So often I post on tips and how-tos and simple information. And then there are those posts that come straight from my heart. I have to share a secret: These are the posts I like to write best. Hopefully, some of you can still relate to them. I have a feeling some of you are kindred spirits. You’re the type of readers I would love to spend hours chatting together over coffee or chai if we had the time. Can you reminisce a little with me today?
Thornton Wilder once said: “If you write to impress it will always be bad, but if you write to express it will be good.” I’m not writing to impress today. So, I hope he’s right!
This morning I woke up in a different home…a new home…a home that is not quite home yet.
For, you see, my home is still at 124 Kallie–in a little townhouse 10 minutes down the road.
It’s a home that I never wanted to become home, a home that I never expected or planned.
It’s a home that took me a year to hang curtains…because we wouldn’t be staying long.
Part of me didn’t want to move…because moving means moving on, and I’m not quite sure I’m ready to move on yet.
Oh, I’ll be OK. I always am. I remember crying all the way home from college. Because, then, college was home. But when I went back for my first visit, it wasn’t. It was just never the same again.
And 10 years later college is just a distant memory.
And so, today, we leave our home. Our home that we never wanted to be our home but became just that.
Four years ago my heart was shattered and bleeding. In an abrupt move of over 3,000 miles, we left the mission field and our small family of three settled into a two-bedroom townhouse in my home town.
It was supposed to be temporary. We signed a one-year lease. And then another.
Before we knew it, we had lived at 124 Kallie Loop for four whole years.
And then, in June, the landlord called and said he was selling.
Oh, we had already been thinking about moving. And, so, this was, in a sense, some confirmation.
And part of me brimmed with excitement. With any move comes the prospect of starting over–whether it be a move to another continent or a move just down the street.
124 Kallie has seen us through many hardships, toils and snares–to quote the old hymn.
But on 124 Kallie, we’ve experienced God’s amazing grace.
Somehow, leaving this place…and moving a mere 10 minutes away, is like closing a book–or at least a chapter. And it’s a chapter we can never re-read again.
That 13-month-old baby? She’s now 5. Five! And with tears of joy my mind’s eye takes me to the moment she stopped “walking” on her knees and mustered up enough bravery to try it out on her two feet and took off running through the kitchen on 124 Kallie.
I see her two-year-old verbal self singing and dancing in her princess clothes: “Tap, tap my shoe! One and two and three. Tap, tap my shoe. Mommy and Daddy and Me!”
Even at 5, she still makes up songs. I hope she does for a long, long time.
I see me nursing her in the recliner and incredulously thinking to how she breastfed until we could carry on complete conversations–something I would have never imagined myself doing.
I see me reading Beth Moore’s Get Out of That Pit and John MacArthur’s and Nancy Leigh Demoss’s books on forgiveness, and I go back to that sweet, sweet time with the Lord when all I had was Him.
I see my first baby handing my husband the pregnancy test that would announce to him that baby #2 was on her way.
I think back to the summer of 2010, when my very pregnant self could barely take the heat. I wish I had savored that time more. I’m so glad I took my oldest baby to the park for one last memory of just the two of us before baby girl #2 arrived because, truly, it’s hard to imagine life now when it was just the three of us.
I’m seeing my second labor. I woke up in that bedroom on 124 Kallie, and my water had broken. “Oh no!” I think. “Here we go again.” Yet, my labor progressed fine those four hours at home with my husband and my doula. And then we made our way to the hospital.
Before getting into our car, I stole one last glance at the full moon just over the trees. It whispered: “I told you she would come tonight.”
Oh the rest of 2010 and 2011 are such a blur. I had the baby blues and that second baby was high maintenance. On 124 Kallie, I rocked her through pneumonia, breathing treatments and croup.
I relive that frightful night when I awoke to my husband telling me he thought he was having a heart attack. It felt as if a 700-pound man were sitting on his chest. We called 911, my dad rushed over to stay with the baby, and I watched as they placed my husband on a stretcher.
I see myself fumbling over cookbooks and internet recipes, learning how to prepare meals void of gluten, dairy, eggs and nuts.
That night I thought I had thyroid cancer…when I pulled the baby from her crib and crawled into the toddler bed and slept with them both, amid tear-stained blankets, all night.
I see that December morning my husband reached down to kiss me goodbye as he left for work, and I whispered: “She has conceived and will bear a child.”
I think about the fretful 12 days I wondered if baby #3 would ever decide to come on her own. And I see myself bolting from the bed, holding my back and grasping the corner of the bathroom counter. And telling my husband: “I think this is it!”
And I see my doula coaching me through the labor pains as I soaked in the tub. And me telling her: “I need to push!” And us rushing to the hospital just in time to meet our 3rd little redhead.
I think about opportunities lost–the widow across the street who sold her house and moved a few months ago, the single dad, the Egyptian couple expecting a baby and the countless neighbors in dire need of Jesus.
