Moving Out, Moving On, Moving Up – Final


Last of storage unit items

Sorry to leave you all hanging. Maybe you surmised that my lack of writing about the end of this journey meant that we actually found a place and moved.

True story.

Another God move in moving us.

I saw a place on a site I hadn’t looked at for a while. One place that was actually reasonably priced in the midst of this current housing craziness caught my eye. Good location, decent price. I know it seems negative, but I figured it would already be rented.

Such has been the situation for so many people who are searching.

Interestingly enough, Brendan recognized the property management company as one a friend of his did work with. We attempted to apply online, but our application halted at the part that required proof of three times the monthly income. Since our current business is not yet producing that figure, we were stuck.

Apparently, money in the bank doesn’t speak in most cases.

But in this situation, Brendan put a call into his friend to ask about the situation and within two days, we had seen the place, applied and were accepted. Sometimes, it really is a matter of who you know! (Aside from God, who gets all the credit.)

Yet, we still had to be approved by the HOA.  

No problem, we were told. They usually respond within a couple of days.

Unless, of course, after you turn in the paperwork and money, they change HOA companies. We waited for three weeks without any word, praying about whether we should be looking for plan B. As the days clicked by, the waiting thing I thought I’d mastered by now, was sorely tested again.

Our Jesus friend, while not ready to kick us out, was ready to have us move on. It wasn’t like we’d outstayed our welcome, but we all felt that the season of God’s work for us there and his grace were running out. In faith, I started praying for those in our new neighborhood.

Approval came just a few days before the first of the month (February). We heaved a sigh of relief. (We also found out later that the approval had been given right away, but someone dropped the communication ball. Of course. Because God needed us to see how good we really were at waiting.)

Moving is hell. Pain, tears, exhaustion – next time we’re hiring professional movers. End of story. I’m sticking to that.

So here we are. Three weeks as of tomorrow.

What a crazy, ongoing season of testing, growth, challenges, and learning to think differently.

We sold, gave away, and left so much when we moved out. It seemed like I left half my life. And yet, in this greatly downsized rental, while we’ve had to buy new furniture, Brendan has already made about six trips to the local thrift store to give away more of our belongings.

Something about me – my attachment to things is completely sentimental. Some things I can say farewell to without too much grief, BUT other items I’ve cried over like I’ve lost the memories attached. It’s been a time of adjusting to more than just a new home.

And God made it clear that I was not to view this as temporary even if we’re only here a year. He said to make it home. Settle in. Be here. Interesting that Pastor Michael Todd is doing a series titled “Here is Holy.” I’m attempting to embrace that.

I’ve had to repent of a complaining spirit. I’m learning to ask God for strategies to make things fit where everything is – no lie – a quarter of an inch off. Praising him every day and being grateful even when I miss water views and big, bright spaces isn’t always easy in my dark home.

But that gives me all the more desire to praise God simply for who he is, not what he gives me or does for me. Not that he hasn’t done that too. He gave me love seats in miracle fashion, a new adjustable bed that helps me sleep better, and a lovely little chair from which I can write my novels.

I feel the squeeze of a smaller space, but in that I sense God pressing us closer to him and to each other. Our pastor, Matt Keller, is doing a series on Unity. (It’s all fitting together, isn’t it?) And the small group I started leading the day after we moved in (gotta love God’s timing), doesn’t mind how cozy we are in my little living room with two camping chairs making up for the dining chairs we’re still searching for. I’m learning so much in that Elijah study.

  • In everything, give thanks.
  • Lean not on my own understanding, but in all my ways trust God.
  • Hold onto the truth that God will renew my strength when I wait on him.
  • He cares about the details and wants me to see him working in them.
  • God is the one who sustains me.
  • Every situation, no matter how small or senseless to me, is preparation for what he has coming.

So, we’ve moved out, moved on, and…moved up? Maybe not in some sense of the phrase, but definitely to a higher plane of living from a spiritual perspective.

That’s what matters most. Always.

I want to see from God’s eyes. Function from his Spirit, not my reactive emotions and self-focused thoughts.

Because, HERE is HOLY.

Guard the Fortress


There’s a lot going on in the world right now. Fires, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and storms have broken out all at once. Not to mention sudden, crazy weather patterns of intense heat followed by September snow.

We shouldn’t be surprised.

Jesus told us that all this would happen.

“Jesus answered, ‘Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name claiming, ‘I am the Christ’ and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nations will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24:4-8

As the world becomes more desperate, I pray we will turn to Jesus. While the enemy attempts to destroy us and our belief in a good God who loves us, Jesus longs for us to run to him in our pain, fear, hopelessness. He will comfort and strengthen us and give us peace.

His word also gives instruction to help us in this time of crisis.

Recently, I read some encouraging instruction in the book of Nahum. In the second chapter, and the first two verses, this prophet warns the people to be alert when their enemy is advancing on them. While those words were meant for that time in a practical war sense, all of God’s word is relevant to us in some way even today. This is what I took from the passage that I believe can be helpful today.

  1. “Guard the fortress.” As believers in Jesus, our bodies are God’s “temple” where the Holy Spirit resides. I believe that God would have us guard our bodies and hearts against unhealthy living and the lies of the enemy. Fear is a spirit that is stirring up the world. Let’s guard ourselves against it, rather than letting it penetrate our bodies and minds.
  2. “Watch the road.” Our mind is what lets in thoughts and images like a road into our fortress. If we’re not careful about what we expose ourselves to, we may find that what we let in is infiltrating us in a destructive, poisonous way.
  3. “Brace yourself.” God’s word is the most powerful weapon we have. It is the “sword of the spirit” which is truth. The Bible is “living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…” (Heb. 4:12) When we declare it, pray it, and speak it, we are bracing ourselves for battle.
  4. “Marshall all your strength.” Our only true strength comes from the Lord. “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” In order to gain that strength, I must be in God’s presence. Worship, talking to him, and asking for his wisdom in every area will make me strong. It’s Jesus who strengthens us. (Phil. 4:13)

Battles aren’t without injuries or destruction, but the Lord will restore to us anything that is lost in battle. He makes us beautiful and splendid no matter what might be destroyed. Even in this era of the world going crazy, let us look to the Lord, God Almighty who is our only true refuge in times of trouble.

Praying for you as you consider where your help comes from. My help comes from the Lord God, maker of heaven and earth. (Psalm 121:1-3)