MOVING SALE: It’s been fun to welcome friends in to select items that will feather their nests and hopefully be a little reminder of us. One friend’s daughter bought my dining room furniture complete with china, crystal, tablecloths, placemats–the works. When she got it set up in her home, it was just beautiful and her parents sent me pictures of the before and after transformation. She came by today to return a plastic bin and her eyes shone with delight as she told me she slipped into her dining room several times last night just to make sure she wasn’t dreaming–it was really hers. I told her I remembered doing that exact same thing. It made me so happy to know she delighted in it as much as I did. Another couple came back with pictures to show me how the items they bought fit in their home and brought us a beautiful gift for our new home. Precious moments.
PLANNING AHEAD: We are looking forward to our new home. I have spent hours staring at floor plans trying to figure out what pictures will fit on what wall. How many books and collectibles will actually fit on the bookcases on each side of the fireplace?Which rugs will fit where? Will that big chair overcrowd the den? I’ve researched new appliances because we had to sell ours with the house. We won’t have time to do that on moving day and we are going to need a refrigerator and washer/dryer first thing. Hank is researching cars because we need to sell my little car and buy a bigger one (so I can pack it with more things we need to transport). And what transportation scheme are we going to actually pull the trigger on–and when? So many decisions.
TRANSITION PROVISION: Friends have offered to let us stay at their summer home should there be a transition time between closing on this home and closing on the next. So we are praising God we won’t be homeless for two to three months. He has provided exceedingly abundantly more than we could have ever asked or thought.
But all of this excitement is wrapped in a disaster of sorts. Our home looks like a bomb went off in it. I never realized I am OCD, but apparently there is a definite strain there somewhere. First, we had to give up cleaning a few weeks ago–there just is no way. So if you could use a dust bunny or two, we’ve got you covered. Then there are the boxes. Hank bought dozens and taped them up so I could start filling them. I’m about half way done because it takes time to wrap everything in bubble wrap and secure it in a box. I’ve had to sort through closets of clothes (most of which I haven’t worn in at least five years). I’m not sure why I have such a hard time parting with clothes. Maybe in the back of my mind I’m afraid I might not get any more and may ultimately need them at some point. Regardless of the reason, I see signs I could become a clothes hoarder. Those of you who know me are aware of my dish and table linens fetish. Hank has done his best to talk me out of them. I have to face the fact we will no longer have three tables to decorate and cabinet/storage space will be limited. If I had actually visualized downsizing meant fewer tables to decorate, I might not have signed onto this downsizing plan. We’ve sold the lamps–so the house is a bit dark. Chairs we usually sit on are gone, so we scramble to fine a substitute. Rooms are vacant. Draperies are disappearing. The pictures have come down. There’s a yard sale of sorts set up in the living room and dining room. And every day a truck pulls up and hauls off another piece of furniture. No doubt by the end of the week we will be sitting on the floor to eat by candlelight (if I can remember where I put them and the lighters).
So I go to bed and close my eyes. The clock ticks, but sleep is no where to be found. My mind races making lists, worrying about trivial details like changing prescriptions and gathering records from doctors to visualizing how large the truck will need to be to carry all of this stuff. It’s not like there’s a science to this. What happens if you run out of room before all the stuff is loaded? And the inspection list has a dozen nit-picky things on it that we now must run around and deal with–caulk this, find a splash for the downspout, tighten the light switch plate on the second floor, replace one roof shingle. And so it is now 5:52 a.m. and I’ve been awake all night.
After tossing and turning I got up, grabbed some hot chocolate and checked my email. My friend had sent me an e-card. When I opened it, a beautiful scene appeared and music played. And across the beautiful scenery words began to appear.
“The Lord will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.” (Isaiah 58:11 NLT).
Oh how I needed to hear this promise from my Lord this morning. Praise God for a friend that just intuitively knows when you need encouragement. Even though we are going home, we will be settling in a new community. The city has changed so much since we left 26 years ago. I’m going to miss my friends, church and the ministries I’ve served in. It’s become obvious I’m not one who likes change–security and comfort and organization are essentials for peace. So in the midst of all this turmoil and all the many decisions, I need to know our Shepherd is guiding, nourishing and restoring us. I needed His reassurance there will be a day when we will be like a well-watered garden and an ever-flowing spring.
So if you are reading this and have time to come by for a cup of coffee, I’ll try to find the Keurig and will assign you your own box and roll of bubble wrap. We’ll talk and hug and may even shed a tear or two. Moving on is hard. But I know God is leading us, so I know everything is going to be all right. He has a plan for us and it is good.
Is God taking you through a season of change, too? Is it hard to imagine how He will take you from your present reality to a well-watered garden with an ever-flowing stream? Like me, just give each day all you’ve got and lean hard into Him, trusting He knows the way when you can’t even see a light.