Enjoying the Ease

This past week has been a little weird. The first in about twelve that I haven’t had some expectation or another pressing down on me, I’ve felt so at ease it almost makes me uneasy. A meme someone posted on Facebook captures my predicament perfectly:

Coming off of what has been one of the busiest stretches of my life — preparing a house for market, keeping it in “untouched” condition while living in it with a family of six, and then packing and moving, and all that while still doing the usual duties of a homeschooling mommy — the normal, everyday demands are feeling like nothing.

Carving three to four hours out of my day to homeschool my kids instead of doing countless other things that could be done? It’s nothing. Calling it a day and putting my feet up to watch American Idol with the family a couple nights a week? Nothing. Taking the kids on a walk to the park and sitting there completely focused on them instead of on some double-tasking project (reading, emailing, searching, browsing)? It’s nothing. And everything.

The freedom and release I’m feeling right now means everything. It’s still weird, though. I had to ask myself today, I’m not feeling like I’m on vacation, am I? Living in a different place, short-term, fewer responsibilities, no stress…. Nah, that’s not it. Is it?

I don’t think it is. This place is feeling like home, and… I’m still me. The unnecessary pressure I can’t help but put on myself will be returning, I’m afraid. Soon enough I’ll be stressing over the odds and ends that remain unplaced or worrying about wrapping up the school year or….

So, for now, I’m trying to enjoy the ease — even if I am forgetting everything. :-)

Settling In

Family Picture Wall

Our temporary house is beginning to feel like home. Piles diminishing, pictures hanging… I even made a home-cooked meal for the first time in two weeks! And come to think of it, we actually shared that meal as a family, all six of us seated at the table together. Prior to our move, we had made our table smaller for staging purposes, so we really hadn’t all sat together for a meal since sometime in January. Maybe that’s why a simple cheeseburger, fries, and fruit salad supper tasted so good tonight.

Man, it feels good to see clean(er) floors, too. The more I unpack, the more floor space opens up – and the more I scrub, the less gross the tile floor looks. Don’t get me wrong – I think we landed a great place to live for these coming months; but I’m pretty sure it’s been awhile since this place has seen a tenant as crazy as me who was willing to scrub someone else’s grout on hands and knees. Hey, at least it’s making my recent impulse buy from the door-to-door Pro-Tek salesman seem a little wiser.

Ahh, that looks so much better!

Ahh, that looks so much better!

Travis put the TV and entertainment stuff up this weekend, too. We haven’t had a TV in our main living room since Amariah was an infant, and I’ve loved having it that way. But with no other choice in this ranch-style townhome, I’m sort of enjoying having all the “action” right here in one area. TV or not, I think I’ll enjoy having just one living room for this short-term period. I’m sure it will get too noisy for my liking at times, but it will keep us doing life together – and that’s definitely a good thing.

Living Room TV

What making-your-house-a-home projects have you been up to lately?


Closing the Door on Seven Years

House Sold

I cried. It came on me unexpected, a rush of emotion. I had just finished a thorough cleaning of the entire house – my house – and as I turned to look back on my way out, it hit me. This is really happening.

It hit me even harder today. Closing wasn’t supposed to be until Friday. I thought I had a couple more days to finish separating myself from the place I’ve called home for seven years. But having agreed to a last-minute request for an early closing, I had to face the inevitable a little sooner than I’d thought. It’s not my house anymore.

It wasn’t my narrated, final trip through the house with the video camera that brought the tears. It wasn’t even the signing on the dotted line. It was the physical act of leaving. I made it within one step of the door before the sadness fell. And I let it fall. I let the tears fall. Head down, heart heavy, I cried.

And just when new tears had stopped forming, they flowed again down my wet cheeks when my son looked up at me with his emotion written on his face and said, “Mom? Can I walk through the house one last time?”

I knew this might not be easy for the kids. They’ve never moved before – or at least not when they could remember. Abel was 11 months old when we bought that house. Tomorrow, he turns eight – his first birthday not celebrated there.

Fighting tears and losing, my choked response came. “Sure.” He took off upstairs as though on a mission. A mission to remember, and a mission to arrive at peace.

When he completed his final walk-through, I asked him what he had thought about. “Grandparents coming to visit, and the time when the twins were two and we all had a Lego-building party in my room.”

Family. His most treasured memories from this place are centered around special times with family.

And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Family is what makes a house a home. That house is special to him – to us – because of the people who filled its walls with love. Even as I struggled to pull that door closed behind me today, all re-entry rights surrendered inside, it was the scenes of life replaying in my head that caused my heart to be sad.

