Letting Go

Twenty-eight years ago, Keith and I were renting a home in the northwest part of Houston hoping to buy something we could raise our family in. Neither of us had sophisticated taste nor did we particularly trust those who did. I write those words with a grin. My grandmother never trusted people of means. She had endured the Great Depression and was just certain (inaccurately, of course) that anyone who lived this side of it with money most assuredly possessed ill-gotten gain. A permanent, living fixture in my home of origin throughout my childhood, you can imagine that my beloved grandmother, Minnie Ola Rountree, had a great influence on me and, bless God, in so many positive ways. She did, however, leave my thinking somewhat distorted regarding possessions. It has taken most of my adulthood to shake the bone-deep belief that having anything beyond the merest essentials roused the terrible displeasure of God. And, since we Westerners all have more than the merest essentials, I’ve spent much of my life confessing what I possessed as sinful (and, make no mistake, appropriately at times). Of course, there’s balance in all of that and few of us would argue that the prosperity gospel so prevalent among us in this era isn’t cause for earnest repentance.  But that’s a discussion for another time and another post and, come to think of it, one we have in fair depth in James: Mercy Triumphs.

In 1983, Keith and I were mostly a one-income family unless you call the pocket change I made teaching aerobics at my church a viable profession. My man was a residential plumber and a pretty new one at that. We had a four year-old and a one year-old that I utterly adored and so desired to stay home with that, prior to my hire at the church gym, I took on a paper route for a whole day. We very much liked the house we were renting but it wasn’t for sale. One day driving around a suburban neighborhood, we passed a French Provincial up for sale that nearly put us in a spell. It was beyond our means and well beyond our personalities. Still, we were mesmerized. Keith said, “Baby, I can get this house for you but only by the skin of my teeth. We won’t be able to buy a single new piece of furniture for it. Are you good with that?” I promised that I was and we put money down on it. We were beside ourselves. A few weeks later, just before we were to close on it, Keith walked in our rent house and sat me down at our kitchen table. “Honey, I withdrew our offer on the house.”

“What?? But we put money down on it!”

“Yep, we did. Money we couldn’t spare and won’t get back but we’d have had to spend nearly that same amount of money every single month on a house payment. It’s beyond us. It’s not our house.”

I cried for about 45 seconds and then was so relieved I could have done a freedom dance. I knew he was right and I was pained but so very thankful he pulled the plug. A number of months later as the bottom dropped out of the oil industry, leaving Houston in one of the biggest buyer’s markets of its history, we came upon a house going into foreclosure. It was still a lot for us to spend but we bought it.

And lived in it, fought in it, made up in it, prayed in it, swore in it, ate in it, sobbed in it, laughed in it and tucked children into bed in it for the next 27 years. We were deliriously happy in it. We were woefully miserable in it. You don’t live that long anywhere just one way. Long life happened there, meaning that those walls saw all manner of good, bad, and really ugly. But it snuggled us and hid us and harbored us for nearly thirty years. I hung my children’s baby pictures on those walls, then their school pictures with no front teeth. Then pictures with mouths full of braces, then pictures in their volleyball uniforms, then, be still my heart, their wedding portraits. Then I hung frames on those brittle walls with grandbabies’ pictures captured within.

For years I planted petunias in the flowerbeds in late Spring and, when I needed an emotional outlet, pulled up weeds with a fiery vengeance. Keith or I one dragged big ugly trashcans to the end of the driveway every Monday and Thursday then back to the garage when they were empty.

I parked a brown and beige station wagon on the broken concrete beside that house when we moved in and didn’t replace it until the wheels and doors threatened to come off.

And I loved it. It was home. As one who has nursed a lifelong aversion to change, I declared over and over again that I would never leave that house and that, when I died, Keith would have to dig a hole in the small back yard and bury me in it. At that very front curb, I waited for the school bus to pick up my girls in the morning and bring them home in the afternoon. At that very curb, my daughters’ boyfriends drove up to get them and a few hours later kissed them goodnight with me peeking through the mini-blinds. At that very curb, the postman dropped decades of utility bills – many overdue – and credit card bills that Keith Moore insisted we pay off in full every month no matter how little we had left. And now I’m so glad but then it seemed a tad restrictive for a mom who loved to take her girls to the mall.

