We’re moving again this weekend. Did I tell you already? I’m not sure I have—partially out of denial and partially because I didn’t really feel like talking about it—but now that I’m in the thick of packing I will do anything to avoid responsibility. Packing. Ugh. I very much dislike packing, especially when it’s not my idea.
We knew from the beginning that our current house wasn’t a particularly stable choice, and yet, when one lives in a town like Santa Barbara (where vacancy rates are currently less than 1%) you take what you can get. In fact, we rented the house without ever walking through the interior because it was the only choice which made it the best choice. When we signed the lease our landlord casually mentioned the house would be sold when his father passed away. “I’m not telling you this to concern you, but I do think it’s only fair to mention. You’re a young family, after all, and moving is a hassle.” But we loved the neighborhood, the cul-de-sac, the mountain views and the backyard and figured that God would provide something different when and if we needed it. We settled fully into this house, hanging curtains and putting lots and lots (and LOTS) of nails in the walls, while ignoring the ugly carpet, 1956 kitchen and popcorn ceiling.
Unfortunately, as it turns out, people die and houses get sold. So we’re moving on again. This change is inconvenient more than anything else— something that happens all the time to lots of people—but I’m experiencing a surprising sadness as the boxes get packed. We’ve only lived here for 16 months but it’s been such a good 16 months.
Our family left Sacramento in somewhat of a whirlwind, during a season that felt unpredictable and exhausting, and God gave us a peaceful street to call home. This quiet little house, where foggy mountains and big black crows welcome us each morning, and chirping crickets sing us to sleep, felt like a respite for me. We spent many afternoons barefoot in the backyard, picking avocados and bouncing on the trampoline, or meeting “the neighbor boys” for scooter races in the street. Our yellow swing found a perfect home in the huge front yard magnolia tree, and we nestled a little playhouse under the orange tree for Anna. Jonathan and I talked about how maybe someday we could buy this house and give it the proper kitchen it deserved, and send our kids to school with their neighborhood friends—kind people who’ve embraced us with open hearts and passed along many a generous hand-me-down.
But we’re moving on, to a new house on a new street in a neighboring town. After a lot of unnecessary worrying, God provided a perfect place for our family just as He always has before. I’m excited about our community swimming pool and several great families who live nearby. I can’t wait to have my own walk-in closet and a proper, working oven. But I’m sad too. I’m going to really miss our yard and our neighbors and Saturday morning walks to Jeannine’s and Spudnuts. And I’m going to miss the quiet peacefulness, and a home that felt like our own little sanctuary amidst a busy world. Our new rental is a condo, and our master bedroom window looks into a construction zone and the huge UCSB dormitories. Crickets are being replaced with cranes. This change may take some getting used to.
And yet, I’ve done this enough times to know that when I let God lead, He always surprises me. In the past I used to say things like, “I would never move there or I would never take that job,” and God always seemed to always respond with “Oh really?” Over the last few years my prayers have shifted a a lot. Now, in time of transition I pray, “God, we will go wherever you want. We are open to anything. We are up for adventure. We are up for settling down. You know how many rooms we need or don’t need. You know what’s best for our family. Let our vision match your vision.”
Onward! It’s time to see what’s next. I know it’s going to be good.