It’s strange how the most profound life lessons come from loss.
As most of you know, I’ve moved around a lot lately. In the last four years, I’ve moved 6 times. This does not count the times I’ve moved within cities. This is the times I’ve moved more than 300 miles.
I’ve moved from a 4000 square foot home to a 800 sq ft apartment to a 600 sq ft fifth-wheel camper to a 1300 sq ft home to a 1000 sq ft trailer and now to a 1900 sq ft home on 5 acres. This was just in the last 2 years.
From all of this, here’s what I’ve learned:
A back yard is priceless when you have kids and dogs. The peace I have when I’m able to leave my dogs for more than 4 hours is inexplicable as well as knowing my kids are safe playing in the back yard without me having to check on them every five minutes. My 4 year-old can now play outside with no worries from me.
Having all of my stuff in one spot is magical. Not having to buy something when I already own it but it’s sitting in a storage facility 500 miles away is not only money-saving but stress-reducing as well.
Being able to find documents when needed is beyond words.
The Internet. Need I say more?
Cable TV. Albeit I don’t watch a lot, being able to watch football on Sunday afternoons is a choice I like to have.
Space. Having space for the dogs to lay on the floor without tripping on them (they are English Mastiffs) and my kids to scream without blowing my ear drums out is a life-saver.
Friends. From someone who doesn’t make friends easily and has moved from community to community, being able to escape the incessant “Mommy, can I have….?” or “Mommy, can I do…?” or my favorite, “Mommy, I’m hungry” (which seems to be about every 20 minutes) for a ladies night out is a welcome relief from the constant hub-bub surrounding me.
Baby-sitters. Finding trust-worthy people to leave your children with is always difficult. I’m glad we are close enough to be near Grandma to watch our kids occasionally (yet far enough away to not feel obligated when every little extended family event arises).
Doctors and dentists. Finding trusted health-care providers is something I’ve struggled with. Finally, I have found some and having the freedom to choose whom I want to see, which is something I pray will never be restricted.
A Job. My husband went through a two-year period where he faced multiple lay-offs. Finally, I think he has found a career that seems lasting. Being able to pay the bills on-time is a blessing for which I give God all the credit for.
Your own home. Living in someone else’s home is never fun. You are subject to their whims and fancies. Your movements, TV, Internet, cooking, cleaning, and overall general living is hindered. Having your normal routine is a welcome relief.
Choice in services. Coming from a place where there was usually only one person who offered a service (such as trash collection), I am blessed to once again see the free market at its best when I can choose based on quality of service and professionalism. I am also blessed to have more than two grocery stores.
The sunrise. Being able to see God’s glory in nature is a gift only He can give. I saw one yesterday that took my breath away. Having no building blocking it is another of God’s gifts.
Extended Family. As much as they grate on my nerves, I know they mean well and act out of love. I try to keep this in mind amidst their foibles and inconsistencies and focus on love.
Kids. I can’t believe my oldest is already 8 years old. It seems like yesterday she was just a baby. My goal is to soak in as much of their childhood before they are gone for good.
Husband. While meeting the immediate needs of little children it’s easy to overlook the not-so-immediate needs of husband. My goal is to focus as much on him as possible when he is home.
God. He may be one of the biggest things a lot of us take for granted. After all, He’s always there, right? Hence, He’s easy to dismiss in our day-to-day routines.
All of this I have learned through God’s incessant giving and taking away. I pray now I can remember these lessons, take them to heart, and reflect back gratitude for both.
Pray, pray, pray is my new mantra. Giving God all the glory He deserves is my New Year’s resolution.