Movin’ on, movin’ up

We’re twenty percent moved, and one hundred percent befuddled. Despite knowing we must continue with our great downsizing, reducing the contents of a two-storey home to what best fits a one-storey (about half the size) has all the appeal of major surgery without anaesthetic.

Our stow-n-go van and my car have made numerous trips down the highway. We’re trickling in; hauling necessities for part-time occupation of the second house, until our first sells. We’ve transferred enough to make it comfortable now. I feel good about that until we return to Hope House.

“How discouraging,” I told the Preacher the other day as we walked in the door. “The little house feels almost full now, but when we come back here, it seems as though we haven’t moved a thing.” He cringes. We both do, realizing what it means: deep cuts ahead.

“Everything you and I own,” he is fond of telling congregations, “will end up in the dump one day.” He follows that with a sermon on how believers are mandated to live. Making it a priority to share our lives and our faith in God who gave us life. Putting people first and holding things loosely. We are, after all, temporary dwellers here on earth. Heaven, our eternal, our real home, waits.

I agree. So why, I ask myself when confronted with yet another brimming cupboard, do we find it so excruciatingly hard to part with what will one day be reduced to ashes?

As I go through our carefully collected items, deciding what must be kept, I ask the usual questions: Do I really need this? When was the last time I used it? Why have I kept it? Could a friend or family member better use it? Can I snap a picture of it and keep that instead of the item itself? (I shared that last tip with a friend in the same situation. “Does that work for husbands, too?” she wanted to know.)

I also ask another question. “What is the worst thing that would happen if I got rid of this?”  All too often I must answer, “I might, one day, miss it for five minutes.” Confronted with that, it seems easier to toss things into the “Out it goes!”bin.

 I’m singing moving songs again, the same ones I’ve sung on every one of our eight previous moves over the last forty-three years and three provinces. “This world is not my home, I’m just a passin’ through. My treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue…” And “I’m just a pilgrim, in search of a city…” Also, “Ain’t a’gonna need this house no longer, ain’t a’gonna need this house no more…ain’t got time to oil the hinges, ain’t got time to fix the door…”(except there’s also a door at our new house that needs fixing).

I’m praying, too. “Lord, help me let go of temporal things I can’t keep, so you can fill those gaps with things I can’t lose.” Amen.

We’ll have only shrubs and other houses in our front…but (God is so good…he knows my passion for trees!) the backyard’s a delightful tangle of raised gardens and trees, and a tiny garden barn. The gardens need repair, and the trees some pruning…can’t wait till spring!