• Stephannie Bramlett

A Season is Ending: 3 Takeaways from Being Away

There is something so simple and sweet about the changeover of a new season. The first day of Spring is quickly approaching. We are seeing new buds of life on tree tips and preparing ourselves for the warmer days ahead. With this new season ahead, it means winter it coming to an end! Personally, I am seeing another season finish: Hotel Living.

The Backstory:

In mid-December I was driving home from work, when I heard a text notification. I pulled in to my driveway and pulled my phone from my purse to check the message. "This evening has not gone as planned," the text from my husband read. Our youngest daughter was sick that day, and I assumed he had to spend the evening tending to her instead of preparing dinner or helping our other girls with homework. I opened my door and Cab met me face to face in the garage. He was filthy and soaking wet and I could see a sense of devastation in his eyes.

Earlier he had noticed some water in our kitchen floor. He sought out the source of the water and ended up finding a corroded pipe behind the wall to our refrigerator that had a slow, steady leaking stream out of the side of the pipe. Not yet aware of the extent of any damage, Cab grabbed a cup to place under the pipe to catch the water stream, but when the cup touched the pipe it burst! Gallons and gallons of water were spewing into my kitchen floor. He ran outside to shut the water off at the street. It had been pouring rain and the water valve was covered by a heavy layer of mud. Urgency in mind, he dug through the mud with his hands and grabbed the lever to turn off the water. As luck would have it, it broke, and the water continued to pour into our house. Cab quickly ran and grabbed a hammer and hit the valve little by little to turn off the source! Surprisingly, he was able to clean up most of the water inside right before I made it home.

Peeling back the onion:

The next morning a crew came out to assess the damage. It was determined that little leak in that pipe had ruined walls, cabinets, floor, sub-floors and more throughout the top level of my home (including my newly renovated kitchen!). A team assembled, packed up our belongings, and gutted the damaged portion of our home. They set up large dehumidifiers throughout the house in an attempt to dry out the remaining floors and studs to the walls. We moved in to a hotel nearby for the duration of the project. The crew leader told us, "We will have you home in 10 days to a few weeks." The winter weather was not our friend, and the constant rain kept the ground and air soaking wet, rendering it seemingly impossible to dry out our home.

While in the demolition phase, the crew discovered a deep layer of linoleum under our tile and hardwood. Since our home was built in the 1970s, it was required to send off samples for testing. Turns out, a layer of adhesive was positive for asbestos. So, another pause occurred while an abatement crew was brought in to remove all of the cancer causing agent.

Days turned into weeks. Weeks into months. We ended up having to fire a crew and hire another to complete the project mid-run. This didn't help the timeline, and it seemed we were never going to make it back in our home. Cab and I have joked throughout this process because a nearby KFC has been gutted, the inside and outside completely remodeled, including landscaping, painting, concrete...you name it...but, we still are waiting for our crew to finish our house! Three long months have passed, and while the project will not be complete next week, it will be safe enough for us to move back home!

3 Takeaways from Being Away from Home:

1. Thankful for the To-Do Lists

I am giddy with excitement to be going home. For three months, I haven't had a kitchen or laundry room. I am looking forward to cooking for our family again. I imagine we will not eat out for a LONG time! Bring on the piles of laundry and dirty dishes! I am eager to dust our shelves and mop our new floors! Suddenly, our renovation to-do lists seem like fun weekend projects! I hope to always remember this lesson as we resume life in our home.

2. Peace in Simplicity

When gathering things for the hotel, I let each girl bring small amounts of clothes and toys. Our hotel is not equipped with walk-in closets and play rooms. There is no room for excess. We have learned to get by with a much smaller supply of things, and I have really enjoyed living with less. The girls stay engaged and play with each other and Cab and I have intentional time for conversation. When we are home, I plan to simplify our home of the clutter and excess so we can continue to enjoy the peace that less brings.

3. Expect the Unexpected

In life, disaster is always looming. I'm not saying I want to live in fear for the next bad thing coming our way. More, I want to be prepared for the guarantee that life will throw us curve balls. No matter what life throws at us that seems to change our path, I hope to embrace the change. Through all of this, I have learned to be more fluid and allow the winds of change to sweep in but not completely devastate our direction!

I know that God is using this experience to grow my relationship with Him. I have struggled through this season, and I am so thankful for the new blossoms ahead this Spring! The way I see it, He has used this experience to help me let down my desire for perfection and grow my reliance on Him! I pray, for our readers, that your hearts will be open to what God is teaching you this season!

Other posts you might enjoy:

Weather the Storm

Flight Delays

Thankful She Chose [My] Life

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