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
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.
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.”
WORD COUNT: 675
Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.