Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Boxes & Blessings

Been a while since I’ve blogged...

I’ve had good reasons:
We’ve been living with boxes since March
We moved from Cleveland to Kingsport, Tennessee in June
We couldn’t unpack
I went to Ohio for a couple of weeks to attend my favorite campmeeting
I came home and still couldn’t unpack
I’ve been home two weeks and still haven’t unpacked (except for my suitcases)
We’re living in basically three rooms in our parsonage…so SOME things are unpacked

In the United Methodist system, most churches have parsonages provided for the minister and family. But that is quickly changing as many of the larger churches are choosing to go out of the parsonage business with the burden of upkeep, financial responsibilities, etc. In those cases the minister receives a housing allowance to rent or purchase a place in the community where they serve.

When we moved into this parsonage, we were aware of the possibility of the sale of the house, so I packed accordingly. And that’s why we didn’t totally unpack right away. A vote was held by the congregation earlier this month and the decision was made to sell it. Good thing we didn’t unpack!

But that brings another wrinkle...
Our little house in Cleveland is for sale. Has been since May. We can’t buy a house in Kingsport till that one is sold. The feedback from realtors is how much people love the house but dislike the tiny back yard with neighbors living so close to one another. Never was a problem for us. The neighbors weren’t out that much, and when they were, they were enjoyable. And the side yard is HUGE!

Our pleasant, tiny, fenced-in back yard is a drawback.

Last week we lowered the price listed with our realtor. I asked her if the cost was lower, would that make the yard look bigger? Maybe.

So, boxes are still everywhere in the parsonage. We still live in three rooms. I’m starting to be ‘over this’ really fast. But then I have to think, at least there’s a roof over our heads. At least there’s plenty of food in the partially unpacked kitchen. I don’t have to drive somewhere just to do our laundry. We have all we need.

Yes, it’s inconvenient.
Yes, I’d like to have everything in place in OUR place already.
Yes, I have my moments when I want everything to be solved YESTERDAY.

When Joe and I married, we promised to love each other “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish till death do us part.” That promise was made 41 years ago. We’ve done really well with all those vows we made to one another!! And we still like each other!

The inconvenience of all this is just a bump in the road. Some days (like today) I tend to forget this is temporary and God’s got the whole thing under control. He already knows where we’ll live! I wouldn’t mind a bolt of lighting with a note on the end of it to tell ME where...but that’s not His style.

And it doesn’t define home to us because wherever we’re together is home...even when boxes line the walls. Joe’s used to being around lots of boxes. He grew up around a funeral home! He tells folks the hardest thing I ever had to learn was to sleep in a bed with a lid on it!

In my last blog I mentioned that a good marriage will always contain an element of surprise. This surprise is taking a while to be revealed, but it’s still good. I’m praying that God will keep that at the forefront of my thoughts these days. It’s going to be okay. It is. When I finally get to unpack these boxes somewhere, it’ll be fun! I’ll find more stuff I forgot I had!

And when I look back on this, I'll realize all the blessings I've enjoyed all along the way. And that element of surprise? Always enjoy it.

Remember...if you have a pulse, you have a purpose. Make your life count!