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packing up the future and discarding the past

August 25, 2009

When Andy and I moved into our tiny apartment, we amassed a great deal of (mostly free) second hand furniture and brought out most of our wedding gifts right away.  We were idealists with big ideas of hospitality and organization and a full, warm loving home.

Two years later, we’ve had lots and lots of hospitality, we’re very organized, and I’d like to think our home is loving, but four walls sure do put a cold, hard boundary on fullness and warmth.  Our extensive furniture collection has been wonderful in accommodating all of our guests.  The pretty dishes are so pleasant to pull out for suppers.  But, when there are no guests… we are tripping over furniture and living in mortal fear of stone 5-quart bakers crashing down upon our heads from precarious shelving.

So, we have started to store and discard.  Our table was covered in my favorite dishes to be packed up.  Our foyer is full of huge cardboard boxes housing jars, decorations, books, and more.  

But then, somewhere in the pile of old clothes to be discarded I found old red sweatshirt in the thrift-store pile that I was wearing one particularly special night for Andy and I.  I began to flip through old pictures and the sweatshirt was popping out from many, many of my favorite photos.

Then I realized that we’re doing two things that are emotionally difficult.  The first is beginning the long task of packing up our “non-useful” things for an indeterminate, and alternately longed for and terrifying date in the future when we will move.  The second is packing and getting rid of the old things, things that have a lot of memories attached. 

It makes me feel so homeless, floating in this dorm-style existence with good things reserved for the future and familiar things relegated to the past but nothing much special for right now, scraping through this period of life.  It’s more an emotion than a reality, of course, as my home is still full of beautiful and comfortable things.  But after two years, the newness of having our own life and home has worn off and we are both beginning to long for settledness – a place to actually build a physical future – and that may be very far off.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mollie permalink
    August 27, 2009 11:03 am

    You’ve reached that point! It happens, inevitably, to everyone after a few years of marriage. I was ready to pull my hair out. There are times that I STILL don’t always feel “settled.” So, I totally get what you’re feeling. This week, I’ve been reflecting a lot on Philippians 4:11-13. A good friend and I have started reading “Calm My Anxious Heart”, and it’s been awesome. I have a tendency to spend my time longing for what I don’t have, instead of being grateful for the place in life where God has put me NOW. Praying for you, sweet Leah!

  2. abbybarr permalink
    September 1, 2009 2:43 pm

    i’ve heard some great thoughts over the last year on “homesickness”–that feeling of longing for somewhere else or some future place/time… only to find out when it comes that it isn’t quite home either (and then being tempted to look back on past familiar coziness as “home” and longing for that). i read that ever since adam and eve left the garden, we’ve never really felt at home here… and we never really will. it’s a hard, aching, yearning though. i think C.S. Lewis used the word “sehnsucht” from german… which has connotations of hunger, grief, and joy–all at once.

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