Sorting through answers

A collection of vintage Christmas balls I strung on some gold ribbon in my bathroom window.

Is it weird that I can’t wait to go work on my house this weekend? What I used to dread with the agony of a thousand small ant bites, I now anticipate with an excitement similar to going to Disney World or a girl’s weekend away.

What I am embarking on is a lot – and I mean a lot – of work, but it is essential as I move on and ahead in my journey. The work I’m doing is summed up in what should be a simple question but because of its emotional weight, is one I struggle to answer: Should it stay or should it go? This question is the crux of what I’ve asked God for years as I sought His direction: Do I stay or do I go?

And, if you are like me, you now have that popular song in your head, “Should I stay or should I go now?”

Here are two assurances that I read and re-read and remember when I’m praying about my future: Proverbs 16:9 “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (NIV) and Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(NIV)

With a so-not-like-me enthusiasm for cleaning, I look forward to dragging the empty boxes I’ve gathered from co-workers’ trash piles into the house, filling them with the stuff I’m keeping after sorting. Sorting involves methodical decision-making through the cob-webbed corners of closets and attic spaces. It’s the culmination of a 9-year season of life answered in a You Stay or You Go.

The last two weekends I spent two days each sorting, clearing, cleaning, trashing, piling, and purging the contents of my house. I am determining, slowly – and with the loving help of friends and family – does it stay or does it go. I can see the end.

The things I’m keeping go in one room: memories of childhood birthday parties, a Caboodles box full of jewelry I coveted as a preteen, a box of old dolls and even some Barbies, a yearbook from fifth grade and seventh grade, a hand-stitched baby blanket, and then there are the things I need and things I want.

The things I’m selling are going in another: old china collected as a teenager from Goodwill and Salvation Army but never ended up converting into a broken china-framed mirror, barely-used clothes from high school and college and shopping sprees gone-bad, purses, lots and lots of housewares, toys, linens, you name it.

My pile to sell is a lot bigger than the pile to sell. And, the pile I loaded into the trash was almost as big as the pile to keep. Kinda scary what I hold onto – mostly because I think I’ll need it one day.

Blessedly, The Question of whether I stay or go has been answered.

I will go from this place, but take it with me forever. I love my home – a 1907 Southern charmer with a tin roof, sweeping veranda and hardwood floors. It needs painted and it’s well-loved on the inside but it’s a very comfortable home for a small family or two active singles to share. I would love to sell it just for a financial release but I am practical that in this economy it’s not realistic. I’m praying for the right opportunity – for me and for the ones to next live in my home. In the meantime, like Esther, I’m preparing.

And the interesting thing about living in a home that is more than a Century old – you are not the first nor will you be the last to decide, “Should I stay or should I go?” We share a history and we look to the future – it longing for a fresh coat of paint and me, longing for the day I embark on this new season He set before me as a wife.

Isaiah 58:11 “The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.” (NIV)

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2 thoughts on “Sorting through answers

  1. I love this post. I’m in a similar situation, I know I’m going, but even though the decision has been made, my heart has yet to be 100% convinced that it’s time. This translates into dragging my feet on preparations for selling. I will take this post and keep it close to remind me that I’m not the first, nor the last that will have to make this decision.

    p.s. I’m so glad you’re writing again, I feel like each post I read of yours I’m inspired in one way or another.

  2. Thank you! I am glad you’re reading them – and I love that we share this (and other) similiarities. 🙂 Thanks again, Wendi – and thank you for inspiring me! You do — and I thank you for it! 🙂

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