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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!

Does God Care Where I Live?

by Cathy Baker @cathysbaker

 

Years ago I heard a pastor say he doesn’t believe God cares where we live — what area, what house, etc.

I respect his opinion but I tend to disagree.

I see God’s specificity throughout His Word, as well as our own home situations over the years.

Over twenty years ago, we built a home in our new little town. As relatively new believers, we knew nothing about the beauty of tithing, but it didn’t take long to realize our budget couldn’t handle that kind of mortgage if we were going to tithe fully.

So we sold the new house and moved into a 50 year-old two bedroom, one bath house. People thought we were crazy moving into such a small home with two little boys in tow but some of our happiest memories were made in that home. As a matter of fact, our oldest son and his wife bought the home years after we’d left because he had such good memories there.

Our 50 year-old home. Image Courtesy of Google.

Our 50 year-old home. Image Courtesy of Google.

After eight years of living in our “tiny” home, we felt the boys needed more space as teenagers so we went in search of a little larger home. We put a full price offer on a home across town but they denied it. {Whaaat?} We scratched our heads at the time but remained confident God closed the door for a reason bigger than we could understand. A few weeks later we landed in a home/area where our boys made life-long friends, and had room to play music.

When we decided to move a few years later, with the boys were entering their college years, God sent a buyer from NY who had one weekend to find a home. He gave us a full price offer because he didn’t want to squabble over price. We look back now at our own full price offer that was denied and thank God for it.

That closed door opened many others that would’ve never been opened otherwise.

The examples could continue but suffice it to say I’m convinced God does care about the details of our lives. He cares about the community where we’ll live, the people we will meet, the friends our children will make, the church we’ll belong to, the money we will spend. Why? Because He cares about you, me, our families, and those around us.

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I believe our heavenly Father delights in leading us to places where we can flourish emotionally, physically, and spiritually — all for His glory! And because He cares, why wouldn’t we pray for His direction?

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. Hebrews 11:8

So, what do you think? Do you believe God cares where you live? Please share below!

{You may be asking what this subject has to do with change. I’m asking myself the same thing but this is what the Lord laid on my heart to share.}

 

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