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Moving – Marriage Tester or Marriage Bester

Image result for couple movingFor the fifth time in our 32 year marriage, we recently  packed up our belongings to move to another home. This time, it was to obtain a bit more space for our adult daughter (a single mother) and our 10 month old granddaughter to live with us. While we were perfectly content after having downsized 10 years ago into a smaller space, we foundourselves needing to upsize again. Of course, none of this was in our “plan,” but that’s the way life goes sometimes isn’t it?

In the midst of packing, sorting, organizing and deciding what needed to come with us and what didn’t, we found ourselves laughing, joking, singing, and generally joyful during the chaos (we even gave each other new Native American Names: Frantic Packing Weasel and Ferrel Moving Cat). Now, this was unusual since moving is normally a stressful time. But this time was different and when we talked about why that was, here’s what we came up with. Instead of being focused on the stresses of packing and the difficulty of change in unplanned circumstances, we instead chose to focus on the joy of having a baby in our home again and the blessing of being able to support our daughter during a challenging time in her life. We chose to focus on the gift of having each other to lean on amidst life’s little challenges and to look at each keepsake we’ve collected as mini-moments of wonder and awe in our married life. And at night, instead of watching TV, we pulled out home movies and reminisced about the life we built raising our children and the places we went to together on vacation.

To be honest, we won’t be looking forward to moving again (if there is a next time), but if we do, we’ll remember the little things we learned this time – that we can choose our attitude in response to a stressful situation. We can have an attitude of “why me” and “martyr” or we can choose an attitude of “gratitude” and “how fortunate are we.” As with most things in life, how we view packing and moving is entirely up to us. And our attitude can either test our marriage or best it by forging an even stronger bond between us.

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