A little over a week ago we pulled up the stakes of our life in Atlanta as my husband accepted a job offer in Knoxville, Tennessee. We had spent months before this move looking at houses in Knoxville. Our plan was to “downsize”, however every time we looked at a smaller house, I found myself wondering how we would fit most of our “STUFF” in it. Some possessions seemed to be negotiable… but most had sentimental value in my perspective, preventing them from being simply given away. Our “stuff” presented a problem that was making it difficult to find a smaller house that would comfortably contain it all. After a period of unsuccessful house hunting we decided that we would build the perfect house, smaller than our old house, but bigger than what we truly needed…to house all of our earthly treasures!
When we arrived in Knoxville, we moved into a small (compared to our former house), 3 bedroom apartment. We selected a few of our possessions and simply decorated the apartment that would be our home for the next nine months or so, until we could build our new home. The rest of our “stuff” was unloaded into two huge storage units. As I watched the movers pack most of our possessions into storage, I was struck by the quantity of items that we had accumulated over the years. The movers packed those storage units like a puzzle, not one square inch was left unfilled… and then we closed the doors. It was strange to me that as soon as the doors were closed that I had this feeling of freedom, reminding me of the expression, “out of sight, out of mind.” Within a couple of days living in the apartment I found that I truly did not miss any of that “stuff”…except maybe a few of my books. I marveled at the way God uses our life experiences to touch our hearts, and to constantly teach us His truth.
As I sat quietly with the Lord during my morning devotional time, I reflected on my perspective before the move as compared to my perspective now. I love that the Lord continues to teach me about what is truly important in my life. I find myself loving the simplicity of our life right now. It reminds me of moves we made when our children were young. For a time when they hadn’t made new friends yet, they clung very close to me as they slowly ventured into their new lives. The closeness during those times is something I still remember and that I loved. I find myself as God’s child drawing even closer to my Father as I begin this new chapter in my life. This realization– combined with the purging of so many material “distractions” –has brought me to a place of surrender. And I’ve discovered that with that surrender, there is an deeper connection with my Heavenly Father.
I realize that my life will begin to fill up again as time presses forward, but for now the simplicity of this time is a welcome retreat for me. It is a time of quiet surrender, a time to get very still and listen to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is constantly whispering priceless truths to me about my life. He opens my eyes, my heart, and my mind to recognize the lessons He wants me to learn. He is sweetly reminding me that there is a time for everything. I am thankful for the years of my life; for the busy times, and all the stuff that comes with those times, because without those I do not think that I would fully appreciate the simplicity of NOW…the surrender of NOW. There is a surrender in the NOW…trading the noise, the busy life, and ‘the stuff’ for the simplicity of a quiet communion with the Spirit. I truly love this place and I don’t want to go back to the “stuff” of my old life. I want to go forward being very selective about what and how I choose to fill my life. I want to cling to my Heavenly Parent, as my young children clung to me in those new transitions. I loved those times…and I know that God also loves that time with me.
Special thanks to guest blogger Jeanne East, Christian Elementary Education Teacher