Thursday, June 4, 2015

What Moving Looks Like for Us

I should be packing right now. 

Because, three weeks. 

In just over three weeks we’re boarding an American-bound plane for yet another trans-global move, this time for a one year home assignment. 

I’d like to think that we’re going to be totally on top of things this time.  No more last minute insanity. 

But who am I kidding? 

Let me tell you how it’s going to go.

Every day these next weeks, I will plan to pack and sort.  And then a friend will text to get the kids together to play because the sky is blue and how many more times will our kids get to play together?  And I will say “yes” because, of course.

I will start each morning with some journaling and not be able to stop because this writing it down is saving me.  All the feelings.  All the thoughts. 

I will go out for all those dinners, because if I don’t say goodbye to those dear ones, my heart will break and I will kick myself when I’m gone.  I will take their sweet going away gifts and discreetly slip them in the give-away box. 

And I will ask that family over for a dinner, because I need us to sit and laugh and share all our stories just one more time.  I need us to leave well. 

I will sleep very little the last week before we move.  There will be lots of late nights, because I’ve been doing all the above.

Also because packing while 3 kids are awake in a little apartment is … not what you’d call productive.

On that last day, my husband and I will scramble around, we will argue over the last items that can’t fit. 

Then time will freeze for a moment and we will hold each other in the middle of the chaos, the two of us surrounded by all the luggage.  I’ll lean my head on his shoulder, his arms wrapped round me.  I’ll remember all the times we’ve done this moving thing, how I’d do it all over again to live this life, this story with this man. 

Then a child will yell and break the spell.    

I will ugly cry when we shut the door on our empty home.  Because I always do.    

We will say our last goodbyes, and I will cry more.   

And then just the five of us will go hide at a hotel near the airport for 2 nights.  Because I’ve learned I cannot get on an airplane like this, or my sanity might be left somewhere over the Pacific Ocean forever.

We will spend an entire day swimming in the hotel pool, eating good food, and sleeping…finally sleeping.    

Then I will step on that plane, shoulders aching from the carry-on that was supposed to be nice and light, but magically grew heavy.

There won’t be a lap baby this time, which is worth a whoop, holler and a sob.

I’ll lean my head back against my seat as the engines thrust us into the air.  I’ll watch China slip away beneath us. 

That’s when I’ll breathe this, my airplane/moving prayer…

That is, I predict, how these next three weeks are going to go. 

What does moving insanity look like for you?

I'm linking up with Velvet Ashes at The Grove.  Our prompt this week is "Sanity."  


  1. Oh Danielle, tears, tears, tears!! The inability to pack with children awake, the crying over the last closed door, the crying over the loss of a lap baby, yes, yes, yes, all these things. And that prayer, that prayer, it's mine too. So close to my heart. Across an ocean, literally on the wings of the dawn, literally settling on the far side of the sea. How could David have known to write these truths, so long ago? And how precious of God to include them in His Word. What a gift to us global nomads.

    1. You know, I never quite thought of that verse like you describe - as God's gift through David to future global nomads. Now that verse carries even more depth for me. Thank you, Elizabeth, for that, and for feeling the tears over all the same things with me.

  2. Danielle, the two nights at the hotel? Inspired! We have been there... way too many times than I'd like to count, but thankful we don't "go" alone and thankful to read my heart in your words. xo

    1. Well, ask me how inspired the idea is after we've actually done it. :) I don't want to have TOO high of expectations for that hotel time, but I know right now, even the idea of it is helping me through the insanity.

      And I often read my heart in your words, so glad it's mutual.

  3. oh, Danielle, this sounds oh, so familiar!

    I always start packing several MONTHS ahead of time - because I don't handle arguing over the last things that won't fit very well when I'm also grieving. But - somehow it always happens anyway. :-)

    And - we get on the plane - and then layover somewhere a few days in between. I call our few days somewhere in between our "wood between the worlds" ...

    1. "Wood between worlds" - I love it. I really like the idea of doing an extended layover. Maybe when our kids are a bit older we'll do that. For now, I know I'll just want something that is known and familiar, where I know how to get around with three littles. Also, I did want it to be in country, since I will need that time to say goodbye to this place AFTER the bags are packed and I don't have to worry about that anymore. :)

  4. Yes yes yes! I am moving out of my house in 10 days (!!) to a temporary place until I make the trans-global move in August. And how many things to I have in boxes headed for storage? Zero. Equally nothing in my "I need to take with me piles" Praying for your move Danielle, and for the last few weeks to be precious.

    (Oh and going to a hotel for a few days before leaving? GENIUS.. So totally doing that next time)

    1. Angi, you're a last minute girl after my own heart. :) Hope you've been able to make some progress in the time it's taken me to reply. Thanks for your prayers. Prayers for you, for the impending move and the big move in August!

  5. This is so beautiful Danielle. I read pretty much everything on VA and the Grove and always find myself nodding in agreement, though I don't comment or post much. Thank you for sharing your heart and may God pour out his grace on you in these weeks!

    1. Leigha, I've been a silent reader on many sites, so I understand! Thanks for taking the time to reach out and comment. Glad to have you along at VA, silent or not. :)

  6. You are such a gifted communicator, Danielle! Where are you going to be staying while you are in the U.S.? If you are going to be in SoCal for any period of time then we would love to see you! We pray for you and the boys always mention you when China is brought up during any type of conversation. Let me know! =) - Nicole Weinreich

  7. Hmmmm. My heart aches with yours this month. I love you, dear friend!

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  9. love this, and didn't expect to be brought to tears. we're at 9 weeks left before we move and it makes me feel like I can't breathe when I really think about it. Glad to know that I'm not alone and that others have gone before.