Lately, I’ve been feeling weary. Again. We have been here, in Birmingham, almost two years. Actually, it is 629 days, to be precise. According to a nifty website called timeanddate.com, 629 days can be converted to one of these units:
- 54,345,600 seconds
- 905,760 minutes
- 15,096 hours
- 629 days
- 89 weeks and 6 days
- 172.33% of a common year (365 days)
We love, love, love our new city, but somehow, we still feel like the new kids on the block. After a lifetime of military moves, this surprises me. We’ve been here longer than we lived in North Carolina, or Gulfport, MS, or Ocean Springs, MS—but I think it is wrong expectations that get me, every time.
Once, my sister bought me a book about moving, and I learned that it usually takes a year to get everything unpacked and to finally feel “moved in.” At the time, I read this to mean that it takes about a year to feel like you belong in your new place, but thinking back, I’m not sure it really said that.
How long does it take till you really feel like you are a part of things at church? At your kids’ new school? At your husband’s new workplace?
I guess it depends. But more days than I’d like, I feel like a square peg in a round hole. Everyone here is lovely. Really very lovely. But they’ve known each another for ten, fifteen, twenty years. I’m not sure I want to know the answer to this, but: Is that how long it will take for me to find my place here?
I’m realizing that this outsider feeling, my sojourner mindset, is a hard one to shake. Still, God never promised us that we would be at home here on Earth; that’s why Jesus went to prepare a place for us.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” John 14:1-4, ESV
Let not your hearts be troubled—not when your expectations have led you astray, not when you wake up feeling weary, not when you doubt your own decision-making.
When I see that God’s plan is different than mine, it’s important to take comfort in His wisdom to make plans and in His power to make change. But what I really need to cling to, when I’ve lost my bearings a bit, is His goodness.
Curating the Good
When we moved here, I began a practice that I called “Curating the Good.” I was having trouble seeing through the dark days. But the process was simple and it really opened my eyes:
studying God’s goodness taught me to recognize it >
seeing His goodness helped me to find it regularly >
finding His goodness helped me to experience it >
collecting evidence of God’s goodness compelled me to share it >
and displaying God’s goodness helped me to experience it all over again >
And so on >
And so on >
So, when I’m feeling weary, I know: it’s time to Curate the Good. This time, next week, I will begin a 4-week celebration of God’s goodness. I will be leading a virtual group through the little book that contains this 4-week plan. It’s not really a Bible study, though it is filled-to-overflowing with Scripture. Bible study devotees might be disappointed to learn that there’s no real “written homework” — just weekly challenges to encourage readers to collect and display evidence of God’s goodness.
I’d like to share this process a bit here as well. If you’d like to join me in Curating the Good right here, you can just get your copy at Amazon.com (link to Amazon) and read my posts each week. If you’re planning to join in, I’d love to hear from you by email or in the comments.
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