Remember when our mamas admonished
us If you can’t say something nice, don’t
say anything at all?
Well, if you’ve talked to me recently,
you know I’ve been having trouble living up to Mama’s expectations. That’s
because we’ve been cleaning up after folks who left one of our rent houses in
sad shape when they moved out without notice.
We’re landlords. We’ve been in the
business almost as long as we’ve been married, and for the most part, it’s been
good to us. Granted, we’ve put in lots of sweat equity, which is why many of
you have told us you wouldn’t do it. But we’ve hung in there long enough to accumulate
some nice homes in good neighborhoods and lease to some great long-term tenants.
However, occasionally, someone lets
us down. When it happens, we spend anywhere from a few days to several weeks
cleaning and repairing the damage. Terry’s a top-notch handyman with amazing
stamina, which is why this landlord game has worked. I’m his helper and chief cleaner, but he works lots more hours than I do.
|Tired Terry after painting |
the entire house in one day
Once he gets over the initial
shock and anger, he just rolls up his sleeves and does what’s necessary. I, however, continue to grouse about the dirt, damage and lack of responsibility on and on.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been
sweeping, mopping and scrubbing the premises, along with sorting through a
mountain of useable clothes (good Levis and school uniforms), toys and
household items. And did I mention muttering about no home training?
So, you see, I haven’t posted recently because I’ve
been busy. Plus
each time I thought about writing a post, I couldn’t think of anything nice to
say. And I remembered another principle
Mother drummed into us early.
twice about what you write in notes and letters (Facebook, your blog). It may come back to haunt you.
One memory that stayed with me from high school
was when our geometry
teacher intercepted a snarky note one of the girls had written about her orthopedic
shoes. Even then I doubted she was wearing those ugly shoes by
choice, and I felt bad for her. I’ve never forgotten how hurt she looked.
Back to my original problem, starting today, I’m trying
not to complain about the family who left so mysteriously.
I’ll admit, it’s hard, but I
remind myself that I have no idea what they were going through to make them depart
in such a manner. They probably need all the understanding they can get. So I’m
trying to shift from complaining to praying for them.
But might I add one thing in that great
Bless Our Hearts.
A bright spot: I couldn’t bring
myself to throw away much of what was left behind. The Arkansas Dream Center www.ardreamcenter.tv/
will pass on what I salvaged to folks who lost everything in the tornado.
...pray for them which despitefully use you... Matt 5:44
Labels: Forgiveness, Good Advice