Monday, December 28, 2009
(JM – I hope you read Rosalie’s moving story last month as she shared what she and many other women experience as “still moved”: despite the passage of years since a move, she is still adjusting and not “at home”. Well... printing Rosalie’s story prompted her to send an update! Whether you’re “still moved” or a recent mover, Rosalie will show you how she made choices that led to growth, and spiritual and emotional health in spite of her circumstances. You’ll also find out about a big change in store for Rosalie and her family!)
Thriving – not just surviving – in a difficult move...
While moving has been an adventure, it has also been full of challenges and, as the mom/wife, has especially felt like a personal sacrifice at times since I wasn’t the one moving to an exciting new career. Nevertheless, I have constantly sought to focus on the positives, the growth, and the discoveries. By moving we were able to accomplish dreams such as having a nicer home without me having to work fulltime to pay for it. I thank God I have a kitchen where the cupboard doors stay on the hinges and there are no mice running around.
In our two moves, we have been able to experience new geography, climate and culture. We now have a collection of friends from various parts of the country and an understanding of how things are done in each place. Our character has been challenged when we’ve gotten frustrated by crazy new traffic signs and rules of a new city. We’ve experienced the foggy, overcast winter of the West and the minus 40 degree winters of the Prairies.
We’ve adjusted to the blank stares and disinterest we get when striking up a conversation about our home town. We are quite familiar with the run-around we feel when we start in a new church and have to prove ourselves all over again.
The difficulties have challenged me to become creative and bold in finding what it is I need for myself. I have forced myself out of my comfort zone many times. I have a dog I take for walks, usually by myself, where I have met lots of dog-walking strangers. I’ve said yes to opportunities where I began as a volunteer that progressed into paid assignments. I’ve taken courses by teleconferencing and have built a network and a business online – one I can take with me if I move. I take my Facebook connections seriously. I have a deep understanding of the issues of a woman’s heart, especially the moving woman. Our relationship as a couple has withstood many tests, as has our faith, especially when we’ve had cabin fever and turned on each other, or felt abandoned by God. What I mean by cabin fever, is that which comes by nature of being each other’s best friends and spending a lot of time in our own home because it is just too hard to find other deep friends and places to go for holidays and so forth.
I’ve sought to provide my family with what I feel it needs to be happy and well-rounded. I’ve spent umpteen hours planning getaways that not only have included visiting family back home, but fun places the children hadn’t been to, turning over every stone I could find in the general vicinity.
I have made it a priority to work at making sure certain things happen, like birthday parties, going to a yearly Christmas Eve service even if it’s in a church where we don’t know anyone, taking in a Christmas light tour, and baking the traditional Christmas cookies even if it would be only the four of us eating them. I have made sure that we have technology-free family fun days, lunches out together and that we always try to include the children’s friends in our activities. We have sought to be part of a small group in a church, and to stay true to our values.
Recently we’ve had a surprise. Two months ago my husband was told his job is changing again. It looks like this summer, after 13 years away from our homeland, we will be returning. This wasn’t something we sought out, but that was proposed to us. At first it jolted us, but now we see God’s loving hand in it.
We don’t look forward to the hard work of selling a home, travelling to buy a new one and all the other thousands of things that need to happen with a move; but we will head back home stronger, more mature, with better personal boundaries and a stronger sense of what it is we need included in our lives to feel grounded and more appreciative of that environment. We are looking forward to what lies ahead, after all, for some of us there’s no place like home.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Military Outreach - S.E. Region Protestant Women of the Chapel ConferenceNearly 400 women representing 20 military installations attended the S.E. Region PWOC Conference in Duluth, GA, November 5-8, 2009. Susan presented three workshops: one workshop was “How To Start Over After Your Boxes Are Unpacked” and her other workshop, “How To Survive Your Circumstances and Confront The Changes in Your Life During Tough Times”, was chosen to be repeated for an extra day of workshops.
Susan was enthusiastically received and spoke to a packed room each time. When she wasn’t speaking, Susan and JoAnn Smith were at the Just Moved! Ministries exhibit table. There was a steady flow of military wives coming by to share their stories and find encouragement from Susan and JoAnn’s listening ears, warm hugs, and tender prayers.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
If you’re far from family and friends, but plan to send them Christmas gifts, how do you do it in a way that doesn’t require collecting boxes from the produce department of the grocery store, searching for the bag of packaging peanuts that you’re sure you saved last summer, and standing in line at the post office? Here are a few ideas to simplify long-distance gift giving.
Give to a favorite charity
Does Mom volunteer at the Humane Society? Your brother, Bill, sings in a community choir? Let them know that you will be giving a donation to their organizations to show support for what is important to them.
Pay for a helpful service
Is your closest friend hosting family or the company party for Christmas? Arrange to pay for a cleaning service to spruce up her house and give her one less responsibility.
Purchase and send gift cards for restaurants or stores that you know are in the area. National chains like Starbucks and Home Depot are everywhere!
By using the internet, you can learn about upcoming concerts and events in any city in the world. Do a little research in the area where your loved ones live and purchase tickets for them to an event you know they’ll love.
More and more people are turning to the internet to purchase gifts that can be mailed directly to the recipients. Many mail-order businesses offer free shipping for a minimum purchase. Be sure to shop online using goodshop.com to have a portion of your purchases benefit Just Moved. Just designate Just Moved as who you support.
