Monday, August 31, 2009

EGR: Extra Grace Required

We're living above an EGR: Extra Grace Required. You know the type -- loud, annoying, won't listen to reasonable explanations about why a booming stereo is unwelcome at 4 am...

We're far from being done with this situation, but it's the first I've had to handle since seriously trying to live as a Christian. I'm glad that I now have the voice of the holy spirit in me, because the voice of Jenny would rather do something really crabby like tape a highlighted copy of the lease to his door, or vacuum the floor first thing when I get up at 6.

Please pray for me! My patience is wearing thin, since this is the 4th night in a week I've not been able to sleep. I need to remember that our Lord made those EGRs just like the rest of us... even if we wish He didn't. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Emily G. said...

Dear Jenny-I am afraid I don't have a solution, but I certainly sympathise. I am a landlord, sharing the first floor of my home. The tenants came with the house. It is an elderly woman who has four ne'er-do-well children who live with her in between jail and drug rehab. They are loud, they are offensive to look at (dirty, tattooed) and they smoke like chimneys. We endure this and so much more, all blatant violations of the rental agreement. But what to do? We have gently approached her and told her about our concerns. She always feigns compliance for a week or so, then goes back to normal. We attempted eviction once but she put us off with whining and complaining and playing on our sympathies till we gave up. Anyway, she has no where to go. No job, no car, no money. At this point our only option seems to be raising the rent until she can no longer live here.

I pray for patience, but it's so hard at midnight when they are banging and yelling downstairs.

I'd tell you to calmly and respectfully approach your neighbour and tell him about your problems, but you are probably only guaranteed rudeness or simply not caring in response. Have you considered a letter to the management/landlord voicing your concerns?

Pray that the man moves-I've heard many stories of prayers of that sort answered. I don't know if you believe in asking the intercession of saints, but St. Joseph, foster father of Christ, is a commonly invoked intercessor on behalf of people in bad housing situations.

Best wishes and prayers for a good solution, and in the mean time, it sounds like you are handling this with truly Christian grace.

Love, Emily

Jane Ellen said...

Hi Jenny!

I've been silently following your blog for a little while now, and thought I'd just drop a note to tell you how encouraged I have been by your excellent example of a godly woman! I know what you are going through right now. Indeed, I often struggle with frustration with people. My Mama, being the wise woman that she is, tells me that I really need to TRY to love those who anger me. She says I sould pray for them and then I can't help but love them.

Not sure if that is helpful, but I thought I'd just throw it out there! Keep up the good work. The Christian walk truly is a marathon and not a sprint!

In Christ,
Jane Ellen

Sarah Jane said...

Oh Jenny, I'm so sorry for this trying situation! We had a similar situation when we lived in a duplex last spring. Some people we were having "differences" with at church decided to move in to the recently vacated duplex next to us - honestly, probably just to annoy us! They too played loud music at unearthly hours and called the police on *us* because our oldest son (who was not even two years old at the time) was "loud". (a gross exageration). There was really nothing we could do. Talking to them was fruitless. They were all sweetness and smiles when we tried to talk to them and then they would tape a note to our recycle can saying that we "littered God's beautiful earth" since David put soda cans in the recycle bin - I guess they thought he shouldn't be drinking soda. Once the girl came out in the yard while I was sitting outside with the baby (Judah) and out of the blue asked me to take a picture of her!?! It was the most trying time we've experienced so we prayed and prayed and God provided a nice home for us to move to (the one we just recently moved from).

I would try a non-threatening approach first, like baking a loaf of homemade bread or some cookies and delivering them with a smile and a nice note, explaining what they are doing prevents you from sleep that you need, asking if there is anything that *you* do that bothers them (there isn't, I know, but its nice to ask) then if that doesn't work I would go to management.

Emily, I am appalled by what you have to deal with! I can't imagine being in that position. May God give you wisdom and grace to deal with this woman and her children!

Jenny P. said...

Thank you all for your sweet comments. My husband went down the other night and knocked, although the man didn't answer, it's been quiet since then as well. We drafted a letter to our landlord, but haven't sent it because if the problem has resolved itself, no reason getting others involved!

Emily -- your situation sounds unbearable! It's encouraging to me to know that you're going through that with your characteristic grace.

Jane Ellen -- Welcome! Hopefully I'll have some more positive posts in the near future ;-)

Sarah Jane -- that's crazy, that they would act sweet then sneaky. Just another reason why your beautiful country home is perfect. I can't wait until mine comes around some day!