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5 good things about moving

The first time I found out that I’d be moving overseas, I was excited.  I went to the bookstore and looked at the travel books and maps.  I started learning a few words of  a new language.

It didn’t even bother me that I had committed to live for several years in a country (actually a continent) that I’d never set foot in!

I was young and ready for adventure.

The next move, I was a little less excited.  I knew how much work there’d be — unpacking boxes, trying to make new friends, finding my way around a new city.

By the time I started preparing for my third move — with a 2-year-old and 4-month-old! — the novelty had REALLY worn off.

I was actually kind of mad.

Ok, I was downright angry.

It was so unfair! To have to cut off friendships and activities that I loved and move yet again.  To go through the exhausting steps of packing and unpacking a house and learning new a town and finding a new support system.

I skipped being mad at my husband and went right to the source… God. 

Why had he given my husband a passion for a job that moved us around so much? 

How in the world would I ever get used to this?

Well here I am, preparing for our fourth big move and God’s done a bit of work in my heart in the past couple of years.  I’m still dreading the packing and unpacking, the impact on the kids, awkward period before I find my tribe and settle in.

BUT, I’ve also come to realize there are a few SWEET things about moving too.  So whether it’s your first move or fifth, here are a few things to keep in mind:

1)  Moving forces us to get rid of all the stuff we don’t need.  There’s nothing like packing and unpacking a knick-knack or kitchen gadget over and over again to make you realize how little you need it.  Every move we’ve undertaken has led us to whittle more and more of our stuff down to things we need, things we use, and things that bring us pleasure.  This has brought peace and simplicity to our life.

2)  Moving gives us a great perspective on relationships, activities, commitments, or beliefs.  Sometimes getting some distance is what it takes to make me realize that a job or activity might not be too healthy for me.  Sometimes the distance makes me realize how much we appreciate someone.  It can be hard for people who live in the same town all their lives to get that bird’s eye view of their lives.  Moving gives me this perspective — this is a gift!

3)  Moving can strengthen our family.  Moving can be really stressful.  For a long time, I worried about how it would impact my marriage and my kids.  But now I realize that having crazy experiences together — experiences only we have done and remember brings about a special kind of bond.  In the first few months of a move, you may not have extended family or friends to count on, but you do have each other.  This has brought my husband and I closer and I hope it brings our kids closer over the years as well.

4)  Moving fulfills our purpose.  My husband (mostly) doesn’t get to choose where or what his next job will be. He goes where he’s needed.  I like think of myself like that — except my company is Heaven.  I imagine God up there, looking down and seeing some need on Earth that I am just right to fill.  Maybe it’s a MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers) that needs a leader or maybe its a person who desperately needs a friend…and in my moving, I am placed in exactly the right place to fill that need.

5)  Moves gives us a fresh start.  There is something so freeing about starting over in a new place.   I love how God says to us:  forget about what’s happened, don’t keep going over old history.  Be alert.  Be present.  I’m about to do something new, don’t you see it?!

Don’t get me wrong, there’s so much to be learned from sifting over what’s happened in our lives. But there are also benefits to setting aside resentments and disappointments and looking to what new and wondrous things might be about to happen in our lives.

Right before I move, I get this feeling of excited anticipation… will this be the move where I meet my best friend or find a new hobby I love?  It might end up being my kids’ favorite school or be one of the nicest houses we live in.  It might also be a tough assignment, a period of loneliness or illness or stress.  Strangely, those tours have been some of the best tours for us — not the most fun for sure, but the BEST for me — the tours where I’ve done a lot of growing and stretching.

In either case, it’s exciting to think about what is around the bend… in my experience, it’s never something I would have wanted to miss!

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