That same house could tell terrible tales on me. Oh, what grace God has lavished on us. What mercy and forgiveness! But, amid the roller coaster that has always been Keith and me, and the tears and regrets, oh my word, the prayers that have been prayed in that house are too many to estimate. And certainly not just my own. Many of my girlfriends remember the years when we had monthly prayer breakfasts in that simple home. We’d all meet first in the den where I’d share a devotional then we’d break up in small groups and invade every room in the house and intercede for our loved ones and pray for our own needy hearts, all too often crushed by this or that hurt. I am convinced down to my marrow that God used prayer to spare my marriage and family. Keith believes it, too. I was a wreck in so many ways – still am in certain respects – but Jesus had convinced me early on in my adulthood that I’d have to have Him to survive with any sanity or life satisfaction. Any victim of early childhood abuse at the hand of a trusted family member will either have copious doses of Jesus or defeat. Plain and simple. No gray for folks like me.

I held stacks of journals in my lap two weeks ago and flipped through some of them and found a number of entries so painful that I could not even read them. I tore out numerous pages and wept before the Lord and thanked Him for His faithfulness and repented again, but wouldn’t have needed to, for such waves of stupidity and faithlessness. I also reminded myself to buy a shredder. Grin. Tucked into many of those journals were pages that also made me smile. Sometimes even laugh out loud. And then I’d cry again for the pure joy of Him.

Jesus has carried me in His own two everlasting arms. Me. Keith Moore. Amanda Moore Jones. Melissa Moore Fitzpatrick. He has carried us and His rock-solid biceps often took the form of brick, mortar and wood there on Blazey Drive in Houston, Texas. We’d think we’d come against something we couldn’t overcome, then He’d scoop us up and carry us kicking and screaming to the next season. Not fast enough to suit us, mind you, but eventually. Keith and I would look up and another year had come and gone and we were still married. Only once can I remember us coming to an anniversary where we did not so much as speak. And it was such a short time ago that you’d find it shocking. But, once again, Jesus took a needle and thread and sewed us loop by painful loop back together again. We’re so glad He did.

Then three years ago, I asked Keith if I could tell him something just once and he’d never remind me of it again because I was sure I’d change my mind. He said yes but he lied and we both knew it.

“I might someday consider moving.”

Keith’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline and he grinned ear to ear. He’d wanted to get off that busy highway near us for years.

“I said I might. But probably not.”

There were a number of things that brought me to that willingness. Keith had retired from the plumbing business and the ministry had moved to the very north edge of Houston. Our house was no longer close to our places of work. Our center had shifted. The biggest thing that changed was something unexplainable and almost irrational that finally just unraveled. The less sappy of you will need to skip to the next paragraph. Or maybe just end your reading right here. Goodness knows it’s gone on long enough. For those of you enduring this epitaph, I had this thing deep inside of me that insisted we stay in the same house so that the boy we’d had for seven years could find his way home and we’d all live happily ever after and all that confusion would be explained. Please understand that I knew it was unrealistic at the time but I couldn’t shake the idealism that it had to all work out some way – my way – and that we’d have to get a second chance so we could do a better job.

I’m so happy to tell you that I am in touch with that young man. He is darling just like he was the first time I laid eyes on him. But the fog began to clear several years ago and I was finally able to accept that the picture I had in my head was pretend. It was from a storybook etched in the mind of a romantic. Not real life. He was an adult and God had different plans for him and for us. Plans that I have to believe are for the good. We see him on occasion and I’m so thankful for the open door but we seem not to be meant to reestablish those same exact bonds.

Keith took that one tiny confession – “I might someday consider moving” – and jumped on it with both size 13 wides. It would be several years before we’d get his parents settled in the country and make arrangements to join them.

