The first time we moved from one campus to another as a family our kids were 2 months and 2 years old. I don’t remember much from that year but I do remember preparing for that move and all the ways God provided.
1. Pray Big!
For several months I prayed for God to sell our house before our second baby arrived. I learned from my mentor Kathleen Selje to pray big and pray specifically! I remember going next door to my neighbors on my due date with my toddler and my big belly, trying to get him to nap while my husband had an open house. To the amazement of our real estate lawyer (but not to me) we got an offer from our first and only open house. I delivered soon after. J
2. Get Help!
Next we had the enormous task of moving out of our home with a newborn and toddler and God provided again. More than once Barb and Bob Van Zante came over and helped us do the “putzy” packing. They carefully wrapped our pictures and fragile items in cardboard. Then they shared the best moving advice we have ever received – have a packing party! We invited our friends to come one Saturday morning and paired them off in each room of our house. We provided boxes, tape guns, 3×5 cards and sharpies in every room and they packed our house almost entirely by lunch. After lunch the men loaded the truck trailer we rented (you pack it and the company drives it for you) while the ladies inside finished up the last of the packing. Having packed our entire house by myself for other moves, I highly recommend this method over any other!!!
3. Help Your Kids Say “Goodbye” Well
The next time we moved I was less concerned about how to get it all done and more focused on helping our kids with the transition. They were 9, 7 and 4 and I knew the older two for sure would remember this change. One thing we did that made it special for them was host
a HUGE going away party held at our church. We had a bouncy house, face painting, potluck dinner and a giant cake. We invited all their friends from school, church, student friends, donors, and neighbors…pretty much the whole town. This combined party was a relatively easy way for us to say goodbye to many people all at once and a fun and memorable time for our kids.
We also took pictures of each child with every friend at the party and other events on campus and at school. Their friends signed a page in their photo album next to where the picture would be placed. They still look back at these albums almost 3 years later.
With our last move there were many sad goodbyes, and not just to people, but a lifestyle of being on campus full time. And yet as God faithfully does with every move, He provides new fruit and growth wherever He prunes. Not just in my life but in our kids as well. My promise verse and prayer every time we move is John 15:1-2,
“I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit].” (Amp. Version)
I pray if you are moving this summer you will see Him providing for your needs and growing new fruit in your life and the lives of your children!
Sherry joined staff in 1997. She robbed the cradle and married a handsome student (gasp!) named Jeff in 2000. Since then they have served in WI, SD and now in CO. They have 3 boys ages 7-12 and there is never a dull moment in their house. 2 years ago Sherry finally got her girl, a black and white lab mix who is her constant shadow. Jeff works with operations and training for collegiate. Sherry enjoys writing and encouraging mommy missionaries when she isn’t busy homeschooling. _____________________________________________________
Bonus Tips for Moving:
- Liquor stores are a treasure trove of sturdy, free boxes. Yes, it feels a little odd to pile them up next to the car seats in the minivan – but it’s worth it!
- Local newspapers often sell remnant rolls of paper (unprinted on) for just a few dollars. It is perfect for wrapping dishes and other fragile items. Plus your kids will have fun with the lifetime supply of giant art paper after the move.
- Use paper plates the week(s) before the move and after to keep your life as simple as possible so you can focus on the extra work of moving.