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And UPGRADE'S Founder

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Entries in Moving (2)


Leaving & Being Left Behind: An Upgrade in Transition

Julie Sanders has a special gift for helping people find peace in their lives, work, relationships and family. In this Relationships UPGRADE, she helps us find peace during the transitional separations in our lives.  

"When it comes to leaving," Julie says, "life includes an equal portion of arrivals and departures. How can we deal with departures and help both who leave and those left behind?

I (Dawn) moved many times in my lifetime. I know the pain of separation and the process of change. I wish I'd had Julie's good advice back then!

Julie continues . . .

Sometimes separation results from our decisions, and sometimes it’s imposed on us by another. It may be the result of a long process of release, or it may be sudden.

A change in relational routines and familiar life functions may leave us feeling unsettled, insecure, or disoriented.

Since separation includes loss, there may be grieving.

Departures come with job changes, health trials, and life choices. Whether we say goodbye to a family member, co-worker, friend, or pastor, emptiness may seep in where security once lived.

What response lifts up the leaver and the one being left?

1. Say Something

When a significant person leaves, there may be an urge to explain, weigh in, or oppose it. After all, if we have a connection, it will be uncomfortable at best or painful at worst.

Sometimes the only message needed is a silent one: a smile, hug, handshake.

But if the response is audible, it helps to speak wisely. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29).

Feelings rise in separations, so it pays to be alert to rotten, poor quality words escaping with emotion.

Whatever the delivery of our talk, messages should be useful, of good quality to “build up” the one leaving and those being left behind.

Positive, true words promote growth in times of transition.

Helpful messages give good will and kindness for hearts churning in change.

If life is upset by a leaving, good words will give good will. Words can give life or death. In a time of change, life is needed, “as fits the occasion.”

You could say nothing, but transition creates space and time where words of life are helpful to release the leaver to the next place and settle those who stay.

Say something, and make it good.

  • Put into words how the person influenced you and share it.
  • Consider how the person impacted your life in positive ways and state it.
  • Think about how you helped each other and say thank you.
  • Reflect on how God worked in the moving and affirm His movement.

2. Do Something

No matter if you’re the one going or staying, loss that accompanies leaving creates need.

Whether you chose the departure or find yourself caught up in someone’s choice, do what you can to be the salve in the separation.

Do something practical to meet a present need.

  • Is your heart hurting? Spend time talking to God or reading His word for encouragement.
  • Is packing needed?  Get boxes and help your significant person to do the work.
  • Is the pathway unclear? Use your skills and network to help make connections.
  • Is the departure having financial impact? Give a gift card or buy lunch.

3. Be There

There’s an undercurrent in separation that feels like rejection. It makes us wonder if we’re being abandoned for better things.

It applies to losing a loved one, seeing a spiritual leader leave, or watching a friend move away. Leaving for more can feel like not being loved anymore. In those times, it’s tempting not to be with the one who prompted the pain to begin with. That’s when it matters just to be present.

God’s path for me has most often assigned me the leaving role, instead of the one staying behind.

In one particular leaving, a wise man told me pain in departing is surpassed by sadness for the ones left behind.

From those who have loved me well, I have learned the value of saying something, doing something, and just being there.

  • Be present and be grateful to be together in silence.
  • Be present and say something good.
  • Be present and do something helpful.

Life includes departures and arrivals in equal measure. As sure as there is coming, there is going.

When those you love let you know it’s time to leave, say something good, do something helpful, and be there.

When it’s hard to let go, what do you think it says about the bond you share? What words could be expressed to lift up the one you are leaving or leaving behind?

Julie Sanders, from her home in the Pacific Northwest, is in a season of both leaving and being left behind. She is grateful to know God never leaves us, and she believes He helps us be fully present where He has us each day. In July of 2019 Julie will release a devotional guide for moms whose children leave for school, The ABC’s of Praying for Students. Learn more about Julie and her book at

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Alexas Fotos at Pixabay.



Upgrade Your Move: Tips for Making Moving Smoother

Morgan Farr is an exceptional young woman spiritually and practically. She accomplishes much because she is wise and organized. In this Organization UPGRADE, she tackles the tough job of moving, and gives us some of her best tips.  

"I am about to embark on my tenth move in the ten years since I graduated from high school," Morgan says, "and I think I get better with each and every move!"

