It’s been a mere ten days since we decided to move. Or, since God decided to move us. And in that time, I’ve learned quite a bit. Or, perhaps, I have been reminded of what I already knew.
Good, good people live in this world. I have some friends who could have very easily said, “Really, Sarah? We just moved you a year ago. Remember our tireless hours of painting and cleaning and loading and carrying? We don’t exactly want to repeat that again so soon. For Heaven’s sake. Settle down.”
Instead? They said, “Let us know the dates and details. Can I come help you pack? I’ll collect boxes.” And they have dropped off boxes and saved boxes and offered to run my kiddos. One even offered to come from Columbus to help! Selfless people who serve others well – they exist – and I am honored to call them friends.
My mood equals everyone’s mood (in this house). Yesterday I got frustrated with changing activity schedules. One minute I am committed to 4:00 then the next minute it’s 3:00. Hannah needs to be somewhere at 1:00 – oh, nevermind. That’s not happening. Oh, yes, it’s happening, but Hannah is not going now. CRAZY!
Guess what? My rising frustration equaled rising frustration in everyone. Owen went into “good boy servant” mode, trying to make everyone happy while a bewildered Hannah looked on like….how in the world can I fix this, Mom? I don’t control all these people. And she’s right. She doesn’t. Just like she doesn’t control the weather or the packing pace or the myriad interruptions in our day.
So, if I want a happy, smooth move? I have to make it so. My kids (and your kids) get their cues and moods from me and you. If you feel overwhelmed, so do they. If you’re ok? So are they. Trust me on this. Even if the stress is simmering below the surface, THEY KNOW! It’s so weird.
God provides. The boxes through two friends. (Thanks, Jenny and Kristen!)
The manpower through friends – and offers galore.
Snow days for packing.
A word about these snow days. I was gone last weekend from Friday after school until Sunday at 11:00 pm because Hannah had a dance competition out of town. Mix this with midterm grades being due on Monday and a new lesson plan rubric. Yes, feeling a wee bit overwhelmed – to say the very least. Then, boom. Four snow days. We’ve laughed and purged and packed (and stressed – more on that later). Speaking of purging…
We have way too much stuff. Seriously.
I just moved a year ago. At that time, I gave away and sold so much stuff. Then, this fall, I had a yard sale – sold more and hauled the rest to a thrift store. AND STILL…
I am amazed at the stuff pouring from my kids’ rooms (all the rooms)! (They’ve used their snow days very productively;) Our “give away” boxes are growing faster than our “take to new house” boxes. Admittedly, some of it is hard to let go of. Owen still looks wistfully at his tub of webkins – collected for a long time back in the day. But, really? We don’t need or use or love stuffed animals…so buh bye! Speaking of needing or loving…
We are only keeping what we need /use or love. And this is HARD. It might not seem like a big deal, but when I look at something before it goes into the box, I think long and hard…Do I love this? Love to look at it? Love to have it in my home? Or, do I use this regularly? As in, have I held this item in the past six months? If it’s a no…then it goes. I am not always completely honest with myself. I’ve noticed myself holding on to some wacky things. Baby steps! (FYI: I got this “filter” for purging from Tsh Oxenreider’s book Notes from a Blue Bike.)
You just have to live in the mess (deep breaths, deep breaths). And my house is a mess (understatement!) Today my friend said to me, “Sarah, you are going to to have let some of this go sometimes. I know it’s a season of moving, but life still goes on.” Amen. I want to pack now, clean now, and be done now. That doesn’t really work for a single momma. My kids still have activities. We still need to eat. When the snow subsides, we have school. So some days…I am going to have to shove the boxes aside and sit down for a family viewing of American Idol or a conversation about ISIS. Momma first, mover later.
You can make time for anything (that matters). I am moving during Lent. God is funny, huh? He has me moving during the time when I push the pause button – the time when I slow down and give up in order to make more space for intentional prayer. For growing in Him. I love this season of Lent. Soooo….when shall I make time in a schedule that was just bumped to crazy busy? God’s told me not to give up, but give in, and He will show me. I am trusting.
So, that’s what I am learning so far, but I have a feeling this is just the tip of the iceberg (pun intended for all those under wind chill watch:). And I share with you because no matter what is happening in your life right now…
Good, good people live in this world. Find a few. Make friends. Have hope!
My mood/your mood sets the tone for your family. Overwhelmed or joyful – you get to choose.
God provides. In mysterious ways. And rarely in our timing or our way, but trust Him. He’s got you. He’s got this.
You might have way too much stuff, and it might be interfering in ways you can’t imagine. All the time you spend shuffling and organizing and cleaning could be spent with your family or pursuing a dream. Declutter your space, and you might be surprised how much it declutters your heart. Keep the stuff you use and love. The rest? It’s just noise. Buh, bye!
Sometimes you just have to live in the mess – literally and figuratively. But, life doesn’t have to stop or suck just because there’s mess in your sink or in your heart. You can still laugh and share and love.
Make time for what’s important – to you and to those you love. Lent is important to me because remembering my Savior’s road to the cross and his sacrifice for me is essential to my being. He is THE reason that I exist. The reason I can live and love. So somehow He will help me slow down as life speeds up.
What has God taught you lately as you go about life? I’d love to hear how He’s at work.