Buy a gift subscription for a magazine that pertains to the interests of a long-distance loved one. There are magazines to suit everyone’s interests: from outdoor living to needlepoint, from Civil War history to video games.
Through the internet you can purchase an exciting adventure for the outdoor enthusiast on your list. With just the click of a mouse you can find hot-air balloon rides or river kayaking lessons that are offered around the country.
Invest in an Interest
Does your brother-in-law enjoy playing golf, but wishes he was better? Arrange for a lesson with a golf pro in his area. Does your sister enjoy cooking? Purchase a gift certificate for her to take a cooking class at a local kitchen store. Do they wish that they had more time together? Pay for some ballroom dancing lessons! (Dancing With the Stars is bringing ballroom dancing back!)
No matter what you choose to send your loved ones this Christmas, be sure to express your love and appreciation for each person. Be specific! Tell each person at least one quality that you love about him or her.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Some of us who moved away from our home area more than five years ago still have a piece of us “back home” that is hard to reconcile.
Often as “still-moved” women, our vacation money and time is spent making trips “back home”. Our aging parents may be there which tugs at our heart. Most of the extended family is “back home” and our children don’t get to have their grandparents and extended family members at their graduations, birthdays and other special holidays. It gets lonely just the four of us. Old friendships that were deep back then slip down the tubes and it is never quite the same making friends in the new locations.
There seems to be something missing from the fabric of my life as a woman, to be in what feels like a foreign land for an extended period of time. We wanted to move back “home” two years ago, but our kids were at a stage in school where they didn’t want to be separated from their friends. So we stayed. Now I feel trapped in this freezing climate, feeling like I’m living some other woman’s life. I don’t know if this will ever be home but now I fear my kids will want to stay here and that will pose a whole new problem. I’m trying to see God’s hand in all this but often it’s hard.
Of course what is prompting this email is a decision not to go home for the holidays and it will be just us four. It has been hard to plug into a new church as it doesn’t seem to be what it used to be. So I have to wonder if this truly is God’s best for us.
Thanks for listening.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Over the Thanksgiving Holidays
When you move, the memories of family and friends you've left behind come to mind so vividly over the holidays. Some of you can't go back to be with loved ones for Thanksgiving after just having moved. You have to face the holidays in a new place, a different home and possibly alone without family and friends.
Try the following tips to help you in your transition at this time of the year:
Invite another family or a neighbor over for Thanksgiving dinner or for Thanksgiving dessert.
Volunteer to serve food on Thanksgiving Day at a local community service organization.
Visit an elderly care facility and befriend someone who doesn't have a family for Thanksgiving.
Start a new Thanksgiving tradition in your family. Get your children involved by asking what they would like to do.
Have everyone in the family choose a favorite recipe for the Thanksgiving menu. Give everyone an assignment in food preparation, table setting, and Thanksgiving decorations.
Go to a nice restaurant and make it a special date if it's just you and your husband.
Count your many blessings - go around the dinner table and have everyone share what they are most thankful for. Dwell on the positive, not the negative.
Just Moved! wishes you a heartfelt Thanksgiving!
Monday, November 2, 2009
In Luke 17:11-19, we are told the story of Jesus healing ten lepers. Of the ten, nine left without even a thought of thanking Jesus. Only one returned to express his thanks and undying devotion to the One who had healed him. Only one in ten showed gratitude.
So often we are caught up in the excitement of the moment, and forget to stop and thank Jesus for His blessings, His mercy, and His grace in our life. Sometimes our own “leprosy” keeps us at a distance from Jesus. Perhaps your leprosy is a lack of faith or some hurt, anger, or lack of forgiveness. There might be other things that keep you from being close to Jesus—like busyness, worldliness, or selfishness.
Take the time now to exam your heart and ask Jesus to heal you of your leprosy. (“Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on His face at His feet, giving thanks to Him.” verses 15,16) Be the “one” who stops, turns back, and gives Him thanks. Gratitude brings you back to Jesus. Praise Him with a grateful heart and give Him all the glory!
Scripture to Remember:
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations. Psalm 100:4-5
Question to Consider:
What is keeping me at a distance from Jesus?
Oh God, heal my hurts, my lack of forgiveness, my anger. Let nothing come between us God. Give me a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude in all things. Amen
Thought for the Day:
Today I will run to Jesus with thanksgiving and praise!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Faith is often strengthened right at the place of disappointment.
- Rodney McBride
Let Go: Are you disappointed in the circumstances of your move?
Start Today: Ask God to help you to focus on Him and not on the people and circumstances around you.
Move Forward: It’s time again to make a list. In one column write down the things that have been disappointing to you about your move. In the other column write down the blessings that are in your life. Include even the smallest of blessings. Keep writing until the blessing list is longer than the disappointment list. Read the blessing list every day and trust God with the other list.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, contentment is being “satisfied with things as they are.”
How would you describe your state of mind... your attitude? Are you content? Are you satisfied with things as they are?
The greatest prescription for contentment can be found in Matthew 5:3-11 and comes from the Great Physician, Jesus, in his Sermon on the Mount. Jesus gave us the best “Tips for Moving On” when he shared these nine ways that we are blessed. The Greek word for blessed in these verses is makarios and it means happy!