On December 14th – just 12 days ago – a moving van pulled up to my house of 27 years. Amanda, Annabeth, Melissa and I watched them empty those busy, busy rooms one box at a time. By the time that abode was back to the hollow shell we’d seen all those years ago when we first walked through it, Amanda had gone home to pick up Jackson from school and only Melissa and I were left. It was the breakfast room that got us. We stared at the spot where our dining table used to be and both burst into tears. Then each of us (crying audibly, mind you) went around the house and closed the shutters one by one and then we turned out the lights. Melissa walked on out the front door and I lagged behind for just a moment and got on that floor one last time. Face down. For the 15 thousandth time.

And I thanked God.

He did not abandon us there. Not for one minute.

We are happy out here in the country. This morning two deer were in our back yard…and lived to boast about it. Keith has promised not to kill anything here but roaches and rodents and I intend to hold him to it even though we did find wild hog tracks not far from our front door. That husband of mine has labored with all his might for months on end to make this a home for his wife. He is not a man who finds it easy to express his love with words. He expresses his love through works. And I receive this new season of our lives together with joy and with tears drying. But the thing is, I didn’t want to rush right in and start jabbering to you about the new. Not until I paid proper tribute to the old. It wouldn’t have been fitting. It deserves the dignity of a decent good-bye. It cradled a half-crazy family for nearly thirty years like it was happy to have us. Thank you for offering me the space and patience to pen so long a so long. I needed it in the worst way.

By the way, I’ve already told Keith that this is the last time I’m ever moving and that he might as well dig his boots in this dirt. After all, I’m no math-wizard, but in 27 more years I’ll be, let’s see, 81 years old. That is, if the Lord has withheld me a glimpse of His face.

And I’ll let you know how I feel about moving then.

By way of benediction, and just in case somebody’s heart needs to hear it, this place doesn’t completely do it for me any more than the one I drove away from on December 14th. One of my new appliances is already broken and the dogs get ticks out here. It’s so wonderful out in these sticks but it’s a long shot from perfect. I have a longing for something I still haven’t found. My guess is that you do, too.

 

These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared for them a city.

 

Hebrews 11:13-16

 

 

 

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430 Responses to “Letting Go”

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Comments:

  1. 151
    Kelly says:

    No words can express the gratitude for this. Broke this heart and mended it all at the same time. I now need to go listen to ‘Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ by U2. Glad to know we aren’t alone in longing for our real home. May the blessings and infinite grace of Christ inhabit your new dwelling. Love you

  2. 152
    Flybabymom says:

    Thanks, Beth. I needed that. I’m surrounded by boxes at the moment, packing to move. Our house has sold, but we don’t have a house to move into yet! But Jesus will provide one at the right time. Sometimes ministry moves one…and it’s a faith move! Jesus bless you in your new spot!

  3. 153
    Debbie says:

    Ah, dear Beth. How we love you. This moved me. Be blessed dear one as you embrace what God has for you and yours in this change. Live it well and know joy in it. I know that that is in His heart for you — no matter the circumstances and happenings that come along. Thank you for sharing your heart and in so doing, encouraging all of us that need just those words aptly spoken.

    Hugs and prayers for you all and your new home.
    Debbie

  4. 154
    Paula says:

    Beth, I hope that you and Keith have many, many happy years in your new home in the country. Thank you for sharing your story, your memories, your hopes, your dreams, and your faith. You are indeed an inspiration to so many. May our God and Heavenly Father keep you and bless you in this new phase of your life.

  5. 155
    Cindy Childers says:

    Beth,
    that was the most beautiful story. You have such a way with words :-). I needed that to soften this girls heart who is in the middle of moving with her military man and family for the 7th time in 10 years. It is emotionally and physically exhausting and I do dream of the day we will settle down. But having now lived overseas and coming “home” (back to Virginia) after 2.5 years, we’ve had God wet our spiritual tastebuds for all things 7 – continent-wide and we just love the looks and sounds of the people that fill this incredible earth. Even my children think it not strange one bit that every place we’ve stopped to visit has beautiful people with different colors of skin and speak not like they do. Oh Glory! How good is Jesus and so heavenly creative! I’m thanking God for you this morning for being such a wonderful teacher and mentor for me for the last 10+ years (at least!) through your bible studies and Siestaville. I am so blessed! Looking forward to seeing you and all us Siestas and being lavished in God’s love over the Siestaville party in January. Have a wonderful and lovely New Year in your new home, Cindy XXOO

