Surviving A Move: 5 Years Later(Reflection)

It’s been almost 5 years now.

5 years of trying to figure out the best way to manage vacation and trips to see family when most of our family lives far away.

5 years of birthdays.

5 years of celebrating most holidays on our own.

It’s been 5 years of good, bad, amazing and messy.


I think I’ve figured out a couple of things. Being uprooted and attempting to get planted again gave me some clarity on what really mattered. I learned that no place or person was ever going to meet all my needs.

I asked my friend, Angela, who has moved many times, her thoughts on her experience with moving. She said that, as she looks back, she had a pattern of running when things were hard. She would hit a wall and think a move would help. This time, for now, she’s staying where she is. It’s hard. She’s missing some dear friends where she used to live. When she was talking about these close friends, she said something profound. She suggested that maybe she had relied too much on those friendships.

That’s a hard lesson. A valuable one.

Some lessons are easier to learn when we aren’t settled and comfortable.



This entry was posted in Moving.

Surviving A Move: Going Home Again

One of the strangest phenomenon about moving happens when we go “back home”.

First of all, we get all confused and emotional about the word “home”. We don’t know how to use it anymore. We refer to the place we used to live as “home” and tell people, we’re going “back home.” But then you catch yourself calling a whole new place, “home”.

It feels like all kinds of contradictory things at the same time.Feeling at home in a new place is the whole point. It feels good and comfortable. It’s also sad because you can’t fully embrace a new place without letting go, at least a bit, of your former home. There is no way to be fully invested in more than one home.

I love Tennessee. This is home for us, but it still feels bittersweet sometimes. I feel like it’s a betrayal to all the good things we had in Minnesota. There were and are dear friends and family and so many wonderful milestones there. I don’t foresee us moving back to Minnesota because we love it here. Why does that make me sad?

Can you go home again?

Sure, you can go home again, but life didn’t stop while you were gone. It can be so good to be back in a familiar place. It can also be disappointing if you’re not careful. You’re not the same person. The people you love in your former hometown have changed too. That’s the nature of life. It’s healthy and natural. It can also be really difficult if you aren’t expecting it.

Give yourself time to fall in love/like with your new home before comparing it to what you loved about your previous one.

You aren’t asking for my advice, but if you were, I would advise against going “back home” for every weekend and holiday break. The whole idea of successfully navigating a move is that you plant roots in your new community. If your weekends are filled with trips “back home” or guests from “back home” more than not, you don’t give yourself a chance for the roots to grow. Your new home doesn’t stand a chance of stacking up to your old one if you don’t give it a fair shake.

Invest it in like a fragile relationship.


Expect it to be weird.

You know how it feels when you see someone you used to be close to, but drifted apart from? It’s awkward. That’s a little of what it’s like to go back. If you have small kids, soon going “back home” will be less and less meaningful to them.

We love to make our trek to Minnesota every year. We enjoy our time there. It just feels different.

Coming back to your new home is nice.

I still remember the first time we left Tennessee and came back. Crossing the border from Kentucky to Tennessee was a milestone. We cheered. It was one of the first clues that this was becoming “home” for us.

Your turn. If you’ve moved, what was it like to go “back home”? and did it help you realize your new place was “home”?

This entry was posted in Moving.

Surviving A Move: Some Things We Got Wrong

I read recently that you learn a lot more from failure than you do from success. That was true for our move from MN to TN. These are some things I wish we had done differently.

We Should Have Taken At Least One Vacation Day Between Jobs

Nathan worked his job in Minnesota until the end of the day on Friday. He started his new job in Tennessee on Monday. Sure, we had the weekend, but that was travel time. We were exhausted and stressed out. We should have given ourselves a little more breathing room.

We Should Have Asked For More Help Earlier

That’s two things: start working on projects earlier.

Start working on projects earlier.

Ask for help!


We were drowning in daily stuff plus house projects we had put off that now needed to be finished. We outsourced some stuff, but not all of it. She should have hired out all of the house projects. In the end, that’s what we had to do anyway because we ran out of time and we ran into some unexpected issues with inspections. It was a disaster.

We Should Have Prioritized Time With Friends

Because of the mistake we made with taking on too much stuff ourselves, we didn’t have extra time to connect with our friends before leaving. It seems like an obvious thing that one would get right. When the clock is ticking and you only have a limited time. Social things feel frivolous.

How about you? What did you do wrong when you moved? I would love to hear from you.


This entry was posted in Moving.

Life Lessons With Isaac

First of all, this is not moving related at all. So, if you’re here because you want to read something funny/interesting/helpful about moving, I’m sorry. I committed to writing every day this month on this topic. . . and today I’m tired.