Are you seeking happiness and contentment? Fill your prescription for contentment by reflecting on these nine tips:
...when you’re at the end of your rope.
With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
...when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you.
Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
...when you’re content with who you are—no more, no less.
That’s the moment you find yourself the proud owner of everything that can’t be bought.
...when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God.
He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.
...when you care.
At the moment of being "care-full," you find yourself cared for.
... when you get your inside world—mind and heart—put right.
Then you can see God in the outside world.
... when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight.
That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.
... when your commitment to God provokes persecution.
The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.
Not only that—Count Yourselves Blessed...
...every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit Me. What this means is that the truth is too close for comfort and has made people uncomfortable.
From "The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language"
Paraphrased by Eugene Peterson
Navpress Publishing Group, 2002
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Just Moved! Ministries Invites You
NOT TO ATTEND THEIR 5TH ANNUAL
The NO-Show Ball You Can Afford to Miss!
Just Moved! requests the honor of your prayers and financial support for 2010 and asks that you join them in NOT attending this year’s fundraising event. Instead of spending time and money on Ball tickets, a new outfit, childcare, and auction items, consider sharing that time with family and friends and donating the money you saved to the international outreach of Just Moved! Ministries.
ALL DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE
Door Prizes include:
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Maybe you didn’t want to move and leave your friends. Maybe you are terribly lonely in a new place. Maybe your marriage is suffering from the upheaval of relocating. Maybe your children are rebelling against the move.
Regardless of your circumstances, you can rest, secure in the faithfulness of God. Your address may have changed, but God’s address never changes. You can always find Him, wherever you might live. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
When I am in crisis mode, I have a friend that says, “Do you walk by faith or by sight?” That sure brings me back to center very quickly. I’ll choose to walk by faith any day! I can be secure in God’s faithfulness. I know God sees the big picture of my life. I don’t need to know everything from beginning to end, because God already does, and He can handle it better than I can. Through faith in Him, I can face my circumstances with confidence, knowing that He will see me through. My God is bigger than whatever my crisis might be. “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7)
Remember that God doesn’t always change your situation; but He will give you new strength and hope so you can face those circumstances and keep on going. So “fix your eyes on Jesus” by filling your mind with His word, by studying the Bible, by staying in touch with Him through prayer, and by being in fellowship with His people. Each day go on a “God hunt” to discover God’s faithfulness in your life.
Scripture to Remember: “The Lord’s loving-kindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Question to Consider: Have I taken the time to look at how God is faithful in my life?
Prayer: Oh Lord, I am so consumed with my circumstances that I haven’t taken the time to focus on you. I have been walking by sight, and not by faith. Remind me daily of your faithfulness. Amen
Thought for the Day: Today, I will “fix my eyes on Jesus.”
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
"Yes, you are in the right place! Come on in and welcome!" Ann, the class leader, said.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Steps to Smooth the Bumpy Road of Change
Take time to be good to yourself! Schedule some self-care by taking a break to rest, restore, and renew your mind and body.
Don’t be the "lone ranger" and feel like you have to do it alone. Let others be a part of the relocation process with you.
When stress is rising and the pressure is on, keep a sense of humor and be flexible.
With change, comes loss and grieving. Your release valve may be tears.
Stretch beyond your comfort zone. Embrace the changes this move brings as an opportunity to learn and grow personally.
Remember the saying, "Rome wasn’t built in a day!" Some days you may feel like you’ve taken two steps back and only one step forward. You can do it! Don’t lose heart and never give up!
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
v.24-31 ...but the boat was already a considerable distance from land buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it... Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified... But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid." "Lord, if it’s You," Peter replied, "tell me to come to You on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him, "You of little faith," He said, "why did you doubt?"
- Matthew 14:22-32
What is the "boat" you are in (fear, comfort, relationships, health, success, security) that is keeping you from stepping out in faith and trusting God?
Oh God, I am so afraid, and I struggle to take that first step towards You. Give me courage to say "yes" to your call. Help me to step out this Fall and do what I could never do on my own. Amen
Today I will step out of my boat in faith and experience the power and the presence of God.
Friday, August 21, 2009
and it’s FREE!
The Just Moved! Community grew out of a vision to help women around the world who have recently moved to find the connection that they long for. The Just Moved! Community will help to give you the courage to start over, move ahead, and put down roots all over again.
Being uprooted creates feelings of isolation and loneliness, discouragement and despair. When you belong to the Just Moved! Community you become part of a family who understands the losses and emotions you are experiencing and spiritual challenges that you face. You don't have to go through this alone!
More women are joining every day. Here's what one woman wrote after joining:
I thank you for the recent phone call and this email. I was so surprised that someone called me. I was unsure about joining the Community, but now I see that this is a real community of people that truly care. I thank you so much for taking out the time to call and send me an email it made me feel like someone actually cares about the transition I am about to embark on.
Driving home from work one day, I heard about this ministry on a [radio] broadcast called Family Life Today. I was so surprised to hear that there was such a ministry. I thought, wow, God, you really know what I need. It has been a month or two since that drive home and recently I decided to check out the website. The website was great and so encouraging; I thought, why not, it wouldn't hurt to join, so I did. I am so glad I did and I look forward to the things to come as I transition to a new location.
-Marnya, a military spouse moving to California
At Just Moved! our goal is to...
