I’m establishing a new normal today. For over 3 years, I’ve awoken before 5am on Saturday mornings, tossed on clothes, and headed out the door for coffee and writing.
But last week we bought a new house! And with the move comes changes, like writing more at home. So I allowed myself an extra 15 minutes of sleep…all the way until 4:55am…before rising to brew my own coffee and set up my laptop across from our dining room window that presently looks out over the pre-dawn blackness of the open field behind our property.
It has been a whirlwind, an exhausting whirlwind – moving every scrap of our possessions from one place to another which is no small task. Here are a few observations from the other side of the crazy:
- We’ve been so blessed by the friends and family who have come to help us pack, unload, and begin to settle. I’m rocked by their selflessness and generosity. And, yes, my eyes began leaking in moments when I realized a friend packed up those closets and cabinets for me that I’d been avoiding.
- It’s taken quite a lot of mental energy to encourage the kiddos who are big enough to help, but old enough to have complex emotions about uprooting their “normal.”
- The enemy will do everything he can to steal, kill, and destroy the goodness God provides. He has sought to instill fear, steal my joy, overwhelm me with tasks, and create uncertainty throughout this whole house-building process.
- It is completely possible to walk a house from foundation pouring to final touch ups, at least once a week with a critical eye ready to catch any flaw, and be pleasantly surprised upon actually moving in at things we’ve overlooked all of these visits.
- My husband is basically a superhero. His strength, endurance, and tendency to get all the big things assembled, connected, and in place within a few days of moving is jaw-dropping in its wonder.
- After 7 moves in 11 years of marriage, I think we mostly have this thing down. Our first move as a married couple was stressful as we learned all kinds of lessons about how not to communicate with love and effectiveness. We may be exhausted, but I’m so deeply thankful that there’s a whole lot more flirting than fighting in this process.
Our last home was such an unbelievable blessing to our family. Our little place, built in 1980, housed first steps and laughter and lessons learned. Our very own pear tree provided hundreds of pears annually. The canopy of trees in the back gave us shade while we played. But mostly, the sense of God’s peace on that space was the stand-out for us and for the visitors we had over the years.
Here, in a new place we now call “home” I feel that peace as well. But there’s more. There’s light. I long for this to be like a lighthouse, set on a hill, pointing everyone we meet to Christ. I pray that this place will not only be where we retreat to rest, but also it will be a place we invite others into – even despite our imperfections that range from dirty dishes in the sink to moments of frustration – because God’s love is sufficient to cover all our imperfections and His grace is sufficient to give strength in our weakness.
Has your normal changed lately? How is God meeting you where you’re at today?
We’re moving this week! And that’s set my mind towards an awareness of all the final things – those final experiences we’ll ever have in this home.
We’ve been so blessed with our little home these past 8 years. When we moved in our children were 20 months and 4 months old. This is where our daughter took her first steps. Where we became foster parents. Where we saw the hand of God move time and time again, providing for our needs when finances seemed depleted. Where I learned how to keep a home. Where we began homeschooling. Where I’ve written all my books. Where we’ve picked pears from our tree and preserved them for the upcoming year each summer. Where we’ve tirelessly renovated and worked. Where our children prayed their first prayers and asked Jesus to come live within them.
And this week we will say goodbye to this special place where our family grew.
Mowing the lawn for the final time. The final pear-picking season. The last meal we’ll cook. The last game we’ll play. The last sleep under this roof. The last load of laundry. Everything feels nostalgic now.
It’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that where we are now – in this temporary place – is where we always will be. Despite the tyrannical urgent we feel in this transient space, we must keep our eyes focused on the lasting. This may be the final time we see that person, walk down that road, perform that task.
How will we handle our moments, perhaps our final ones here?
“…Let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire…For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” Hebrews 12:28-29, 13:14
It’s time to move on, move ahead towards a new set of memories under a new roof. And we’re so excited to see what God does in this new season for our family!
But this move has made me consider the two homes for the follower of Jesus: earth (the temporary) and heaven (the eternal). Here on this planet, we take our first steps and make our first progressions, explore our giftings and develop relationships. In heaven, we’ll take all of who we are, stripped of our sin nature and sickness of soul and body.
Are you ready for that move? If you aren’t sure, right now is the perfect time to get ready. Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” It’s a surrender to Jesus as the new Lord over your life, trusting Him with who you are. It’s a belief that God has done what we never could do on our own – defeat sin and death.
As we pack up the last box and load the last stick of furniture on the truck this week, I’ll look back on this precious place with thanks, pray that it will bless the next family like it’s blessed us, ask God to keep His peace and Presence here to touch the lives of all who enter after us. And we’ll move to the next place He has for us, ready to experience everything He has beautifully prepared for this new season.