So, I recorded a conversation with my 7-year-old. It’s dark. And not amazing. I still think it’s a little amusing. Especially the part where my 7-year-old holds up 5 fingers for the number 7 and tries to help you steal my identity.

And I spelled my own son’s name wrong on the title of the video and had to go back and edit it. So, that tells you what kind of day this is 🙂


Surviving A Move: When You’re Looking For Peace

If I just get past this one thing, life will be good. I will feel settled, calm, content. It’s just this one thing that’s tripping me up.


(image credit)

That’s what I’ve been telling myself. If I’m honest, I’ve been telling myself that for a long time. Only, the “one thing” keeps changing. It’s kind of crazy thing to think because it assumes that my circumstances are going to change my heart.

There is nothing more unpredictable than external circumstances. I don’t know why I keep living like I’ll finally have peace if all the things around me just calm down. If my last 40 years are any indicator, things aren’t going to “calm down” anytime soon.


It’s the same thing when it comes to moving. If you are looking for a change in your physical location to bring you peace, you’re going to be disappointed.

I have been reminded of this recently as we’ve been going through some really hard things. When your hope it wrapped up in anything other than Jesus, you’re going to have your heart broken. On Sunday, one of our pastors said this:


“Jesus is the only one strong enough to hold your heart without breaking it.”


In other words, . . .

“My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus blood and righteousness:

I dare not trust the sweetest frame

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ the solid rock I stand

All other ground is sinking sand.” (Edward Mote)




This entry was posted in Moving.

Surviving A Move: All The Emotions

If you’ve ever made a long-distance move, you know this. Moving is emotional. It’s full of contradiction emotions.









(image credit)

It’s all there. All the feelings. Sometimes you feel all of it in one day. There are lots of big feelings.

One of my favorite bloggers, Lisa-Jo Baker, wrote an excellent article about moving. It talks about a lot of the emotions that come with this process. Here article, When It’s OK To Be Sad, addresses some of the sadness her children experienced in saying, “Goodbye” to friends.

Here’s a portion of her article:

“So instead, I reached over and put my hand on top of his — right over his beautiful, strong, nine-year-old heart that feels everything so deeply and I let my own eyes spill over. And I told him that crying is good. Because crying means you’ve loved someone with your whole heart. . . “

Read the rest here.

This entry was posted in Moving.

Surviving A Move: Reaching Out To Military Families

If you want some great wisdom on moving, I would point you to Susan Miller every time. She is an author, speaker and founder of Just Moved Ministries- Hope For the Uprooted Woman. She just updated her book After The Boxes Are Unpacked and I can’t wait to see what new things she has added.

Recently, I followed a link to her website and found a blog about how people can reach out to military families. I thought it was so great (and applicable to lots of moving situations) and knew you would enjoy it.



(image credit)

A couple of suggestions in that article:

** Offer to be their emergency contact.

**Don’t treat military families as if they are passing through. Embrace them and invest in them just like you would with anyone else.


You can read more here.




This entry was posted in Moving.

Surviving A Move: Overnight Guests

Since it’s Friday, why not a lighthearted look at one of the aspects of moving?

Shortly after we moved to Tennessee, it dawned on me that every time a family member came to visit us, they would be spending the night. We hadn’t been far enough away to do much hosting of overnight guests. It made me think of this scene from Everybody Loves Raymond:


The good news is that we’ve always had a great experience with our overnight guests!

How about you? Are you in the overnight guest zone?


This post is part of a 31 day series on surviving a move. You can find the rest of the posts here.

This entry was posted in Moving.

Surviving A Move: When You Want To Move But God Says “No”

Let me start with a disclaimer: we are not moving 🙂 It seems I’ve confused some people with writing this series. This is just a series of posts about what moving was like for us and what we learned.

Moving on. . .

I thought I would share a little of our back story here.

Some of you are contemplating a big move. Or maybe you want to make a change, but you feel like something is holding you back or the timing isn’t right. Here’s a little more of our story. . .


(image credit)

Have you ever been 100% convinced that your calling was something or someplace far removed from your current circumstances?

One year before our move to Tennessee, Nathan started seriously considering a career change that would result in a move. In the fall of 2010, Nathan’s job searching began in earnest. He had two promising leads. One would have taken us to Colorado Springs. It was a job that Nathan could have easily done. The other option would have landed us in Nebraska. Again, it was a job that Nathan could have done with his eyes closed and hands tied behind his back (that might have slowed down his typing, a bit. . .).

Everything about it made sense except for our housing situation. . . . (For the rest of the story, click here)


This entry was posted in Moving.