Moving On Better Than I Was Before

hill climb

There is a moving van parked in front of my house today. This is the house where I let life slip right through my multi-tasking fingers, but it is also the house where I grasped what mattered with two free hands and one committed heart.

Although my husband and I have moved four times since we were married, this fifth move feels like the hardest. As I drive the kids home from swim team practice, the mailboxes of my neighbors make me sad. As I walk the halls of my children’s school, the artwork of children I’ve watched grow brings tears to my eyes. Even the swing at the park remembers all the times I pushed small shoulders beneath flying hair and wiggly feet. Unlike the other moves, this one feels like a tragic loss.

Why? I’ve wondered over and over. What it is about this move that makes it more painful than the rest? As I’ve climbed the hill where I had my Hands Free breakdown-breakthrough, I’ve had some time to think about this. You see, I walk that hill almost everyday. To me, it’s holy ground—Mother Nature’s life-size reminder of where I once was and where I want to be: present, connected, and fully alive. My climbs up this hill are now numbered. I am down to two.

As I sweated my way up the hill the other day, I remembered my biggest worry when I moved here six years ago was that my younger daughter was still not walking. She was nearly two-years-old and preferred shuffling around upright on her knees. My husband and I joked that she might just slide across the stage with holey knees and a jubilant smile to accept her high school diploma. But alas, those worries were put to rest a few days after the moving boxes were unpacked. I’ll never forget how my curly-haired daughter stood right up, walked seventeen steps, and never looked back.

Yes, my daughter learned to walk in this house. I guess you could say so did I. I’d been running, running for so long that I’d forgotten how to slow down, to breathe, to live, not just merely survive.

It is here where I learned to live, really live.

This is the house where I learned to stop multi-tasking the moments away. On a golden yellow sofa my younger daughter learned to play the ukulele while I learned how to be still. My undivided attention was required as she plucked her C chord and G chord with awkward fingers. Through these daily practice sessions, I learned that playing by heart didn’t sound perfect, but it made a happy sound. I learned that ten minutes of loving connection with another human being had the power to bring healing and hope to a regretful soul.

ukulele on yellow couchThis is the house where notes written in exquisite kid penmanship were plastered on kitchen cabinets, bathroom mirrors, and doorframes. They served as stop signs for my frenzied existence. Slow down. Don’t miss the love, the notes cautioned. Through the little papers that still hang in my bathroom cabinet today, I learned that stopping to give love meant a chance to be loved. I learned that what is most urgent in life must not be prioritized over what is most important in life.

love notes as stop signsThis is the house where a sea of rice fell upon the kitchen floor… where fear gripped my older daughter’s face and I saw a bleak future for a mother who expected too much of herself and the people she loved … where I fell to my knees and helped my child sweep up a thousand tiny white grains while praying for strength to dismiss my inner bully … where “only love today” became a song in my head that I played on repeat.

live more love more blog 3This is the house where I began sharing my Hands Free journey with the world through this blog … where neighbors took off their cloak of perfection and stood with me in the light of realness … where children of the community know me as the lady who always wears hats, loves to show children how to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, and lives out her childhood dream of being a published author … where my kids and I are loved “as is” despite our flaws and imperfections.

loved asThis is the house where my older daughter made an impromptu garden smack dab in the middle of the back yard. Miraculously, I did not tell her to move it. And every time I looked out the kitchen window, that little garden reminded me to cultivate and protect the passions of my heart. I was reminded that what matters most must be nurtured and brought into the sunlight daily. Otherwise, our life’s true purpose is too easily buried and forgotten beneath the excess, hurry, and distractions of life.

cultivating the passions of the heartThis is the house where my younger daughter wrote her name on the wall of her closet and instead of yelling, I looked into that remorseful face and reached out my arms to hold her. I could not explain why, but as I did it, I felt such hope. It was the first real tangible sign that I was making progress on my journey to live more and love more in each precious day I am given.

closet name #handsfreemamaThese are the floors where my baby learned to walk.