  6. 156
    Kristen says:

    Beth,
    This was so good. I am glad to know you have someplace new but like you said, we like closure. Maybe men aren’t like that but I know we women are. I remember crying with my mom when we moved out of my childhood home. Recently we sold our house and are building a new one. It seems silly to some but memories are real and I did shed a tear when we left for the last time.
    Thank you for always being so real with us. It’s encouraging to know other people struggle. Love you so much Mama Beth! I pray you enjoy your new house and make many more memories there with your sweet family. There are more prayers to pray and victories to win! Thank you for sharing your life with us…
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  7. 157
    Siobhan says:

    God’s timing is so crazy, and so loving. I haven’t been reading the blog lately because I was caring for my mother.

    My mom moved in with us four years ago after my father went to be with the Lord. We bought this house because it was the only one that she, my husband, and I could agree on together. We made our spaces and carved out our lives for here for four years. We fought and loved each other as only mothers and daughters can, and she became my daughter’s greatest ally against me 🙂

    Two months ago my mom was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. She decided not to pursue treatment (even after me yelling at her and actually taking her to the oncologist two times to try to get her to attempt chemo). Instead she faced death head on and signed up for hospice. I cared for her at home for three weeks and then she slipped quietly away while I was working on history with my eight year old, and my five year old was playing with her dolls.

    I’ve started cleaning out her room now because I just can’t bear to go in there and see her things and not see her. It’s funny how all those possessions- things that she has treasured will be dispersed among her other children and grandchildren, boxed up or given away… and eventually forgotten. The only thing that really lasts is Christ and His word. The only thing that we can really give to others as an inheritance is Him and our only real home is heaven. Thanks Beth for opening up about your goodbye, so I could have a safe place to open up about mine.

    • 157.1
      Beth says:

      Oh, Sister, this is three of you Siestas who have recently lost your mothers! I am so sorry! I am deeply touched that you brought her into your home. She passed through the portals so loved.

  8. 158
    Leah Adams says:

    Dang it, I hate to start crying at 5:30 in the morning, but this nearly did me in. I’ve never been attached to a house–always figured it was just a thing and I’d sell it to anyone who had the money. Perhaps secretly I’ve wished I’d lived in a house long enough to get attached. Not sure. Anyway, this was precious.

  9. 159
    flip flops says:

    Dearest Beth, I had just written a comment and lost it…guess I just needed to share my heart… but between God and me…thanks so much for sharing. I so needed it!

  10. 160

    Beth, this brought me to tears more than once.

  11. 161
    Aaryn says:

    My husband has left me and our three children. I always told him I would never move from our home. When our third child came along we had out grown it. So he built an addition onto the back of the house. I love our neighborhood. I love all the memories. It has been my sanctuary during this storm. I have been a stay at home mom for 9 years and because of that I have no way of keeping our home. He bought me out and is moving “her” in. I needed this post so much. Words can not express my gratitude 🙂

    • 161.1
      Beth says:

      Aaryn, I am just sick at heart over all you’ve been through. I am so so sorry. May Jesus redeem every ounce of this pain and loss and betrayal.

  12. 162
    Yanna says:

    You sure have a Way with words Mama Beth. I cried like a baby..

  13. 163
    Diane Bailey says:

    Beautifully wrtten, as always. Blessings on your new on your new land, and on you until you reach the Homeland.

  14. 164
    Karen says:

    Dear Beth,

    I needed to hear about your letting go “in the worst way.” For thirty-one years, I did not create a loving home and live life to the fullest for my two daughters as you and Keith did. My “letting go” today is to let go of a sad past of my own making and ask our God to redeem the next 31 years to His glory. And He will, won’t He?

