A Big Transition…A New Chapter

A thriller, a comedy, a tragedy, poetry, a fairy tale, and a historical narrative all rolled into one. This is the book I am writing as I continue walking “jeaniesjourneys.” Thankfully, God is the author and perfecter of my life story (Heb 12:2), and we are writing this thing together. I’m starting a new chapter. A scary chapter. An exciting chapter. A sad chapter. A happy chapter. A chapter requiring faith. Lots of it.

For a while, I have known I would sell my house. It is time to downsize. Amazingly among ministers, I have been one of the few to stay in a house for a long time, over thirty years. My kids went through their elementary, middle school, and high school years based from this house. My grandchildren have visited my house as newborns and most recently the oldest as a high school graduate. They have slept over, played in the park across the street, and built their own memories. My youngest son, who spent his first twelve years in Romania, walked through the front door of this house as a member of our family in August of ‘98. It is more than a house. It is a home. At our wedding, Sam Laing, who now has his own health challenges, read this poem which now hangs on my wall. heap of living It’s authored by one of my favorite poets, Edgar Guest. I will include several stanzas:

It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,
A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam
Afore ye really ‘preciate the things ye lef’ behind,
An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.
It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,
How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;
It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,
Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything.

Ye’ve got t’ weep t’ make it home, ye’ve got t’ sit an’ sigh
An’ watch beside a loved one’s bed, an’ know that Death is nigh;
An’ in the stillness o’ the night t’ see Death’s angel come,
An’ close the eyes o’ her that smiled, an’ leave her sweet voice dumb.
Fer these are scenes that grip the heart, an’ when yer tears are dried,
Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an’ sanctified;
An’ tuggin’ at ye always are the pleasant memories
O’ her that was an’ is no more—ye can’t escape from these.

Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years, ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play,
An’ learn t’ love the things ye have by usin’ ’em each day;
Even the roses ’round the porch must blossom year by year
Afore they ‘come a part o’ ye, suggestin’ someone dear
Who used t’ love ’em long ago, an’ trained ’em jes’ t’ run
The way they do, so’s they would get the early mornin’ sun;
Ye’ve got t’ love each brick an’ stone from cellar up t’ dome:
It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home.

Let’s just say there has been a heap of living in this home…by us, and likely by some of you who have sat at our table and in our living room. Joy and laughter have rung within these walls, as has precious time around a loved one’s bed, knowing death is nigh.

It is time for a new chapter, so I put my house on the market for showings last Tuesday. On Thursday, I sold it. my for sale sign

I have learned that home is not really a physical place, rather it is a place of rest in the deepest part of my soul; a place that only God fills. I carry home with me wherever I go. The memories of loved ones and conversations, good food and fun, arguments and conflict resolutions, soul-searching conversations and discovery, the mundane and the thrilling, sickness and health, laughter and tears….the memories are in my heart and will go with me wherever I go all the way to heaven, my ultimate home.

That said, I soon realized the stark reality that selling my home would bring. I would have to land somewhere. I prayed fervently for the best place to land… to cut expenses in preparation for my pending retirement, and to provide meaningful ways to serve and love God and people, helping as many as possible make it to heaven. To be honest, something within me questioned whether I should go to a remote place where I could tell people who did not yet know about the amazing news of Jesus. However, given the fact that I don’t know other languages and that my first priorities next to Jesus are my children and grandchildren, I knew I would stay local and contribute to remote places in other ways.

Local turned out to be about an hour and forty-three minutes from my current home. I plan to move to Connecticut, near my daughter Kristen and her family. She said it was “her turn.” While it is so hard to leave so many I love here and there are so many precious (as well as difficult) memories, I feel the Spirit’s guidance and commendation on this new chapter. Through my wonderful realtor (Kristen), I found the perfect place, ten minutes from her family, that fulfills more wishes for a home than I could imagine. Small enough to be cozy but large enough to host friends and family, full of character and charm, near water and town, and full of so many other “hugs” from God. And, to top it off, there is a studio apartment next to the house—the perfect place for Jacob. We are both excited about our new adventure.

roses in my yard

roses in my new yard, overlooking the park across the street which begins the Riverwalk.

Who knows what all will be written in this new chapter, but with God editing it I am in safe hands. I suppose the upcoming chapters will contain the various genres mentioned above, but thankfully I know how the story ends. Meanwhile, I pray that the heap of living that takes place in my new home will bring joy to many, especially to God. My friend, Susan, who is currently in Connecticut helping her son’s family as he recovers from extensive cancer surgery, rode by my new house while her son was in surgery. Just as she pulled up to my new house, she got the call that the surgery was a success. So, she named my house the “good news house.” I like that name. I think I will stick with that. Please pray for me in this transition as I move to the “good news house.”

150 Naubuc Ave

43 thoughts on “A Big Transition…A New Chapter

  1. Jeanie I am so happy for you and Jacob. You both will be in my prayers. May you have a blessed and joyful journey with God❤️

    Like

  2. Joy and Grief. Life. I look forward to hearing all the ways God will love you, teach you, guide you, bless you and use you to His glory in my home state of Connecticut. 💞

    Like

  3. I love ❤️ it It looks beautiful and I know you will be a joy to all those in Conn We are doing your Women’s Teachings book here in Athens Ga every Thursday Lisa Sawhill one of elders wives leads the class Love it Perry and I signed up for RevivEE 2.O so going to Zagreb Croatia end of Aug Our son Michael went in 1.0 RevivEE to Odessa Ukraine and is doing another year so we will be with him.We are looking forward to serving with Shawn and Lena Wooten and Angie and Lowell Hoover. Love ❤️ you Jeanie Katherine

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  4. How beautiful Jeannie! And so excited to hear about your new chapter. Loving the new house and how God provided for Jacob as well. Blessings on your good news house and all it represents.

