Moving Mess


The phrase “We’re moving” wears me out. The mental agility necessary to sort, organize, pack, label, number, create a database (so, I’m a melancholy computer nerd a times) of what hides within each box makes me so weary I can hardly bang two thoughts together.

The last time we moved (almost two years ago), I knew about a year ahead of time that we would probably move, and so I spent an entire summer sorting and donating and reducing—all in preparation just in case we moved.

Despite three months of hard work, when my husband really did get a job in a different state, it still took me a month to pack (and sort and donate and reduce) and fit everything into Budget Rent-A-Truck’s largest moving van. The house stayed a mess for the entire month—right up to the minute when I sadly said goodbye to friends and co-workers and climbed into the van and drove away—leaving our neighbors to haul our two mismatched sofas that didn’t fit into the truck (I did a secret happy dance to say good bye to the sofas) away the next day.

What a mess. Unpacking and arranging poses an equal strain on my psyche. This time, we camped in different rooms of the house for four months while my dad and I banished popcorn ceiling, wood paneling and an ugly kitchen with plaster, paint, tile and hard work.

July will mark our second anniversary in the new house—and I’ve hung a grand total of three pictures and we still haven’t replaced the sofas (which makes entertaining 50 students an interesting challenge).

Photo Credit-Laura Melchor  www.bloggingblackbird.wordpresscom

Photo Credit-Laura Melchor www.bloggingblackbird.wordpresscom

In contrast, my daughter found out two days ago that she and her husband would be moving. They signed the lease yesterday (and moved their first seven boxes into the new place). Neatly packed boxes fill the new place today, and tomorrow (we’re driving as I write) Pedro and I will help them move the heavy stuff. Chances are, Laura will have everything unpacked and in it’s place (including artwork hung on the walls) within a week. To her, the phrase “We’re moving” brings an exciting challenge.

Next time I have to move, I’m calling her. She promised to come and pack for me and unpack and arrange in the new place (hopefully, I don’t have to move for a long time).

My mess. Her challenge.

And that’s how it is with God. I see a mess—he sees a challenge. I have to trust that if I call on him, he’ll work with me, right in the middle of my mess, and turn it into something beautiful. In his time.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • Oh My Goodness Anita! You and I must be kindred spirits when it comes to moving – the process completely stresses me and I have a hard time trying to figure what to take, what to leave, what to pack with what. I’ve emigrated twice and that added an extra twist! Ha! Next time I’m calling your daughter too! Thanks for sharing.

    • Oh, emigrating and moving–now THAT must have been a real challenge! What a relief it is to know that God can take our mess and move us through life’s difficulties.

  • I moved twice in the last year and it’s awful, isn’t it? And I’m organized and spent months cleaning out and donating before packing the first box! But so glad that He sees my mess as a challenge which really isn’t a challenge for Him at all!
    Holly Barrett recently posted…MessMy Profile

    • Oh, Holly! Twice in one year sounds like pure torture! I’m glad you survived and hopefully, you’ll be able to stay for a while :). Thanks for stopping by!

  • Moving mess is not one I know a whole lot about since I have only had to move twice in my whole life. When I got married I moved from my parents house into my in-laws house (we were building ours) but all I had to move was clothes. Then when our home was finished we moved into we again only had clothes, a bedroom suite, and wedding gifts. All the other funiture was new and delivered. Plus we were just moving next door. But I do understand a messy heart and God working to clean it up.
    Thanks for sharing
    Amy P Boyd recently posted…Mess {Five Minute Friday}My Profile

    • Amazing! I don’t think ever ever ‘met’ anyone who has been that fortunate before! I had lived in 17 different houses by the time I was 14. As an adult, my track record has been better (only 7 houses in 25 years). I’m so glad that God can work on whatever mess we bring him!

      • Wow! 17 moves?! That’s wild. I know that had to be stressful, especially since you were young. Were they military moves?
        MoxiesGroovyMom recently posted…Children’s Book Giveaway: Penny & the Magic PuffballsMy Profile

        • No–my dad started out as a teacher and we probably moved a lot because of the economy. Later on, he worked in construction, so some of the moves had to do with moving into houses he was working on/getting ready to sell.

  • Bless you. It’s so uncomfortable, being in transition isn’t it? Not just the practicalities, but mentally too, and even simple things take so much more effort. I hope you find some comfort in the rooting-in process, however long it seems to take to arrive.
    Ruth recently posted…Five Minute Friday: MessMy Profile

    • :). ‘Even the simple things take so much more effort’–true words for sure! I’m starting to take root in my new community (slowly–it’s tough for an introvert!). And I’m almost ready to hang some more photos on the walls ;). Thank you for stopping by, Ruth!

  • Anita,
    I love the way you tell your story! Every time I read a post, I find myself so involved in the story. Thank you for that! And I love the way you took your mess vs. challenge concept and compared that to God. Great stuff!!!
    Becky 🙂
    Becky Daye recently posted…Five Minute Friday~ MessMy Profile

    • Thank you for your kind words, Becky :). My daughter’s new house (cottage, really) is an HUGE mess right now–but everything is in and the beds are up and the sofas in place and half of the boxes unpacked. We’re attending a writing conference that we signed up for months ago, so the poor girl has to take a break from organizing. But that’s just another example of messy life, eh?

  • I found you through Makeda’s Musings – so glad I did!

    Your words, “And that’s how it is with God. I see a mess—he sees a challenge. I have to trust that if I call on him, he’ll work with me, right in the middle of my mess, and turn it into something beautiful. In his time.”, really resonated with me. There is good to come out of the mess, and even ion the mess, but sometimes it takes a bit for us to see it.

    • I’m glad you stopped by, too! Thank you for spending a little time here :). Sometimes it’s SO hard to remember that God wants to work with us when we feel overwhelmed and weighted down by all the to-dos :).

  • Debi Schuhow

    What an awesome conclusion! I did not see that one coming! Very very good, in my opinion anyway. 🙂

    • Thank you Debi, for your kind words! I appreciate you stopping by!

  • Kim

    We’ve known since October of last year that we are moving (in 5 weeks – yikes) and although it feels like we’ve done a lot of preparation, it doesn’t LOOK like it. Having to keep living in the house keeps me from packing a whole lot of it away, but my husband has been faithfully moving a few boxes each week when he drives from VA to SC for the weekend. I just keep telling myself it will all get done. Eventually.
    Kim recently posted…Five Minute Friday: MessMy Profile

    • It WILL get done–even if it’s one box at a time ;).