Friday, August 21, 2009

Join the Just Moved Community

Now you can belong to the Just Moved! Community
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. you how you can survive and thrive through the difficult adjustments and transitions.

...encourage you to make new friends. you help your children through the moving process.

...strengthen your marriage during this time of transition. you trust Christ in your move and grow closer to Him.

Go to to learn more!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Monthly Challenge

Challenge 43
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

Moving Story

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 fiancĂ©e, 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

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Moving Tips

(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

From Our Mailbox Aug 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

Monthly Devotional- Aug 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 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

Heart Talk from Susan Miller

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.