My Word of the Week: Settled

set·tled – verb \ˈse-təld\

: to end (something, such as an argument) by reaching an agreement
: to make a final decision about (something)
: to move to a place and make it your home

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The David Nevue station plays quietly on my iTunes Radio as I sit in my new office and write this morning. This new work space is about twice as large as my old office. A bank of windows faces the south into our fenced-in backyard. I watch as the squirrels shimmy up the trees and across the fence tops. To my left, the large built-in bookcase holds nearly all of our family’s books. A fireplace fills the wall to my right, with my silly dog sleeping on her bed in front of it.

The fire hasn’t yet been lit, but this winter when it is, Tilly will come gladly to lie here. For now, I had to force her to come in with me after shooing her off the living room couch. We’ve given away all of “her” furniture when we downsized to our new home. Now, any time I can’t find her, I know to check the living room where she has undoubtedly snuck up on the sofa again. Tilly sleeps there in the night, too. I found her there at 2 a.m. Monday.

We’ve owned the house just shy of two weeks, and we’ve lived here just five days, but mostly we are settled. When I tell people, they look at me like I’m crazy. So fast? My achy hips and ankles and my husband’s sore back give testimony to the way I pushed us all weekend to unpack and assemble and organize. We worked hard to get to this place, and though it nearly wore us into the ground, today sitting in my office working, it feels worth it.

Last night, when the boys came for their first night in the house, it started to feel like home. Of course we had a soccer game and homework and chores—the normal busyness of life—but we also ate our first dinner here, figured out the routine for showers and the location of the towels, and slept well in new rooms, even with the creaks of a new house and the barks and roars and groans of a new neighborhood.

Since late July when we first decided to take the plunge and move to a new house, we’ve been a little unsettled. How could we not with a growing pile of boxes in the garage and living room, the regular disappearance of wall hangings and pillows and games from their normal locations, and the abrupt rearrangement of furniture as one piece after the other was loaded into someone else’s car or van and hauled away? Things have felt a little chaotic the past few weeks. In some ways, that restless feeling preceded our decision by many more months for me.

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We aren’t completely settled yet, either. We have to assemble the boys’ new desks and chairs; the garage is still a mess; and the weeds growing in the back yard mock me as I work. I can’t wait to get my hands on them.

We also are bumping into each other a bit as we remember—or discover, in some cases—where we put things, finding our way into new rhythms of life here. “Everything is new,” the boys said last night at dinner, even though most things aren’t. It just feels that way. And when our youngest went to change his clothes before the soccer game yesterday evening, he asked, “Where’s the bathroom in this place?”

“In the back, just past the kitchen,” we reminded him, laughing. Ahhh, the joys of moving.

But this is our place for now, this little bungalow on the quiet street in Frankfort. This morning, as I read from Leviticus 26, I took those words to the Israelites about the promised land and prayed them back to God about this little piece of land we live on now:

Lord, in our home, be present. Walk among us. Be our God; help us be your people. Place your dwelling among us. Don’t despise us. Help us to stand up straight.

And I add, now, “Help us to be settled in You.”

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WORD COUNT: 675

Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a writer, author, and speaker, helping readers grow in their faith and experience true hope in the middle of life’s joys and sorrows. She is the author of My Year in Words: what I learned from choosing one word a week for one year and coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts.


  • Amber ,

    I almost skipped this because of the title. We have been in an unsettled place that may or may not have an end in sight. We are just being asked to follow to a place where we haven’t been given the destination. But you have given us unsettled people some hope at the end of the blog that our hope isn’t in our circumstance – “Lord, in our home, be present. Walk among us. Be our God; help us be your people. Place your dwelling among us.” Great post, Charity.

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      Charity Singleton Craig ,

      Thank you, Amber. It was a tricky post to write because while we are pretty settled in the house, I know I will never truly be settled in this life. I long for the elusive “home” that is only found in Christ. Thanks for commenting. I’m sorry life feels so stirred up for you guys.

    • Diana Trautwein ,

      It’s a good thing to feel settled. So happy for you all!

    • Dolly@Soulstops ,

      Charity,
      Congrats on your new home 🙂 Praying God blesses you all richly with many fond memories in your new home 🙂

      Blessings,
      Dolly

    • Sheila Seiler Lagrand ,

      Settled. I’m thinking it describes more than your new home, Charity. And I’m smiling about that.

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        Charity Singleton Craig ,

        Sheila – Yes, in many ways you are right. I have to come to grips with never being fully settled, but I think this move has accomplished a lot for me and our family. Now we have to sort through it all. So much change going on right now even aside from the house!

      • SImplyDarlene ,

        o’ the joy of unpacked boxes… 😉

        blessings.

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          Charity Singleton Craig ,

          I just passed along those cardboard beauties to a family member who is moving! I was glad to empty them and see them go!

        • Laura Brown ,

          If this were a poem, “slept well in new rooms” would be my favorite line.

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            Charity Singleton Craig ,

            Thanks, Laura. I was surprised by how well everyone settled in for their first couple of nights. It was an answer to prayer.

          • barbara ,

            beautiful. simply beautiful.