...connect you to other women who are going through similar circumstances.
...teach you how to cope with your emotions and losses.
...show you how you can survive and thrive through the difficult adjustments and transitions.
...encourage you to make new friends.
...help you help your children through the moving process.
...strengthen your marriage during this time of transition.
...help you trust Christ in your move and grow closer to Him.
Go to www.justmoved.org to learn more!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Let Go: Are you anticipating a move and find that you fear the future? Have you made the move, but now lack courage to meet new people, get involved in a group where you know no one, or are intimidated by a city that is unfamiliar?
Start Today: Memorize Deuteronomy 31:6
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Move Forward: Choose to make the first move toward making friends. People won’t come knocking at your door. Use this time for growth. Leave your comfort zone. Discover the woman God wants you to be.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Rose Jackson in Arizona
God's Goodness: The Power of Purpose
It was an unlikely spot for a miracle to begin: the curb of a Howard Johnson’s parking lot on a Friday night. I huddled on the cold concrete, oblivious to the flaming glory of autumn leaves above me, my husband inside the hotel oblivious to my desolate grief. My chest heaved with sobs as I cried out from an abyss of desperation, “Did you bring me here to abandon me?”
So much had gone wrong in the six weeks since the September morning I’d said good-bye to our older son and his fiancée, our family, our home of 28 years, our friends, and a dynamic church - aside from my husband and our younger son, everyone and everything that mattered to me. My husband’s new job took us 2,000 miles across the country. Our house sold in two hours – a hopeful balm to the loss I felt - and I considered the lightning-quick sale confirmation that God’s hand was guiding our move.
But was it? The 40 houses we’d looked at were at least $100,000 more than we had, and each one disappointing in some major way. The first house we saw had no closets, and things only got worse from there. We had signed a contract on one house and purchased new appliances to upgrade the kitchen, but a week later the owner decided not to sell and backed out of the contract. That left us with $5000 worth of appliances sitting in storage with no house to put them into... My husband’s new company rented us a house for one month, but what they didn’t realize was the owner of the house had rented it every weekend to “leaf peepers.” Friday nights we packed up and moved back to the hotel; on Sunday nights we moved back to the rental, where I washed dirty dishes, sheets and towels, cleaned the bathroom, and vacuumed before we could even unpack.
With no permanent address, we couldn’t enroll our son in school. I didn’t want to start him in one school, then move him to another in weeks or months. He felt uprooted enough! Then my husband found a condo we could rent in November in the town where we hoped to settle, so I met with the principal to convince him to let our son start school. We’d moved from a metropolitan area where our son’s school was ethically diverse to a tiny pocket of rural New England. A friend from our home church glowingly described their new home in Connecticut as a “Leave It to Beaver” neighborhood, and I drank in the hope that our new town would be the same. But during the first week in his new school, a girl in our son’s class announced, “You’re from somewhere else. That makes you different, so we aren’t going to be your friends.” And that’s how the school year went. Our son, the befriender of the outsider, the compassionate kid who made hurting children feel accepted, was now an outcast and devastated. Every day I drove him to the small school nestled in the lovely valley, and every day he battled rejection and tried to make a friend.
So I sat rocking on that cold curb, anticipating mountains of cleaning on Sunday night, everything I loved stripped away from me, every hope for happiness seemingly strangled, and wept bitterly. Through sobs I looked up and cried, “God, I can’t do this! Please send us back home!”
“If only . . . .” I whispered, “If I could see a purpose . . . . I could live with all of this if there was a reason.”
At our 10,000-member home church I wrote books with the senior pastor and led groups in a vibrant women’s ministry; our son loved the lively, creative Sunday School program. Now we were looking for any Bible-believing church. Earlier that week I’d called the pastor of yet another congregation to get directions to his church. “No,” he replied to my questions, “we don’t have a women’s ministry or a youth group. My sons and one other boy are the only children in the church older than preschoolers.” Most of the church’s 60 members were college students.
“Oh, great,” I thought ruefully as I picked myself up off the curb in the gathering dark and my mounting gloom, “I told him we’d visit. Now we’ll have to go through with it just out of courtesy.”
Sunday we took our seats on folding chairs at a local library. An older couple behind us tapped our shoulders, introduced themselves, and said, “We’d love for you to come to our house for lunch after church.” Our son’s eyes met mine, silently pleading, “Please, no – can’t we go to MacDonald’s?” But we accepted. It couldn’t hurt to meet people who were friendly!
Loretta and Dana were gracious and genuine. Over lunch in their kitchen, my husband mentioned that he worked for a Japanese-owned firm. Loretta said their son had worked in Japan. Thinking for a moment, she added, “I know a Japanese woman here who’d like to be in a Bible study, but she’s uncomfortable with her English. Her husband works here, so she comes for three months, then returns to Japan for three months. I think,” she added, "they live in the town where you’ll be living next month. Would you be willing to have a Bible study with her?” At least it would give me something constructive to do, so I took the woman’s phone number.
I had no idea I was poised on the brink of a miracle.