Where I learned to walk instead of run …
Where I learned to reveal instead of hide …
Where I learned that the truth hurts, but truth heals and brings me closer to the person and parent I want to be.

It pains me to think about walking out of this house, but I’m okay with being sad for a spell. Long gone are the days when I would force a smile and say, “I’m fine,” through gritted teeth. Now I try to offer the gift of authenticity to myself and to those I love. I thought about that as my older daughter and I were purging her bedroom of old toys and unwanted items over the weekend.

As we worked together to stuff a gigantic stuffed bunny into a donation bag, she stood up abruptly and clutched the window with both hands. Looking out at her neighborhood of friends that have become like sisters, she somberly stated, “I don’t want to move away.”

My mouth opened to remind her of all the positives to come, but I quickly shut it. Instead I held her and whispered, “I know, baby. I know.” And then we cried together, neither of us ready to move on from that moment or these walls too quickly.

So as you see, the lessons of the Hands Free journey continue to emerge even as boxes line the halls and shiny coats of paint cover fingerprint smudges.

And there is great comfort in that.

Whether I am in Timbuktu or Home Sweet Home,
Whether I am in the midst of joy or pain,
Whether I am lost or I am found,
Life-changing discoveries are mine for the taking with two free hands and one committed heart.

I took one last walk with a beloved friend—the friend who has heard all my difficult truths, yet never left my side. As we walked, she was relaying what she told her daughter in the midst of teenage heartache. “Let’s look for the blessings,” my sweet Southern friend repeated the words she’d said to her daughter a day earlier. Little did she know, she was talking straight to my heart. “Let’s look for the blessings. We can’t see them yet, but we will. We will,” my friend said determinedly as we climbed our favorite hill together one last time.

All at once, I was powerfully reminded that there, among cardboard boxes, goodbye hugs, and tear-stained cheeks, are blessings yet unseen.

I will be looking for them. Oh, yes, I will be looking for them. Because I learned how, right here in this house. I have no doubt there are more lessons in new places and new people just waiting to be grasped.

And there is great comfort in that.

on porch************************************************

Some people love change and adventure, but I am not one of those people. I like familiarity and sameness. As a directionally challenged person, I like to know my way around. As a planner, I like to know what to expect. Needless to say, this move means I am going to be out of my element for awhile. Yet, I am seeing this as a positive—an opportunity to grow, open my eyes a little wider, and gather life-changing discoveries that come with stepping out of one’s comfort zone. I don’t want to miss a thing. I want to be available to my new surroundings, but most importantly, I want to be available to my family. I have decided to step away from the blog and The Hands Free Revolution page during this time of transition. When I began this blog, I vowed to live the life I write so I trust you know that is what I am doing. Thank you for understanding my absence and having faith I will be back sometime soon to share my stories with you. You are a blessing to me. 

Feel free to share what lessons you have learned during major life changes. Please share how you are moving on literally or figuratively. I am always touched and inspired by what you write!

I leave you with a few beneficial tools to Grasp What Really Matters created by some awesomely brilliant colleagues of mine:

1) Rachel Miller and Holly Homer of Kids Activities Blog have immediately impacted my family’s summer with their newly released book! The fun-filled activities and projects in this book have created family bonding time, device-free time, learning experiences, and major independence! My school-age children were able to do many activities without adult assistance and all the materials we needed were on hand. You can read about the book here and order here.

2) I love what author Shawn Fink is creating in the name of Banning Busy. Check out 50 Slow Summer Fun Ideas to Help You Ban Busy and The Abundant Mama’s Guide to Savoring Slow .

3) Nothing thrills me more than seeing that my friends at The Happy Family Movement have created NED the Phone Monster! NED stands for No Electronic Distractions. NED sits on your kitchen counter as a landing place for phones. Because NED needs to be “fed” daily he helps you: “Put down your phone. Pick up your life.” Check out how you can support the kickstarter campaign and bring home a a NED of your very own!

4) Finally, I highly encourage you to reserve 5 quiet minutes to soak up these profound and affirming words about “present-moment success” by the talented Beth Berry. “How to Be Successful Without Completing a Thing” came to me when I most needed it and has offered me more peaceful exhales than I can count over the past few weeks.

