Back in the day, before I was born, there was a television show called “I Dream of Jeannie.” The television show starred Barbara Eden (with long flowing locks and a tiny genie costume) and Larry Hagman (aka JR Ewing from Dallas). So, I’ll save you the details of the program concept (hey, you’ve got Wikipedia if you’re really interested). But, it should go without saying that whenever JR from Dallas wanted something, Jeannie would blink or nod her head and it appeared or happened.
As I stare at the boxes in my apartment, I cannot tell you the number of times I have wished for the ability to nod or blink (like Jeannie the Genie) and make all of my stuff pack itself. I’ve also realized that the stages of packing are similar to the stages of grief.
There is denial. “I don’t have that much stuff. It won’t take us long to pack up this entire apartment. We only have 10 years of stuff plus a new baby to pack up….it’ll be fine!”
Then there is anger. “Seriously?!? Where did all of this stuff come from? Why do we need 3 colanders? How much Pyrex does one person need?? Why can’t this stuff pack itself??”
Then there is bargaining. “We really don’t need this” whatever it is. “Okay okay okay, I’ll let you keep your letter jacket from high school if I can keep every love letter you ever sent me.” Or I’ll bargain with people “If you watch my cute 5 month old while I pack, I’ll make you dinner!”
Depression. “Why do we have this much stuff?? Why am I surrounded by all this stuff?? What does it all mean?” In all seriousness, I think the depression state will hit me later. I’ve been so busy at work and trying to plan for this move and ordination and instillation that I haven’t really gotten a chance to think about the fact that I will be leaving a job and a place that I love. Yet at the same time, I’ve been called to be pastor to the most amazing people in a fantastic place.
Finally, acceptance. “Yes, we really do have this much stuff. Yes, we really need help packing. Yes, we really are moving.”
The thing is, we are so blessed to be moving into a parsonage. In the (almost) ten years that husband and I have been married, we’ve never lived in a house. Now, we get to move into a beautifully renovated farmhouse. It is the perfect place for us and our baby. We move in less than a week. Things are crazy at our house. But, we try and remain grounded and remind ourselves how blessed we truly are.
Now…where did I put that packing tape?!? Genie!!!!