    Grateful for you and for all of Siestaville,

    Love,
    Karen

    • 164.1
      Beth says:

      Yes indeed, He will! Karen, trust me when I say that so much of my own hardship has come of my own making. I get that totally. God is merciful.

  15. 165
    paige says:

    WOW! That was an amazing post. Thank you for sharing. And thank you for being so honest!

    xoxo
    paige

  16. 166
    vida ursic says:

    the same posture you took to anoint your past home will be the same for this newland as Jesus has made the way, He is doing something new.
    i smile as this is the VERY thought/prayer that i have had over the last few months as we are truly empty nesters and i long for the change.
    Praise God…as you remind us Beth, isn’t HE something.
    amen sister.

  17. 167
    jill_in_AL says:

    Crying tears of happy-sad joy with you. I love your story of moving, the reason you stayed so long, the corner you turned to make moving an option, the doors God cracks and closes.

    Happy 2012 and beyond in your new four walls!

  18. 168
    nlynch says:

    LOVED this story.
    Many blessing to you and your precious family.
    Can’t wait to see you in January for our Tuesday night study….it has been way too long!

  19. 169
    Kim says:

    Beth,

    I know how you feel…sorta. I moved the 15th. A week before Christmas! Who does that?! It’s a long story but it was for the best. I wish you the absolute best in your new home. May it bring you joy and even when the pain does come may you feel our Heavenly Father’s arms completely wrap you up.

    Thank you for sharing your heart. It was exactly what I needed to read this morning.

    Blessings,
    Kim

  20. 170
    Cheryl Hinerman says:

    Praying God’s Presence and His peace fills every inch of your new home, and may it be filled with rich love and laughter. Thanks for sharing.

  21. 171
    Kim says:

    Dear Beth,
    I type with tears streaming down my face. My husband and I will be putting our house on the market early next year. He has retired and we have purchased property on a lake “up north” that holds years of memories for our family. But this Christmas is so bittersweet. The house is full as the “children” are all home. Daughter, son-in-law and grandbaby from Dallas, 2 daughters who live nearby have moved home for the week and our son home from Madison where he goes to college. Momma’s heart is so full and happy! I do not know what future Christmas’s will look like for us but I do know God will be driving our lives and I trust Him. I have always said, “Nothing stays the same, not even the things you want to stay the same.” Thank you for sharing your feelings and helping to put words to some of my feelings. God bless you and your family in your new home.

  22. 172
    Leslie says:

    Oh, Beth. I’ve thought of your boy through the years (our group has done all of your studies, so we feel like “family.”) Praying for blessed, sweet, joy-filled life in your new home!

  23. 173
    Barbara Head says:

    Oh, Beth, I can’t read a blog of yours without the “big ugly tears”. BUT I want to say one thing: Welcome, sweet friend, to the country where the deer and hogs do roam.

    • 173.1
      Beth says:

      Thank you, Barbara, my friend and my sister! We are so happy to be here. I want you and Pat to come over for coffee when we have a few less workmen in and out of the house. Grin. Right now we are crawling with them.

  24. 174
    Pat says:

    Thank you, Beth, for sharing your “so long” story. God’s timing is always perfect, and this blessed me today! I arrived home last night after sorting, packing up and cleaning out my mother’s condo home of 13 years. She passed away a few weeks ago. It was necessary to close up her home quickly as she lived in AZ and my sister and I live in the east. My final good-bye to that place felt like the first of many bits of reality reminding me that my mother is really gone from this earth. All the Joy I feel for her perfect healing and reunion with loved ones in Heaven doesn’t completely take away the emptiness of her passing. I hold on to “things” much too tightly and struggle with “letting go”. Your words are encouraging and healing. May the Lord bless you abundantly for the love you share with others!