 One final note: I am very sorry that some subscribers of my blog have received old posts emailed to their inboxes over the past few days. I believe I know what triggered it, and hopefully it won’t happen again. Thanks for your patience! 

 

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Comments

  1. 1

    says

    Beautifully written. Blessings to you and your family on this adventure. Good for you to take a break for a bit.

    My family is leaving today for a 7 week bike trip. We are going to Canada so we will have no phone service….i am so looking forward to the tech disconnect!

    I will update my blog when wifi is available so friends/family know we are fine, but summer is always a time that our family of 4 kind of disappears from the world.

    I do love your blog and will miss your updates in my inbox, but thank you for walking the walk and talking the talk. You are such an inspiration!

  2. 2

    Nicole S says

    I am in the midst of preparing for a move from a home where many memories were made. Your post was not only timely, but it also resonated deeply with me. Along with moving from our current home, I am leaving a job I love. Like you, I am a planner and wish to know what lies ahead. While I don’t know with any certainty what is ahead of me, I know that this period brings about positive possibility. I am looking most forward to being free from distraction to be the woman, wife, and mother I was created to be.

  3. 3

    Crystal says

    Thank you for this post. It spoke to my heart. I am also in the midst of a move and the transition. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Best of luck with the move and finding your way.

  4. 4

    says

    Our first moving van comes today. Our impending move is a 2-parter. It’s going to be a long 3 weeks to get everything moved. I don’t like moving, especially since this is our 3rd move in 3 years. But this impending move is a good one so I’m continuing to pack knowing we’re heading to a place that will be better for us. I wish you peace and contentment as you move and transition.

  5. 5

    Lesley says

    And you Rachel, have been a much needed blessing to me! May the move and transition period for you and your family be filled with ease, happiness & new friendships.

  6. 6

    Carla says

    Your friends words, “Let’s look for the blessings”, along with your message of slowing down, being in the moment, letting things happen in their own time, reminds me that those blessings may not be immediately apparent but that I need to be patient in my wait or my search for them. Yes, I will try to remember this.

  7. 7

    Teresa says

    Best of luck with your move! I have enjoyed your posts so much, and will keep reading your book.

    God has a plan for you and your family in your new location, but it’s still hard. I will pray for you during this tough transition.

    I recommend just moved. org, started by a woman as a ministry for relocating families. I first heard her on the radio while unpacking boxes from a move to a new state, and felt like God did it just for me. Her books were a great source of comfort and help for me.

  8. 8

    Jolene Moulton says

    Thank you for your wonderful words of wisdom. They have been a blessing to read. We will miss you while you are in your transition of moving, settling down, adjusting, loving and hugging your family in your new home.
    We look forward to hearing that you arrived safely to your new destination. Best wishes as you begin this new chapter in yours and your families life.

  9. 9

    Christi says

    Once again, beautiful post and as always, I shed a tear or two! What a brave woman you are! I cannot be more appreciative of your candid stories and beautiful writing that always touches my heart like few others can! Love the reminders and interesting ways you interact with your children. It’s a daily struggle for me to let go (not to have my child’s hair up just perfectly, to always cook dinner, to get all my to do list done), but I’m realizing that none of that stuff really matters anyway. Thanks for always providing me that reminder! And we’ll read and re-read your old posts until you return to us. Happy moving and stay brave and open to the new adventures awaiting you and your family!

  10. 10

    Amanda says

    We moved last year, and I had all of the same feelings that you do. So many memories were built in that first house of ours. On the way to our closing, I stopped in to leave a note to the new owners and look around one last time. I was expecting to walk through the front door (like I’d always done) and slowly glance through each room soaking in the last of the memories. But the strangest thing happened… when I opened the door, I did not see our home. It was just a house. An empty shell of a place where we had happened to once live. Without our furniture and without my FAMILY, that structure had no meaning. It was the first time I had a true peace about leaving. Home is not your neighborhood or the roof over your head. Home is where you are with the ones you love.

