I live in a great little house in the perfect neighborhood, and Jesus is the one who sealed the deal. No kidding.
After my husband left I had to foreclose on my house. Yes, my house, not our house. It was in my name and had my down payment in it. It was a good house. We loved that house, except for the fact that the back half was slowly sinking into the ground. Even a Sassy Queenpin Mama cannot stop a sinking house, neither could I afford to pay the mortgage with my private school teacher's salary, let alone clean that sucker. So I watched it be sold on the court house steps. Not as dramatic as you would think, but a good story.
Next we moved into a sweet little rental, but way to expensive, and super moldy. The real issue though was that there wasn't enough neighbor in my hood. Every Queenpin knows you need a network to survive in this world, especially as a single mama. After a year in the cute, overpriced, moldy house we started the process finding a new place. Things were looking small, but I was determined to find a place I could afford on my own that would provide me and my little beasties with community.
I have a good friend, who teaches with me that lives in a great neighborhood. Most of the kids on the block are the same age and they all play together. Mama's get together and chat as kids play in the yards, running wild and laughing. Impromptu cookouts happen as mothers try to plan what to feed their broods. I coveted her neighborhood.
In steps Jesus...My mom actually saw Jesus first. Thank the Buddhas for mamas. While I was off looking at teeny apartments and trying to figure out how to fit three bodies in a space for one, unbeknownst to me my mama was looking too. There was a house I would have completely ignored in my married days. A small rectangle, which from the street looked like a small brick box with a picture window in the center. The box happened to be on my friend's street, in her block. When my mom knocked on the door to check it out there was Jesus. Not just a small Jesus, but a huge, larger than life sized painting of Jesus that took up one whole wall of the living room. He was kneeling down with baby sheep. No kidding. Now as a Buddhist I'm not one to follow Jesus signs, but how could you miss it? I believe in blessing whether they are given by Jesus, Mohammad, or my sweet Buddha.
So here I sit, in my bed, in my house, on the best street we could live. Yesterday, as my friend and I were trying to plan dinners, she 3 bean salad and me pancakes, we decided to pool resources. A feast was created with a glorious adult dinner and not so shabby stuff for the four kids either. We drank wine and talked. My mom stopped by, her mom stopped in midway on a road trip, my friend's husband was there helping with the kids, and here is my community.
Sometimes I worry about my kids, growing up with a dad who is so misguided in his parenting, but then I remember my Jesus Realtor and look around at all the parents my kids have gained by our move. I feel blessed, blessed, blessed. The Queenpin and her brood are making our own village and redefining what makes a family, we are three, plus fifteen other folks trying to do the same. Thank you Jesus.