We moved into a new house last week.
It’s always a bit challenging and emotional to pull up stakes and move to a new place, even within the same city. There are so many lists: things to remember to pack, things to remember to clean, addresses to change, contracts to sign, utilities to transfer. We did our best to prepare our oldest child for the move, like talking about how exciting the new place will be and how we much she’ll like our new neighborhood. We made the extremely wise decision to hire movers to do most of the hauling and unloading (worth every penny!). But in all that flurry of lists and boxes and late nights and phone calls, there was little time to reflect.
We were in this house for over 5 years, and a lot of life has happened within its walls.
- We brought 2 daughters home from the hospital to this house, and found out that we were expecting a third.
- We lost a baby by miscarriage in this house.
- We had to have our beloved dog put to sleep after many good years.
- My wife finished her Master’s degree and started an online business.
- We joined a new church (my first “new church” in 25 years!), and I later became one of the elders/pastors at that church.
- I began earning a little bit of side-hustle income from writing/editing for the first time.
- Last March, I made the transition to full-time remote work, and have reaped the many benefits of working from home (not least of which, having a commute of about 5 seconds).
- We made countless little memories and habits that formed within the walls of that house.
Yet, even though you think of it as your “home,” in some ways, a rental house is just a stop-over. It’s not meant to be permanent, so you make do with its imperfections. This house was pretty rough around the edges in places, and it wasn’t well-constructed. It had cracks and scratches, places where more care should have been taken. (But so do we, I suppose.)
All in all, despite the problems with the house–the loud neighbors, the scratched up doors and walls, the creaky floor and leaky tub–I can look back with thankfulness on being in this place, at this time in my life and marriage. We had good years there. It was a very fine house.
Closing the Chapter
Here’s why I bring this up today, aside from my own selfish desire to reflect:
It’s now 4 weeks into the new year, but you may still be standing in the shadow of the last one. Perhaps you still blame “2020” (as if it were a sentient being) for things going wrong right now or lingering worries you still can’t shake.
Let me encourage you again today to take a few moments and rejoice in the year God made. Reflect on the good memories. Say goodbye to that year and end the chapter well. Then get ready for what’s next.
My family and I are fully moved in at the new (to us) house now (“fully moved in,” meaning not everything is unpacked, but it’s all under one roof!). It’s another rental, so we won’t be here long-term either. And this house has plenty of…quirks that we’ll need to get used to or overlook. But we’re looking forward to welcoming Daughter #3 into it and creating a whole new collection of memories here. We’re hopeful for the future, because we know that God is good and faithful and kind, so we can rest in His promises and enjoy His goodness.
And that’s a great place to live.