    I just read on another blog (ironically about a move next week!) that she’s realized “it’s easy to see what you are losing, but it’s hard to see what you will be gaining.” It will be hard to leave behind so many friends and familiar places, but you are taking your memories and your family with you. I hope that brings you peace. GOOD LUCK!

  11. 11

    metalmama says

    Hope the move goes okay. Im sure after some adjustment youre going to find a great life there. I think this whole journey youve been on will only help you in your new move and how you help your family. It might have been a worse journey and a bad time had you never had your hands free moment. Good luck. Xx

  12. 12

    Jana Taylor says

    Blessings & good wishes on your move. I’ve done this over the years as my husband’s jobs changed. As hard as they were, the moves did provide blessings I wouldn’t have received otherwise. I will look forward to your next adventures & postings.

  13. 13

    says

    Rachel, I think you deserve a “blog break” as you transition. It only goes along with your hands free revolution to drop away and focus on your family at this emotional time. Maybe you need to hear that to feel less guilty;). I’m not moving and love that my kids are growing up in one place, but I know when I have moved and taken new opportunities in life, I found amazing new people and blessings abound. Your advise, to look for the blessings… is so relevant for us all, as we approach summer days, camps, travel, and eventually new teachers and classrooms experiences in the fall. I’m finding new blessings daily, as I see my two boys as one “butterfly” and one “firefly” now too! Thank you for your blog. I’ll definitely need to buy your book now, but will welcome your return. Gods speed– trust that blessings await for your family!

    • 14

      says

      Thank you, Kimberly. This means a great deal to me. You know my heart. I love this community so much and grateful to those who come here and read weekly. You have provided such loving assurances today.

  14. 17

    says

    Another brilliant perspective: “…stopping to give love meant a chance to be loved.” So true!

    When my kids were little, I remember being so busy I never sat down. One day I did, and they jumped right into my lap. I hadn’t even realized that was missing. It was a great wake-up call for me as your blog is for millions.

    So glad you stopped to share your love with us in this blog. It gave us the chance to know and love you back!

    I wish you and your family a safe journey as you expand your world and create more delightfully secure spaces of comfort, familiarity and sameness that you can call home <3

  15. 18

    Elizabeth Bram says

    Thank u so much. We are moving in one week and although I am just beginning my hands-free journey, I am a single working mom and the act of moving house and cities is the biggest stressor and a huge test of “only love” and understanding my daufhter’s feelings, not letting my stress affect her and taking time to slow down and experience it all with her. It is and will be tough for both of us and a calm, understanding and positive mommy will define how she looks at this turning point in our lives for years to come – or for her entire life in fact. Without your posts I know I would have completely mucked it up! Thank you so much for being so forthcoming about these truly difficult and painful parenting dilemma’s and situations. I am eternally grateful!

  16. 19

    Mary says

    I wish you all the best during your move, and during your transition to your new home. Good for you for giving yourself some time off and a break. Give yourself and your family the gift of time – take your time during your move and move-in to your new home – PLENTY of time.

    I moved into a new home a little less than a year ago, and it was such a huge struggle for me, as a recovering perfectionist. I wanted everything unpacked, put away, artwork hung, etc., RIGHT AWAY! I drove myself and my family crazy doing this, because I struggle greatly with the chaos that is a home full of boxes and random stuff everywhere. Thank God for my therapist who set me straight on a weekly basis!!! I still have tons of boxes left to unpack, artwork left to be hung, areas left to be organized, etc. I am challenging myself to work through this as part of my perfectionism recovery. Your blog posts have served as frequent reminders to me that it is more important to spend time with my beloved family than to unpack just one more box… so I am learning to slow down, and deal with the discomfort of the remaining boxes and things un-put away. Sorry this is so un-eloquent, but just wanted to share my understanding of what you are going through, and express my appreciation for your help in my journey.

    Wishing you all the best in your move, and hoping you and your family enjoy the journey of discovering your new home and neighborhood and all it has to offer.

