To Move Without Moving

I don’t endure well. I live in a place for four or five years, and I get the itch to move. It’s probably my limited tolerance for enduring the deficiencies in the people and places around me. Even more likely is my impatience when my same old weaknesses come out again. Honestly, I know the grass isn’t greener on the other side, but that doesn’t stop me from looking over the fence.

Next month we will have lived in our new home for four years, a home I love more than any place we’ve lived. Still, this winter I felt that expected feeling–a desire to move. I didn’t want to leave the home we built or the community in which we’ve established relationships, friendships, a business and a foundation for our children. Yet, I craved something new—new experiences, relationships, opportunities.

Practicalities limited any real consideration of moving, but that desire to do so set against those limits created internal friction for several months. I pondered these questions:  I have a wonderful life that I want to keep, but do I have the capacity to endure what I don’t like or want? I envision new opportunities but how do I create new out of old?

It’s easier to block out the uncomfortable experiences from the past by moving away, but this time I had to bring closure to those experiences or struggles in relationships some other way.

Someone a long time ago gave me a decorated tin can with theses words “Let It Go.” She was right on with the symbolic gesture. I do have a hard time letting it go. But I can’t just write down my issues on a slip of paper and drop it in the box to let it go. Instead, I have to work through them in an emotional and spiritual learning process until I can move on.

During this time, I stood in my driveway in the March snow, imagining the flowers that would be in my perennial garden in the spring. I said, “I want to stay.” For several weeks afterward, subtle changes came to my heart and relationships that lifted the burden of those problems even though I hadn’t moved or changed my circumstances. On May Day I photographed the perennials that have bloomed in the place where I stood when my heart changed. Ironically, the next day brought a surprising large change in opportunities.

We are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and our church congregations are organized geographically in what we call a ward. Ten or so wards are organized together in a larger body called a stake. What this means is we attend church where we live, not by the pastor or people we prefer. That’s important because we interact with and give service to a diverse group of individuals, not just the peer group we choose for ourselves. It also presents a challenge for us since that place becomes like a family in which we all have to learn how to endure happily together using the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our church is growing in this area, and this weekend  the geographic boundaries of the larger church congregation changed to create a new stake that will include us. That is a significant change with new opportunities for individual growth. As many of my readers know, my husband has served as the bishop of our ward congregation.  This weekend he was given a new responsibility to serve with others as a leader in this new stake.

Both these changes created circumstances for us that felt like we moved without moving.  Today I’m pondering the miracle most important to me, that the changes in my heart bloomed before the Lord transplanted us.


  1. Tina
    May 6, 2009

    I can really relate to much of your post. I too feel that urge to move. I know now that the Lord knows best for me and my family where we belong and when to go there. I feel sometime in the not so near future we will change, but for now like you I find my needing to ponder, to figure things out, to really understand what I am suppose to from any given cirumstance that causes reflection. I am grateful for having learned that.

  2. An Ordinary Mom
    May 6, 2009

    I often feel the same way. My itch to move now has been here for awhile, but it might be some time before we do get to move. For now I am just trying to find true joy in the journey I am on right now. (What is your husband’s new calling?)

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