    Like

  5. Congratulations Jeanie! I know it’s been a while, but I think of you often. I will never forget and am so grateful for how helpful you and your family were to me in my time of need. I’ve always thought the world of you and Wyndham and never truly expressed how thankful I am for what you’ve done for me. I’m so very happy for your new home. Wishing you all the best in your “Good News Home”. Take care. ❤️

    Like

  6. I love this so much! Change is difficult, exciting and scary all rolled into one. Will pray that as God directs you, you find peace, love and much joy!!

    Like

  7. I just read your whole article to Steve. We both will miss having you here in Boston – and thank you for all your have done (so far) for our congregation and beyond. We are happy for Kristen and her family though and glad they to be near you. We love and respect you Jeanie ❤️
    Kathy and Steve Rosenbaum

    Like

  8. I am so excited for your new venture and am glad it isin CT as that is where I and my family are. The Hartford Church is lucky to have you!
    The Gonets are beyond thrilled I am sure.
    Welcome the The Heart and welcome home!

    Like

  9. Praying that God will bless you so much in your new (temporary) home. So glad Jacob can come with. Glad you’re still in NE to continue to be an example in my life as you have done for so long.

    Love you so much. I know Wyndham will be with you in all you do.

    Like

  10. Jeanie, congrats on setting out for a new adventure! We’ve shared many of them in our life journey together. I appreciate that we are on very similar roads and understand each other on multiple levels.

    Fellow journeyers to the end and into eternity,
    Al

    I

    Like

  11. Congratulations on the sale and the new home!! How perfect this new home sounds – close to Kristen and with a special spot for Jacob plus the Riverwalk!! CT is blessed to be getting you. I pray that all the memories of the Burlington home stay strong in your heart and mind. I love you! Lori Seavey

    Like

  12. A treasure to read. And the good news house even has a red door…remember mom’s red door Santa every Christmas:)
    Love you and your writing and your family and faith,
    c

    Like

  13. Jeanie! Thanks so much for sharing this! As always, your writing makes me feel like you’re sitting right here having a conversation with me. My heart goes out to you — what a gigantic change. It sounds like God has guided you indeed to “the good news house!” I am very happy for you.

    In our married life, Andy and I lived in apartments except for the two “good news houses” that God gave us. One in LA for 8 years, and then one in “Middle-Earth”-England for the following nine. Those years were wonderful in that all the sentimental stuff we loved that people had given us in different places — gifts, photos of our family and friends and various church families — was out and displayed in our home. When we packed up that English house in 2016 I was 55 and I couldn’t believe that at that “young” age, here I was, doing the final downsize and getting rid of all that stuff. It was hard! And it was good. The young family in the church that bought our home were lifesavers…they did a lot of the last of the redistributing and disposing of what we failed to complete before it was time for us to go.

    I was surprised, how quickly I felt content in an apartment, after 17 years in a house with a garden or yard. God is good. I honestly don’t miss it.

    Anyway. I am reminded of our transition as I read your piece today. I am so happy for you, that you have a riverwalk just across the street! And your family only a few minutes down the road. I am glad that I can imagine you there now and I pray you’ll be blessed beyond your expectations in the good news house! Sending much love.

    Like

    • Thank you for such a thoughtful response, Tammy. You are such an example of making “home” wherever you land. Your mission heart and life always inspire me. I love you very much.

      Like

  14. Dear Jeanie, this is a big move, all those memories – but this looks like a great new place to be for you and kind of exciting too. Best wishes for your new home and all the new things that go with it. I love the poem.
    With all my love

    Like

  15. “A rolling stone gathers no moss.” And neither do you! I am so proud of you. Another adventure with Jesus. The house looks perfect and the peek at the park looks familiar. I’ll pray for you as you go through the big clean out! Lots of memories in those walls. Love, Kitty

    Like

  16. So happy for you Jeannie! I can relate to so much of what you have said. We lived in our house for 20 years. We are now retired. We lived in Montana for a year and we were able to encourage the church there and that was such a blessing. We are about to move back East to Connecticut. We will be a part of the southern Connecticut church. So we won’t be so far from one another. We also prayed a lot about whether we should stay in Montana and continue to serve there or be near our kids which was of course my inclination. God made it very clear because the offer on a house in Montana was not accepted and the offer on the house in Connecticut was accepted. When you really wanted to see clearly what God‘s will was. We will be closing on our house there on July 19. I will keep you and your new chapter in my prayers.
    Love, Teresa Brown

    Like

    • Hi Teresa. Thank you. I thought that you had retired, though were working with a church in Montana. So happy you will be back near your kids. I really look forward to catching up. I think we will be about 45 minutes from each other, so that encourages me. I am in Glastonbury. I look forward to getting some time together. I pray that your move and transition go smoothly. Much love, Jeanie

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s