Did they see Him in me? Even a glimpse? I fear not.
Because those four years on 124 Kallie were hard. Years of pregnancy and depression and trials and sometimes wondering how in the world we’d be able to afford to eat and…of being so wrapped up in my own world that I let so many people just pass me by.
I want to remember the good from 124 Kallie, leave behind the bad and live more intentionally in our new home, in our new neighborhood.
I want to realize life while I’m living it.
So I’m saying goodbye, 124 Kallie. You served us well. You served us well.
“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?” ~Thornton Wilder, Our Town
Anne (Simply Savvy Supermom)
Amen! How beautiful. Transitions are so very bittersweet, but hold new possibilities. Thank you for sharing your heart. This was beautiful and you had me teary over here while nursing Becca in the middle of the night. God’s blessings in your new home.
Oh, Erin, you just had to make me cry! Maybe it was the mention of depression, the curling up in bed with your babies, which I did when a friend was diagnosed with cancer, or just the fact that we’ve walked such similar journeys. I don’t know. My kids are almost the same ages as yours, so I’m always nodding my head as I read your blog posts. Enjoy your new home!
You made me tear up. Good ol’ Thornton was entirely correct. Beautiful post, my friend. xoxo.
Erin, that was beautiful. As a mama who is about to pack up our home, after living here three years, I am sad too. It feels like a chapter of our lives is closing…and it seems like those wonderful memories will fade more quickly when we aren’t living in the location where they occurred. God is so kind to give us these wonderful families and the blessings of memories that He allows us to create each day, in the mundane as well as the exciting. Blessings to you!
I agree with Bambi “and it seems like those wonderful memories will fade more quickly when we aren’t living in the location where they occurred”
We’ve moved around a bit in our married life. I’ve had some of my children in different homes. It is always bittersweet when I look back and remember the sweet memories that are attached to a particular home we’ve lived in.
But, you will create new memories in your new home and God will give you grace when you get a lump in your throat thinking about 124 Kallie. 🙂
Hugs to you,
🙂 – What more can be said?
Stephanie @ Keeper of the Home
Beautifully said, Erin. It’s so good to look back and remember the good and bad, the bitter and the sweet. Those are precious memories. Cherish them as you move forward into this new place and new season that the Lord has for you. Love you!
Have never been upset and teary eyed about moving as all were planned for us moving to larger homes with 3 kids. Moved with 3 kids 3 times. That part I hated, all the work, more stuff. Since our marriage of almost 30 yrs., we have moved 5 times, most in the first 12 ys., sometimes while being pregnant. We have been at our present 5 acres for 18 yrs. now and really don’t have plans to move. I don’t want to, too much stuff even with kids all gone. Hope your move goes well. we never had any problems with moving kids or them getting adjusted to a new place. Our oldest has moved4 times and the 5th was to his own place. The next child1 less place and the youngest 2 times but has moved 7 or 8 times in the last 7 yrs. We always help the kids and are so glad when they stay a place more than 1 yr. Our youngest is moving in a couple weeks. We will be using our truck and trailer to move her 35 miles and she lives 17 miles from us so it’ll be a long, long day. Tha nks for sharing your post.
Oh, and all of ours have been out for 3 yrs. now. They’re 28- almost 25 yrs. old.
You just about brought me to tears with that! Children are such a blessing from the Lord. We all go thru stages in life and when you see one chapter closing, it is definitely bittersweet. But then you turn and look forward at the new one beginning and its so exciting at new possibilities. I have also gotten very caught up in my own life and whats going on with me that I have let life pass me by. So many missed opportunities for ministry and relationships I have let decline because I was so busy with work and a new baby, or worrying about the future….I do wish more of us would wake up and be present. …Thank you for sharing your heart with us!
Wow! Choked me up…
We are moving in 6 weeks to Central America, and I am excited and nervous. I can’t wait for new beginnings and am quite thrilled at getting rid of most of our possessions. Very liberating to not have so much “stuff”.
You wrote. You expressed. It was beautiful and touched my heart this morning. Thank you for sharing your memories.
We just moved less than 10 minutes down the road this past weekend. This post has some of my exact thoughts and experiences! Yes, although we are excited about this new experience, leaving behind the memories of our first home, good and bad, is a very hard thing to do. Thank you for being so open. It helps me to know I am not the only one who has these crazy feelings!
Oh, you’ll have 300 comments here soon…But I can’t resist adding my own. Excellent writing. Thanks for letting us see your life!
Yes! I’m moving in about a month all the way from New York to Florida and it’ll be mine and hubby’s first place to call our own. (First yr, we lived in my tiny apt and then we moved into my in-laws because I got pregnant and we’ve been here for 3 out of 4 yrs of marriage!) We’ve also just had our third and now have 3 kids under 3! It’s a huge move, especially with a newborn and two toddlers. His parents think we’re NUTS! But I’m so excited, in spite of leaving NYC, where I’ve lived all my life, and in spite of being away from immediate family. A place of our own is what we need. We’re trusting in God to provide the finances, since I’m a SAHM, too. It’s tough, but we know this is His leading. Thanks for posting this. It came at the perfect time!
