Recently, though, the weirdness has been cranked up to eleven, and it's really hard to deal with. They're in a frenzy in preparation to go to Panama at the end of June for an indefinite period (possibly years, but again, based on the track record, who can really say?), and that's bled over into a flurry of home maintenance/repair projects. None of these are actually on a schedule, though, so the net effect is irregular, sometimes huge disruptions of our home.
The biggest so far was Memorial Day weekend: they thought our walls were "sooty," so decided to have people come in and wash them with "special sponges" (i.e., Mr. Clean Magic Erasers®). We scheduled this for a Sunday, which was a struggle because they wouldn't commit to what time they'd finish. The process involved us moving everything off/away from all of the walls, as well as leaving access to the ceiling (no easy task in a 600 sq. ft. space). When we came back from church to check in, things looked much worse—no surprise considering the cleaning properties of the Magic Eraser and their effects on paint, etc. At that point, they suggested that they wanted to repaint the interior, immediately. After some haggling, barlow_girl and I made reservations at a hotel (at the landlords' expense—but I Pricelined it to try to go easy on them) through Tuesday. Not an ideal holiday weekend.
Tougher than the repairs/adjustments/whatever, however, has been trying to work well with them. Somehow, nearly everything they've chosen to do here has been turned around to be our fault—never mind the fact that the apartment interior hasn't been painted in over eight years, or that the landlord took over three months to address a leak in our hall closet, and so on. The desire to justify ourselves or simply to try to be understood has been huge and the whole deal has regularly left knots in both our stomachs. Our upstairs neighbors have had a tough time, too, but I think we've been tagged as "the bad tenants" for some reason, and there just doesn't seem to be a way out of that, rational or otherwise. I'll admit that I haven't responded well to some of it, and I've tried to be diligent with seeking forgiveness, but it's hard when we often seem to wind up in the same dysfunctional place where we began. It's exhausting.
So we keep telling ourselves that there's less than a month to go before our home is ours again. In the meantime, we have to cling to Jesus as our justifier and the one who secures justice for us—it's humbling to see how hard that is, even with something as small as this. Harder still, we're called to love when it feels like all we have to give is anger and hurt. Letting God shape us is painful stuff. Thankfully He's good, even when our circumstances don't seem to be.