The Place You Set Out From {FMF: Try}

We were newlyweds when we purchased our first home—a brand new one. We must have walked through the model a million times, picturing ourselves in it. How would we decorate? What would life look like in the house that love built? Oh, the memories we would create in our own slice of heaven.

The sales office told us it was the last single-story they would release. A sweet, little one on a corner lot. “Come early,” they said. “Who knows how many people will line up to try to purchase this one.”

So we prayed and decided we would try too.

We set the alarm for 2:00 am and we drove to the building site ready to stake our claim. We’d camp in front of the sales office, lean against their door, and be first in line. That house was going to be ours! When the sales team showed up at 7:00 am on Saturday morning, we were the only ones waiting for them.

Two years later, we would bring our baby boy into that home.

He’d take his first steps in the family room and say his first words in the kitchen.

We’d celebrate birthdays, Christmases, and first days of school.

Family, friendship, and God would fill that place, our safe haven, our sweet spot.

Fifteen years later, a “sold” sign stakes the lawn and new owners are ready to create their own memories in this place that holds so many of mine—this place that holds my heart. And I’m trying not to be sad. I’m doing my best to look forward with excitement and anticipation of what is to come, of the new memories we’ll create in the new home that love will sustain.

But the truth is, my heart aches. 

I stand in the kitchen with the hardware hand-picked, cabinets I chose, counters I’ve rolled cinnamon bun dough on, and I know I’m going to miss it so much. The apricot tree in the backyard is finally starting to grow and I won’t get to see its first blooms. I’m trying not to be emotional about it, but I’d be lying if I said there haven’t been a few (dozen) tears.

New beginnings can be so bittersweet.

God is reminding me that change isn’t easy, but it is good. The opportunity for a fresh start is up ahead and His hand hovers over every single detail. New memories await us and we’ll have room to spread our wings. He keeps nudging me forward, with whispers to not be scared, but to trust. He’ll provide—He is able, He is willing.

I’m trying to breathe. Trying to believe. Trying to get excited about packing up 15 years of life.

home1

As much as every corner of this home delights my heart, the true joy is what rests within it. My people, the ones who do life beside me, they are home. The memories we’ve captured, the family we’ve created, and the deep love we’ve cultivated for one another, those things can’t be packed in a box. They can’t be left behind. They go with me.

That’s what I’m trying to remember.


This post is a link-up to the Five-Minute Friday community. An inspired and beautiful group of gifted writers who pour their heart on the page over one word prompt. Come join the Friday free-write festivities or the early bird joy on Thursdays on Twitter @ #fmfparty. For details, please visit our gracious hostess, Kate Motaung.

26 thoughts on “The Place You Set Out From {FMF: Try}

  1. Oh, friend – my heart hurts with you. While I know God’s hand is upon our sale and eventual move to a different home…a “fixer upper” as we feel he’s leading us to, I agree with your words above. I’m glad that when we leave this place it will be as a family and one who celebrates togetherness and not the walls in which we dwell. I’m reading Kristen Strong’s new book “Girl Meets Change” and her husband is in the military so there’s been a lot of moving in her life. Just today I stumbled onto the scripture in Acts. Acts 17:26 to be exact and it softened up my heart a bit. “From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.” – and it just reinforces the fact that He knew all along where I would live and rise and fall with this family. It’s nothing I need to worry myself over. And for whatever reason, I just take comfort in that right now. Even as I shed a few tears over leaving this home of nearly 9 years…

    1. Several people have mentioned that book. When life calms to the able-to-read stage, I’m going to check it out. Love the verse – so glad that He determines our path and sets those safe boundaries around us. It’s daunting to think on navigating any of this without His sovereign hand. It’s hard – physically and emotionally – but at the end of the day I know that it all filters through God’s hands. Wish we could cry over a cup of tea together, but know that you are in my prayers sweet friend. Hugs!

  2. Beautiful post, Tiffany. You capture so well the bitter-sweet moments when life changes and we need to embrace a new thing. And I love these words because they sum up what a home and family really mean to all of us:”the true joy is what rests within it. My people, the ones who do life beside me, they are home” Oh yes, Amen! May God give you peace as you place your trust in Him for this move. Praying all goes well, dear friend. :) x

  3. Wow that is a beautiful writing. I can so relate to it as we are considering a move from our home of 25 years. So many memories here, our children were not raise here but all six grand children know this as grandma and grandpa’s home. I think home is where your loved ones are, not just a house with walls.

