Noah and I have moved 5 times in the four years we have been married. And we will likely move again within the year. After that I haven't got a clue. I am sure about this, though. I don't like moving. At all. Have I mentioned with all that moving that we still live in the same town. This leads me to only one conclusion. Our moving was not for the purpose of moving but for the purpose of sanctification and maturing in Christ. And I have every reason to believe that it has produced measures of that. Largely because I dislike it so much. We will have our 3rd child in April and they, like my other children will be moved out of their "nursery" within in the first couple months of life. What don't I like about moving? If you are asking this question I doubt you move often if ever, BUT to put your inquiries at rest, I will elaborate.
- Packing (with children)..... not getting to play with the kids, unless you consider play keeping them out of everything everywhere.
- Unrest.... there is no peace when moving is underway. Not for some time before and some time after. It seems to make everything chaotic and disheveled.
- No routine... moving just hinders normal life for months it seems. You finally get to the place when you rejoice that all you have to do is the everyday chores like laundry and dishes. For so long you are trying to live and function AND unpack. It makes for a lot of work.
- I think for me it just comes down to the all-consuming element of moving. Its like for at least a month you live, eat and breath moving. You can't just live normal life, take care of your family, spend time with your kids... and everything is SOOO ugly for a while. No pictures on the wall, no decorations. It may sound small but for someone who is so inspired by beauty, it is pretty depressing.
- No nesting when having your babies. I long for a season when I can plan a nursery, have it ready when the baby comes home, and just sit back and enjoy newborn. With Haddon I was leaving him with my mom at 2 days old to go paint so we could try yo move in to our house.
These are just a few things that I hate about moving, so as long as we stop moving some time soon and really settle down, everything should be fine. Right?
Only one problem, I have no promises like that in the scriptures. In fact MY Lord was born with no nursery and no home and sweet Mary was definetely "unsettled" when she had her first newborn. No nesting for her. And this is MY GOD, MY KING. So why do I deserve this for myself, or my family? But that was only for a time right? Well during Jesus adult years, the bible says he had no place to lay his head. How much more for me, his servant?
I do long for a "home" and a sense of stability and peace for my family, and I don't think these things are wrong to desire. But God has been teaching me over the past year and continues to teach me that no "home" or "life" will bring me these things. Peace and stability can only be found in Christ. As long as I look for them in a home or a "peaceful" lifestyle, they are merely illusions of peace, illusions of stability and they can come crashing down at any moment(Matt 7:24-27) so I choose to build my "house" on the rock. And most of all, I want to treasure Christ himself more than any other thing, that I would seek to be at home IN CHRIST. As John Piper says it "When you come home to him , you are home forever." These are some of the truths that I choose to dwell on.
- Duet 33:26-27 " There is none like God, O Israel, who rides through the Heavens to your help, and in His majesty through the skies. The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms."
- Psalm 84 vs 1-4 "How lovely is your dwelling place, O lord of hosts. My soul longs, yes faint, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the Living God. Even the sparrow finds a home and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O lord of hosts, my king and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in your house ever singing your praise."
- Psalm 84 v 10-12"For a day in your house is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. O lord of hosts blessed is the one who trusts in you!
When I think about these verses (the whole of Psalm 84 has been a favorite this year) I am sooo comforted and I realize that it doesn't matter if we move every year for the rest of my life. Did I mention my parents have been married 27 years and moved 25 times? I swear we are not hiding from the feds or outrunning the mob or anything. I know that as long as I and my family have Jesus near to us, we have all we've ever desired and lack nothing. So I speak to myself mostly, and all who love me when I say don't feel sorry for me! Because I believe it is true that No good thing does God withhold from me. He has given me the thing of most value and treasure in ALL the earth, 2000 years ago. He gave me his son, and he can give me no greater thing than that, so I trust that I have His best today, tomorrow and for all of my life- moves or no moves. The Joyners are His .... and they are already home.