4 Life Lessons from Moving

On Wednesday, July 1st, the Pearson family moved into a new home in Thompson's Station, TN after living in an apartment in Cool Springs (Franklin, TN) for 6 months. Of course, these 6 months have provided numerous lessons. However, the following 4 continued to crop up over and over - especially last week.

#1. Listen Before You Leap

Moving from one town to another, from a house to an apartment, from an apartment to a house, to a new school, a new church, a new neighborhood, etc. impacts everyone. I mean, everyone. It impacts the friends you leave behind. It impacts the friends you make in your new place. Mostly, however, it impacts the people under your own roof (wherever that is). This goes without saying - but I guess it has hit me harder now that I have 3 "older" children. Moving does not just effect Matt and Katie. It has huge implications on Matt, Katie, Luke, Seth, and Birti. I believe we have been in God's will with every move (this one is no exception). But making sure I hear from the Lord prior to moving hasn't had a more drastic impact than this one. When/If you move - listen to the Lord and hear from Him clearly before leaping to a new town.

#2. Stuff is Stupid

When the Pearson's moved out of our home in El Dorado, Arkansas - we threw away A LOT of junk. Since we have moved into our home last Wednesday, we have - again - thrown away A LOT of junk. Junk that we didn't think was junk when we moved from El Dorado. Junk that all 5 of us thought at one time or another we just "had" to have. Living in an apartment for 6 months will prove that you can get along quite well without tons of stuff. I believe a really good argument could be made that you can get along better without a lot of stuff. The more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to move. Stuff that looks so good on the shelf and/or so good before you click it at Amazon ends up being nothing but junk. The lesson is to think twice before purchasing. Ask questions like, "Do I really need this?" Or, "If I were moving next week into a new place, would I buy this?" Or, "Could this money be better used for something more efficient?" Not only did Jesus have some strong things to say about "stuff," His lifestyle revealed such a freedom of being a slave to junk. When you don't have a place to lay your head, you don't require alot.

#3. Family Matters

At the end of the day - whether in Amite, Louisiana; Wynne, Arkansas; El Dorado, Arkansas; Franklin, Tennessee; or Bangalore, India - what my wife and kids need more than anything is to know they are loved, cared for, and have a safe place to go to every night. We can be a family anywhere - in a nice home in El Dorado or an apartment in Franklin. What matters is that we maintain and nurture the "family" aspect of our family. Location and residence isn't ultimate. The Pearson's being a strong and healthy family, however, is. As my dad has famously said (well, famous to me!), "The Family Life Center is the Kitchen Table!" It doesn't matter where or what the kitchen table is. What matters is that a family is eating together - sharing the events and circumstances of life.

#4. The Mission Field is Everywhere. . . Especially Apartment Complexes in Franklin, TN.

The Pearson's have been in our new home for 5 days now. Where we live is our new mission field. It is no accident as to where we are and who God has put around us. We are to make disciples of Jesus where we are. However, I confess that there is a part of us that misses the apartment. Not the size. Not the price of rent. Not the dog poop in the grass. What is missed already is the opportunities to make disciples of unreached/unengaged peoples that God has brought to Franklin. Men and women and families from literally all over the globe live in apartments in Franklin, TN. Muslims. Hindus. Buddhists. Atheists. Agnostics. Churched. Unchurched. Dechurched. You name it. They are there. There is a HUGE mission field with unbelievable opportunities for Gospel witness in these places. If you are reading this and know God has called you to international missions, but He hasn't released you to go overseas yet - let me urge you to move into an apartment in Franklin, TN. It won't be cheap. There will be dog poop in the grass. There will be families like mine whose kids make noises above you. But the opportunity to see the kingdom of God come to every nation, tribe, language, and tongue is within a 500 yard radius of where you park your car.