It feels like home. This cliche statement is really speaking to me right now. As of last Friday, Dustin & I are homeowners! We are so excited and thankful. When we got married, we rented our first home in Kentucky and then moved ten months later to another rental home in Illinois. We loved both of our rentals, but there is something about having your name on paper as an "owner" that gives you this feeling of being settled, and a "grown-up." This packing and moving transition has been a really positive time of learning and growing. I felt the urge to post about what God has been revealing to me through it all.
A few days after signing our contract a month ago, Dustin & I started talking about packing, moving and how it was going to be a crazy next few weeks. Dustin brought up dreading the move (the physical aspect of it) and asked how I felt. I was kind of stunned that my honest feeling about the move was relief and excitement. For me, the physical act of moving isn't a big deal anymore. I counted it up while we were talking, and I have moved about 18 times in my life so far between Kentucky, Tennessee, and now Illinois. Growing up in a blended family will do that. This is not a dig at my parents but rather just the facts. I know God has and will continue to use all things for our good. I also wanted to really take time to look at my past and how it has shaped me.
Each move I can remember my mom being quick to unpack our boxes and get the house decorated and feeling like home. Every year in college she helped organize my dorm room. She wanted me to feel settled. However, thinking back to the last 8 years in particular has revealed a trend in my life: I rarely unpack-- in some ways physically and in a lot of ways mentally. I don't really allow myself to feel settled or connected. Embarrassing fact: Until we moved to this house, in the 15 months that Dustin and I have been married (and really since before college), I have lived out of my travel toiletries bag. Meaning, every morning and night when I brush my teeth, I grab my toothbrush from my travel bag and return it when I am finished, along with all my other necessities. It has become "normal" for me to be ready to go at any time. I think college especially ingrained this "habit" as I was going home every weekend. In our first rental home together, I left several boxes packed in a room and the walls were pretty bare. When we moved to our rental home in Illinois, I had a goal of making it feel a lot more homey than our previous home. I do feel like that goal was accomplished with the help of our moms!
Now as we are settling into our new home -- our first home -- I have a new goal: I want to unpack. Both physically and mentally. I want to allow myself to connect. To our home. To our community. To our church. To our new friends. To this season of life. I want to decorate each room of our home with things that make us happy and remind us of who we are and where we have been. I want to break down the walls that I have built up over 18 moves because I have been avoiding getting attached to something or someone only to pack up and leave a few months or years later. I don't know how long God will have us here at this new address. I don't know what is yet to come. But I do know this: God knows and I am done with living out of a packed travel bag. I am done with putting up walls. Because really, is that even living? I can tell you, it isn't. If we live our lives with walls up and our bags packed and ready to go, how are we truly enjoying and appreciating the gift of the present? A quote is on our back porch, one of my favorite parts of the house. I loved it when we saw the house for the first time and I am so glad the previous owners left it behind. Each day is a gift. I want to start living like it.
Thank you for reading some words and thoughts that have been heavy on my heart and mind lately. I pray that they give hope to anyone who may be in a similar situation. If you haven't unpacked in your current season of life, please do so. God has used each move, each house, each town, each state, each season to bring me to here and now. I know He will do the same for you. He has provided for and never left me just as He promises in His Word, no matter how high I built my walls. Now, the only walls I want to think about are the ones in our home that need our personal touches and decorations on them. I am thankful for each move. For each season. For each lesson, especially this one that I am just now learning. I am so thankful for our new address and that it truly feels like home.
Have a blessed day, y'all!
Let's not forget it is a gift.