Remember that old Talking Heads song, Burning Down the House? That’s running through my head with new lyrics as we tape box after box together, fill them and stuff newspaper around the edges: Packing Up the House! Athena showing off our latest newsprinty hands look As of last week we rented a storage unit 10 minutes away and started to fill it. It’s amazing though, how many boxes we have already put in and how much the house still looks like there’s plenty in it. I keep coming close to that place of ultimate frustration with all the stuff we have accumulated which seems so necessary for American life and been ready to walk away and just bag the rest. In principle, I want to keep a light hand on my possessions. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, right? Here is opportunity to put that into practice. Really, how much stuff does a family of six need? So, these thoughts wander through my mind as I wrap up another serving dish, appliance or box of books and slap on another piece of packing tape. The kids have been great, sorting through their own things, packing boxes, following my packing and organizing instructions. It’s hard for them, though to keep this pace up over time. We’re all ready to finish the long goodbye and get on our way. But to get their we must slog through this part. Pack another box. The Legos, you might like to know, have been given reprieve until the very last moment. Meanwhile, our dear neighbors who will be renting our house while we’re away just had their newest baby, hooray! They are a total answer to prayer, whether they know it or not. One week a few months ago, I had been praying for confirmation that this adventure was God’s leading as we felt it was and not just our crazy idea. That week, my friend Mrs. Neighbor, came down for a chat. She said she knew we wanted to rent out our house while we were gone. They had decided to do a pretty big remodel of their house and would we consider renting to them? Um….YEAH! You bet we would! The hitch was that they were only planning to need it for 5 or 6 months starting in May. This was before we could vacate it and for only half of the time, but we still loved the idea of renting to someone we know. We figured God would work out the details of the rest of the year. So He did. First Mr. and Mrs. N’s building plans got slightly delayed as they worked out with their builder. Now they wanted to rent starting July. Oh! That works for us! In the meantime, their plans have expanded and now they are going down to the foundation and recognize that they will likely need to stay in our house for the whole year. Oh! That works for us, too! So the first part of their plan, to have their baby who is causing all this need for expansion, has been accomplished. She is safely here and will hopefully be available soon for getting acquainted. That is the one sour note in all this, leaving town when there is a new baby in the neighborhood.