Connect with us

Love & Marriage

Adventures in Moving

I’ve been learning that home is the comfort, security, contentment, and joy that comes in following God’s leading.

Published

on

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

During a memorable cross-country move in our min-van from Central Florida to Southern California with four daughters and a Siamese cat in tow, I followed closely behind my husband driving the move-it-yourself U-Haul truck.

Diligently, we trekked across the Southern U.S.A. from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. From rousing cheers at finally making it across Texas (876 miles in all), to concerns of overheating through the Southern California desert, we forged ahead in our relocation caravan.

Even in my sleep, the back of the moving truck was literally etched in my mind. Visions of the backlights and truck’s logo were all my closing eyes could see at night.

Like Michael W. Smith’s “I’ll Lead You Home” CD that became forever ingrained in my mind during this move, I’ve been learning that home is not the one house I dreamed of living out my life in but rather the comfort, security, contentment and joy that comes in following God’s leading.

I Shall Not Be Moved!

Tired of the numerous moving around as a pastor’s kid, I dreamed of growing up and living in one house in Ohio for the rest of my life, and never, ever moving.

But marriage to a young man with an adventurous heart, along with his military service, seminary, and pastor positions, changed those plans. From Ohio to Colorado, to North Carolina, to Alaska, Hawaii, California, and so on, moving has become a way of life in our marriage.

Thinking back now, I’m wondering if including Ruth 1:16 in our wedding vows that states, “…for where ever you go, I will go,” may have had something to do with it?

And like the classic 1953 film The Long, Long Trailer starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, that chronicles newlyweds who buy a trailer and travel across the U.S.A., I can relate!

After 30+ moves in our marriage … I’ve stopped counting.

Obviously, my childhood dream of staying in one location didn’t become a reality. Yet, I’ve come to terms with it, growing with each move in discovering how to enjoy the journey.

Let My People Go!

Looking throughout scripture, there are numerous illustrations of individuals and nations who weren’t sure about following God’s leading in moving. And their hesitancies to relocate seem to cover a variety of reasons, such as having to leave a familiar land and people behind, give up a certain security, including in some circumstances, even the security of being a slave in a foreign country.

Of course as an observer, it’s always easier to look back and wonder why the characters would hesitate, knowing how the decision turned out in the end. But in reality, I understand the challenges of choosing to trust God in giving up a current situation without knowing what the future holds.

And like people in the Bible, God’s leading to relocate has come in various forms, including job changes, graduate school, being closer to family, and so on.

Calling All Pilgrims

Early on in our moving adventures, Psalm 84:5 caught my attention, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, Whose heart is set on pilgrimage.” (Definition: a journey to a place important to a person’s beliefs and faith.)

Moving and being opened to moving is important to me and to our family.

By being open to relocating to wherever God is leading, we are giving up our own selfish desires and plans for our lives in preference to His.

Choosing Highways

Deciding early on that I didn’t want a house, location, job, and etc. to be more important to me than God’s leading, Isaiah 55:9 influenced my thinking and decision making:

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Although there have been several places where I REALLY, really wanted to stay and put down permanent roots, even in heavy discussions, tears, and pleading with God, my heart didn’t want to limit His plans for us.

In the end, I’ve discovered that I’m just not willing to tell God that I have to stay in a certain place or position, and run the risk of missing out on His higher ways for our family.

Head ‘Em Up, Move ‘Em Out

So do I enjoy packing, unpacking, and moving? No.

Am I good at the process? I have my methods, and maybe have packed and unpacked enough to rate as a professional? My most effective technique in doing it so many times is to not dwell on it or talk about it, but rather just do it. One dish at a time.

Although my childhood dream didn’t come true, U-Haul’s moving trucks’ slogan for years was “Adventures in Moving,” which pretty much sums it up. And my heart is grateful to God for helping to change my vision for our married life from my own self-determination to stay in one place, to being open to His moveable will for our future.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters and serves as associate editor of Ungrind. Her writing has been published in numerous publications including Focus on the Family Magazine, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, KirkCameron.com, Start Marriage Right, Growthrac, and more! She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University with experience in broadcast media and also serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

4 Comments
  • Jennifer

    God’s timing is SO perfect. We are moving in 4 weeks and I’ve been packing ahead for months now. Moving was never in our plans, but God had bigger and better plans for our family. I will put this devotion in my “moving journal” to remind me of all God’s promises.

    • Lynette

      Thanks, Jennifer, for your kind and encouraging words!

