Keep Building (Prayer Devotional for the week of October 12, 2014)

One of the most frustrating aspects of moving to a new house is not being able to find things that you could’ve sworn you used to own. A couple of weeks ago, the shower handle broke off into my hand when I tried to turn off the water. I didn’t panic, because I’m a fairly clever gal, and I knew that I had basic tools to tinker with and try to fix it.


For starters, I needed a medium size Phillips-head screwdriver, a wrench, and pliers. What did I find in my freshly unpacked toolbox? One gigantic screwdriver and one small enough to repair eyeglasses. I couldn’t find a crescent wrench to save my life, and the only pliers I saw turned out to be wire cutters. I don’t know how most of my tools managed to not get packed, but I had to make a trip to the hardware store, stat.


Speaking of tools, Nehemiah knew a thing or two about moving, building, and new beginnings. He sought the favor of King Artaxerxes to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the city’s war-torn walls. Section by section, he and countless individuals worked together to repair the gates and walls of the city. In Nehemiah 4:14, he encouraged his helpers to not fear those who opposed the rebuilding effort. He said, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”


Maybe you haven’t physically relocated to another house, but perhaps life has thrown some obstacles in your path that feel like one rerouted detour after another. Don’t fear. Remember the Lord, who is GREAT and AWESOME! Equip yourself with spiritual tools like the ones described in Ephesians 6. Don’t listen to the detractors who try to tear you down; keep building!

Packing surprise

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Found my lost earring!

I don’t usually wear a lot of jewelry. I have one watch that I received as a parting gift for my tenure as Chair of the Staff Council five years ago, and I wear it almost daily. I have a few of Lisa Leonard’s necklaces and her lovely silver bracelet with discs of each of the boy’s names that I wear often. My jewelry box also contains several pairs of earrings, though I tend to wear the same 3-5 more than any others.

One of my favorites is a pair of oblong silver hoops. The selfie photo doesn’t do them justice, because you can’t really see the etching/texture. Several months ago, I lost one of the hoops. I was disappointed, but I couldn’t bring myself to throw away the match. While I was cleaning out my closet to get the house ready to show, I found the lost hoop! It was a nice surprise during an otherwise arduous chore.

Speaking of cleaning and packing, whew! I haven’t gone to bed before midnight all this week, and I am zonked. The good news is that the house is tidier than it has been since we moved in five years ago, and although it may lack froufrou decor, at least it’s spacious and open for people to walk through without tripping over video game cables, laundry baskets or random things that kids leave out because they apparently lack the eyesight to see things right under their noses.

2014-06-18 12.39.10I’m not one to talk, honestly. Housekeeping has never been my strong suit, and I struggled to keep my small apartment tidy when I was young and single, much less nowadays. It’s a huge challenge for me. My bedroom looked like a unit from Storage Wars, with a bed in the middle and a chair in the corner. It wasn’t as bad as Hoarders, but six years of grad school materials, plus five kids’ pipe cleaner & bead bracelets, lost teeth that the Tooth Fairy stashed in zip baggies, old pictures and handmade keepsakes that I couldn’t throw away in front of them had really piled up over time. It felt so good to throw things away (discretely, in case someone noticed his knotted string bracelet that he made “just for me” in the garbage), box up things that were to keep, and give away bag after bag to Goodwill.

Between the Realtor, friends who came over to help sort & pack, handymen and a housekeeper, we’ve had a lot of people in and out of the house over the past couple of weeks. Bruiser and Sushi aren’t sure what to make of all the changes. They like discovering new boxes to sit in, and they’ve been sniffing around everything like a pair of puppies rather than cats, but mostly they just want to stay out of the way.

Case in point, I found Bruiser hiding in the bathroom when I went home for lunch today. See what I mean about no froufrou decor? I don’t even have a towel hanging on the towel bar. 🙂

Packing detour

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Garage door opener brace

Evening-before-last, I pushed the button to close the garage door, which was soon followed by a horrific crash sound. The lawnmower was in the way of the door, but somehow it didn’t trip the safety light to keep the door from closing.

Thankfully, I think the mower is ok. Unfortunately, the brace that holds the garage door to the opener along the track was completely off. What’s weird is that there are holes for three bolts in the brace, but there were no bolts on the ground or anywhere in the vicinity! I don’t know how the brace was attached previously, but I couldn’t make odds or ends of it.

I was too tired to deal with it yesterday, and although my stepdad offered to come over on Saturday when he gets back to town to fix it for me, I decided that since I’m working half-days this week, I could just go to the store this morning and buy some bolts to fix it myself. Ta-da! It works like new.

I’m so tired from sorting, purging, and packing. I haven’t gotten nearly as much done this morning as I intended (obviously, since I’m sitting in my arm chair typing this post!), but fixing the door was a necessary detour.

The mover inventory guy also came over earlier this morning to take notes on all the furniture, estimated boxes, etc. It didn’t take long to walk through the house, garage, and yard, but it was eye-opening to go room to room and realize just how much there still is to do. Ugh. I tried going to bed early (before 10pm) last night, and I slept hard, but I’m still pooped. My summer class starts tomorrow morning, so that’s a few more hours that I won’t be able to work around the house. I’m grateful for the opportunity to teach, and goodness knows that the money will be handy, but zzzzz … I sure would like to sleep in! 🙂