Stuff of which memories were made…{or house for sale, and 20 years of life lessons}

Twenty years of setting down roots in one place can grow an awful lot of stuff.

Garage stuffed big from neglect over the last two years as a new job demanded much.

Boxes in the attic stuffed, closets somewhat stuffed, and bunches and bunches of books lining dusty shelves.

And then, the photos. Enough to wallpaper the entire 2132 square feet.

Albums to infinity and beyond, framed prints of all the years of growing up boys into men, and boxes of loose ones, too.

Snapshots of our lives here.

Moments captured in the blink of an eye, the click of a shutter, locked tight in heart safe forever.

With a nest nearly empty, the house — our home for so long — is being prepared for sale.

For Sale!

Purchased in 1992, after viewing 25 homes, did I even think a day would come when it would pass to the next owners?

We were a young family and my youngest son was born here, in that time when my last name was different and I thought all my dreams had come true.

But dreams sometimes shatter.

Bleeding, I picked up a million sharp-edged shards with choices to make…

Would it be the worst of times or the best of times?

Would I cling to the dead carcass or move forward with my head held high?

Would I implode in the rubble of happily-ever-after ended, or would I lean on my Lord for the strength to rebuild and raise my family?

And the best and the worst, the Light and the dark, the joy and the sorrow, they all mixed and mingled along the way like a bubbling concoction.

Over the last few weeks, Dearest Husband and I clean and sort stuff into piles — Give Away, Throw Away, Garage Sale and Keep — and I linger.

Days past seem to hop, skip and jump to life.  I can see those days clearly, feel them as they brush against my heart in tender caress.

Clutching mementos, for a moment holding fast. Some stuff forgotten recalls days never to be forgotten, all the many moments loved and lived in this old house.

And if the walls were storytellers, what tales they would tell.

Of love and laughter shared here.

And of darkness that pierced our very souls.

Making us cry.

Inviting fear.

And rage.

Changing us irrevocably.

Breaking my heart to see my children hurt, while nursing my own fractured wellspring.

And if He had not stepped in, the darkness would have swallowed us whole.

But Christ holding me, as Husband and Father to the fatherless, helping me stand Rock solid on quicksand. His Light and Love saving us as it conquered evil.

Eventually setting us free.

Helping us grow up.

Inviting us to share the best years of our lives {all the years of our lives} with Him.

If Jesus had not rescued us when our home divided and lives split open at the seams and entrails spilled out, I shudder to think what the consequences might have been.

How close we came to the abyss sometimes, as mother and sons each battled demons.  And sometimes each other. But He was always there, scooping us back to safety with a Love that never changes, never ends, never abandons.

He will never leave us.

Nothing will ever separate us from His Love.

He died to save us from our sins and give us an abundant new life.

Praise His Holy name.

Precious Lord Jesus…

All along this tangled way of 20 years past there was hope.  Sometimes dim for sure, but always, always hope.

Christ in us, the hope of glory.

And we made it.

By His Grace, Mercy and Love.

With miles to go, God willing, before we sleep. Hearts brimming with gratitude spoken, and so much more silent.  And I have new choices to make.

To lovingly let go.

Lay memories to rest, never forgotten, but put away.

So I write and remember, write and relive, write and release.

Then giving myself fully to what is in these wondrous and precious moments of now.

But in looking back, I am grateful for all of it, the good and bad.

By the Grace of God, pain altered my rough edges and deep wounds, breathing to life the woman I am today. Scars bearing witness to wounds healed ever since I first bent my knee to Him.

And He can heal all the broken places in your heart, too.

This slice of my life — single parenting with its wild roller coaster heartaches as well as bonds of love forged in ways that only a single parent and his or her offspring can know — is like a book once read, fondly recalled and lovingly placed on a shelf.

Twenty year tale is filled with life lessons that needed learning. Written by the One who loves me best of all, using all for good.

Like forgiveness.

Trust.

And learning to love.

Forming a testimony true, attesting to Grace.

Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night. And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony.  Revelation 12:10-11

And in letting go of the last two decades, I openly and joyfully embrace the new. Adventures and memories waiting to be made. Already being made! New dreams coming true! Ones I never even dreamed possible!!

With a man who has seen his own share of darkness and battled demons, too.

And like me, his lessons pummeled his heart Rock solid soft, full of love and forgiveness, with tensile strength and tenderness forged only in fire.

So we keep cleaning and sorting, till this work here is done, and I share pictures and relate stories as Dearest Husband listens, patient and kind.

Hearts humble and open as we close up the old place, willing to learn whatever else is necessary.

“Homeschooled at the Father’s hand,” says Dearest Husband.

Together lifting up our second half to Him who makes all things possible, praying for days far sweeter than before.

Putting lids on boxes of the past, snapping a few more photos.

Moving on with Him, believing the best is yet to be…

~sheila

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6 thoughts on “Stuff of which memories were made…{or house for sale, and 20 years of life lessons}

    • And is not our God a wild and dangerous God? We are holding each other’s hand tight and jumping off the precipice into the everlasting arms…Our adventure is His…may it bring Him great glory! Thanks, Jay.

  1. I have been through this process with 2 years to practice! I had the house on the market, did some sorting and organizing to show it but my heart wasn’t in it. Thank God for a dear friend with the gift of sorting who came to my rescue. It was part of the major sorting and giving away that has continued. Amazing how little is needed to live life, day to day. What remains will be things like treasured baby blankets-hand made, and decades of pictures from 34 years in this house! Little candy dishes and what-nots made by young and growing hands and presented shyly will be placed with honor on shelves and in book cases to bring smiles and appreciation for those sometimes hectic and chaotic but wonderful years when I was happy loving-and often praying-for my three children, then teens, then young adults making their way, on their own paths. My thoughts are with you as I continue in the process and you begin!

  2. looks like it’s time to move on … to say good-bye to stuff and collections and whatnots and accumulations, and to embrace what is ahead.

    keep the good memories in your heart, let the bad stuff go …

    you know that i wish you well, wherever you go!