  • Thank you for this, Lynette! I’ve done a lot of thinking and writing on the subject of home as a result of my own ten moves in ten years. One way the Lord has encouraged me is by helping me to see that having temporary dwellings here make it easier to look forward to the permanent dwelling of heaven. By not being given the opportunity to plant deep roots in any one place, it is easier to remember that we are foreigners here, just passing through, on our way to the Celestial City. Thank you for sharing your story .. and praise God for His faithfulness in helping you to trust in His ways. Blessings to you and your family.

    • Lynette

      Thank you, Kate, aprreciate your kind and encouraging words!

Articles

5 Strategies for Developing Lasting Love

Here are 5 strategies for developing lasting love.

Published

on

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

As a writer, words are important to me. I try to weigh how I use each one, what they are conveying, and to whom they are speaking.

So it’s no surprise that with each selection of a card expressing love for my husband, the greeting’s words goes through a biblical filter, somewhat like this.

The card proclaims, “You make my life complete.”

Well, no, Colossians 2:10 says that “in Him you have been made complete.”

Another one states, “Didn’t know love before you.”

Not exactly. 1 John 4:19 tells me, “We love because He first loved us.”

Still another, “You fulfill my every need.” Ah, will pass. After all, Matthew 6:8 states, “…your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.”

Eventually my endless rummaging through cards results in my finding a sentiment that more fits my understanding and experience of holy matrimony.

“We’ve had our ups and downs.”

More like it.

“I’m glad we’re on this adventure together.”

Adventure, that’s one way to describe it. Smile.

When I finally find one of these heartfelt cards, it reinforces what marriage has been teaching me through the years. Such as:

  • My husband can’t and isn’t equipped to meet my every need, as I’m not able to meet his every need
  • He is going to disappoint me at times, as I will him
  • Love is not a feeling, it’s a moment by moment, daily choice

More and more, I’m realizing that my expectations for marriage can affect my satisfaction. Unrealistic ones will cause me to feel disappointed because being married hasn’t meant that I’ve never felt lonely, grieved, unappreciated, or fearful.

Below are five biblical strategies to help define expectations and develop lasting love.

5 Strategies for Developing Lasting Love

1. Use the Buddy System

Long-term matrimony can bring numerous unexpected turns in life and Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10 states that, “Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will life up his companion.” It reminds me of times when my husband and I are both employed and able to enjoy the extras that come with the two incomes. As well as, the times when my husband was in school full-time or unemployed and I helped to provide needed finances. Or, where I’ve been at home full-time and he’s been employed with sometimes two or more jobs to provide for us. It also brings to mind the times when we’ve experienced losses, disappointment, caring for aging parents, and more and how we have supported each other through the challenges.
5 Strategies for Developing Lasting Love

2. Look Ahead

When looking beyond my present marital situation is needed, Philippians 3:13-15 offers straightforward words about pressing on, reaching forward, not looking back but looking forward to what lies ahead. This passage is especially helpful when hurts from the past try to paralyze and prevent me from forgiving and moving forward in my marriage. This strategy is especially helpful during these types of struggles by directing my thoughts to the future, to enjoying our growing family together and what our staying together means to us and them.

3. Lean on Christ

At times, daily challenges can wear a couple down. Philippians 4:13 encourages me that, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me,” and staying married does take strength, more than I’m capable on my own, especially when I’m feeling lonely, forgotten, tired, angry, unhappy, or disappointed. This strategy aims to refocus my source of strength so that I look beyond my own capabilities.

4. Know Your Source

Philippians 4:19 assures me that God will supply all my needs according to His riches. So no matter what our current employment or financial situation is, it’s not dependent on only our own efforts or situation. As well, this verse also speaks to emotional and spiritual needs like companionship, comfort, joy, contentment, encouragement, and peace. Over the years, I’ve been learning that God does often work through my husband to meet needs in my life but he isn’t the source. God is my source for all my needs in life.

5. Be A Help Mate

Commonly referred to at the “Proverbs Wife” passage, Proverbs 31:10-31 provides me with practical insight as to what my participation in marriage might look like on a day-to-day basis. It addresses my willingness to be a help to my husband in meeting everyday, hands-on needs in our life together.

Just like running card sentiments through a biblical filter, I’ve found it’s vital to base strategies for developing lasting love on scriptural principles, ones that help keep me on track towards a lifelong marriage.

These strategies include fine tuning my expectations with biblical insights and godly guidelines.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone
Continue Reading

Articles

When Everyone Else Finds Love

There are so many ways you can pour into people during the “love month” and you can do it whether you are single, in a relationship, or married.

Published

on

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

They say (who is they, anyway) hindsight is 20/20.  But, often in the waiting, vision isn’t so clear, tears cloud the clarity of life, and sometimes loneliness just hurts.

