Originally published Tuesday, 01 February 2022.
The skin on my fingers is covered in paint stains, even after scrubbing them. My hands are stiff with cold. I am brushing the empty walls of the new house with paint—pretty words like Bibliothèque, Ritual, and Côte d'Azur. Lots of splotchy squares. Watching light and shadow change each hue as it dries.
The next few weeks are ones of transition. Saying goodbye to a home of almost 16 years, walls that hold stories of my children’s laughter, sacred conversations with friends—so many prayers and arguments and dreams.
I struggle with sleeping most nights lately—the anticipation of moving, of completing all that needs to get done—leaving me restless in the hours when my mind and heart should be most at peace.
Justin encourages me to honor the emotions I am feeling. We talk about the challenge of the past two years, due to the pandemic—and the changes in our family as children grow up and do their best to be independent, preparing for the final moving away. So much moving and staying in one place.
As I pack boxes, I contemplate memories each room holds. I don’t need to close my eyes to remember the sound of Jackson stomping through the kitchen, opening the refrigerator, playfully tackling the dog. Oliver taking over our detached garage/office to make beats, rattling the loft ladder as he climbs up to bed. Abby singing in the hallway, the bathroom, her bedroom. In my mind, I can see them at each age, hear their voices, feel their skin on my skin.
I remember the Father’s words to me about abundance and how He wants me to settle in, ever deeper, into his abundant love. During this time of moving, He is reminding me about settling. My God whose love never changes.
When we move out of our home next month, we will continue to be in a state of flux. We will live in temporary housing (aka being roommates with my very kind father-in-law) for five to six months until our new house is ready for us to move in. We are not moving far, and yet, in the evening, anxiety builds in me, the anticipation of so much change.
He holds my heart, my hand.
Settle me. Settle me. Settle me even deeper into your love.
And I remain in conversation with Him—the words of Psalm 23 soothing me. His abundant love. His truth.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.
Will you join me this week and consider the ways in which you are needing to move out of some space (emotional or psychological or physical) and settle into a new one?
Spend a small chunk of time contemplating this idea and then writing a poem about this space you are in. What are you moving away from? What are you moving toward? What does the word settle mean to you? Where is God inviting you go or do?
Share your poem here, as a comment to this post, or with the beautiful community of Loop Poetry Project—a safe and kind place to be vulnerable and share your heart. Read my poem, “The Kitchen,” below.
With much love,
How can I tell you
the things that happened here
in this space
my body, hips and stomach
leaning, white wood on gray concrete,
for it amazed me
(the way mothers are amazed by
disarming them completely),
the way she moved
with such happiness,
delight in her small body,
dancing to music we played,
and her ability to climb
up to the kitchen counter
from the stool and press up against
her brothers’ shoulders while
their little hands gripped avocado for a snack.
And now I stand there, both myself and
amazed at my capability to love
with an intensity that would surely kill me
except it saves me too
and I am so grateful,
praying with all those years—
help me love better—
that my love wasn’t what
had to be enough
for us all.
This post appeared originally at jennifer.camp