We're moving and I have found myself grieving as I pack.
This was the first home we ever bought. We've lived here for over ten years.
Our oldest daughter was a toddler when we moved in and the house was so empty back then. We'd moved here from a one bedroom apartment before that, so we didn't have much. I can remember how her footsteps echoed through the empty spaces.
We've had our two other daughters since then, and so we've really built our family in this place. And now, we certainly have a lot more stuff!
I was packing up our classroom today, where I spent a lot of my time, and I was tucking all my favorite things into a box, feeling joy over each thing, and remembering how I came by them, and these verses went through my mind:
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. -Proverbs 24:3-4
I closed my eyes and agreed with the Spirit of God and gave thanks for all the things that fill our home now and what or who they represent to us.
We have a lot of books now, so many books. Many were given to us by friends, but most we purchased, because they were recommended by people we love and respect during some rich conversation we had with them over the last ten years.
We have a tea set I wrapped up in newspaper. It was given to us by a friend who came over every week to have hot tea.
We have a house full of furniture given to us by Dwayne's grandmother who is now deceased. She cherished her Cushman maple and so do we.
We have seashells and rocks collected at the beach or on hikes with friends or family.
We have crafts, so many crafts, from Sunday school or VBS or homeschool co-ops.
Snow sleds and weights and board games...
All of these things represent someone or some little, but significant event when we were with people learning, singing, laughing, relishing life.
My house is really full, but I am not certain the world would see anything valuable here. Nothing would fetch much in the market place, not even at a yard sale. And my home doesn't look like a catalog.
But, God confirms His word to me and I see the truth. My home, like my life, is filled with treasure. The treasures are the precious artifacts of all the people, relationships, and moments of wonder and fellowship He has given us over the years. With spiritual eyes, I can recognize the worth of these things over and above any simply material possessions that the world may prize higher.
God has established my family in this place, so I think this house may always be sacred to me. I pack and grieve for what is ending, but I also remember to give thanks now for all that has happened here.
And I know I can look forward to more joy, more relationships, more fellowship, more moments of wonder, and even look forward to new treasures in my new home, because the same God who dwelt so lovingly with me here calls me on and I follow.