“Coincidentally” this woman lived in the complex we’d soon move into. In fact, Hiroko lived two buildings down, and her husband was president of the company my husband worked for! “Coincidentally” we’d visited the church I wanted no part of, in front of the couple who could connect me with Hiroko and my miracle of purpose. Hope rushed in as a door opened for me into new understanding. Now I knew why the contract fell through on the house we bought appliances for! I knew why we were renting a too-small condo. I knew we had a church home. I knew God had a purpose for me and meaning for this move!
Incredibly, God moved us across the country to answer the prayer of a woman from the other side of the world. Hard as it was for our son and me, we were answers to prayer. God’s hand was in every detail of this move, and if that was true, his goodness was there for our family.
This foreign land for both Hiroko and me became a place of miracles. The next year our son made good friends at the regional junior high who didn’t know he was from “somewhere else.” We found a house with closets. I helped start a women’s ministry with precious friends who became like family.
God’s miraculous answer to my anguished cry on the curb of the Howard Johnson's was not to send me home, but to plant my heart in the purpose he had for me in a new home. This, too, is God's character: he gives our lives meaning that gives our lives joy, no matter who or where or in what circumstance we are. Not all miracles of healing involve your body. Some miracles – perhaps the most powerful and lasting - heal your heart. That healing is God's heart for you today.
"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
A " . . . but . . ." to pray:
God, I've misjudged you when I have only seen difficult circumstances, not the potential for meaning, purpose and miracles even in difficult situations. Sometimes you are hard to discern, BUT I believe and delight that you love to make me an answer to prayer and give my life meaning and purpose that make even hard places and circumstances become places of blessing. You are great, and you are good! Amen!
Your own " . . . but . . ." to move:
God, I look around me and see _____________________ in my life, not goodness, BUT I know you long to use me to answer the cry of someone's heart, and I know in being that answer, I'll __________________________ and you'll fill and strengthen my heart, too.
(Read more of Rose's blogs at www.rospiration.blogspot.com.)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
(Our thanks to Multiple Mover, Dawn Cartwright, for submitting these great tips!)
How to Move Without Losing Your Mind or Your Children
I love to travel. However I had no idea that by marrying a football coach that I would be traveling all over. All over the country… A lot… And far. With one (a Buckeye), two (a Hoosier), and then three (an Illini) kids and 15,000 pounds of “stuff” in tow. I should have gotten my real estate license five states ago. And my tax certification. And a master’s degree in packing.
You may wonder what I have learned in all those moves. More than you hopefully will possibly ever need to know, but I will share a few tips with you anyway in the hopes of saving someone out there from the unique experiences that I have encountered.
Things that are helpful to consider:
Prior to your move, check the refrigerator and freezer to be sure that they are empty if they are going into storage for any length of time. (see #2)
If by some quirk of fate, a chicken did make the journey in your now unplugged refrigerator and sat in storage in 90 degree heat all summer, do the following:
Wash it out with bleach, and stuff it full of charcoal briquettes (the kind you had to dispose of prior to moving because it is considered flammable and a moving company will not allow you to pack it) and crumpled newspapers. Leave tightly closed for 7 days. Do not peek. Yes the smell does go away.
Make sure your garbage cans are emptied prior to the movers coming. They WILL pack it and it will not be a nice surprise when you open it 2,000 miles away.
Upon arriving at your new destination, if you happen to find a box that has been unopened in the last 4 moves (evidenced by the numerous blue, yellow and orange moving stickers plastered all over it) throw it away. Do not open it. If you have lived without it for the past 4 years and not missed it, you do not need it. Trust me on this one.
Make sure your children know where they live. We were between moves, having vacated our home in Indiana, living in Ohio with my mother-in-law while our house was being built in Michigan when a clerk in Colorado (where we were vacationing) asked my 5 year old where we were from. She turned with a puzzled look on her face and asked, “Mommy, Where DO we live?”
Do not order more than 500 address labels at any given time. They will become stickers for your children to play school with. Ditto for boxes of checkbooks. I always seemed to run out of money well before my checks were utilized.
Go ahead and paint your house the colors you want. Where is the research that backs up neutral colors making a house easier to sell? P.S. If you need to remove black permanent marker from foyer wallpaper, Q-tips and bleach work really well if you don’t scrub too hard. Red food coloring removed from textured cathedral ceilings in the kitchen is a little trickier (don’t ask). Let’s just say that I have some very creative and artistic children.
Don’t hesitate to jump into your new community. Send your husband knocking on doors to find kid for yours to play with (this actually works!) Don’t wait for neighbors to come to you- surprise them and take them a plate of brownies. (They’ll feel bad that they didn’t get to you first, but oh well!)
Get your kids involved in community/church/school activities, sports, and clubs. You will meet lots of moms in the same stage of life that you are in. This worked for me, even if my daughter’s peers thought I was her grandma. I’d like to think it was because of my prematurely silver hair!
Last, but foremost, pray for your needs. I desperately needed a walking buddy and found one was living two doors down. As an added bonus, she was an avid cross stitcher, one of my passions at the time.
Five states, seven cities, eleven houses later it has been an interesting 27 years of being a football coach’s wife. Moving is what you make it. I would never trade the precious friendships and memories that have been made across the country for the three houses that have been struck by lightening, the house that sank, or the money that was lost on real estate fees and paying movers. Reach out to those new in your neighborhood. Perhaps you too can share some words of wisdom for your fellow nomads and make some lasting friendships in the process.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
When a move goes on and on and on...
