I've moved so many times I've lost count. I know prior to the age of 18 I had moved over 22 times. I also know since I got married I have moved 10 times. Moving can be a time of stress. Boxes pile up and patience runs thin.
I try to pack things and label them in a very easy way. Special kid toys get packed last and unpacked first. I buy paper products to eat off of a few days prior to the move and pack up all the dishes. I have lots of little strategies to help me stay sane, and on track. Yet, something always happens.
One year the apartment we were moving to was being built brand new, just so happened moving day came and the apartment wasn't ready. The place we were living we'd already given notice and they'd already rented it out from under us. So we were stuck. Talk about an insane move with three kids, one of which was a baby. We ended up in a temporary place and God opened a door so that we got into a better apartment than the one we'd been waiting for. Most of our moves people have been sick, or things haven't lined up right or something has gone wrong.
Our last move gave us some good laughs after the fact. While cleaning our apartment, once it was empty, a random stranger came walking through, wanted to see what the places looked like. She had her dog with and it pooped on my freshly cleaned carpet floor. Talk about a shocker. Than after moving all day and cleaning we had to drive 4 hours to our new home. But our new home wasn't ready (again) so in the middle of the night we stopped for food. The only place open was Buffalo Wild Wings. It was way too loud for my three tired cranky babes, so we got food to go and found a hotel. We had to move everything into a garage and wait a couple days to move into our apartment. It was exhausting. Then in our new place we found human finger nails in the carpet, and regular nails. There was cigarettes in the window sills. It was awful! The place wasn't ready because they were cleaning....make me laugh. It took me weeks to get it clean. I was very unhappy and just wanted to turn around and go back where I came from.
Now we're about to move again. This time to our very own home. Our first house! This time we're very excited but still there are unknowns. Closing keeps jumping around. We may have to put stuff in a trailer or garage again. Kids are acting out with the lack of structure while packing. I know I need to look forward, press on, and stay in tune with God so the stresses of the move don't bring me down.
Last night at Bible study we were talking about Paul and Silas, how after being beaten and put in a dungeon like prison, striped and stocked they sat singing praises to God. The stocks broke open. The chains fell off. How awesome is that! It reminds me that no matter what we're going through, if we are praising God the shackles will fall off. I know that my stresses of a move are nothing compared to being beaten and imprisoned for Christ, however, the stress can still be a shackle in my life. So if I praise the LORD, the shackles will fall off!
This song has been in my mind since then... Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance!
Let God take off your shackles, lift up those praises!