Saturday Morning, April 11, 2015
Last night, I couldn’t sleep. My mind was on our move. We are leaving our large home with four bedrooms a 2 ½ bathrooms to a much smaller home; 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom built in 1950. The actual year Willie and I were born. This summer we both turn 65, another major adjustment. Our new house, beautifully and humbly laid out, is sufficient for my husband and me at this time in our lives.
Even so, my heart sank as we returned from inspecting our new home and walked into the expansive living area of our current home. It hit me, we will barely be able to take anything with us. Where the rooms are spacious with a family room, living room, and dining room; our new home will have a tiny area for the kitchen table and chairs. The upside, there is a beautifully bright family room, an addition extending the living space of the small Cape Cod. I suffered the thought of getting rid of 90% of our “stuff”. This spacious house allowed me, a literary pack rat, to shelve my books and papers. Bookcases and shelves that allowed me to stockpile folders, papers and books. Open areas where I line up bags and cubes of clothes which cannot fit into the limited closet space in this large home. And we currently have a two car garage where our new home will barely accommodate our two cars in the compact car off-street parking spaces in the front of the house.
After our daughter went out with friends, and my mother-in-law and husband went on to bed, I went out to our garage and began bringing in boxes and piles of papers. These papers and boxes contained research papers and articles written by me. I had to begin the process of eliminating unnecessary stuff. I was successful in filling two lawn size trash bags of papers and retired to my bed.
As I lay there staring at the ceiling, my mind went back to the tiny new home and the limited storage space. In my anxiety, I recognized I would not easily fall asleep, so I rose and went down to the kitchen to make some Tension Tamer tea laced with Noni juice. As I sat down to the table, I spoke to God about how I was feeling. I was moved to get something to write down my thoughts. I knew this would also ease my anxiety to get the words out of my mind and onto paper. That is exactly how I have over the years accumulated so many piles of papers. It is my way of cleansing my mind and spirit of negative thoughts.
I went to the box where I placed my spiral notebooks and returned to the kitchen table. The first page in the book were notes from my church’s 2005 Watch Night Service titled, “May The Source Be With You.” Pastor Holland spoke from Jonah 1 and Isaiah 43:16-21. Our theme for 2006 was “New Beginning In The Lord”.
I turned the page and BAM…”You’ve got to let go of the former things.” Isaiah 43:18 and “…I am making a new thing” Isaiah 43:19. It is just like God to lead me to the one book in the box where he could direct my path for this move. I thanked him, finished drinking my tea and returned to bed. I slept very soundly until Tank, our six year old pit bull, needed to go out. I easily fell back to sleep and woke up rested and ready to continue the purge.
Footnote: As I was typing my actual notes from that sermon, the Lord reminded me this was the night I gave testimony of a year prior, my New Years was much different. My late husband Donald had passed away December 16, 2003. I wasn’t a member of Green Grove or even attending a church. I had grown in the Lord dramatically through 2004 and my life was on a much more positive track. He also reminded me, it was the night my husband, Willie Richard Smart, Jr. crossed over to shake my hand. He told me he understood what I had been going through and if there was anything he could do to help me, to just ask. You see, Willie’s wife had passed away three months earlier. He was still grieving, and understood we were members of an elite club. We did not know God had orchestrated that meeting. Four-and-a-half years later, we were married in that same sanctuary.That night was a new beginning for the two of us, and God wanted us to put our former lives behind us because He had a totally new beginning charted out for our future.