I hate moving. The packing and sorting. The pain that develops in your back. Taking a part beds just to put them together again. Maneuvering objects through doors and hallways that are bigger than a those doors and hallways. PIVOT! I hate moving!
Two weekends ago my family and I moved to a new house about 3 miles away from our old house. Since being married 9 and a half years, this was the third time my wife and I moved. The first two moves it was just us, no kids and all our stuff fit into a 8X12 foot pod with plenty of room to spare. Three kids and a full house of stuff later, we rented a 26 foot truck and filled the thing… twice!
Even though I hate moving it reminded me of a few very important lessons.
1. I can be too easily attached to stuff. Not our stuff, the stuff we packed in boxes (although that’s true as well). But the stuff that made up our house. There are certain things that I LOVED about our old house that we don’t have in this house. There were certain updates and newer appliance that were really nice and gave the house a bit of a trendy feel even though was a fairly old house. The house we live in now (even though it’s a great house) isn’t quite the same. The cosmetic features of it are a bit more old and worn out and as I sit writing this at our kitchen counter my eyes are drawn to all of the things that are less than perfect. And saying good-bye to those things in our old house reminded me…
2. It’s far to easy to compare. It’s easy to look at what other people have and what we used to have and think we’d be happier with different stuff. The latest model of this. The newest update of that. If only I had _________, then I’d be content. For me, comparison is often rooted in being overly concerned with what other people think of me and ultimately steals my joy. Comparison breeds anxiety and takes our focus off of what’s truly important, people. Because ultimately…
3. People make places. This is what I’ve been most thankful to remember. As I left our old house for the final time I had an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I stood in our kitchen and thought about all of the people who had been in our house over the 6 years we lived there – the groups we hosted, the parties we had, the holidays we shared and the relationships that developed. I also thought back to the day we brought each of our three girls home from the hospital and all the joy and laughter we shared as our family has grown. As I shut the door behind me for the final time, I was reminded that we have the potential to do the exact same thing in our new home as we did in our old home.
A home isn’t meant for the purpose of impressing people. Apart from the basic necessities, it’s a place to share life with people. It’s about opening your doors and simply inviting others in with the hope of sharing in meaningful relationship.
I know it’s cheesy and cliché, but it’s the people not the place (or the stuff for that matter) that make a house a home. I look forward to sharing our new place with our family and friends and hopefully make some new friends along the way. I trust that there is much about life that we will learn while living in this place and that when the day comes when it’s time to move again my heart will be equally full from the experience of living here.