I have spent my whole life moving. Growing up I moved about every two and a half years. My husband and I built and moved numerous times before having children. All that to say, I know how to move. I am accustom to moving. But, let me tell you something. This recent move, well it just won’t end and it has been the worst of moves. Now, before I seem like I am complaining, let me say-I am fully aware I chose to make this move and therefore am not complaining. (Well, maybe I am a little, but…)
I have learned some valuable life lessons in the move. I am sure I have more to learn, seeing as the move isn’t over yet! Just so you have a little back knowledge here is the course of events:
We have been living in our current home, which we were able to custom build, thirteen years. We moved in about 6 months before the girls turned 3. Wow! Where has the time gone. Being who we are, loving construction, not being real good at putting down roots and getting really tired of stairs, we began talking about moving. We longed for an open, one story plan with a pool out back. Problem was finding where to put this house we dreamed of. Well, we found a lot and a friend and building partner offered to build for us! Who could resist. Of course, add this to the fact I am now home schooling one of my 9th grade daughters (yes, something I said I would NEVER do) and the other will be transferring to a different private Christian school. LOTS of change. Any way, we decided to build and well, once we decide something we get right on it. We began construction.
Within a month of beginning construction I put our home on the market, with prayers it would sell before we closed on the new house. Well, sell it did. Three times we had the house under contract. One time to fall through, the second time to close, the third as a full price back-up offer. Long story, but suffice it to say we sold. However, selling meant finding temporary housing for 60-75 days. Not easy. Being the organized person that I am, I began researching movers, storage options and furnished apartments. I found what I thought were the best solutions for all three and the packing and moving process began!
Move day came, and well, things didn’t go as planned. A move that was to end at 4:00 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. didn’t end until 2:00 a.m. Boxes of dishes were broken as a result of being packed upside down and under boxes marked “Heavy/Books”. It would have been very easy to be very mad. And, I won’t lie, we were a little angry. However, 4 days before our move one of the most destructive tornadoes to come through Arkansas hit close to home. While we were bemoaning smashed boxes and a broken dining table, there were families placing remnants of yard equipment, photos, kitchen cabinets in storage, just happy to have found anything in the midst of the rubble once called home. It gave us perspective. It continues to give us perspective. Move finally completed, we took our clothes and some other essentials and moved into a furnished executive apartment managed by Marriott. This was supposed to be the arrangement for the next 60-75 days. Ha! Not this time, Not this move! In a series of events I have yet to know or understand the apartment complex and Marriott chose to no longer do business with each other and we are to move the 30th of this month. Yes, move again. According to Marriott, “this has never happened”. Of course it hasn’t!
So, as you can see, our move just won’t end. We have taken it all in stride. I am actually pretty proud of how well we, especially I, have taken it in stride. It is evidence to me I have changed, grown, matured. While I feel the aches and pains in my body, see the evidence on my face, it is nice to know my spirit and mind have done a little growing of their own. We have managed to laugh about most of it.
Lessons learned courtesy our move that never ends:
1. You can never plan enough/be organized enough. Life is life. People are people. Things happen. Just be ready for the unexpected.
2. I have not taught my children how to pack and set up a room. I was reminded we can not teach merely by word, but we must teach by example and we must often do the task with them the first time.
3. My expectations are almost always too high. I think it is fine to have high expectations. In fact, I would say it is good. However, one needs to be prepared to fall short or be a little disappointed. It doesn’t mean I need to lower my expectations (if I did that I might not strive as hard), but I need to have grace when life or people or I fall short.
4. Very few people today care about others as much as they care about themselves. I am reminded I need to teach my children to do everything as for the Lord, striving to care for others as much or more than they care for themselves.
5. Family is strong when family works together, prays together and plays together. My family exceeded my expectations. There have been no major meltdowns. A little grumbling (but hey, don’t you think we deserve a little?) We have weathered the storm and in the midst everyone worked hard, we prayed for ourselves and for those around us and we took time to rest and play together.
6. Home is indeed where the heart is. We are a little displaced right now, but life carries on. Our daily routines continue and what is important still happens. We eat breakfast and dinner together. We share in taking care of the dogs. We laugh, we bicker, we work… We are at home, because we are together.
We look forward to being in our new home. A little displacement will only make us appreciate it all the more. This move may seem like it is never gonna end, and that’s O.K. I’d rather be on a journey with my family, than stuck. I’d rather be tested and grow, learn, than stagnate. We will move into our new home. We will nest and get settled. In the end though, it too is temporary. Our real home is in heaven. It’s a mansion our Jesus has gone on to create. I pray my family learns our lessons as we move. I pray we are acting in obedience as we journey on. I pray our hope remains in Him and the knowledge that one day it will ALL end, and we will be at home at last.