Learning to travel lighter


By Jan Davis

Special to The PREVIEW

“I guess I can muster up enough strength for one more move,” I declared to Mike over a cup of coffee.

Over the next two months, this conversation played over and over in my mind. Sometimes, the phrase became my cheer song and pushed me forward. But more often, the banter sounded like a broken record and grated on my nerves.

“How did I get roped into this?” I mumbled as I stretched the tape across another box and wrote the contents, room and instructions on top. My back ached as I bent to reach into the lower cabinets to wipe away the dust. Up and down the stepladder I climbed to retrieve random large bowls and platters.

Mike lifted, stacked and stored the boxes in our garage. The cars wedged out of their warm spots and into the cold outdoors. We collapsed in our beds at night.

I stayed out of the way as movers invaded our home and carried out my cherished possessions. Strong, healthy young men stacked one box on top of another and carried them to the truck as I prayed prized keepsakes survived the man-handling.

A few days later in Oklahoma, we repeated the process in reverse, as movers unloaded the van. With an outward calmness I didn’t feel, I directed traffic and instructed workers where to place each box.

I gave myself pep talks throughout the day. “I can do this, I can do this, one more time!”

With every nook and cranny filled to the brim, my self-conversation continued. “A place for everything and everything in its place.” Though I accepted the challenge, some days the task seemed like an impossible goal.

Over the next few weeks, I opened and unwrapped every valued piece. I carried the shards of glass to the trash and sighed, “No big deal.”

I looked at the overflow, stored in an extra bedroom closet. “What can I discard without regret?”

Each new year we step back and look at our lives, the items we’ve become attached to and the containers we store them in, and evaluate the impact they make on our lives, the value or purpose they serve. Can we live without them? Do we let go or hold on? Decision time.

My granddaughter, Kilea, asked, “Which home did you like best?”

I couldn’t give her a clear answer. It’s not about the home or the decor, but the people who walk through the front door. Laughs shared over a meal, games played around the same table and precious memories made.

In Colorado, we did so many “firsts.” We met people who impacted our lives in different ways. When we moved, we left a houseful of furniture and took the cherished memories. They were the priceless possessions we stored in our hearts.

Our time in Arizona proved to be shorter than planned, yet we still added to our list of “firsts.” Memories transitioned from one state to another.

Back home in Oklahoma, we enjoy time with family and old friends. While I continue to unpack, I realize the memories made within these four walls will be cherished and celebrated long after I leave.

I often say, “Whether I live, or I die, I will serve Jesus. The rest is geography.” This still holds true in my spirit. If God nudges us to move again, I’ll muster up the strength “one more time.” The only catch, I promise to take more memories and less boxes.

Because of Jesus, I am learning to travel lighter.

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.” — Matthew 6:19-20 (KJV).

I love you, but Jesus loves you more.