We have had so much going on the last few weeks. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for us! We sold our house in only two weeks. Since then, we have been busy going through every, and we mean EVERY, item in our home. We organized everything into 3 piles basically—Italy, sale, or donate. For Italy, we packed our 10 suitcases full of items for the new apartment (things that we love that remind us of “home” like our favorite kitchen utensils, wooden bowls that Neil’s parents made us, our favorite books, a few pictures and frames, some of the kids favorite toys, our reduced selection of clothes, and a few other random items).
After donating a bit, we began getting ready for an estate sale—basically a glorified garage sale where people could go through the entire house and find just about anything they might need and then some. The night before we opened, it was strange to see all of our stuff lined up in row after row on huge tables spread out in the house. We began to think about God lining up all we’ve done in this life and about what really matters. It was a good perspective! God was indeed gracious and sent tons of people to us and they bought so much! All of our furniture sold as well as all the other bigger items. We feel so blessed and now have money set aside that we can furnish our new place once we arrive in Rome. It was really wonderful to talk to so many of the people that came through our sale. So many were extremely encouraging and supportive of our move. In fact, some really amazing people opened their hearts to us and simply donated money towards our move! It was really touching.
Even after selling off practically everything we own, we still had much to donate. It really shows just how blessed we are and how ungrateful we have been. As Americans, we take so much for granted and what we count as “normal” certainly isn’t that when it comes to thinking about the entire world. We thought it would be weird selling off our stuff and seeing people taking armloads out to their cars. And we suppose on some counts it was “different,” but it was a blessing to us. It felt so great to see people excited about owning our washer and dryer, our dishes and kitchen items, some of the kids toys, our clothes, our garden fountain, and our lemon tree. It was neat to think that a piece of “us” was going to all of those homes.
Oliver did come home and ask, “Where my bed?” We told him we’re camping out for awhile! Even mommy and daddy are camping out. We slept on a super nice air mattress (borrowed from a friend) in our empty living room for several days before we closed on our house.
We weren’t supposed to close on our house until this coming Friday. But, when we sold all of our furniture and kitchen items, we decided we could go ahead and close and let the nice new owners get moved in early like they had requested. It’s hard to believe we’re no longer in the house we’ve lived in for over 10 years—the house we grew closer in together, the house we became a family in, the house we loved in. It is challenging and sad, too. Yet, we are eager to see all that God has in store for us this next year!