It has only been a month since we found a new home, and two months since we first talked about moving as a real potential this fall. But in some ways, it feels like a lifetime! I had forgotten how drawn out and tiring the moving process is. There’s the prepping for the move (both the mental work and the packing), the actual moving of possessions from one place to another, and then the unpacking and reorienting and re-situating. Add small children to that equation, and there are several more moving parts and several fewer hours a day of productivity.
Here are a few prayers and pieces of spiritual sanity that have kept me grounded in my recent move.
2 phrases from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans
I have two related grounding phrases, “Give grace” and “Grace abounds” (Romans 5:20). The second saying references the fact that the more craziness that exists, the more opportunities there are for grace. It didn’t take long for me to realize that for all the stress of the day to day, the opportunities for beauty and moments of connection overshadowed them. But during the hecticness of decision-making and work, I realized I needed to be the one to give that grace (in the form of patience) to everyone around me, including myself.
I had to learn and relearn to be flexible. Living out of our car in order to keep the house clean in preparation for showings took its toll. When I realized how much the kids were craving a routine (and how that was at the heart of everyone’s restlessness and angst) I tried to respond by implementing little makeshift routines as the days allowed. Then, the very unspontaneous and introverted me took up everyone on offers for help and offers to get together and visit before our move.
For as much stress and hard work was involved, the moments of bonding and seeing other people’s generosity kept multiplying. And I noticed that the more I saw those moments and rejoiced in them, the less overwhelmed I was.
A simple prayer of surrender
Jesus, I surrender myself to you; take care of everything. That simple prayer has helped ground me through the ups and downs. Whenever worries and anxieties popped up it came to mind as a way to offer the moment back to Jesus. For example, take these moments in the past month: “Our lender got hacked and we can’t close?!” “Why is there water under the sink and the fridge on moving day?!” “Wait, I thought you had looked up the steps to return the Uhaul — what are we missing?!” Ah, the hiccups along the way!
As I tie up loose ends and less-then-patiently wait on a few last pieces to fall into place to finalize everything, I still pray this prayer daily.
Turning to St. Joseph
St. Joseph, if this move is supposed to happen, make it happen. From the very beginning, my husband and I asked St. Joseph’s intercession for help in our moving decision making. No outside pressures or life circumstances were causing us to move, so we wanted to make sure we were making the best decision for our family. When our timeline seemed to stall, or when tensions rose around house hunting, we asked St. Joseph to help sort it all out.
Even as we dealt with our own and our children’s conflicting emotions surrounding leaving a place we loved, we asked St. Joe for help with that too. And he comes through! No, we didn’t bury a statue of him in the yard — that felt a little strange. But we did just ask him for guidance whenever the going got muddy and unclear.
Thanks, St. Joseph! Pray for us and all those moving this year!