I have not moved in 6 years but I still feel like I am moving because I still am going through storage and other things from many moves. I have moved so many times in my life, that is why I am connected to this ministry.
Dana in California
(JM – We remember when you were considering a move to Colorado, Dana! You have so much to offer this ministry and other movers – we love that you are a part of our Community! No move is quite the same and each comes with its own challenges. Tackle those boxes one at a time and don’t neglect to unpack your emotions.)
Support from ‘Moving On’ friends...
I have to say "Greetings from the Beverly Hills of Arkansas!" I attended [the ‘Moving On’ class] last year and it was the best thing to happen to me since I moved. I didn't know a soul, didn’t have a church family, and didn’t have any women friends here. Just last week, my husband had a heart attack and I can't believe all the support I received from my [‘Moving On’] friends and new church Family. What a blessing to have these people around you!
Julie in Arkansas
(JM - Wow, Julie, that's what the ministry of Just Moved is all about! God knew that you would need friends and support in your crisis so He directed you to a church and a "Moving On" class that would be there when you REALLY needed them. Praise God!)
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Thinking Outside the Backpack
This is the time when moms and kids are heading for the "school supplies" aisle, stocking up on the things needed to prepare for the beginning of school. As I watched them standing in line at the check-out counter with everything from backpacks to blue folders, my mind began to think "outside the backpack" to the "school supplies" needed as we prepare to learn more about Jesus!
I do hope that all of you are planning to go back to school in the Fall by enrolling in a Bible study, either at your church or a church in your area. It might even be a home study with a group of friends, or a neighborhood group. Just do it!! We all need to reconnect after the disconnect of summer.
Here are a few "school supplies" you will need and suggestions for how to use them:
Paper (lined or unlined)...
for notes and prayer requests, for scripture and remembrances of what you’ve learned.
Pen (or pencil)...
to record your lessons in your mind and in your heart.
Super Glue (recommended)...
to bond you with God’s word.
Scissors (really sharp)...
to cut out any thoughts or ways that would not honor or bring glory to God.
Folders (with pockets)...
to tuck in handouts, keepsakes, and lessons to enfold into your life.
Crayons (a box of 24)...
to remind you of the many choices you have to color your day.
Ruler (yardstick recommended)...
to measure your growth...in Jesus!
Apple (a really big one!)...
God’s provision and nourishment to share with others in friendship and fellowship.
May God lead you to a Bible study that will bless you and take you to a deeper knowledge and love of Him. (Write us about what you learn in class this Fall!)
Scripture To Remember
Make every effort to come to me soon...
- 2 Timothy 4:9
Question To Consider
Which school supplies will you take with you?
Lord, I need you desperately in my busy life. I need to spend time with you and reconnect after a busy summer. Thank you for your patience and unconditional love for me. Lead me to just the right Bible study! Amen
Thought for the Day
Today I will focus on God’s faithfulness in my life
Monday, August 3, 2009
Every Tuesday morning, I have the privilege of teaching a "Moving On After Moving In" class at my home church to a group of women who have recently moved to our area. In the corner pocket of my heart, I often dream of you being there with me! I picture your faces and hear your moving stories as your heart is reflected through the women who are present.
I couldn’t wait to share with you one of the things we talked about that brought you to my mind. Perhaps you are struggling right now and need to know you are not alone in how you feel.
Our lesson was on the "luggage tags" of feelings and emotions that we wear after a move. Even though the physical baggage I brought with me had been unpacked, I still had so many feelings and emotions packed away that kept me from starting over and moving ahead with my life.
I struggled with comparison, feelings of inadequacy and discouragement. One luggage tag in particular, loss of identity, pulls a familiar tug at my emotions as I remember so well how I struggled with that issue after each move we made. Nobody knew my name!
Southern sun dresses, homes with basements and attics, big yards, the word "ya’ll," and the beauty of four seasons were suddenly compared with the jeans and boots look, no extra storage space, my small yard, the phrase "you guys," and one, long, hot summer!
In the areas where I once felt adequate, I now felt extremely inadequate. I used to be able to zip around town in no time, knowing just where to go for what I needed. When we moved, I had no idea where I was going; I just hoped I was going to end up at the right place before dark!
I had always been outgoing and confident. Yet after moving, it seemed as though my whole personality changed and a shy, apprehensive person emerged. I became discouraged about so many aspects of our move, and yearned for a close friend.
With a redirected focus on God, a change of attitude and the magic of time - my roots now go deep in this place I call home. Looking back, I realize so many of my feelings and emotions were normal side effects that come with moving.
I believe God put you on my heart because you needed to hear that you will get through this transition as you adjust to your new surroundings.
Take a good look at the luggage tags you are wearing. What is keeping you from starting over and moving forward? Make the choice today to focus on our unchanging God instead of your changing circumstances.
Remember that a change of heart begins with you - your attitude, your actions, your choices. (To be miserable or not to be miserable!) In due time, God will make a way in your wilderness and rivers in your desert!
"Behold I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert."- Isaiah 43:19.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Penny in Colorado
Every village, town, and city needs a ‘Moving On’ Class...
My first contact with Just Moved! was about 6 years ago. My husband had just retired and we were relocating to Knoxville, TN. Our middle son had moved there and we looked at this as an opportunity to get to know [our grandchildren] on a more personal level and add four additional helping hands. Because the move was our choice, not a corporate move, and all the doors had opened wide for us to make the move, I was quite dismayed that I was feeling lost, depressed, lonely, and sad.
