The Thing To Know on a Day (or Month) of Firsts

 Ahh, this feels good, sitting down to tap fingers on keys. There have been a variety of firsts these last few days.

First night to sleep in the new home on Thursday.

First shower in the new place — nope, sorry, it wasn’t Friday morning. I left grungy and ready for a morning of cleaning the old house and returning the Uhaul truck.

(Don’t even ask about the toothbrush. You won’t want to know. Apparently, toothbrushes and deodorant will be the items left behind at the old house when moving, in case you wanted to know.  …Um, Friday evening, if you were wondering.)

First time I brewed coffee in this new house, after ransacking cupboards and boxes to find the beans, the grinder, and the glass French Press.

First sunrises, first sunsets. First time to fully watch where the sun traces shadows and light across the backyard, and calculating where we’ll put the raised garden bed frames, still caked with black dirt from our last house’s yard.

“Are you excited?” one of my youth group girls asked me, as I drove her to the other house to retrieve her green backpack.

“Well, we like this new house and are thankful to God for it, but we love the old house too. When we moved into the old house we thought we would be there for years, so we settled in, creating memories, dreaming of the future, making plans.

It’s like stopping a book, halfway through,” I grinned at Michael, glancing over at her as I shifted up in gears on the quiet road. A fellow book lover and artist, she gets this.

“Now I’m in a new book, and it’s a great book, but it feels odd to have stopped reading the other book, only halfway through.” Our two years in the other house felt like introductory chapters, with the plot just starting to pull together.

“This will be a great book too, I know,” I said, smiling at Michael as we pulled into the driveway, “but we’re feeling mixed emotions and some sadness too at saying goodbye.”

Wednesday morning and afternoon, my parents and close friend Shari and I dug up raspberry, strawberry, and rhubarb plants from the old house. We hoisted out withered-looking ferns, white shasta daisies, and yellow-budded flowers. Fingering through moist soil, we combed and fretted out innocuous gnarled bulbs of tulips, crocuses, and tall purple alliums. Hauling buckets of dirt and plants into our vehicles, we drove them to the new house. Before any tables or couches saw the inside of the new house, we spent the day slicing into soil and grass, burying roots and fragile wisps of life, anticipating their future beauty.

Along the side of a grey metal shed now stand eight crinkly-leaved raspberry plants. Three rhubarb shrubs lean awkwardly nearby. Each day we soak their roots in water, knowing this stage is tremulous.

In our mind, though, we know what they look like full-grown. We have seen them in good health, resplendently red and green, giant leaves like elephant ears, crowded and abundant. We have seen these plants in their glory, rooted deep in the earth, watered and soaking in the Light, and we know what’s coming.

The days pass, our excitement mounts as we settle into this new home, and the sun has just risen, arcing a few hours ago over the maple and fir trees to my left. Those raspberries and shasta daisies? Their leaves are unfurling in the Light, roots sinking lower.

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  1. Alecia Simersky on September 2, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I know all too well of leaving behind what you thought would be yours for good. New beginnings are hard, whether anticipated or not. Looking forward to stories of you in your new home. I know God must have something special planned for you there!

    To answer your question, we moved cross country, or at least it seems like it 🙂 We are adjusting, it just takes time, as you know. Take care!

  2. Deb on September 2, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    Trusting and patiently/impatiently waiting, packing, yearning….here, as we wait to know and lean hard into Hope. I'm anticipating what you're unfurling <3

  3. Bill (cycleguy) on September 2, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Congrats on the new place Jennifer. We may be in the same place soon. Depends on the one who wants to buy and how much he will offer. Should have an idea by Friday. (I have a link to the story in my blog today).

  4. Jayne on September 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Congratulations on your new home. Moving is so hard emotionally. What's that saying? Home is where your family is. Your memories from the old place will never fade and you'll find yourself saying, "remember the time when…"and not "remember at the old house." The new memories you make will be great!

  5. stuckinindiana on September 3, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Welcome to your new home!! I went through a similar time in our previous house – feeling as though it would have been THE home 🙂 God goes before you & behind you and is ever beside you. Blessings from your "Stuck In Indiana girl" friend 🙂

  6. Floyd on September 4, 2014 at 2:30 am

    If you didn't appreciate the other home and the memories made there it wouldn't be the heart your Father gave you… but He's got something even better for you. It will come from His heart and through yours and then to your family… Blessings to you, sister.

  7. Jennifer Dougan on September 4, 2014 at 5:33 pm


    You've just done a move too, huh? It's exciting and filled with thanks, yet changes and transitions as well.

    Thanks, friend.

    Jennifer Dougan

  8. Jennifer Dougan on September 4, 2014 at 6:09 pm


    Waiting, packing, yearning, and fiddling fingers in earnest prayer… yes, I get that! 🙂

    Lean hard into Hope, friend. He is so worth it and can hold up under the pressure.

    Love you,
    Jennifer Dougan

  9. Jennifer Dougan on September 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm


    You've piqued my interest and I need to catch up on blogs obviously. 🙂

    Jennifer Dougan

  10. Jennifer Dougan on September 4, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Thank you, Jayne. 🙂 "Home is where your family is" is a great and true statement, I think. I agree. Thanks.

    Enjoying this new place already and thankful for it,
    Jennifer Dougan

  11. Jennifer Dougan on September 4, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Hello Stuck in Indiana,

    "God goes before and behind you" — yes, what great truth, huh? Thank you.

    We are settling in each day, and feeling more at ease.

    Thankful for this home,
    Jennifer Dougan

  12. Wise Hearted on September 5, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    You can't have a new beginning without leaving the old. Glad you were able to carry all those outside belongings to your new house, it will be worth the work. My husband always says men do the move, women feel the move and your
    post proves that, lovely words Jennifer.

  13. Jennifer Dougan on September 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm


    Thank you. So true. "Coming from his heart, through yours, and then to your family" — what a great line of truth. Thanks,

    Jennifer Dougan

  14. Jennifer Dougan on September 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm


    Nice to have you here. "Men do the move but the women feel the move" — what an interesting thought. Probably.

    We are feeling more settled this week, I'm noticing, and are thankful for this house.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan

  15. Capacity Corner on September 10, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Thanks for your great posts about life and joy and looking upward. Blessings,

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