  25. 175
    Poorna Diaz says:

    Siesta Mama,

    I wish my mother, sister, and I were sitting across the table from you talking about this over a cup of coffee. So much of what you said resonates with what is going on in my family right this second. One difference is, we’re not on the other side of some of the hurt yet. On that proverbial roller coaster of life, my family is on the decline right now. Lots of hurt and lack of forgiveness. So, from that perspective, would appreciate if you could say a prayer for us. (Sorry to have made this about me all of sudden – didn’t mean to.) Anyway, I always appreciate your transparency, authenticity, genuineness in this post and others. Thank you.

    Lots of love,
    Poorna from Indianapolis

    P.S. Just grabbed a copy of James: Mercy Triumphs. Got one for my mom too. I wrote a little note in there for her: “Mercy WILL triumph for our family.” I can’t wait to see how God uses this particular work of yours to bless us.

  26. 176
    Joy says:

    I read this blog off and on, but seem always to be directed here when there is a message specifically meant for me to read.

    I so often relate to the things you’re writing because my husband and I are about the same age, and at the same place in life. We have lived in our home all of our married life (28 years), and in the past year or so, have been thinking it’s time to move on.
    We have been routine things like painting, just so that when we look at each other and say “it’s time”, we won’t have to rush around to get those things done.

    It will be hard – the people my husband bought the house from were very happy here, and we have been as well.

    It is my prayer that the next family to live in our home will be as happy as the two families who lived here before them!

  27. 177
    Fran says:

    Oh Beth…the 1st time I read this, I was crying and trying to hide it when my 14 year old said in typical teenager fashion, “Mom….why in the world are you crying? You are reading something off your phone!” I put the phone down and knew I’d come back to it later. 😉 Later came and I most definitely cried again as I read it this second time. Goodness gracious…so many thoughts swirled around in my head…my own emotions of all the good, bad, and ugly that you spoke of in your home that are in this home…the prayers that have been prayed and the prayers yet to come during these teenage years, the thoughts of where we are spiritually and where I desperately need to be, the emotions about my marriage and family and truly the whole shebang of all you were saying just flooded my heart and I was just a mess.

    So, all that to say…thank you for being so open and honest with us. Thank you for encouraging us to press in and press on. Thank you for showing us just how beautiful Jesus is in your life……How wonderful He is in our own life.

    You are dearly loved Beth. I know this new season will be full of exciting new things and wonderful memories to be had. And yes….longing for another home.

    So much love,
    Fran

  28. 178
    Judy says:

    Beth,

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us through each post you write. I love how you share your heart and love for Jesus through ordinary, every day events. My husband and I have been in the same house for 22 years, and as much as we’d love to move out into the country, we feel that God is keeping us in this neighborhood for His purposes. May the good Lord bless you in your new home and in the new year as well.

    Love you
    Judy

  29. 179
    Martha Helen says:

    totally made me cry. what a precious thing a home is simply because it is where we return to and live so much of life in. so true that it hides us and harbors us and provides a place for us to BE with our family. also.. i’ve always wondered what happened to your “son.” thanks for sharing a quick update on that. you are precious, Beth, to me and my family! thanks for sharing something so sweet and personal.

  30. 180
    Bonnie says:

    I love your story! We do get attached to brick and mortar and it does hold memories. I had never moved until I met my husband and we have lived in seven houses so far. I have learned that God expands our borders when we move and that the memories go with us wherever we are. I have friends in different states and countries because of our moves and I am blessed. We all have a longing for an eternal home that we have not yet seen, only then , will be finally home. Thank you for sharing your story. God will richly bless you with wonderful memories in your new locale, I am sure of it!

  31. 181
    Laura S says:

    Wonderful words…every single one of them! If the picture is of the old house, I am so glad you painted around the fire place since the pictures from the 80’s you have shared with us!! (grin)

  32. 182
    Kathy Acton says:

    Beth, what a wonderful post. For those of us who are sentimental, it does our heart good to know we are not alone. I understand not wanting to leave your home and your memories. My husband is a builder/developer. In March, we will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and we are living in our 7th house. I grow attached to where I am and my memories and my neighbors. There was a particular move in 1999 that was especially hard. We had been there 10 years and it was a special home and neighborhood to our 3 sons. I didn’t think I could bear to move and even now am crying as I write this to you. That was our 5th house. When we were planning the move, I was praying and talking to a friend, when I said something that I believe God gave to me. “You block God’s blessings by being too comfortable where you are.” This has proven true to me, as I meet new neighbors I never would have known had I not moved. Thank you for sharing and I can assure you, and I know, No Place is Perfect. 🙂 Blessings to you sweet Beth. You have blessed my life in so many ways.

