Tomorrow is the big day…we are moving into our new house! This will be home number 12 for me (yes, much like a Nomad I have moved around a lot in my life time!) So as a seasoned move-er would you allow me to offer some “words of wisdom” on successfully relocating into a new home? Glad you agreed….here I go:
IT’S ALL ABOUT BEING ORGANIZED
Those of you who know me well know that I am super organized (annoyingly organized if that’s even possible). I love to keep lists. I actually keep lists of the lists that I have going (up to you to decide if I’m serious or making a joke). If you want the whole packing and unpacking ordeal to go smoothly, you must stay organized! For me, that means ensuring that every box I have has a definite category. Children’s books. Fictional novels. University textbooks. I have to confess…somewhere along the lines I lost complete control of the categories. I think it’s when I came across our batteries. You can’t exactly fill an entire box of batteries. So then what category does it go in? Things that give power? That’s silly. Household Items? What wouldn’t fit into that category? Next thing I knew I had a huge box with my dish rack, Amanda’s old change pad, and a Sids bath (I’d rather not explain what that is). When you reach a point like this, it’s time to start labelling your boxes “Items that don’t have a category.” You’ll trick yourself into thinking you’re still being organized….trust me, it’ll make you feel better!
DON’T GET CAUGHT UP WITH THE SMALL STUFF
We actually got the keys to our new house last Monday, so we’ve had a few people in and out of the house doing some minor changes. Yesterday was the installation of the backsplash. Hundreds of tiny little tiles all assembled side by side by someone who has way more patience then I do. So we walked into our brand new kitchen, and all I could see was this one tiny little tile that was slightly crooked. Somehow that little tile managed to scream out “Stare at me! Notice me! Forget about your brand new kitchen and look right at me when you walk into the room!” I felt myself getting so irritated…like all that mattered was this one crooked tile…couldn’t they just have put it straight? Would it have been so hard! How easy it is to get caught up trying to create an ideal home with no imperfections…something that’s completely impossible and ultimately futile. Yes, it’s nice to have a beautiful home…but it’s only temporary. So don’t get caught up with the small stuff. Sometimes I think God draws our eyes to the imperfections to remind us as Christians not to get too comfortable and satisfied with our homes here on earth; to lift our eyes upward and long for our eternal home where there is true perfection.
EVERYTHING IS A LESSON IN CHARACTER BUILDING
We’ve had to deal with many contractors over the past few months. It’s definitely something that tries your patience. No one seems to move at the pace that you expect, and when things don’t happen when and how you want them, it’s easy to see people as stumbling blocks to your plans, rather than individuals who are working hard to earn a living. Yes, our cabinets have been installed slightly irregular – that doesn’t give me the right to talk down to anyone. The light in our front porch isn’t working – does that mean I can be rude to the site supervisor? It’s in these small dealings with people around me where our character is shown for what it is. Are we patient, gentle and gracious towards those we deal with? Does Christ shine through our attitudes? It’s not that we can’t confront the issues and ask for them to be corrected…but ultimately every instance is an opportunity to allow Christ to shine through our attitudes, rather than obsess over claiming our rights.
REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE STILL MARRIED!
Moving can turn your marriage into somewhat of a business relationship. You become partners in this major project, and if you’re not careful you can start to speak to each other like co-workers rather than best friends. You meet to discuss what needs to be accomplished that day, you summarize your achievements at the end of the day….and periodically you meet together to sign documents and make payments. Conversations become mini staff meetings rather than opportunities to share your heart and show love and affection.. As with planning a wedding, having a child and any other major life change, the temptation is for life, and your marriage, to become all about that! I have to remember that it doesn’t matter what colour cabinets I want, where the sofa will look best or which side of the room the table should go. What ultimately matters is that I’m serving my husband and looking out for his interest and happiness. (Though for the record I’m usually right about where furniture should go!)
LEARN FROM YOUR CHIILDREN
Every time I move, I have this sad feeling when I’m leaving my old house for the very last time. I take a last look at my home that now stands completely bare. Without our belongings it is reduced to bare walls and floors…it looks sad, lonely, almost abandoned. It’s then that I remember that our home is not about the physical walls, but about the love and unity that exists within the family members. I realized this lesson even more when I brought Amanda to our new house. After working so hard to get it ready and make it exactly what we want, Amanda looked around completely unimpressed. She couldn’t care less about the colour of the floors and the upgraded mantle piece on the fireplace. All she wants is to be in our arms. To her, that’s a true home.
And ultimately, this is the believer’s true home, in the presence of the Lord. I look at how hard I work to prepare for my new home…and I’m reminded to work even harder to prepare for the day that I will be in the presence of God. I don’t mean work hard to earn may way into His presence…that’s something the cross alone can accomplish. I mean work hard to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Work hard for the Kingdom that is to come. Work hard for the crowns that we will one day lay down at the feet of Jesus.
1And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.