We found a church home quickly, got involved in a class, and then I met the Women's Ministry Leader over a cup of tea. She had no idea what I was feeling, but asked if I would like to read a book that had recently been given to her and then pray about being involved in getting a new Bible Study started. I thought that the church already had ample women's studies going, but agreed to read the book. That evening as I read After the Boxes Are Unpacked: Moving On After Moving In from cover to cover, I thought, "I am not crazy, other women feel like I do. It's normal to feel this way after a move, even a happy move. How much more it must affect women who have no choice."
I eagerly accepted the challenge to help begin a new ‘Moving On’ Class at our church, Cedar Springs Presbyterian. While I was in the office of the Women's Ministry Leader, she remembered that a lady from another church had emailed her about joining with us. That began a special friendship with Linda, who became the co-leader with me in starting the first ‘Moving On’ Class in Knoxville.
During the 6 years that we lived in Knoxville, I led ‘Moving On’ classes twice a year. God brought such an abundance of lovely Christian women to help with the class. We all loved being part of the ministry that probably saw over 150 women go through the class.
I marvel at how well the class has continued to flourish, as God brought all the right women to keep it going. Plus there are two other sister classes that have started from the original class.
Then God moved us again, this time to Colorado. I found a ‘Moving On’ class here in Colorado and have been blessed by being in a group with 10 other women from all over the world. I know that God is moving me in the direction of being more involved by leading a class soon.
You never know where you will find yourself, but every village, town, and city needs a ‘Moving On’ Class.
How I praise the Lord for Susan and the wonderful staff at Just Moved! who see the vision and have passed it on to so many of us movers.
May God continue to use this ministry all over the world for many years.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Throw Away Those 'Luggage Tags'!
Freedom. July is full of symbols of freedom as we celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s birth: flags, fireworks, parades. While you may be celebrating our national freedom this month, are you experiencing personal freedom from the “luggage tags” that may identify your feelings as a result of a move?
Anger. Are you harboring anger because you didn’t want to move?
Bitterness. Do you feel bitter because this move has caused major changes in your life?
Comparison. Do you find yourself comparing everything to where you used to live?
Fear. Are you afraid you’ll never again feel that sense of belonging and security?
Anxiety. Are you anxious about making new friends and finding the right school, church, doctor, grocery store, cleaners, and hairdresser?
Disappointment. Is the house not what you really wanted? Is the job a disillusionment? Is the cost of living higher?
Loss of Identity. Has your self-esteem taken a nose-dive? Have you gotten lost in the shuffle?
Depression. Is everything overwhelming and you’d rather stay in bed than unpack a box, hang a picture, or fix a meal?
Expectations. Were you expecting the neighbors to be friendly? To find a close friend soon? To be included?
Inadequacy. Do you feel as if you just don’t have what it takes anymore?
Hurt. Do the tears come when you think of family and friends you left behind?
Grief. Are you grieving over all your losses?
Declare your independence from these harmful luggage tags that will surely keep you from your destination of peace and contentment! Freedom can be found as you:
1. Leave your baggage in the care of God. Let go of the emotional baggage you’re still carrying. Leave it in the hands of the One who loves you and who can heal you, Jesus Christ.
2. Rely on God’s faithfulness. Recall the times of God’s faithfulness in your own life. Be specific.
3. Be yourself. Don’t try to be someone else! When you move to a new place, face your transition in the beauty of who God made you to be.
4. Be equipped with:
Faith – you can face this “Goliath” with God’s strength.
Prayer – You can’t fight anger with anger, but you can fight anger with prayer.
Bible study – The more you know and study God’s word, the firmer the ground upon which you stand!
Fellowship – Seek out the fellowship of Christian friends – for support, for accountability, for group Bible study, for encouragement, for fun!
Perseverance – Keep on keeping on! Don’t give up and don’t give in. What voices are you hearing that tell you that you can’t do it, that you can’t overcome your giants?
(Excerpted from After the Boxes Are Unpacked by Susan Miller, chapter 7)
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Thank you very much for the voice mail last night. I think you guys are great to be concerned about women all over the U.S. in our moving struggles. That really meant a lot!!
I have been a Christian for 35 years and moved out of state five times in 29 years of marriage. But two times in the past three years.... This was the hardest six months. My husband and I both lost jobs and moved to find work. I was devastated and hated leaving our adult children behind. This move caused major depression. No job, no friends, and no family; just trusting God for daily provision.
The [Moving On] class started in January and slowly I began not being angry or crying constantly. God took me through the journey of unemployment for one year, gently reminding me He was in control...so trust!! I have also made wonderful friends in this class and we even meet every Wednesday since it is over.
I would encourage any Christian going through the "Closet illness of Moving" to join this group. God uses all resources, including moving, to have us draw closer to Him.
-Bona in North Carolina
(JM – Bona, I am so glad that you found encouragement and friendship in a ‘Moving On’ class. Keep trusting God to be doing something beautiful in your lives through this challenging time.)
Wow God, you really know what I need...