  17. 20

    Lisa says

    I am on the process of moving as we speak. It’s a difficult on for me. I just lost my husband of 21 years to a sudden heart attack 3 weeks ago. The memories here, I see on a daily basis are sad yet many are joyful. Our beloved cat misses him terribly. This is a tough transition for me to 1) be alone for the first time in many years. 2) lose our home. 3) walk away from our family pet. It’s almost more than I can handle some days. But I know I will get through this and learn to continue my life in a positive direction. You are a true inspiration, and I feel like I know how to handle all this better, just by reading your blogs and messages. You bring this in such a more positive light. Thank you for that. You will be missed. But I know this experience will only make you stronger than you already are. I can’t wait to read about your new life’s adventures. God bless you and your family.

  18. 21

    Claire says

    Beautifully written. I know u will be happy in your new home, just might take a little while. Bless you and your family.

  19. 22

    Katie C says

    May blessings follow your family in your move…. I will continue to re-read your book and your posts as constant reminders to spend my time right. Best wishes!

  20. 23

    Elaine says

    Blessings on your move and thank you for the sharing you have done – it has blessed me (and thus, my kids) tremendously. I second the recommendation of just-moved. org. Susan Miller’s book, After the Boxes are Unpacked, truly ministered to me after moving several states away from family and friends. She also has resources for children.

  21. 24

    Sara says

    I really don’t have the words to express how much your blog has given me perspective on my own life–helping me see how I can be more present and more loving for my children and myself. I’m a very busy mom and a perfectionist and expect too much out of myself and everyone around me. Your words always seem to come at the needed time and with a beautiful balance of encouragement for change interlaced with self-forgiveness and grace. This hands-free living is always a work in progress, and your words have been a reminder to stay on the path despite mistakes. I don’t think I’ve read one of your posts without shedding a tear! I just wanted to take a brief moment to thank you for helping change my life and to wish you the best in this new chapter of your life.

  22. 25

    Connie says

    We moved about two and a half years ago out of our first home. The home where we started our marriage and our family. The home that made us us. Reading your post today was like reading my own journal from my final days in our little house that I still miss to this day. I still miss that home for the memories that were made there – the first steps, the nights spent rocking a fussy baby, even the heartbreaking moments. There are days where something will trigger a memory and I will be brought back to a Christmas morning in that house or reminded how my son lined his stuffed animals on the shelf in his tiny, cozy room and my heart breaks as I miss those days. I love our home now and we have made many new and wonderful memories. But there is something about the life and the love that grew in that first home that I still don’t feel in our new home. Since our move I have felt overwhelmed with the additional responsibilities – more housework, painting bedrooms, landscaping. And as I read your post today, I know that what I have been overwhelmed with are the things that aren’t truly important, and that are actually getting in the way of me making real memories again with my family.

    Thank you, once again, for this perspective, and for your honesty and openness. After reading each of your posts, once I’ve dried my tears, I feel a renewed sense of perspective, and I am truly grateful to you for that.

    Best wishes for your move. I applaud you for taking this time for you and your family. And I wish you a lifetime of warm and wonderful memories in your new home!

  23. 26

    says

    Hi Rachel! I’m a new fan – I started with your book and then discovered your blog. You’re such a blessing to me already, and while I’ll miss you, I guess I have the archives to keep me going while you settle in *smile*. I definitely understand how you feel; I’m just the same (matter of fact, my family gets perturbed that they can never really plan anything for me because I demand to be in the know all the time) and I look forward to reading your new heart notes when you’re ready.

    xo
    Carin

  24. 27

    Alisha R. says

    Each post I read makes tears well up in my eyes because I feel like you are a kindred spirit and your words resonate with me. Since I began reading your blog I have become more patient, less angry, funnier, and happier. Not every day, but the steps are more forward than back and I want to say thank you for showing me the way. I, like you, crave sameness and routine. I love my life, my home, my friends and still living in the city I grew up in. Your message above gives me faith and hope that if some day, change and moving is the fate of my family, I could do it too. Good luck to you in your new adventure – change is almost always for the better, it’s just hard to look forward with nothing but faith. I look forward to your return but in the meantime enjoy the journey!

