sure if you've ever gone through an eviction process, but it is long, frustrating and expensive. 
About two months ago we got a late night text from a neighbor in our old neighborhood telling us there was a moving van parked outside our house.  Aware of what we were going through with the tenants, he wanted to make sure we knew they were leaving.  We immediately drove into town and asked the tenant what was going on.  She assured us that her boyfriend (who was listed as an occupant on the lease) was moving out.  Cool as a cucumber she told us that she and her children planned on staying. 
Being the good Christian that I am, I gave her the benefit of the doubt.  I even stopped by the next day to check in on her and her kids and make sure they were all ok.  I told her we could work out the arrears amount for the rent and move forward with the following month's rent.  She promised I could pick the check up on the 25th. 
I called and texted the 25th.  No response.  Same story on the 26th and 27th.  By the 28th I stopped by the house and it was empty.  She, too, had left. 
Unfortunately, she did not leave before destroying the house.  We are talking about around $30K in damage.  Everything had to be replaced.  Carpet, wood floors, stove, dishwasher, microwave and even some walls & trim.  There was a TON of trash that I was left to sort through.  Included in the damage was ketchup and BBQ sauce squirted all over the walls and floors, missing door knobs and spit balls everywhere.  I'm not going to even go into the filth everywhere.  It was so upsetting because I had left the house a "home" for them with everything pristine. 
At the same time that this was happening, my home life that had been spiraling out of control finally exploded and my marriage came to an end. 
This left me with a mortgage on the dream home (that I cannot afford alone), a mortgage on the house in town that was an absolute mess and three broken-hearted children. 
What's the point of this story, you ask?  To tell you He does work in mysterious ways.  Had the worst. tenant. ever not left, I would not have had a home for me and my children to go to.  A home that will always be full of light, happiness and safety.  Because, let's be honest, a dream house is not a dream house if it's not filled with love, happiness and safety.
#ProjectLemonade House
For the last fifteen days straight my mom, dad and I have worked tirelessly cleaning and painting the house in town.  Every. Single. Surface of the house has been cleaned and painted.  By the grace and generosity of my parents and my sister and brother-in-law, new flooring will go down this week.  The children and I will likely start moving in this weekend. 
This is why I have been quiet these last few weeks.  I've been working hard to make lemonade out of the lemons I've recently been given.  And just like good summer lemonade, this new phase of life is a bit bittersweet.  But I look forward to sharing the journey that will go into #ProjectLemonade. 


  1. I bet your lemonade taste delicious!!! I wish you much luck on your new journey!! I just found your blog and will be following through bloglovin.
    Thanks, Patty

  2. Kimber -- while I am so sorry about you having to go through all of that, I know that you will do a great job with #ProjectLemonade. Can't wait to see your progress on the new (old) house! Thinking of y'all!
    Sara Emily

  3. Kimber, so many changes. I had no idea all of this was going on behind the scenes. I'm so sorry to hear about this turmoil. Keep having faith - there is no doubt that you will come through all of this stronger and in a better place. Best to you all!

  4. Kimber--I love that you can look at all of this and still see that good things are ahead. It says a lot about your faith. I'm glad you shared all of this. Hang in there!

  5. Kimber, I would say I am sorry, but it sounds like this is a positive move in a happy home direction. Square footage has never lead to happiness and love. Good for you to move ahead and show your kids how to make lemonade. I'm putting you on my sidebar because I want to follow this project.

  6. Gosh...just popped over here to learn what a strong person you are. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your children.

  7. I am finally catching up on blogs (and have loved following you on Instagram). I had NO idea. I'm so sorry you're having to go through this, but as you've said (with a lot of grace and an amazing sense of humor, by the way), Project Lemonade will be your dream house because it will be filled with love, happiness and safety. Keep on keepin on. Adding you to my blogroll too so I hopefully can keep better track of your progress.

  8. Yep, just going through all your posts one by one and this was a tear-jerker for me. I am so sorry for the heartache and turmoil. Your boys are lucky to have you as their mom. And the house already look amazing! Prayers from one mom of boys to another. xo

  9. Wow, well bravo! You really are making lemonade out of lemons, and I can't think of a better pair of hands to have working on cleaning up the new (old) house and making it a home again. So glad I found you on IG and then headed over here - your blog is fun to read, and your work is great. Not easy to find anymore.

  10. I had no idea, for a girl whose world has been rocked, you are full of fun, positive energy and light heartedness! No better example to the world or your children than to make lemonade!

  11. I had no idea. I am sorry to hear of your struggles but I admire your 'one foot in front of the other' strategy for moving forward. I'm cheering for you.