I thank you so much for taking out the time to call and send me an email. It made me feel like someone actually cares about the transition I am about to embark on. All year I have prayed that we will stay home and have been pretty much selfish about the moving thing even, angry at times. But, I decided to seek God about the matter and, after all my kicking and screaming, I am at peace that we must move in order to keep the family together and not spend anymore time apart.
Driving home from work one day, I heard about [Just Moved!] on a broadcast called Family Life Today. I was so surprised to hear that there was such a ministry. I thought, wow God you really know what I need. It has been a month or two since that drive home and recently I decided to check out the website. The website was great and so encouraging. I thought it wouldn't hurt to join [the Just Moved! Community], so I did. I am so glad I did and I look forward to the things to come as I transition to a new location.
- Marnya in Virginia
(JM – I’m so glad you’re a part of the JM Community and that we can encourage you as you face this big move, Marnya. It is a privilege to pray for you and your family. Lean on the Lord during this stressful time and He will give you strength and a bright future!)
Thanks for the website...
It is wonderful to see that there is site such as this for those who have moved. I just completed my 10th major move in 30 years! This one happened in less than 6 weeks time of learning it would happen! It has been a wonderful experience as we have truly sensed God's direction!
(JM – Glad you found us on the web, Brenda. May God bless you in this move as you follow His direction.)
Friday, July 10, 2009
So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.
-John 8:36 (The Message)
Let Go: Are you hemmed in by uncertainty, pressure to ‘measure up’, or the loss of identity that comes with a move?
Start Today: Give yourself permission – freedom – to be the woman that God created you to be and to rest in the circumstances in which He has placed you.
Move Forward: Make a list of your gifts, abilities, and strengths. Thank God for His workmanship in you and, if you have not found ways to use those abilities in your new community, choose to trust His timing and ask Him to reveal opportunities for you to offer your services.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Do you know that most families move between Memorial Day and Labor Day? That means many of you are facing a move over the summer, with the hope that you will be settled in by the time school starts. It’s kind of overwhelming, isn’t it? When I think about all you have to do to get ready to move, I want to show up at your front door and give you a hug, help you pack boxes, bring you dinner, or just listen as you sort through all the emotions that you are feeling.
You are especially on my mind during this summer time of transition. I receive many prayer requests concerning upcoming summer moves. Your emails are heart-warming as you pour out your prayer needs—for your own struggles, your marriage relationship, your children, family members, jobs, selling and buying a home—all the issues that come with change.
I am reminded of what my five-year-old grandson, Steven, says when everyone sits down to eat at the kitchen table, "Let’s talk about God!" (Which means to him, it’s time to pray!) With the same joy that comes from a child, I encourage you to "talk about God" this summer as you and your family begin the process of moving. First, come to Him with a grateful heart, as you talk about His faithfulness and His blessings in your life. Share together the times you felt His presence, His peace and His comfort. Talk about Him often to help you keep perspective. Then, through prayer, make your requests known to God. He is there with you, to sustain you, guide you, and walk with you through this time of change in your life.
Know that all of us at Just Moved! consider it a privilege to pray for you. In fact, you can now send your prayer requests to us all year long! Anytime, day or night, email us and let us know how we can pray for you and your family.
Take a deep breath, my friends. Try to get some rest over the summer before life gets too crazy again. Renew your heart as you recall God’s faithfulness, and refresh your spirit as you go to His word for refuge.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
From Bondage to Freedom
The more you become like Jesus, the more He releases your God-given potential and you experience a freedom that can only be found in Him. Jesus "moves" us from a "state" of bondage to a "state" of freedom! He "moves" us from a "state" of sorrow to a "state" of joy. Jesus makes you free, so trust Him and follow Him. His truth makes you free, so study His word, believe it, and obey it. Following the light on His path leads you out of darkness and takes you from despair to hope.
Oswald Chambers says it best. "Freedom is life controlled by God’s truth and motivated by His love. Bondage is life controlled by lies we believe and motivated by our selfishness. Freedom is the result of a living relationship with Jesus Christ--walking with Him, talking with Him, and learning from Him."
Let the freedom of Christ ring with every beat of your heart!
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
II Corinthians 3:17
Question to Consider
Am I living in the freedom of Christ or in the bondage of the world?
Lord, change my heart today. Help me to follow Your light on the path of life. Release me from the bondage of lies and selfishness that I might clearly see and understand the freedom of Your truth and love. Amen
Thought for the Day
Today I will choose to put on the whole armor of God and stand firm in the truth of His word!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Brenda, Retired Military Spouse
Catch that missionary vision...
The first time we reenlisted for our second term we decided then that we would make a career of it and that we would be missionaries. God would send us through the Air Force where He wanted us to go and let Uncle Sam pay the bill. It really helps to catch that missionary vision.
Another thing I wish to share is it does not take much to reach out to that new person who has just moved. On one of our moves to Oklahoma a lady in the church whom I had prayed with at the altar the very first Sunday evening we attended called to invite me to a Bridal Shower. I explained that I would love to go but I had nothing for a gift and no money to spare right then to get anything (we had purchased a new car to drive across country and things were extremely tight) right then. She said I have some new pillowcases still wrapped in tissue would you mind taking that. Mind you, that was a lot of years ago when even the least little thing was appreciated. That was the beginning of a lifelong relationship – we are still very good friends and keep in contact. And that little encouragement helped me get acquainted with a lot of other ladies of course.