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Unpacking Four Lessons Learned From Our Move

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Our hilltop barn.

I didn’t plan to be away so long.

When I went away on our family beach vacation in early September I fully expected to return to blogging the following week. This, despite the fact we had only a handful of days to pack our life up in brown paper boxes, close on two houses, and move to our new place in the foothills of the mountains, almost an hour away. But that’s not what happened.

My time away from blogging, however, allowed me to clearly see certain things that were once clouded by chaos.

canstockphoto5176462Four {Life-Changing} Lessons Learned from Our Move:

It’s not what we hold in our hands that will leave the legacy, but rather, what we hold in our hearts. While packing, I came across a dozen Precept workbooks where I’d marked up words, pages, made extra notes, etc. They represented studies that quite literally changed my life. It was through Precept years ago that I learned about the Bible, and more importantly, where I learned to love the God of the Bible. (Thank you, Kay Chandler and Kay Arthur). My initial thought was to keep them so that my grandchildren and great-grands would one day be able to read them and know they had a grandmother who loved the Lord with all of her heart, in spite of her pre-Christ choices. It wasn’t until I began sliding the tape over the seams, that the Holy Spirit reminded me that future generations would not be convinced of my love for God by seeing what I did, or even what I knew. They will know that their grandmother loved God by how she lived (imperfect but intentional) and the choices she made birthed from that kind of love.

Community. It’s a beautiful thing. Moving supplies passed on from long-time friends (our daughter-in-law’s parents!). Two vintage metal gliders delivered to my mom’s house. Another glider and two children’s car seats temporarily housed at my bestest buddy, Teresa’s, house. Brian’s musical instruments (including an upright bass) along with umpteen boxes of vintage LP’s, landed in the living room of Beth Saadati’s dad’s house. (Gary was even gracious enough to open his home to us if we’d needed a place to stay between houses. Gentle hearts and spirits run in this family.) Zach recruited friends from college to help in the move and one of Brian’s friends, whom he’d not seen in awhile, simply volunteered his Saturday morning to help. People who are a long-standing part of our “community” via family ties, friendships, and various churches, all came together at different times and in different ways to help us. We remain humbled and eternally grateful.

Releasing “stuff” isn’t just a step in the right direction, it’s a delightful destination. In the past, I’ve hauled stuff from place to place vowing to one day figure out what I really needed to keep. Not this time! For the most part, I went piece-by-piece evaluating if I would use it. I asked myself what my first reaction would be to the item when unpacking it on the other side. If there was the least bit of hesitation, it didn’t make the cut. I also asked myself if I would purchase it again. If not, why would I want to keep it now? I even released some sentimental things which proved to be the hardest part for me. But I knew if my relatives in heaven could speak to me, knowing what they know in heaven, they’d scream from the top of their lungs, “Let it go! It’s so temporal!” While I kept a few things that meant the most to me I took a picture of the things I didn’t keep and felt pure delight in knowing those things I couldn’t use would now be a blessing to others.

Jesus is in the details, not the devil. I’ll elaborate more on this in future posts but I marvel at the ways God led us to our new place. Honestly, it’s not a place, house-wise, I probably would’ve chosen were it not for the land, views, etc., but that too is part of the beautiful plan for Willoughby Way (the name we’ve given our place on the hill). I look forward to sharing more details, along with “before” and “after” pictures in the near future.

Can you relate to any of the above lessons learned during a move? If so, please share in the comment section. I’d love to hear from you and there is no doubt it will encourage others. Thank you!

Legacy’s Writing Prompt

Each of us will leave a legacy—but what kind?

I was incredibly blessed to be able to spend much of my life with all my grandparents, but today’s post celebrates my grandmother Knighton, who would’ve turned 97 today.

Grandmother wasn’t perfect, but she did certain things that left an indelible mark on my life:

  • She not only spoke of God often, she walked with Him. And she, like my other grandmother whom I recently blogged about, also prayed for me daily.
  • She loved unconditionally. No jumping through the hoops required.
  • She encouraged me not to grow up too soon. Early on, I faced adult situations but she insisted that I enjoy my childhood and she gave me ample space to do so, sparking creativity in this only child’s playground mind.
  • She taught me how to pause. Not every moment had to be filled with a “to-do”.
  • She encouraged creativity. As a child, I loved to pretend being a teacher, a dry cleaning clerk, a grocery clerk, and a hairstylist. She provided paper, groceries, clothes, my grandfather’s old calculator/cash register, and even her own hair for practice.

My list could go on for days, but here’s the point: We are impacting others through our words, actions, and decisions every single moment—whether we realize it or not.

  • How do you and I want to be remembered?
  • Is there someone in our lives that needs to know our love is a “no-hoop” zone?
  • Are we teaching those around us how to be, and not only do, based on our own schedules?

Writing prompt: Imagine your granddaughter/grandson/niece/nephew posts a blog about you 10 years from now, based on your current words, actions, and decisions. What would they share? Be as specific as possible. Is there anything you would like to change about their future post? Go!

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