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Moving On

By Mike and Donna Martin.

Well, it has been quite some time since our last blog.  Some of you may have been wondering if we had disappeared.  Well, in a way we have.  We have spent the last 45 days cleaning out closets, bringing things down from the attic, having two garage sales, looking for an apartment, preparing to move and finally moving!  Yes, after having been on the market for two and one half years our house finally sold, and we downsized and moved into a two bedroom apartment in Plano, Texas.

It was a big move for us.  We had lived in our home on Lynwood Street for a little over 36 years. Of course over the years we had collected a lot of “stuff”.  Since we were moving from a 2800 square foot house to an 1195 square foot two bedroom apartment not all of the “stuff” could go with us.  However, letting go of some of those things was a little difficult.  We had a closet full of the kids’ toys upstairs.  Whenever, our grandchildren or nieces, nephews and friends with children visited they always enjoyed playing with the “old” toys (as our great-niece called them).  I asked all of our children if they wanted this toy or that toy, but none of them were interested, so I began to list the toys on E-bay.  It was really hard at first because I was emotionally attached to them.  Each toy brought back memories of time spent with each child.  But after I got started sorting and selling, I began to realize that some of the toys were missing parts and did not even work.  I wondered why I had filled the closet space with them for so many years.  It was refreshing to get rid of the clutter.

I moved on to the kitchen – more memories – the glasses we had received at our wedding shower, the magnet my grandmother has made, the candy dish we acquired in France.  But most of these things had just been stuffed back in the cabinets and were not being used.  Painfully and thoughtfully I let go of the past and placed them all in the garage sale box.

Then there were the boxes of memories – the receipts from our wedding flowers (we really got a bargain compared to today’s prices), the cards and letters we had exchanged during our college days, the pictures of elementary school friends, old report cards, and examples of our school work that each of our parents had saved – even my baby gown lovingly made by my mother.  We took pictures of some of these things, threw a few things away, and then gingerly tucked some of them in a file cabinet for our children to discard after we are gone.

This experience has been a lesson in letting go and moving on. So how does all of this relate to having a happy together marriage?  Obliviously, it was good to look through our cards and keepsakes of our honey moon and remember all of the good times we had together.  Remembering the good times in our relationship always helps to strengthen our marriage.

But just as it was good for us to “let go” of some things – it is also good to “let go” of things in our marriage that keep us from growing closer to our spouse.  For example:

  1. Hanging on to disappointments and ways our spouse has hurt us
  2. Dwelling on regrets and worrying  about how we could have lived our life differently
  3. Living in the past and trying to build our life around our children after they had left the nest
  4. Being dissatisfied with what we have instead of being thankful for our blessings

Paul said in Philippians 3:13 “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Let go of the things in the past and that have kept your marriage from growing and make your goal to create a “Happy Together” marriage so that you can glorify Christ in your relationship with your spouse.

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