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
I am often asked by this younger generation, "What’s it all about--this freedom in Christ thing you talk about?" It’s easy for me to share my joy about the freedom that comes with knowing and living Jesus Christ! You see, Jesus is in the business of changing lives.
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!
Scripture to Remember
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
II Corinthians 3:17
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!