I just wanted to let you know that I LOVED this post! You are a beautiful and eloquent writer that touched my heart. This post had my eyes brimming with the memories of my own moves through my life. I have three daughters and it seems each one was born in a different home. My first home we lived in for six years where our eldest was born. Our second home (and second daughter) had us for three years and with a new baby coming, was way too small. So we moved again. It broke my heart when my two year old walked up and down the hall each night crying “I wanna go home”! Our third daughter was born here and it was to be our longest stay of the three, at eleven years. Each time I left a house where so many life experiences had taken place, I went back alone after it was empty. I wanted to say goodbye to that chapter and reflect on my life; where I had been and where I was heading. I always left a live plant with a note to the new occupants wishing them a happy life in a house that had seen many happy times for us. Hopefully they planted those plants and I was able to leave a little of us behind… We are now in what was to be our “final” home for fifteen years. I just recently have been wanting to move. You see, my three are all grown and have moved on with their lives and I am feeling the definite “empty nest syndrome”. The house is now way too big for my husband and I and I would like to downsize. Maybe needing to move on as well and make new memories of our next phase.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. I wish you many blessings and happy moments in your new home where you are sure to make new, lasting memories…..
Wow, very timely… We’re getting ready to leave our home of 11 years. We moved to CA from OR when my oldest had just turned 2….the youngest was 8 weeks. They’re now 11 & 13. This has been home their entire lives, at least that’s how they see it. It’s the home my in-laws raised my husband and his siblings in. Now we’re moving back to OR. My heart is breaking. Leaving so many beautiful, wonderful memories and all the dreams I had behind. Yeah, I get this….
Nicole @ CraftyBeards
My husband is a Realtor so we see homeowners quite often that really love their homes. Recently I was able to give a customer who really didn’t want to move but was relocating copies of all of the photos I took for the listing (65 before I edited them all and picked 24 good ones for the MLS) and she was so blessed by them! Hope your settling in goes well.
My husband is a pastor. While he was a youth pastor we were at a church for 8yrs. When he felt the call to be a senior pastor it was so incredibly hard for me to leave our home. When we had moved there I had 2 children and when we left I had 5 children, had had a miscarriage there and so much more. I struggled when we first moved, but now 3 years later, this place is my home and I couldn’t be happier! God’s hand has been on us!
What a great post. I can relate to it well. We lived in the same 1 bedroom apartment from the time we got married until last summer–4 1/2 years. A month before we moved across the country and into our first house we also brought our first baby home to that apartment. Even though it was not perfect, it holds a special place in my heart because of the memories I have from it. Last month, we visited the area again, and I drove by it. I was reminded of the many ways I grew during those years, the hardships and challenges we faced, and the Lord’s faithfulness to us.
Thank you for sharing. Your tender heart touched me.
Beautiful post! We’ve moved 4 times in the last 4 years! Some of the moves have been heartbreaking, but the most recent one (hopefully the last for awhile) was a dream come true! I couldn’t wait to get out of our last place! 🙂 I hope your new home is great!
I read your blog often and absolutely love it. I have never commented before, but this particular post just touched my heart! Thank you for sharing your heart with us! I pray your new home will become home-home very soon! <3
Thank you for sharing your memories and your struggles! I feel like I am where you were a few years ago. I am a WAHM to a 21 mo and a 2 mo, struggling with PPD, and trying to be a witness for Christ in our apartment community. Your openness is a comfort to me that I’m not alone, and an inspiration to keep fighting to reach out to my neighbors, so that when the time comes to move on, hopefully I can do so without regrets.
Touched my heart! My family and I are literally in the middle of a move, we sold our house rather quickly (huge blessing!) but now we haven’t found another “home” so it’s been a little hectic. All I think about are the memories we’ve had in this home and all the plans we won’t be able to complete. It’s hard when the move is unexpected and in my case, it’s due to my husbands job relocating. This was our first home, the place where we found out we were expecting after many trials, where we brought our daughter too..and now it’s her first birthday and I feel so sad that she won’t be able to grow up in this home. I guess I will see what this next adventure holds for our family! Thank you for writing this 🙂
While scrolling through my Facebook posts, I believe God led me to your post. We are praying for God’s wisdom as we decide whether to sell our home. (We have an offer but don’t know where in this great country God wants us to go.) A new beginning is exciting but the uncertainty with 3 young boys is terrifying. Your post gave me peace & I thank you for that. We will always have our memories here but we can take the good & leave the bad & no matter where we go we have God & each other. God bless.
Wow, I really needed this tonight. It really touched my heart. Life is hard right now, but I know with Him all things ate possible. Thank you for sharing and letting me resize I’m not the only one who feels this way. Enjoy your new home and your new season of life!