Moving? I looked at our home filled with memories and mementos. The memories I can pack into my mind, but the mementos cluttered every space, making me feel secure. Maybe if we hadn’t lived here for 33 years, it would be easier? Pictures of 60 years of marriage filled more than several boxes. Then there are the ‘pretties’.
I looked at the little blue baby shoe vase that I received as a girl, the beautiful, but chipped, glasses that belonged to Grosmom Siemens, a hand-carved/decorated wooden knife from a boy when I was 13. A letter from a missionary in 1947. Gifts from my friends in China. How can I part with these heart-mementos? Sixty years of anniversary cards given to me by my dear husband – each one declaring his love anew!
As I began packing – the mountain of boxes grew. Where would we store all the boxes? We finally rented a storage unit to move things where things can be stored. I soon become proficient at taping boxes together, filling them and taping them closed with the help from our Anna for a week.
One day as the sound of ripping tear of tape filled the air, I stopped short. Yes, I was achieving my goal of ‘packing up’, but then I will have to UN-pack every box of hidden treasures. Groaning inwardly, I again began ‘packing’ my life away. Hand-written notes from my Aunt Irene, my Grandmother, my Mom and children became priceless treasures…more precious than the odd pieces of furniture that are in the six rooms. I surveyed Mom and Dad’s bed of long ago, a brown poster bed, that I have slept in for the past 35 years. When the buttons on the mattress, yes, it is that old, and 2 layers of foam didn’t help, I went to 4 inch topper. Immediate success!
In 1935, Dad and Mom moved across town from the ‘little’ house to the ‘brown’ house on 14th Street in Clinton, Oklahoma. My memories of that day include that lost feeling of being in a new school, and then trying to find my way home at noon for lunch. Tears were shed that day. We transitioned from a three room house to a five room house. My little brother Gene scampered through the down the long hall in a frantic search for the bathroom. In that long hall-way, with many doors, was our Toy Drawer and the little door through which we threw our laundry to be washed. It fell into a laundry bag. When the bag was emptied and Mom washed the clothes in the full basement – Gene and Jim played ‘God’. One knelt at the foot of the unzipped laundry bag and prayed for a toy. The other went to the Toy Drawer and ‘answer’ the prayer, dropped from ‘Heaven’ for that particular toy.
We moved again when Dad’s rural mail carrier job came throughto a town in the same state, Watonga. I don’t remember the packing, as we three were in school. I do remember the feeling when we went back to Clinton to visit. The dynamics had changed. I understood the phrase, ‘Life must go on.” We told our parents we didn’t need to go back to visit.
In our 60 years together, my dear husband and I moved 7 times. I learned to pack with helpful toddlers unpacking behind me. We were young and we adjusted quickly to each new environment. We never looked back after a move, but looked forward to new adventures and new friends – from Kansas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri to Arkansas. This time we leave our church family of half a life time and sweet memories.
I sit here in Mom’s chair, a chair that has worn its stuffing thin, and remembering George Carlin’s monologue on A Place for My Stuff! I laughed at the time, but as our ‘stuff’ begins to accumulate in the storage area and given away (don’t like garage sales). I laugh again. Our family and friends hae rallied around helping with the packing and planning. Our hearts are filled with thanksgiving.
After days with the tearing sound of clear tape and putting boxes together, wondering if those items are gone forever…I suddenly thought about Heaven and the phrase, you can’t take it with you!
Then I realized, you don’t box things and tape them shut to go to Heaven. Instead I pack my heart with love, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, worship, praise, integrity and truth. And most of all – a relationship prayer and serving are packed into my heart.
I don’t have to wonder who gets what when leaving, for Heaven has nothing to do with things in this world, but the characteristics of the fruit of the spirit. No boxes needed, just fill my heart and my mind up with the Lord Jesus
Thank you, dear Lord, for this joy of making this earthly move into an understanding of the eventual spiritual move. Help me to pack my heart with Prayer and Love for those who surround me here, for I know unpacking my heart in Heaven will just be glory for me! There won’t be Facebook in Heaven, for I will be Face to Face with Jesus.
When I read the words of Jesus, I go to prepare a place for you, I am filled with utter excitement and anticipation. For I know that I will have everything I need, and I can bask in his love.
While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. Psalm 146:2
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. Matthew 4:4
…and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this? John 11:26
If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11