I remember so many Valentine’s Days would come and go, and I wouldn’t get any date offers, no roses, no candy (except from sweet friends who made the month of February unbelievable for us single girls). The no candy part definitely helped me get rid of the sugar cravings from the Christmas candy overload — but still, sometimes I felt like Charlie Brown who never got a Valentine in his mailbox. Oh, and those Valentine’s Day school parties were awful. I have a feeling that’s kinda what started the feminist movement — us asking all the boys to “be mine.” I’m just kidding of course, but suffice it to say, Valentine’s Day is hard.

I had to wait for 34 years to have a Valentine. And a week before Valentine’s Day is when I finally met my (future) husband face to face. It was at a Super Bowl Party. When I left that night, without being asked for a phone number or anything, I was so disappointed. So, I was still single on Valentine’s Day in 2011, but at least I had the hope of someone (are you singing The Music Man songs yet?). At the time when all the Valentine’s Day candy and decorations go clearance is when I got an email asking me out for dinner. We talked for 4 hours. My lasting Valentine had come true.

But, for those many years before 2011 — from 16-34 (which is more than half my life) — I dreaded Valentine’s Day. As God would allow friends of mine to get married, have babies, go on honeymoons, get flowers and candy and sappy cards, I got jaded. I got bitter. I was lonely. But then God softened my heart. He allowed me to love people.

There are so many ways you can pour into people during the “love month” and you can do it whether you are single, in a relationship, or married.

1. Love on the widows in your area.

Your church should have a list of those who have been widowed. I guarantee Valentine’s Day is full of memories and very lonely. They may remember how wonderful they had it for so long, but now they weap with distant memories. Go, sit with them, bake them cookies, listen to their love story. Or just go weep with them. Go laugh with them. Love on them.

2. Have some single girls over.

 

Maybe you have other friends who are still single — older or younger than you, no matter. And when you get together, don’t bash marriage, tear down those who are dating, etc. Celebrate love. Eat a meal together. Enjoy friendship. I’ve had a night like this where we watched movies and another night when we wrote letters to other women who have had a great influence on us. In fact, I still have one of those cards that someone wrote to me. It is one of the sweetest memories of the last 4 years of my life.

3. Babysit for couples.

 

Do you know how hard it is to find a babysitter for Valentine’s night? And here’s another tip: do it for free. Meals on Valentine’s Day are expensive, and I guarantee it would be a blessing to the couple you are sitting for.

4. Hang out with other couples.

 

Don’t isolate yourself. If you desire to get married, hang out with couples who you think much of and wish to have a marriage like theirs. You will find out that no marriage is perfect, marriage is hard, and marriage is an amazing blessing.

5. Rejoice with your friends who enter into relationships.

 

Friends, this may be the toughest one. Every time I got another wedding invitation, saw an engaged couple on social media, it hurt. The loneliness is so real. But, I ask you, to pray that the Lord would grant you grace to show true happiness for those friends.

And whether or not marriage ever finds you, ultimately that’s not what this life is about. God is love. God gave Jesus to love us. We can love — whether we have our MRS degree or not.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone
Continue Reading

Articles

Is Marriage A Mistake?

If you believe your marriage is a mistake, this article is for you.

Published

on

By

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone

My husband, Aaron, and I married with the expectations of having a great marriage and that we would serve God together. A few months after we were married we were headed to Africa to serve as missionaries.

We spent four months in Africa. It was challenging for me to adjust to being a wife, simultaneously being in another country for the first time. I’m still not sure which is more difficult: the shock of living in a rural part of the world in a tent surrounded by a language I didn’t know or living with someone I was still getting to know intimately.

I felt so isolated in my struggles. I didn’t know where to turn to for help when marriage issues escalated. I recently wrote a book titled The Unveiled Wife, and in it I share some of my marriage story in hopes of encouraging other wives who face marriage struggles. Below is an excerpt from my book.

———————-

With only minutes to board the plane, Aaron and I, along with a handful of missionaries, ran through the airport. We were about halfway to our gate when exhaustion overwhelmed me. I had not slept well since the accident, especially on the long flight we had just finished. During the sixteen-hour plane ride, we had encountered bouts of turbulence that made me cringe in fear, and I hoped we would not face another accident. In the middle of the bustling airport, I gave up. I stopped running. My bottom lip began to quiver, and standing still in a sea of travelers, I began to cry. Aaron must have noticed my absence quickly, because in a flash he returned to my side.

“What’s the matter, baby?”

“I can’t do it! I just want to go home. I think you married the wrong girl!”

I knew my dramatic outburst in the airport was the result of being extremely worn out. But struggling with the thought that I had made a mistake getting married was a growing doubt that had been oppressing me on and off for months. My heart was in the trenches of a perilous battle.

