Wednesday, May 25, 2011


If you think you may move, have any idea that you would like to, ever entertain the notion - start packing now. Work at it every day. I think of all I have packed, all I have shredded, discarded, given away and I am learning more and more to let go of stuff. Maybe this move is "packed" with blessings and lessons I had no idea would be there. We came into this world with nothing and we will surely leave it with nothing - nothing except our salvation, those of us - you - who have trusted Jesus Christ as Savior. There is nothing on this earth that can compare to Heaven and its glory. I'm trying to remember that with every object I pick up and wonder if I should keep it, want to keep it, or feel obligated to keep it. We are not "downsizing" in floor space. We're really upsizing in space and the amount of land that is with the house. But I'm asking myself more and more - do I really want this to go to the new house, just to be packed and stuffed into a closet? Just for the sake of holding onto some faint memory of where it came from or the circumstance that surrounded obtaining it?

In looking through some of Paul's mother's belongings, I find that we pretty much all do the same thing: keep stuff for "good." I don't mean keep forever, although we do think that, too. You know - for good - for when we need something better than everyday. There are things that we do want to keep around us - favorite books and pictures, comfortable old jackets, shoes. But I cleaned out the pantry today and it is shameful how much food we have that gets out of date. Way out of date. Mama Nick's house has a pantry that has more shelves and the shelves are deeper than the small closet pantry we have here. I hope and pray I will not let myself constantly or even occasionally "emergency shop," just because I'm in the store and think of an item. (Do we have some at home? Maybe I better get a couple of cans.) How little we can do with - how much we can do without. How expensive this is in time, energy, money.

I look at the news and the images of tornado destruction all across the south and midwest this spring and early summer and am so greatful I for our safety. I do know the devastation of nearly complete loss - when our house burned and only a few things were rescued; of moving to my grandmother's with only maybe a couple of small suitcases. I know that's why I hold onto things. It's hard to lose things - those comfort items that anchor us to familiarity and home, and the greatest fear is losing the memories of those associated with those things. That's the very amateur historian and genealogist in me... Whole populations, streets, neighborhoods, hospitals, schools, churches have been torn away in the wind. We don't know why. But when "things" are gone, there is the Rock - Jesus. Never changing, always there for us.

I've often thought of Moses and his 40 years in the wilderness being prepared to lead the children of Israel... Forty years of preparation, isolation. Not that my 40+ years has been anything compared to that except in length of time. So whatever God has for me - for us - in moving - He has surely prepared us in some way and prepared the way. This time last year this move was only a distant wish in my head, being newly retired and making more visits "home" to Iuka. Just wishing for a small place to call home there. That small wish was set into motion and I know my strength comes from God for I couldn't have come this far this past year without Him.

Maybe in a year I will look back at this and remind myself not to keep every card (there are still boxes to go through, but my shredder hasn't burned up yet). Although... in a box of 1960's pictures and a few cards, I found a birthday card from my Goobie - and it was strange to see she had signed it "Love, Grandmother." But that's another story...

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