  25. 28

    Heather P says

    Dear Rachel,
    I am sorry to only have discovered your blog a few days ago. As a neurotic multi-tasker and brand new mommy the handful of beautifully written pages I’ve read so far are so inspiring. I’m glad to have many more entries before I run out. Thank you for sharing with honesty and sincerity. I’ll be looking forward to your return. In the meantime keep living hands free…

  26. 30

    says

    Your writing is so beautiful. I love your blog and every word in it. Thank you for being so open and honest in your journey. You’ve inspired me so much! My family and I are on the verge of a big move as well. Tough to say goodbye, but we are also looking for the good in all of it. All the best to you and your family!

  27. 33

    says

    Another beautiful, so deeply from the heart, post.

    I moved 18 months ago (at the same time went from being single mum of one, to married mum of four). I’m also a planner who needs familiarity and sameness. And an introvert. So I had my work cut out for me and quite honestly, I think I made a giant mess of it. I think I have been given one million lessons in the last 18 months and I’m about to start putting the lessons into action and pulling myself out of the mess.

    Can I suggest some things not to do when you move.

    Don’t throw yourself so much into settling your children into their new life that you neglect your own needs. Don’t pine so hard for your old life, that you don’t allow yourself to start accepting your new. Don’t rush into trying to do everything perfectly and getting involved in everything straight away, breathing is good too. Don’t hide who you really are and how you really feel from the people around you (even new people will care).

    Just thought I’d share the biggest mistakes I made in case it could help someone.

    Your blog, writing and perspective is having a huge impact on this stage of my life. Thank you so much for sharing your journey.

  28. 34

    Alicia says

    I love reading your beautiful blog every week, Rachel. This post could not have come at a better time, as my husband and I and our two children are moving in 10 days. Our move is bittersweet because we are leaving behind many dear friends that we have made during the past four years but we will be going back to our home state, where we will be surrounded by family. I hope you will take as much time as you need to settle into your new home with your own family. I look forward to reading your blog when you are ready to return.

  29. 35

    Stephanie McCarty says

    Oh my goodness, Rachel, I loved this post – and just had to share with you an article I wrote several years ago about my own daughter who was a “knee walker.” She is 10 now but I still remember wondering if she would ever walk on her feet :) Here’s the link to my article – thought you might enjoy reading it: http://www.kcparent.com/KC-Baby/Winter-2006/Learning-to-Walk/ Thanks for making me smile :)

  30. 36

    Amy says

    Rachel I so feel for your sadness and sentimentalism right now. I am the same with resisting change in my life and when I moved recently it was very hard for me. I have to say a lot of blessings did come from it though. You are wise to acknowledge this in your journey. God bless you on your journey. I am so grateful to you for being a vehicle for opening my eyes to be more present with my children. Take all the time you need to be offline. However long till the next post I know it will be worth the wait. Thank you for your posts. Thank you for your book. Best wishes for you and your family in this time of transition.

  31. 37

    Courtney Franklin says

    Prayers for you & your family. I know that moving can be so hard, but also exciting. My mom, sister, & I moved many times throughout my childhood. We finally ended up in the area that I still call home when I was 13. I am 35 now, & I am so grateful that this is where we were finally planted, although I was very resistant to every move. This where I met my husband & best friends, became the mom to my daughter & her brother (our dog, Buddy), and received sooo many other blessings. Without every move that I resisted, I may not have all of this. God knows what He’s doing, & it’s always for the best. I look foward to your return! Love, love, love…

  32. 38

    Theresa says

    Sending you and your wonderful family many wishes of Happiness and Health and a smooth transition into your new home. May your new home, family and YOU be better than ever! Sending hugs your way for all the lovely things left behind!

  33. 39

    Wendy says

    Best wishes and many blessings to you as you move and settle in. I’m so grateful for the wisdom and heart you have shared in your blog. I have learned and am still learning much from your gentleness and wisdom.

  34. 43

    Trisha Stanley says

    Thank you for your stories. While I will miss reading them we all do need to take time away from all noise in life and just live in the moment. Best of luck to you and your family with your move. I look forward to hearing about your adventures when you start writing again.

