I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A moving experience

Delores Topliff

The phrase, a moving experience, may equal tender tears, stomach acid-churning crisis, or exhilarating inspiration. It may also mean that after living in my home eleven years, without planning to move, while collecting enough treasures that one grandchild calls my home the Topliff Museum, I found myself eliminating, moving, and consolidating into a smaller space. Yikes!

In the process, I got reacquainted with the books stacked three-deep on my crowded shelves. I’m rereading some to see which I can part with--only one so far--sigh.

It’s also true that one broken 30-year-old broken pacemaker lead created an emergency condition--surgical replacement five days before the move. Yes, I’d done prepacking, but experienced exhaustion I understand now. I’m thankful God kept me and that tiredness isn’t a permanent condition.

Unexpectedly two people cheerfully stepped in to take over packing and lifting. One drove five hours each way. Another 37 miles across town had attended a mutual church years ago and on Facebook saw I was moving and needed surgery. She volunteered--three days so far. The result? Rekindled friendships reminding me I love people even more than books!

New house, new scenery, and building new memories. Yes, moving was hard with some sense of loss. I’m not entirely unpacked, but am looking forward to the fresh things God will do. I’m already seeing some.

There’s a stream out back, and a wooded park beyond. For the past two days, a marvelous great egret has come dipping and flapping, threatening Mallards and Canada Geese away, exerting territorial claims. Inside the house, my grandchildren are happy. My son says my presence helps. I’m changing some familiar decorating patterns, rearranging book collections on shelves, and taking my time. Some walls need painting. I’m shopping for the right curtains and rods.

All in all it's a moving experience--one kindling fresh interests to keep me young.

What about you. What recent voluntary (or involuntary) event has been a moving experience for you?


  1. Delores, you are truly an inspiration. To have such a wonderful attitude after everything you've been through - wow! Blessings on your new life, my friend.

  2. Dee, I love seeing how God brought you through your moving experience. Your first three things—tears, crisis and inspiration have been a part of most of our physical moving experiences as Uncle Sam moved us from one place to another. More recently, I'm walking through a different sort of season. God is opening my eyes to see him in unique places in my day. And He's helping me foster a spirit of gratitude through it.

  3. When I grow up, I want to be just like you! :-)

    1. It's good to have such wonderful role-models for us "young" folk ;)

  4. Thanks, Stacy. I'm so thankful to have energy to make a difference.
    Jeanne, I know your new glimpses will shine in your writing.

  5. Although two-and-a-half years is not recent, it was when I quit my job of 16 years, packed up the house hubby and I lived in for almost 20, and traveled across the country to Nevada. Although the unpacking went smoothly and we've been settled in for quite awhile, I can honestly say, it has taken my heart much longer to adjust.

  6. Ah, moving.
    As a military family, we moved -- although not as frequently as some military families I know. Most challenging move? The one to Turkey, with a 5 y.o., 2 y.o., and a 3 month old. Required a 20+ hour flight ... I will let your imagination wander.
    Now I am watching my daughter prepare to move into her first home -- they will close the week of Thanksgiving. No, not her first move, but a monumental one.

    1. Reba, right back atcha.
      Jennie--I felt your transition to the depth of my toes, especially in adjusting to such drastic climate changes in your beloved gardening (at which you're extremely gifted).
      Beth, I don't know how you made some of those adjustments, but I applaud you and the wisdom and maturity gleaned. Applauding now also for KB & Nate as they begin their wonderful maiden voyage.

  7. My cross-country move two years ago was exciting and sorrowful. I moved to marry my wonderful husband but left half my family, who are young adults, behind. I still miss them and hate missing out on their every day lives, but it was still worth it to have my new life.

    In my home schooling days, we carried 50 boxes of books across country. I've pared down to 1/2 of that.

    Thanks so much for sharing your moving story, Dee. You always amaze me.


  8. The most painful move I ever made was from the Navy Post Graduate school back to Pearl Harbor. I remember driving away from friends I had finally made there during our near 3 year stay. I remember thinking how I was leaving my 2 little one's childhood behind us. How #1 learned not to be afraid of the dark and #2 learned all about trains and sandboxes and running around the quad. I cried for the first time at leaving the military housing. I've moved five times since that experience and I've never reacted the same way. I guess it was just being a young mother who had finally made friends and who was embarking into the unknown with much uncertainty, that did it. I think mostly it was because I learned to let go of my grief in that house over losing my father. And I learned to become content as a Navy wife. To follow my husband where ever he led us.
    I've now lived in the same house for 10 years. An absolute record! And if I had to move again, I would be okay with that as all my memories are scattered across the US anyway.
    I would, however have a difficult time leaving my country behind. But even in that, I know there would be grace.

    Dee, you're an absolute hero to so many of us. Thank you for your insights. They are treasured.

  9. Wow, a lot of us have had moving experiences, and it's made us deeper, richer, wiser, w/ more to give others--and you great ladies do. I'm so glad to know and love you all.

  10. Had some thoughts describing you: :)
    Resilient, flexible & strong
    Forged by fire
    Anchored in hope
    Loving much and much loved

    1. Jenn, your words have touched me. Thank you.

  11. Dee, you so inspire me with the way you put a positive spin on everything, even moving from your home of 11 years. Praying it won't be long before the new place "feels" like home!