North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

July 18, 2013

Danielle Cater: Checking attitudes at my newly-purchased door

By Danielle Cater
North Jefferson News

COMMENTARY — What would you consider the hardest part of finding a new home? Would it be the process of finding a place that everyone in the household agrees with? Would it be the financial process of finding a lender with the lowest rates and getting all of the paperwork for approval? Would it be the actual move?

The answer is YES — all of the above is the most difficult part. I can say this with full assurance because I have just recently bought a new house, and the whole process is somewhat overwhelming.

Finding a house in the general location that you have in mind, that is in your budget and has enough room to house a family of six is frustrating, redundant and very taxing on your patience. It seemed like we looked at the same kind of house in the same general price range for over six months. Every day we searched websites and got houses from our agent, Mrs. Cindy Dodd, and off we would go. Sometimes we could tell by the moment we pulled into the neighborhood that it wasn’t the house for us. Other times we would go to a house two or three times to get the feel of it, but without finding the satisfaction that we needed in order to call this house our home. We put a couple of bids on houses that didn’t get accepted for different reasons.

And then one day, it seemed as if the Lord Himself had smiled down from heaven. We found a house that we felt was perfect for our little family and quickly put a bid on it, then waited to see if we were going to get the house. The news came back that we didn’t get the house, so we sadly continued our search. A few weeks later we got a call from Cindy telling us that the other contract on the house had fallen through so we quickly bid again, this time putting all of our eggs in this basket, and thankfully, we got the house. Elation came over us and our family and friends.

Everyone was so excited for us. But even though this was the cheapest house we had looked at through our searching, the thought of going into debt for the next 30 years had a way of weighing down my joyous celebration.

I’m the kind of girl who likes the minimum of everything so that I’m never actually in debt. And since I already have a house, two mortgages seemed outrageous in my mind. After reviewing the finances, we found that we are in fine shape, but then we had to convince the mortgage lenders of this same thing. After running around and getting copies of every document I’ve ever had all the way down to my first grade report card, we got the loan and a big thumbs-up to buy our dream home.

It seemed like we were out of the woods on the stressful part of this home-buying process. We had signed the papers and we had the keys to our new pad. Then we drove to the house — our new home.

Upon entering this time, we started discussing all of the things that needed to be repaired or replaced. Then we started discussing the moving process. Then we started talking about adding a garage, and before I knew it, I had gone from loving this house with every fiber of my being, to hating this house that wasn’t even fit to live in, in my new opinion. I was overwhelmed by everything that goes into fixing up a house for new owners. Isn’t it funny that we can look at something one day and be completely disgusted by it and the next day, after an attitude adjustment, see it for all of the good that it holds?

I struggled with my bad attitude all week long, and after praying about it and repeatedly repenting to my husband, I started to look at our home in the light that I had originally seen it in. All of the beauties of our new home started to flourish in my mind — the open floor plan, the double oven to cook for all of our company, the joy of going from a one-bathroom house to a three-bathroom home, the hidden tunnel that goes between the kids’ bedrooms, and the fact that this is a new beginning with my wonderful little family. This home is very much so worth the struggle of making it feel like home, it just took a better mind-set to get me to see that.

We are now in the process of shaping up the inside so we can move our belongings in, and I’m sure this will be the source of many tense moments and teeth-clinching times, but it really is worth it.

I guess the old saying about success being 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration really is right. Your attitude will not only affect the way that you look at your situation, but it will affect the people around you. My stinking thinking not only made me miserable, I’m sure my husband wasn’t happy having to deal with all of the troubles of a new house and a wife who acted like someone had just kicked her dog all week.

After being in my home for over 12 years, I will be moving my family for the first time and the future looks mighty bright from where I’m standing. Even if the future of our house starts to look less than bright, I’m going to strive to keep a good attitude. I’m pretty sure that my happiness isn’t found in the structure of our new home, but in the people that structure houses. We will make new memories, grow together and laugh a lot in our new home — if only we can make it through the moving process.

There will always be obstacles in our lives. Their outcomes are often determined by our attitudes. Keep a good attitude and watch how God will take care of the minor details for you.