  35. 44

    says

    Good luck in your new home. I hope you and your family make even more wonderful memories and progress there.
    We actually have considered moving but our children are so happy in their school (we like it very much as well) that pulling them out seems almost cruel.

  36. 45

    says

    It’s great that you are living out what you are teaching! May the Lord bless you during this time! I am in the middle of your book and am thoroughly enjoying it. Thank you for being faithful to your family first!

  37. 46

    Julia Kurskaya says

    We love you, and I’m sure there will be very many blessings to a person who has eyes and heart open to take them in.

    I’ve just finished your book. It has changed me. Your words helped me so many times. We will be waiting for your new posts and your new book for as long as it is necessary. I hope you never think again about deleting your blog. It scares me to think what would have happened if I have never heard your message. You’ve been my emergency contact since the day I’ve read your post for the first time. You’ve taught me to lie beside my sleeping baby and to watch her sleep, to grasp the sunset moments, when time stops and I know I will remember them forever.

    I’d like to remind you about a line that I think of when I get too sad about not being able to see some of my friends for months and even years: “Good friends are like stars. Even when you don’t see them, you know they are there”.

  38. 48

    Tabitha says

    I just want to take this opportunity to thank you. Your beautiful writing goes straight to my heart every time. I am very grateful I have your book as I frequently seek out your insights.

    Thank you to you and your family for the difference you are making to me and my family.

  39. 49

    Larissa says

    Thank you so much for giving yourself to this cause! I read your story and I cried, so many times I’ve just flipped my lid over something g so small and I always feel so bad but never realized how I could start being different. I will start today! Thank you so much

  40. 50

    Hala says

    I desperately needed this today! Almost two years ago my two girls and I went through a drastic move. My husband abandoned us and we had to leave the place we knew for ten years. I’m trying to get back on my feet now, but sometimes a roadblock will cause me to fall apart and I just get overwhelmed, and I yell at my girls. But I will try harder to “look for the blessings” and to keep going. Thank you with all my heart! Take care and hope your new life is full of peace and joy!

  41. 51

    says

    Your words are beautifully written and definitely hit home for me. We are a military family and moving for us is a part of life. It’s not a choice and a lot of times there is hurt and sacrifice involved. What I have come to learn after living in four states in five years is that a home is just a foundation for what you build within the walls. What is built inside are memories of your babies first steps, dinners together and unforgettable milestones in a marriage as well. What I have experienced is that all of the memories that were made inside your home don’t have to stay. You can pack them up and carry them in your heart forever; nothing will erase them they are yours forever, no matter what your zip code or address may be.

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    sonja says

    Best with your move. We are also moving and this blog was so timely to read today. I need the reminder that amidst the urgent the important can be shoved aside. Thank you,

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    Stacey says

    Hey – I love your posts and I realized it had been awhile since we all heard from you. I’m sure your move is still at the stage of ‘settling in’ but thought I’d let you know that someone is thinking of you and yours and praying all is well.

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    says

    I have enjoyed your blog for quite some time now and am excited to hear how things are going once you’re able to write again. We are starting the long process of relocating as well and I hope to handle it with as much grace as you seem to be. Enjoy this great adventure with your girls!
    http://www.thebestbarberswife.com

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    Camillia says

    I was moved to tears, your friend was right look for the blessings. I plan on using the STOP for my inner bully starting now. My heart aches for the seven years of blood sweat and tears (not to mention the money) we put into our “home” with our amazing family of 6. We don’t have to sell our home but I am hugely sentimental and even more since we moved in when my oldest was one. Then brought home our 6 year old daughter and twins home 2 1/2 years ago.

    Hope is the thread and fabric of humanity to keep going.

    Then reflect “huh, that wasn’t so bad.” Thank you~

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    Emily says

    Hi Rachel, I found your blog when you decided to take a break. What a pity! Your message about letting go and being in the present with your children was just what a 5-month preggie mother like me needed to hear! I feel I can come back to your blog whenever I’m feeling over-stretched and helpless. I do hope you will keep writing! All the best!