    1. I’m packing this week, Sharon and DONT DO IT!! lol. It’s more work than I imagined, but God plans are better than I can imagine too, so off we go. Thanks for visiting and for your kind words. :)

  4. Beautiful post, Tiffany! You will always have such lovely memories of your first home. I can feel how full your heart is through your beautiful words. :) One thing I know about God: With Him (and His plan for us), the best is ALWAYS yet to come. You’ll have many more wonderful times in your new home with the ones you love.

  5. Awww, my friend. You captured so much of what your home’s meant to you! The great thing is, you’ll build wonderful new memories in your new home. And the memories go with us. I’m not discounting the heartache, I’ve been there. I am praying for you, sweet friend.

    1. Thank you, friend. I know, that you know, what this moving business feels like. And I’m confident the new memories will come because God is just so good that way. Always grateful for your encouragement and support. Now, if I could just gather all you sweet ladies up for a packing party! ;) xoxo

    1. Lol … I said the same thing! And then God moved and we decided we should too. :) Thank you for your prayers, Marie. I’m leaning into His ease and looking forward to being settled again. Thanks for visiting, friend.

  6. I work with a number of missionaries who have to pack up their lives and move every few years – they go through the same sorrow… there’s no getting round it. Only going through it. And it does deepen our perspective that we haven’t yet reached our final destination. Gotta keep moving… Praying for you in your transitions.

    1. Thank you, Ruth. You are quite right, the only way is through it. I’m certain the Lord has some good lessons for me to glean along the way as well. Thanks for the perspective today.

  7. I feel for you, that must be very hard! We’ve lived in our home that we built for 17 years now and although we discuss moving across country to retirement sometimes, I don’t see how I can leave this house behind where my kids grew up. So I’ll be praying for you, my friend. But you’re right. Home is where your family is, and they are your heart. You will make new memories and God will be gracious. :)

    1. The prospect of all that is involved in picking up life and hauling it elsewhere is kind of daunting, right? I’m looking forward to new memories and trying to hold the older stuff loosely. I don’t need the walls to remember the good times. Thanks for being here, Ruthie!

  8. Oh Tiffany! It really is so hard to say goodbye. But you’re right those memories and your people go with you. During seminary it seemed like I was always saying goodbye. A friend recommended Joyce Rupp’s book “Praging Our Goodbyes!” And just think of all the ways you can make your new house yours!!

    1. That’s what my hubby keeps telling me. Every time we visit the new house, it feels so hollow. But, once my things and my people are in it, I’m praying it feels like home. :) Thanks for visiting and for cheering me on, friend. xo

  9. Aahhh.. sweet friend! My heart breaks for you! Change is hard and saying goodbye is yucky! I remember a yard sale many years ago when we sold the infant car seat we had brought all our babies home from the hospital in. As the truck pulled away with that seat in it I burst into tears. Right there in the middle of my yard with other customers standing around. My hubby felt so bad for me. He was ready to chase down the truck and get it back but I said, “no”. it was time to let it go.

    It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry. Those are beautiful memories in that house and it’s okay to grieve the goodbye of those four walls and kitchen counter.
    Big hugs and love to you as you journey through these next days and weeks. Snap pictures, write words and pack memories… it’s all this beautiful life! Love ya sweet friend!

    1. Yes, I have a feeling I’m going to be taking a lot of photos of an empty house. :) It is a hard change, but for so many reasons the timing is right – God has made sure of that. I’m not very good with big transition, but I’m good with God and I think that is the thing that is pushing me forward knowing that He goes before us. Now if He could only pack for me. ;) Thanks for your sweet and faithful encouragement, friend. You always bless me. Hugs!

  10. This is beautiful. I just finished an advanced copy of Kristen Strong’s book “Girl Meets Change.” It was packed with wisdom about change. What you’ve said here sounds like you’ve got a good perspective on holding on while still letting go. Happy weekend, friend.

    1. I need to read that, Kristin! I’ve seen it in a few spots. While I’m not planting my feet, I am dragging them a bit. Leaning into God and believing Him for new adventures. Thanks for being here, friend. xo

  11. Oh, I can relate! Even though I moved a lot, certain places just hold dear memories and a piece of your heart. And I guess that is okay. I hope you will find a new place to set down roots and make many new memories! – your FMF neighbor!

    1. I hope for that too, Katha. I’m a settle in kind of girl so I haven’t really moved around a lot. Praying for that sense of home to go with me. Thanks for stopping by, neighbor.

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