Aaron and I had only been married for 8 months when the doubt about being a wife became unbearable that it burst right out of me. As we traveled through Africa we had endured a horrific accident that had me shaken up with fear and doubt. I stopped in the airport that day because I needed my husband to know that I was not confident about being his wife.

Unfortunately, I tucked away this doubt into a deep place in my heart. Over the course of several years, any time Aaron and I hit a rough patch in our relationship, the doubt rose to the surface and consumed my thoughts.

Not only did I feel inadequate as a wife, which is where the doubt stemmed from, but I was also bombarded with feelings of regret, believing that I should have waited longer before committing to a life-long journey to Aaron. At different times I believed I should have dated more, I should have experienced life on my own and out of my parent’s house, I should have finished college and indulged in dorm life, I should have, could have, wish I had…

Doubt suffocated the joy out of my life and snuffed out any opportunity for me to believe God could use my husband and me as a team to do good and experience His extraordinary will for us. I was being tossed back and forth in my mind and with my emotions on whether my husband and I were meant to be. This hindered my ability to embrace true intimacy and move forward in my marriage. It also hindered me from trusting God.

I know the bombardment of doubt and insecurities are real and that many of us wrestle with our thoughts and emotions towards God and our husbands. It is a daily battle no matter what the circumstances are. The enemy will use all kinds of things to stir up this doubt and tear apart our intimate relationships … but I want to encourage us all to stand firm, in faith, that what we have is valuable!

Our marriages are worth us fighting for!

God rescued me from my doubt and brought me to a place I could trust Him. He used people and their testimonies to encourage my frail heart. I began to trust His Word and my perspective changed.

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:6-8)

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Being able to disband the doubt that rose up in my heart was a difficult challenge for me. Yet, God’s Word is extremely powerful. The more I trusted God’s Word and trusted Him with my life, the less I worried, feared, or doubted.

At the root cause of our doubt lies a mound of insecurities and an inability to cultivate trust. Take time to consider what some of your greatest insecurities are, then hand them over to God in prayer, asking God to help you let go of them. Also, identify areas in marriage or in your relationship with God where is difficult for you to trust and be willing to talk to your husband about this mentioning that it is a part of you, that you want to grow.

Lastly, what are you thankful for about your husband and about God? Make a detailed list and then share that list with your husband and God. I have found that thankfulness and appreciation also trump doubt every time!

Having thankfulness in your heart will help you embrace true intimacy, because your heart will be so full, you won’t have room to doubt! Don’t stop finding reasons why you are thankful!

I hope and pray that this helps you understand the value of what you have. Marriage is no mistake!

If you wrestle with doubt or if you believe your marriage is a mistake please consider praying this prayer below:

Dear God,

I don’t know why I doubt. I struggle to trust You and my husband. Fear infiltrates my heart and my mind hindering me from embracing true intimacy. I do not want to live a life where I am being tossed back and forth, overwhelmed by inconsistent and intense emotions. I desire faith, I desire abundant faith. Please help me not to doubt, worry, or fear anymore. I pray You would help me truly trust You and Your will for my life. Lord, may You inspire change in my heart and powerfully break the patterns of doubt in my mind. I pray I would believe that my marriage has value. I pray I would be able to find specific reasons why I am thankful and that being thankful would become a strong part of my character in Jesus’ name AMEN!

About Jennifer Smith

Jennifer+Smith

Jennifer married her best friend Aaron in January of 2007. They jumped straight into missions living in three different states and three different countries during their first two years of marriage. Her passion for missions, writing, and marriage led her to create Unveiled Wife, where she blogs about being a wife with every intention to inspire other wives to develop God-centered marriages. Her and her husband are expecting their first child later this year. You can find Jennifer on Twitter and join the Unveiled Wife Community on Facebook.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Print this pageEmail this to someone
Continue Reading

Become An Insider!

Enter your email address below to stay in the loop on the latest from Ungrind.

Welcome to Ungrind!



Hi, I'm Ashleigh Slater, founder and editor of Ungrind. Here at Ungrind, it’s our goal to churn out biblically-based encouragement for women. We strive to be honest and transparent about our struggles in a way that inspires hope, faith, and perseverance.

As you read, we hope you consider us friends, the kind you feel comfortable sitting across the table with at the local coffee shop. You can read more about me HERE and our team of writers HERE.

Latest Articles

What Women Are Saying

"Ungrind is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. Whether you're facing a challenge or experiencing great joy, Ungrind has something to say to you today."

-- Arlene Pellicane, co-author of Growing Up Social: Raising Relational Kids in a Screen-Driven World and 31 Days to Becoming a Happy Wife
COL_TeamUs_BannerAd

Five-Minute-Friday---4

familydevotional

Disclosure

We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.

Trending

Adventures in Moving

by Lynette Kittle time to read: 3 min
4