  33. 183
    Maureen says:

    Thank you Beth!! I truly love to hear your stories and they…each one you share…touch my heart and I’m certain, the hearts of all the Siesta Sisters!! You’ve said it right girlfriend that each home…wherever we live we will not be truly happy as our permanent home is all polished and spit shined (by the Master of course) and just waiting for our arrival. Soooo thankful for the tiny glimpses of that eternal dwelling right here on earth!! I hope for you and all the SS’s sweet times w/our lovely Savior in 2012. Love to all…

  34. 184
    Anna says:

    It’s a beautiful post….I can feel your sorrow and joy!

  35. 185
    Deidra says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Your words comfort this broken heart of mine. Home – where you desire everybody to be okay. But it’s not that way. I do not speak of a mere place, but family. The story you told in Pensacola this year about your sister has been a help to me as I consider hope. I appreciate your honesty so very much, even the honesty about the very hard things. Thank you.

  36. 186
    Kim Lee says:

    OH my!!!! What a wonderful way to start my e-mails this morning. Tears are flowing down my face & I can’t find my tissues. Thank you for that wonderful expression of your heart. Oh how I can relate. I love to write & could jot a journal here but I will let this simply marinate in my heart & say Thank you! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Much love from Williamsburg, Va where I & many of the ladies at my church Christian Life Center have gotten to know you from your teachings of the past several years. I do so love you! Love & Laughter, Kim

  37. 187
    Amber says:

    Dear Beth,
    Your story brought me to tears. I only pray that remember just as clearly all the work that God has done on me through the years. I was once a mess….and still am at times, but I’ve got one great carpenter doing some renovations on me. Room by room of my heart, he’s changing me. Thanks for sharing.

  38. 188
    Diane Crocker says:

    I can relate so much to every word of this! Beautiful,moving, and so honest! Loved every word!

  39. 189
    Beverly says:

    So beautifully written, like a weaving of a tapestry, showing us both sides. I can so relate, am so full right now in this season, I feel like I could burst, and not from overeating! May God surpass all your heart’s desires as He creates this next “tent dwelling place” for His Presence to meet with you. Shalom, shalom, Beverly

  40. 190
    Kelly Morris says:

    Beth,
    Thank you for sharing. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. The words God lays on your heart to share with so many are so meaningful. You have been an encourager to me since the very first Bible study I participated in (and I have done almost all, some more than once). I am so thankful you allowed God to work through you and you have shared this relationship with so many. I am blessed because of it – as I know so many others are as well. I pray God’s blessings on you as you settle into your new home, new memories and new opportunities.

  41. 191
    Sally says:

    Thank you Beth, for takiing the time to include all of us in a wonderful tribute to the hand of the Lord. Amazing that He cares about and is involved in the details of our lives, like where we live and how we live there.
    You have inspired me to tell the story of the hand of God in our last move. Back in 2006 my husband and I came across a distressed house for sale, located in our same suburb but much closer to the high school and……..backing up to a gorgeous cliff and creek. We prayed over the house, endllesssly talked about it, even fasted over it, but were unable to work out a satisfactory deal to purchase it. Sigh. For the next three years I held on to the hope that another house backing up to that gorgeous creek would become available. Not one. And, the real estate maket was crashing around us, with folks completely unable to sell their own homes. So, we gave up. Let go of it. The very next day an even better house went on the market, backing up to another gorgeous creek. We jumped on it, and the Lord even provided a buyer for our old house that week without even putting a sign in our yard!!!! We are involved in a ministry to international students and this house works a whole lot better for our activities in that ministry. We just have more room for students to stay with us. And, for a couple of seasons of the year, I get to spend time with Him overlooking the creek, love that! He is so good to us.

