Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Moving Clouds and Lasting Monuments

It is the night before our big move into the new house. If you have followed our story at all you know that this was what we did NOT want to have happen. We know this is what God is up to in our life at this moment. We know that we are following Him into a new place in our lives in oh so many ways, but emotionally this has been extremely difficult, especially for me.  Some of my beautiful friends have given me so much grief in this process because I am so strongly outspoken that "church" is NOT a building, but a body of people, dynamic, organic, constantly changing, but family, well that can just stay right here in the walls it lives in now.  It has taken time for me to embrace this move and to get even a little excited about the possibilities, but I think I am finally there. We spent the evening having a picnic in the new, completely empty house.  It was the first time the children had seen the house and they were dreaming BIG about where all their most prized possessions were going to go in their new space.  It was fun to watch them and for a moment I allowed my emotions to see myself in the new place and to dream......a little.  It was a start.

        As we have moved through this process, I have often been reminded of the stories of the children of Israel as they spent time wondering.  They were guided by the presence of God Himself, in a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day.  As they traveled, they saw God moving, they saw Him working, they saw Him with them and as they did they would build a monument to what He had done.  These little piles of rocks were reminders to them of what God was like and what He had done for them. Sometimes the cloud stayed in a place for a long time and sometimes it moved quickly, but when it moved, they knew it was time to move too. I have often wondered if the people then groaned the way I have about leaving behind my Victorian library or my home on the same street as all my favorite places. The one thing I know is that the cloud has moved and we must follow it to a new place.  There we will begin again to create a home.
        The Old Testament is full of stories of these alters and monuments that were built to remind the people that God was there, even after the cloud had stopped guiding them. They were used to pass down the oral history to the following generations. As I prepare to leave behind this place I have called home, I leave behind many monuments that will be with me forever. (In fact, we take with us two boxes of actual rocks collected by the family on our many adventures). This house has been a place filled with laughter and friends.  Family nights of playing games or sitting up with teething babies.  Three of our kids were born here (two of them literally).  We have had an open door to any and all who came needing love or hope or family or just a break from their messy lives.  These things we take with us into our new place. Same crazy, wonderful, messy friends, same open door, the same probability for adventures. God has always provided for us here. He has walked with us through so many hard things and I am confident that He will do the same as we head out to this new place.The cloud has moved and I finally feel ready to move too.

Karen "Charity" Aldrich


  1. Beautiful Karen, just as you are! ~ Robin

  2. I think I might have lifted one of those boxes of rocks. :-)