Empty House

My eyes cloud with tears once again as I write this. I know it’s okay to feel sad, but still I fight a feeling of guilt over the emotion. This place is not our home anyway, the voice charges. That’s true – we’re just passing through. But this is all part of the journey. God created us for home and family. He created us to feel.

Tonight, I’m feeling. I sit in a different, warm home amid all my stuff, my husband next to me and our kids safe in their beds, and my emotions stir quietly inside my head.

When we wake up tomorrow, we won’t be torn between two addresses. The one isn’t ours anymore. It’s time to start making new memories in this new place. What better way to start than with the birthday of our boy who so highly values his family.

Value Family

Happy 8th birthday, Abel!

I Should Be Unpacking

I Should Be Unpacking

I should be unpacking. Instead, I sit in my now empty house where the one remaining sign of life is the Internet connection. Over at our new home, boxes and piles abound in a maze of unfinished work. It’s an Internet-less (until tomorrow) mess, but already it’s beginning to feel like home. It’s where my stuff is. It’s where my family is.

Everything about our transition to this temporary living situation has been covered in love. The way that the Body of Christ has stepped forward to serve us in every need – even those I didn’t foresee – is beautiful and humbling. The process of moving has been moving, I guess I could say. My heart can scarcely understand the love we’ve been shown through the undeserved acts of service of so many of our friends. They have shown me Christ’s love, and for that I am grateful.

It’s a little sad and confusing sitting here in this ghost of a home, though. This isn’t the way I thought I would feel when I returned here to say goodbye. That isn’t really what I’m doing tonight, anyway. But still, it’s weird. It’s suddenly not… home. And maybe it bothers me a little bit that I’m kind of okay with that feeling.

Perhaps I’ll sort it out tomorrow. I’ll come here again, with cleaning supplies in hand, and I’ll remember as I work. I’ll remember the meals I’ve cooked on this stove. I’ll remember the nursery that once occupied that room. I’ll remember the babies I “met” in that bathroom, and the one I labored to lose in the same.

With love, appreciation, and gratitude in my heart, I will wipe away what’s left of all evidences of us, though in my very being they will forever be etched. The memories that reside here are a part of me. They tell who I’ve been, and they tell who I’m becoming.

No matter the place or the length of my residence there, God has been with me, and He will be with me. He has ordained for me each day that I’ve lived, and He already knows what the future ones hold. The secrets hidden within these walls have been known to Him for eternity past. Life has happened here – He let it be so.

Life will continue to happen here. But it won’t be mine. I’m sure I’ll drive by every now and then. I’ll see children at play on the swing set we built. I’ll see a mom on her knees weeding the perennials I planted. I’ll see the neighbors we love sitting on their front porch. And I’ll be glad. My spirit will rejoice in the gift of life – in the Giver of life. And with a smile and a sigh and a Thank You, Jesus, I’ll silently unpack these same funny feelings over again in my heart.

It’s Actually Happening

House - Sold

It’s actually happening. We’re moving tomorrow into the rental where we’ll live while our new house is being built.

Our entire home is in boxes. Well, almost. There’s always that last minute stuff that can’t really be packed. But other than that, I think we’re ready.

I remember when Travis and I moved out of our first home – a 600 square foot duplex. I cried. Granted, I was six months pregnant and a little extra emotional at the time, but who am I kidding – I’m probably just that sentimental.

I haven’t decided if this move is going to affect me quite that same way. The majority of my marriage and motherhood memories have been made in this place, and there is this sense that when these doors close behind us for the final time, we will be locked out of an entire chapter of our lives. And in a way, we will.

But I’m not sad. Not yet, anyway. Because custom building a house is exciting. And because selling a house isn’t that much fun. But we’ll see how I feel when we hand over the keys.

One thing is for sure – I’ll feel blessed. I’m humbled by the generosity and thoughtfulness of so many of our friends who’ve voluntarily brought us meals so I could focus on packing – or who are planning to bring us meals so I can focus on unpacking – and of still others who are giving of their time (and their backs) to help us with the move.

I am so undeserving of all the little details which have fallen perfectly into place to bring us to this day. A wise Realtor. A great offer. A quick sell. A rental property that stayed available just long enough (had we turned the application in one hour later, we’d have been too late). Cooperative kids, tremendous friends, loving family. I don’t deserve any of it, and to receive it anyway is Christ.

One friend who dropped a surprise moving gift on my front porch yesterday told me she’s praying that God would be glorified in every detail of our move. Truly, He is.

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