My heart smiles because she almost always starts with, "Dear God, it was a beautiful day." Then she starts naming the people she loves and the fun things we did that day. She is starting to learn that we can pray for other people. We try to pray for Hunter and Hudson a few times a week because they are so far away from home. We have been praying for one of my friend's children who broke his leg. (He's the same age as Em.) She usually thanks God specifically for baby Caleb and tells God how cute he is.
This week I'm going to miss my little girl's prayers and sweet cuddle time at nap and bedtime. I'm tearing up just typing those words even though I'm thankful that she's going to stay with my parents for five days. Five days is just a long time. Mom has wonderful things planned for every day--a trip to KY Down Under, a trip to a butterfly sanctuary, pool time, library time, church, etc. Emily will have a blast--WAY more fun than she would have here as Jeremy and I work our butts off trying to get this house ready to put on the market this week. Also, Em is my biggest mess and trouble maker. I'm almost giddy at the thought of cleaning my house ONCE and it will stay that way for a few days instead of minutes. I'm incredibly thankful for my mom and dad for helping us. I'm glad that they want to spend quality time with her and that they have the energy to keep up with her for almost a week. I know Emily will make wonderful memories with Nan and Pop this week. I'm hopeful that we will be able to accomplish a great deal now that Jeremy's finished with his job and we only have one kid.
Jeremy and I have been aggressively decluttering our home and selling or donating items we no longer need or want. Little by little, the basement is looking better and more organized. It has been hard work, but I feel a little bit lighter every day. We held a yard sale last weekend and made about $480 on stuff we no longer needed. Most of the stuff was $10 or less, but it adds up. At times, I've had a hard time letting go of some things. For example, I donated an armoire and other home goods to God's Designs, a company that does "Extreme Home Makeover" projects for deserving, needy families. Even though I no longer needed it, it had sentimental value as a gift from my parents after college. Then, I remember that I've used it for almost 13 years. I most certainly got our money's worth out of it and now it was going to a needy family versus sitting in our basement collecting dust. As I sort through our past that has long been in storage boxes, I'm trying to discern what is truly important to keep and what needs to go. Some decisions are hard, but I don't want to hoard things that could be a blessing to others. God has blessed our family in countless ways. Giving back a portion from the overflow of blessing should not be a hard thing for us to do. These donations are not even "first fruits." They are things we no longer love or need. It is sad that it is takes moving to California to motivate me to deal with it all.
I was thinking tonight about how even when you are grown and independent, you still need your parents sometimes. I think Jeremy and I kind of pride ourselves on handling things ourselves and being financially independent. It has been very humbling to need help with this move. I don't like to ask for help or to feel so needy, but I'm in a situation where we are moving incredibly far away in a very short time and we have two children three and under. In the past few weeks, both of our parents have helped us with the children and house prep. We've had friends come over and help with the kids or with odd projects. I AM SO THANKFUL. I'm realizing how much it means when people ask specifically to help and give you permission to call them. It is so much better than having to "cold call" a friend to use their truck or ask for some favor. It is easier to ask for help when someone tells you to call if you need anything. I hope that I will remember that next time I'm in position to be a blessing to others.