OopsIt was a little more than a month ago that I announced to my church that Janis and I were moving to California to pursue a daughter, writing and adventures unseen. Two days ago our house officially went on the market, and the showings have begun. With a month under our belts, I can now safely declare that I have a new addition to my top five list of ‘Life’s Worst Things’.

  1. Colonoscopy prep. (The colonoscopy itself is actually #73 in my Life’s Best Things list because it’s the only time I’ve gone under, and it was a rush.)
  2. Eating Brussel sprouts.
  3. Vomiting.
  4. Moving house.
  5. Driving while tired.

In four weeks, ‘Moving house’ has rocketed up the charts, displacing Dandelions to #6.

Maybe as with colonoscopies, the prep will be the hardest part and moving itself will be a breeze. (Please, God…) Because getting our house ready to sell has been four of the sloggiest weeks of my life. You gotta understand, when it comes to home improvement, Clifton-males do not trip the light fantastic. My father’s idea of sheet rock repair was to move a piece of furniture in front of the hole. Come up with a project list of three dozen items all at once that have to be completed in a month and you now understand the meaning of the word punchlist. You need to punch something hard after working on that list.

I have men in my church who feel God’s pleasure when they wield a hammer or make a table saw whine. Not me. I feel the devil’s breath on my neck. My power tools laugh at me. Demons actually flick screws out of my hand just as I’m nearly positioned to put them in place. (And could someone please explain to me why the 300 screws needed for a ceiling fan are the size of oatmeal flakes? I understand premillennial-dispensationalism, but this I do not get.)

What else have I learned?

I’ve learned that whoever came up the axiom Measure twice, cut once should have their bust carved on Mount Rushmore. If the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, that nugget of truth is right near the top of the wisest words uttered.

I’ve learned that in spite of three years of doing P-90 workouts, there are still tiny little muscles in the shoulders that are only activated by operating a paint brush.

I’ve learned that houses know that you’re selling them. Why else in the past two months alone did our microwave stop microwaving, our kitchen faucet busted right in Janis’ hands (she does P-90 as well), our upstairs thermostat broke, my fertilizer spreader wheels rusted through and shattered after just five passes of the spreader. And yesterday, not a half-hour before the first showing of the house, Janis passed a dust rag over the dining room chandelier, and the whole thing came loose from the ceiling fixture. (Come to think of it, she was the last one to touch the thermostat too. Hmmmmmm.)

And I’ve learned that when the Bible describes Abraham and Sarah’s moving to the Promised Land with the words, “So Abram left…” (Genesis 12:4), it’s the most ridiculous understatement in all the Bible, next to perhaps Mark 15:24 – “And they crucified him.” A few painful details are being left out, thank you very much.

The worst is hopefully behind us now (I’d knock on wood as I write this, but I’d probably crack the house’s foundation). Now we can focus on our final weeks with our beloved church family, and gear up for the adventure ahead. Your prayers are certainly appreciated. I’m not asking for much – just a quick sale at top dollar. Small stuff. And hopefully I’ll have a little more time to get back to writing. I’d love to chronicle more of this journey with you.

Under His wings,


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