Tag Archives: moving

Getting rid of all the things

The good news: we sold our house, just in the nick of time to go forward with the purchase of our new house. The bad news: we have two weeks to get everything packed and ready to move. And I have limited time to be present in this process, because my new ministry is two hours away from this house that needs to be … purged.garagesalesign

I tried to find a better word, because purge always brings eating disorders to my mind, and this process – unlike eating disorders – is a healthy one. It’s a chance to clear out all the stuff that no longer has a place in our lives, the clutter that has accumulated over the years, the things that get in our way and distract our thinking.

Clutter makes me uneasy, guilty that I’m not doing something about it but not guilty enough to clear it out of my life. When I have no choice but to dig in and “get rid of all the things,” I’m always surprised by the sense of calm that comes with an uncluttered home. The nagging guilt goes away, and I can sit in peace, enjoying the space that is now empty and clean.

But beware the warning Jesus gave about the demons coming back (Matthew 12:43-45). Cleaning out the clutter is not enough; that empty space needs to be claimed before it becomes seven times more cluttered than it was before. Once the house is clean, the boxes labeled, and the moving truck is pulling away, it’s time to hand over the keys to the new owner.

sold house keysPurging a house of accumulated things is similar to the purging of our souls as we prepare for God to move in us. Handing over the keys (the control) of our lives to Jesus, we need to really let him take over ownership of all that we are.  Releasing our lives into God’s control ensures that the cleared spaces stay open, giving room to the Holy Spirit to work in us, transforming us into the people we were always meant to be.

And so it begins

The reality finally hit me yesterday, as we drove away from the moving company’s warehouse with a carload of boxes and packing materials.

We are leaving.

It seems like we just got here. I walk through this house that it took me years to like, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. It has finally become “home” to me, and now I’m getting ready to pack up everything and move away. I mourn the kitchen redo I never redid, and the sewing projects waiting in bins down in my sewing corner, projects that will never be completed now. Won’t have time. (Never did, apparently.)

I check the buds on the rosebush out front, the one my music teaching colleagues gave me last summer to celebrate my MDiv, the one called “Music Box” (get it?). Will we see any blooms before we leave it behind?

And everyone wants to get together with me for coffee, or dinner, or time to connect before we leave. But there simply isn’t time to see everyone we’d like to see, and time for coffee seems like a luxury I cannot afford. The panic starts to rise, as I add three things to my list, and only cross off one. How will we get it all done?

There are those other deadlines, too. The ones that have nothing to do with moving, but everything to do with ongoing responsibilities, with plans that were set in motion a couple of years ago, before we knew we had five short weeks to sell one house, buy another, move to a new town, get acquainted with new people, and start this thing called full time vocational ministry.

We are arriving.

Whatever happens, I know that God put us here, in this particular place at this particular time, to serve him and the people he calls his own. Every step that has brought us to this point has been a miracle, and I have full confidence in the God who saves me that he will get us through the next few weeks of craziness.

But I wouldn’t mind a bit if you kept us in your prayers.