PART V: Was This a Bad Idea?   12 comments

Now before unpacking the truck, I have to unpack an important detail about rodents.  We moved from a 2000 square foot home in Virginia to a 1000 s.f. rental house in Asheville (but paying a lot more for it).  We tossed out a lot of stuff and crammed the rest into one bedroom.  But something else found a cozy spot in there this past summer.  We found mouse droppings.  I set a humane trap, and when I caught the mouse, I took him two miles away, loosing him in a wooded area.  We found more mouse droppings.  Over several months we caught 5 mice, requiring ever more ingenuity.



We knew they were hiding out in our storage room and clearly reproducing, but we had no way to clear them out of that solid wall of tightly packed stuff.  These were the boxes we would be loading onto the truck, transporting our infestation to Washington with us.  Our fears came true when I found a nest of three baby mice in a mattress cover while loading the truck.  What else had I missed?  I could think of only one solution.  When we reached Washington and the two of us got ready to unpack our 26-foot van, we emptied every box inside the truck, checking for mice, then repacked it to carry inside.  We did not finish in a day.

As we were setting up house, we started transferring bank accounts, phones, licenses, car insurance and titles.  That’s when Kimberly discovered there was a warrant out for my arrest.  I thought she was joking.  She wasn’t.  I was on a national registry because I had not paid last year’s car insurance in Virginia.  Yeah, because I WASN’T LIVING IN VIRGINIA!  Kimberly and I have moved multiple times across many states and never had this issue before, but Virginia DMV apparently requires car owners to provide proof that they have moved out of state.  We soon discovered there was an arrest warrant out for Kimberly as well.  She spent hours (literally) on many phone calls over two weeks to finally resolve it.  But proving our innocence did not remove us from the national registry. That cost us $150 each.

In the middle of all this craziness, I was trying to hold it together in school.  Missing a week mid-semester had set me back seriously in my studies.  The practicum was not the only important class I missed in our drive west.  I had a key paper due that Monday for another class.  I finished most of my research beforehand and took books with me on the flight to Asheville, but when I saw I would miss class, I spent two nights in hotels pecking away at my computer (after driving 13 hours) and sent it over the internet.  It was not my best work, but it would have to do.  A few weeks after moving into our new apartment, my graded paper was returned.  I got an ‘F.’  That was a shocking first for me.

After explaining my situation to the professor, she allowed me to rewrite the paper (with a letter-grade deduction).  Unfortunately, this completely consumed my reading week which was designed to give us time to finish other assignments, so I ended the week as far behind as ever, but also confused and anxious.  I was mystified by my grade, even after looking back over it carefully with the grading matrix in hand.  I sat down with the teaching assistant to get clarification and left as confused as I had come.  I could not understand their expectations or how to meet them.  If I failed my coursework, then “just survive” was a meaningless motto… and moving across country was a huge waste of money and effort. Doubts, turmoil, confusion swirled through me, and anxiety more severe than I have ever experienced.

That’s a snapshot of my whole life: determined to take the right course while working with a busted compass.  I never seem to hear that voice, “Here is the way, walk ye in it.”  A little guidance here would be appreciated, God, instead of leaving me in the dark guessing which way to turn.  Two weeks ago I got my grades.  I made straight A’s.  I don’t know how.  Apparently one can stumble around in the dark and still make it home.

But that’s chancy.  I need clarity to ensure I win that full affirmation: “Well done you good and faithful servant.” That’s my final report card, the measure of my effort and commitment… my A.  Except it isn’t.  Once again I remember that all God wants is my open, honest, struggling, broken heart, and I can give that to him today apart from any goals, plans, or accomplishments, even in the midst of all my confusion.  He needs nothing from me.  He just wants me.  I am already safely home, accepted in the beloved.



Posted January 19, 2018 by janathangrace in Personal

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12 responses to “PART V: Was This a Bad Idea?

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  1. I am so loving reading your moving (both emotionally moving and cross-continental moving), challenging, beautiful, wonderful saga. You have been and continue to be in my daily morning prayers – lifting you up to the arms of the Lord, asking him to keep his loving gaze on you in this life-changing venture.

  2. Have you even considered those wee little mice? From the warmth and almost endless sun of the southeast arriving in the gray, dismal and dripping skies of the northwest, now they scurry around trying to find shelter in a psychiatrist offfice to deal with their problems.

    I have enjoyed so much the reports of your ‘planned and unplanned’ adventures, shaking my head thinking there can’t be more when sure enough, their is. Congratulations on you grades, well done! Blessings to both of you.

    • Carol, we actually found no mice once we got here, but I feel very badly about the baby mice that I disposed of in Asheville. It is just a rotten world that necessitates so much death. Thanks for the blessings. Perhaps we’ll see each other sometime now that we’re in the same general section of the continent.

  3. It’s a darn good thing you didn’t get pulled by cops during your drive out there, with that warrant they would have taken you into custody in jail, and left your van or towed it away

  4. “Was this a bad idea?”
    I will give you props, you are determined. Was there at any point in time, with any specific calamity, in this adventure, that you thought God might be telling you to rethink your plan?
    Do you believe that God speaks to man with circumstances and or through others?
    As I read these blogs, I kept thinking that “there it is! That HAS to be God telling him to stop and rethink this plan.” But that is just me possibly. Glad you made it “safely”.

    • Greg; we didn’t really have a choice once the ball was rolling (once I drove out to Washington). Asheville was not an option financially, so we had nothing else to consider. However, we are both rather stubborn people.

      • “I never seem to hear that voice, “Here is the way, walk ye in it.” A little guidance here would be appreciated, God, instead of leaving me in the dark guessing which way to turn.”

        Looks to me that God was screaming at you!
        Stop! Go back!

        Good luck,

      • Greg, I have rarely found that what is easier or more comfortable coincides with the best way for us to take. In fact, I usually find that I benefit most from the paths that are most trying. I don’t choose what is hard for the sake of its hardness. I choose based on what I perceive to be the best way into a greater wholeness of soul. So far, even in this step, I find a wealth of personal growth, painful as it has been. “Tried by fire” as the saying goes.

  5. There are times when God does, indeed lead us through the valley of the shadow of death. It is there that we may encounter the mystery of his deep love, compassion, commitment to us. I pray for you the grace of God’s presence in the hard places into which he asks you to accompany him…. the one who inhabits the hard places and the gentle places equally.

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