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    says

    I am out of words. Infact am in tears. I am exactly where you had been. I have tried to pray, to read articles and keep swearing am stopping but always find myself yelling. I love my kids with my life and it hurts me to even think of how they see me. I have some recordings of our time in the house and am just ashamed of my reactions and my tone of voice. I shame my son almost every morning and call him irresponsible and lazy yet I know words have power but I cant stop. I swear at them oh my God am ashamed. Please let me tell it here coz I have never shared it with anyone for the fear of other people knowing how I am. Sometimes I blame God that He is not helping me even if I pray. From your previous article I have had a glimpse of my problem. Like you I pursue perfection, perfection from my children who are still kids at 11 and 8 respectively, I pursue perfection from my husband who is as human as I am. I want to live in a perfect house and perfect neighbourhood and when it is not achieved I simply boil up. I get in the house and see the pile of dishes in the sink and I blame everyone and I talk non stop. My husband does not like it and has told me so. I scream at my children if they forget to do a chore like my son is supposed to polish their school shoes. I threaten him. My son loves me to the point that he even tries to cheer me up when I look down but what do I give him in return? ” leave me alone” that’ s what I tell him if not worse. Please let me confess it here. I need to talk it out. I shy from doing saying the right things to my children. I feel like am being hypocritical. Sometimes I wish I could run away from my self. I know the whole truth, I am born again but I even wonder if my children can say that about me. I just dont understand why I am so willing to change yet I cannot change. But from your previous article I have learned to leave all distractions. I am starting now by noting them down, May God help me. I wish to be an avid follower of your blog coz you have given me hope.

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    says

    Hi Rachel!

    Thank you for your beautiful words, insight, and wisdom. Your readers are certainly blessed by you. I recently found your blog and I look forward to reading your book, the whole lifestyle of hands free has been heavy on my heart lately, so finding you and your site has been an inspiration. The post I wrote yesterday is about waiting on the Lord, faith for the journey, and even though you may not see all the blessings yet, they are sure to come. http://www.victoriamariehamaty.com/2014/07/17/faith-for-the-journey/
    Prayers for you and your family in your new adventure!

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    Angela says

    So enjoyed this post, and I pray you and your family are adjusting well to your new home and surroundings. You put into words so much of what I felt when our family relocated two years ago – even now, I struggle to adjust at times. Friendships are what I’ve missed the most – it’s not as easy now as it was when my kids were young – “playdates” and classroom parties are things of the past. And for all the positives that social media provides, I’ve found that it has made letting go enough to start anew especially hard for me (I could have really used that book of yours a wee bit earlier, I think :) ) – I finally had to remove it from my life and have struggled with whether or not to reconnect. Adjusting has been a very slow process for me it seems, but I am getting there. : )

    Much happiness to you and your family, I look forward to your future posts.

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    Meg says

    I don´t know if this will go through… this is the first time I write in someone´s blog. I don’t know you… I am so far away from most of the people who share comments here… but I feel I want to join them to write a brief “thank you” across the ocean, all the way from somewhere in Europe where I am; I have just discovered this blog and did not know where to start reading to satisfy my curiosity… I ended up reading your last post and, as I read one of the last paragraphs, it felt as if I was reading on my own journal… as if the way you describe yourself was a mirror on the way I feel too: <>. I am about to move to a new place too, a new country, a new situation, a new everything… while I am still trying to learn to be a mom, still trying to learn to be me! I don´t like to admit it, but I am so scared in so many ways. Hope you are enduring it, or living the adventure of change… and finding your place in the “new everything” around you. What an adventure it is to live this changing life… I need to remind myself that I have been brave before in other circumstances and I can do it again. But I would like to do it better and feek the difference, as everyone else I guess, be happy and let those who matter most to us be happy aswell, because they see us happy. Who knows if I make any sense! Thanks for being honest in sharing your feelings and desire to love the journey as you keep learning how to yourself. You know you are an angel to many people… hope you can feel that love and encouragement back when you needed aswell =)

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