  42. 192
    Jacki says:

    Thank you, Beth, for sharing. Your post has, once again, touched me in so many ways. Maybe someday when we’re hanging out in Heaven together, we can sit down over a cup of coffee (there will be coffee, there, right?!?) and I can share with you just how much your life stories have influenced me and my family. Thank you for being so willing to share your heart with us.

  43. 193
    Sarah says:

    Dear Beth,

    I struggle with this every four years! It has been a home and housed our family for even a short period of time. We are waiting orders any day now. I cried as I put the Christmas train away. In this house we were given the baby we have waited 8 years for. Watched our other 2 children go from little children to approaching adolescence. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to leave a home of almost 30 years. I guess I am glad that we don’t stay in one location for too long. It would be much harder. Thank you for sharing. You put into words what my heart has been crying out about for the last couple of weeks!

  44. 194
    Debbie says:

    Oh Beth I just cryed with you feeling all those emotions. I promise you will become so thankful and grateful.God will bless you and your family beyond your imagination because you have allowed Keith to have the desires of his life. I followed my honey dragging my heels to the country 25 years ago. Looking back my Mom and Dad retired there, my children grew up there and now my 3 perfect grandchildren are growing up here. I am such a blessed woman and I know it is b/c I wasobedient to my sweet husband (which was not easy) but so rewarding. So hold on your life is about to change and it will be for the very best. Your stories will even get better. Keep us posted, Love you.

  45. 195
    Lisa B says:

    OH! My dear Beth I can relate so well to this! It was a bleesing to me this morning! It brought tears to my eyes and brought back so many memories of my own as I read each word! Thanks for sharing and I pray that you will have just as many memories in your new home.
    Love You Dearly
    Lisa B

  46. 196
    Beth says:

    … ah, yes, our longing for home, and the longing of our Bridegroom too, to bring us into all He has prepared. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be nor more pain, for the former things have passed away..” and He said, “behold, I make all things new” … “write, for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21:4-5) “Surely I am coming quickly.” (Rev. 22:20b)

    Beth, thank you for this beautiful post and for sharing your heart, which, so many of us can relate to. The Lord is using your experiences (as usual – even the new appliance breaking was for us – I so related to this!) to minister to us and to magnify Him … and in particular to remind me this morning, “don’t get too comfy down here … I have something better and I want your heart and eyes looking towards home.”

    Thank you!

    With much love and appreciation,
    Beth

  47. 197
    Crystal says:

    Beth, what a beautiful story. I loved reading every word of it. The funny (maybe crazy) thing is, I get it!

    May you enjoy your new home and all the love, peace, joy, hope, contentment and good health that you will find there.

    Blessings my sister.

  48. 198
    Jamie says:

    I’m in tears, sweet Beth. Thank you for sharing your journey through this. You have no idea how much I need it. Your Keith & my Mike have so much in common, it is hilarious, and we have been talking through many of these same issues. Thank you, honey, for staying honest & pointing me back to our eternal home.

  49. 199
    Kristi Walker says:

    Beth,

    I read this last night and it was one of the first things I thought about when I woke up this morning. I’m so happy for you and your new home. I know that’s exciting! Something about a new home is like that new notebook to me. Fresh new pages, memories and opportunities. At the same time, if you were in front of me I’d have just cried with you at leaving your home filled with so many memories…I actually got a little teary-eyed reading how you and Melissa cried together. Isn’t it awesome that the memories get to move right out with you, though?! We moved out of our first house after the first six years of marriage, and I cried like a baby. I’ve now fallen in love with our new home and after seven years here, I’m sure I’d sob if we left.

    God is so good, isn’t He?! I love knowing we have a Heavenly home that is permanent, for sure and eternal. Maybe we can all have a good cup of coffee together there one day and laugh and smile knowing it’s truly the home our hearts were longing for all the time…

    With love, Kristi

  50. 200
    jackie from MO says:

    thank you, Miss Beth, for this post. it brought me to tears.
    see you in a few weeks!

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