The month of June is rushing by, it's (past) time to give a little update on our moving plans! We've had some pretty busy days recently, including a just-completed marathon weekend where we hosted guests three times and had four other gatherings with friends. We spent some time last week saying goodbye to favorite places around town, finishing up some homeschooling, as well as celebrating Chloe's birthday early since by the time her birthday actually arrives the house will be completely packed up. I have several hundred pictures from those days but will make no promises about when they might be posted! Since moving day is approaching with lightning speed, here's our timeline:
This week we MUST get the bulk of our packing done. We found a shipping company which will allow us to crate our furniture and household items back to the States for a reasonable cost. This is such a blessing! When we bought our furniture, we planned to be spending the next 20 years, give or take a few, here in Asia. But since the Lord has led otherwise, and there isn't much of a market for second-hand items here, we are so thankful to be able to keep our things and continue to use them in the States. This also saves us the hassle of having to purchase things all over again! Obviously, furniture--our piano, sofas, beds, etc--is the main thing, but there's no doubt that all that household stuff adds up too. Kitchen items will fill many boxes, I'm sure, as well as dishes, framed decorations, clothes, shoes, books, and all the random STUFF that is useful to have around the house. We will leave behind the majority of our electrical items since they won't work in America; we have plans to bring a couple of things and run them on a converter, but the majority of kitchen appliances, lamps, washer/dryer, etc, will all stay here and in fact have already been sold to friends.
The shipping company has certain requirements for us. By June 20 we must submit to them an itemized list of the number of boxes and larger items we plan to put in the shipping container, for customs purposes. The truck will come on the 24th to load all of those items into the container, and then we will have a few days of "limbo"--without any furniture or household items but still here; we'll probably stay with friends--and then we leave the 29th at 11:30 in the morning.
Obviously there are a ton of logistical details to making a move like this. Let me just say: if this wasn't the Lord's very clear direction, I would never want to do it! I'm very settled and used to my life here in Asia. I can speak well (enough), I have friends, I have a house helper, I feel glad and thankful for the work we've been able to do here. Packing up and moving my whole family overseas sounds like a lot of work! To be truthful, I'd rather be snuggled up with my girls, reading aloud and sipping iced coffee. BUT, this is the path HE has us on. His direction has been clear and confirmed, again and again. I have no doubt that we are doing the right thing and following Him. I just wish there was no packing involved! (can I get an "amen"? Anybody else hate packing?)
In the midst of the boxes and mess that my house is right now, I'm trying to steal moments to soak in the presence of the Lord and let Him prepare my heart for what's coming as well. When the girls bring something up about the move, I try to stop everything and listen. The other night, while sitting at supper, Clara Anne observed, "You know, Mommy, you have only lived a small part of your life here in Asia. I have lived my whole life here." I affirmed that yes, this was true. She continued, "So, it's different for me to move to America than for you." Again, I agreed, and reassured her that it's natural for her to feel some sadness at the idea of leaving the place she's known as her home for her whole life. But, there is also excitement at what is coming.
When asked recently about their feelings about the move, Clara Anne's words were: "I am so excited to see Grandpa and Grandma and Grandma Ann again. But I don't want to leave home."
Chloe said: "I want to go to America. Can Ayi (our house helper) come with us?"
When asked directly if she was excited to go to America, Christin said, "Yeah!" And that was about it. :) She's definitely the least aware of what's happening, not surprising since she's only three!
Any and all prayers for us would be appreciated this week! We meant to start the serious packing last Thursday already, but various things happened instead and now tomorrow is looking rather booked with other things as well. Soon and very soon, it will happen. It MUST happen! The clock is ticking!