I (Dawn) moved many times as a "Navy brat" and it could get chaotic. But I saw my mom become a pro-packer! I know how important helpful moving tips can be.

Morgan continues . . .  

I am a Army wife. People know that those of us in military families move A LOT. I happen to be an expert in relocating from one place to another since only four of my last ten moves have been with the military.

Sure, moving can be a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster or a complete disruption to your family. During each of our moves, I try to focus on creative solutions and neat living to help make things easier.

I want to solve the problem, not be the problem. 

Here are some of my absolute favorite tips and tricks to help solve common moving  problems. 

Physical Tips  

1. Use sandwich-, quart- and gallon-size Ziplock bags like they are going out of style. 

I put all of my markers, crayons, glue sticks and the like inside Ziplock bags and then they can be easily packed into boxes. When you get to your new house, get your craft area set up and just dump the bags inside when it is convenient for you.

I do the same thing with makeup, screws, nails, hair stuff, silverware and snacks.    

2. Use Glad Press'n Seal Wrap (not just normal cellophane!) for puzzles. 

Completely wrap children’s puzzles, including the base. For adult puzzles place the Press'n Seal around the open box then place the lid properly. This helps to ensure that all the puzzle pieces stay together even if they get dropped or tipped over.

3. In the weeks leading up to the move, purge, purge, and purge again.

If you aren’t going to use a particular item in the future, don’t move it. Go through your closet and get rid of clothes you won’t wear. Donate the clothing your children have outgrown. Sort out the books that  you will never read again.

You can get your kids involved by having them do things like clean out old pens and markers. Set them up with paper and your bucket of pins and markers, have them test each one and throw away the dry ones.

Sort out the books that you will never read again. This will help you to feel accomplished and will minimize the amount of things you have to pack and then move to your new location.  

4. When getting ready to move I clean out one room first.

This room then becomes the staging room—my base of operations. All important papers, suitcases, Bibles, phone chargers, and things that you don’t want packed go into this room.

This room is also a great place to crate pets so they don’t accidentally get out of the house, especially if you have movers or friends in the mix.

Then I put a LARGE and obnoxiously bright sign on the door stating that this room is off limits.

Having a base of operations will help you to be more grounded and less likely to make mistakes.  

Mentality Tips  

1. Dale Carnegie said, “If you want to conquer fear, don't sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”

The best time to start prepping to move is the day you find out you are moving.

Do not fall prey to the idol of procrastination. Get up and get going on the things that you can control now.  

2. Create a master list of all the things that need to be done.

The first time you write this list, just dump it all on the paper in whatever order it comes to mind. Things you might include are: turning off utilities at the old house, turning on the utilities at the new house, getting medical records, patching nail holes, forwarding your mail and the like.

Once you have it all on the list, then rewrite the list in the order that the things need to be done. Many people want to skip this step, but I would STRONGLY encourage you not to. If it is in the order that it needs to be done, you are less likely to forget an item.  

3. Eat right.

Don’t fall prey to the idea that you are moving so now you should eat junk. Keep a crockpot out and make solid dinners in your old house and your new one.

Use paper plates and plastic cutlery. It will help you feel physically better and you will save money.  

4. Keep a Bible unpacked.

Don’t allow a move to disrupt your spiritual life.

When we move, I make certain that my husband, kids, and I have our time in the Word just like we do every other day.

Moving can be a mess, but staying wrapped in the Word of God can help you keep a proper perspective.    

Remember that your Christian witness is not put on hold because you are moving.

  • Be kind to the people helping you move.
  • Thank your real estate agent.
  • Pray before you walk into your house for the first time as a family.

Every single person that you interact with is getting a taste of Jesus through your actions… or they should be.

Let your light for Christ shine even when things are challenging. You never know who may be impacted by your kindness.  

What are your favorite tips and tricks to make moving better? 

Morgan Farr is a Texas-loving, succulent-cultivating, book nerd. Currently stationed in San Diego, California, this Army wife is working to better love her husband, develop her three small children, and learning more about homseschooling. Morgan is a homemaker who dedicates her time to ministering to other Army wives through Bible studies, one-on-one mentoring, and physical training. Morgan writes about her transition out of feminism and into biblical womanhood on her blog, The Forgiven Former Feminist. You can find her training programs, nutritional information and meal plans on her blog,  Farr Functional Fitness.

Graphic courtesy of Hitcom at Pixabay.