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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)

TITLE: Guidance for Packing
By Martha Robinson


Last year my twenty-seven year old son asked me to share his apartment. In spite of my desire to maintain my independence, I reluctantly agreed. It had been five years since my last move, so it took quite a long time and some effort to sift through all my belongings.

At one point I sat in my bedroom surrounded by boxes labeled "discard", "goodwill", "yard sale", "storage", "new apartment", and thought I would never get finished. Was it worth all the effort? I wanted to hang on to everything. As I examined each item and made the decision of what to keep, fond memories returned of the person who had given me the item, or the person to whom it had once belonged. It was as if by hanging onto the item, the person, now deceased, still lived not only in my memory but in my home.

I know what the Bible says: "Unless God builds the house, the laborer labors in vain". Would I be happy living with my son? Would our values clash? While church is very important to me, and he was raised in church, he quit attending when he was a teenager. Would I cramp his lifestyle? Or would the reverse take place?

I also considered what actually makes a house--or in this case, an apartment--a home. I thought back to all the "homes" I had lived in. We moved frequently as a child because my father was in the Air Force. As a college student I shared a dorm room with a friend. Then as a young wife, my husband and I established our first home. What high hopes we had for a Christian home! Alas, that was not to be, as my marriage crumbled in divorce. Since then, the children and I established our own home.

After my children's graduation from high school, I finally had my own place, my own space, my own home. A place where I could relax, sleep as late as I wanted to, or get up as early as I wanted. Now that independence would end.

I prayed a lot as I packed and prepared for the move. And God was there with me in the midst of all the boxes. It was as if He was saying to me, "Don't hold onto your possessions so tightly. Store up treasures in heaven, not on earth. Give what you have to those in need. You need very little to live here. And I have provided you with everything you need. Remember earth is not your final home. You're just passing through."

After that, the packing went much more smoothly. I'm not sure what adventures God has in store for me, but this I do know. I will be carrying a lighter load.

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This article has been read 572 times
Member Comments
Member Date
terri tiffany01/19/06
Very nice story! I enjoyed it. A little tightening up of some sentences and recheck all the punctuation and this will be even better!You wrote about a topic many can relate to or will. thank you!
Candice Kettell01/19/06
I agree that many will be able to relate. I also liked that you were able to have a clear conflict and resolution in such a short story!
donna robinson01/19/06
This had a good starting point, filled out nicely in the middle and thoughtful in the ending. Couldn't ask for more!