i realized as i awakened from last night's sleep that our lives are settling into familiar patterns. our house is more in order. my wife worked hard last week to straighten up two small rooms that have been piled high with boxes and small items that we hadn't figured out a place for, and now they are lovely rooms that we're not embarrassed to have guests go in. there are still lots of unfinished tasks, but the house looks nice and we are no longer reminded of how much is left to do as we look around it. that garage is still a mess, but we have storage cabinets coming that will allow us to unpack the remaining boxes and store their contents in good order.
we're having our family who live here over for lunch, and my wife has cooked a great meal from scratch for us to enjoy. this is the second "from scratch" meal she has cooked in our new kitchen; last week the two of us had a meal of delicious vegetables and pork chops. i've worked out a system for getting the yard mowed and the weed-eating done that doesn't leave me completely exhausted after it's all done. so life begins to feel more normal. we've even planned a trip that will last almost two weeks for late october and early november, our first pleasure trip since we put our former home on the market in late january.
the long journey from the home we lived in for thirty years to a new home several hours away and 250 miles north now feels like it has come to an end. our fatigue at the end of each day is not so hard to bear because an end to the days of unpacking, sorting, and placing the contents of several hundred boxes is in sight. what felt like someone else's home that we had taken over begins to feel like it belongs to us, as we look around at familiar objects arranged the way we like them. the second house guests from our old locale will arrive later today for a couple of nights' visit, and it's good to be welcoming old friends into what has become "our" home.
this transition has taken a lot out of us, but as i look back on the difficulties i am convinced that it was worth it. being able to feel at peace here and to look off the deck at the beauty of nature--the mountains, the forest, the sky--makes the move worth it. breaking free of our old routine and establishing a new "normal" here has reinvigorated us, despite the aches and pains. as i think back on what we've been through and the journey to where we are now, i am inspired to examine my interior life and question the old routines i've brought here with me. perhaps it's time for a re-examination of those stale patterns and the development of new ones to animate my heart, mind, and spirit. more about that later!
may each of us find ways to renew our lives, to cast off old ways that no longer serve us well. may we see that the pains that are a part of big changes are worth it in the end. may we be grateful for the strength to carry on despite the pain, and may we embrace the pain as a necessary part of realizing our goals and dreams. shalom.