By Lilly Lewin
Moving is Messy. Messy on so many levels. Moving is hard work… hard on emotions, hard on your body, and hard on the mind too. It’s a process that takes time, even if you are just moving down the street or across town. It always takes longer than you think it will.
There is grief & loss in moving. And sometimes the fatigue & grief can block any joy you might have at a fresh start or new adventure.
It’s even harder when you have lived somewhere for a very long time.
When you’ve put down deep roots in a place and made so many memories they are hard to count.
We all need to have grace for ourselves and others in making a move. We need to acknowledge the messiness. We need to take time for the grief. We need to expect unexpected feelings to arise. We need to give ourselves permission to be exhausted and out of sorts. It is OK. It’s really OK not to be yourself.
And realize that you can, and must take care of yourself in the midst of it all.
Watch or do something that makes you laugh.
Do something creative or something that brings you joy.
Do something other than packing & sorting.
Go see a movie or take a long walk.
Maybe even take a long weekend away from the mess.
This is the “hard good “of moving. The time, the effort, the exhaustion. The hope, as well as the buyer’s remorse.
When you really like where you’ve lived, it’s much harder to make a move. It’s always easier to move from a place that doesn’t seem to fit, or a place you’ve outgrown, or a place you no longer feel at home. I’m in the midst of this now with my mom and dad. My parents are moving from the home they have shared for forty five years to a retirement community. Not everyone gets the gift of living in the same place for a long time. Not everyone gets to live in a place of beauty. They have received both.
Mom and Dad’s home is a thinplace to me and it will be hard for me to say goodbye too.
Thankfully we have a bit of time to day goodbye. Thankfully it’s ok to be sad, and emotional, and uncertain in the midst of the messiness of the transition and letting go. Moving is just messy! We just need to love ourselves in the midst of it all!
How about you? How do the words “We are moving” make you feel? Do you get excited for the next adventure? Or does this phrase fill you with dread at the thought of leaving the familiar and having to do all the work to get ready?
Consider some of the moves you’ve made in your own life. Have you moved a lot? or almost never? How did you feel? What did you dread? What did you look forward to? What have you learned from the moving?
What are the gifts of where you are now? What are the things you treasure about where you live? Spend some time thanking God for this place and the people you value.
Any one in your life moving house now? What tangible things can you do to help them? Can you find boxes, or help pack them? Can you bring them a meal or help babysit so they can keep packing? Even an encouraging phone call or text can help make the messiness of moving a bit better.
Moving into the New Year. This week our Jewish friends celebrated Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. We have a tradition at our church thinplace of celebrating a bit of this holiday too. It’s an opportunity to repent and make a fresh start. It’s an opportunity to be thankful and move into a new season. Are there new places, new areas that Jesus might be inviting you to move into in this new season? New relationships, new practices, new opportunities that you might be avoiding? Any housecleaning or de-cluttering that needs to happen in your life as you move into a new season and a new year? What rooms in your heart are you being invited to de-clutter? What old patterns of belief or behavior are you being asked to move beyond?
Take some time to talk to Jesus about this.
A Rosh Hashanah tradition is to cast bread crumbs over a body of water. You can take pieces of bread to a stream or pond and let them go as a symbol of letting go of all the things that are weighing you down, or keeping you stuck, all the sins that entangle you….giving these things to the Living Water to carry away for you. If you don’t live near a stream, you can use a bowl of water and break the bread into pieces and put them into the water as a symbol of giving these things to Jesus to carry and wash away. You can do this as a family or a small group too.
And as you move into October, remember the sweetness of God and how much you are loved just as you are, right where you are! In the midst of boxes or in a totally clean house! Under piles of homework or piles of laundry. Jesus is with you and inviting you to move towards him . Taste and see that the Lord is Good. Use Apples and Honey (another Rosh Hashanah tradition) to remind you of the sweet love God has for you! and as a prayer for a sweet new year! You can gather your friends, family, roommates or small group around the table. Take time to talk about how God is moving in your life right now. Talk about your dreams for the next season ahead. Dip the apple slice into the honey as symbol of receiving the sweetness of the year and season ahead with God.
©lillylewin and freerangeworship.com