About Me

Van Walton

Fun Facts about Van Walton

My favorite smell: The way the earth smells after it rains.

My favorite sound: The first notes of a grand symphony.

My favorite way to relax: Sitting anywhere outside - on my front porch, on my deck, or by the lake, early in the morning with my first cup of coffee.

My favorite birthday dessert: a Peach cobbler baked by my husband. He’s my fave chef!

I will not eat: Avocado. They turn my stomach into a volcano that never erupts.

Technology I couldn't live without and why: My laptop - it takes me anywhere I want to go.

One thing that makes me smile: My sons' faces!

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My Resources



My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.


Pound to Palace


My book, Little Halos, is available for $5.99 from Proverbs
31 Ministries.


Little Halos


Proverbs 31 Ministries












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Monday, February 11, 2008

MOVING DAY: AN IRRITANT or A PEARL IN THE MAKING?

Have you ever moved? Across town or cross country? Why did you move? Did you leave home or did “the company” send you off on a career relocation. Maybe you are a missionary who has had to move to a foreign field. God bless you. I grew up surrounded by missionaries, moving to bring the Good News to remote people groups. Possibly you’ve been given a military reassignment. Don’t military families move a lot? Bless you too. I admire you and respect you for the sacrifices you make.

Dear Shanda, whom I met at She Speaks last summer ,is in the process of a major move. I think she has a great attitude. I was not so positive about my moves. It wasn’t that I didn’t like adventure. I just didn’t want to say good bye to my life, my comfort zone, my identity, my position in the community, my home, my church, and all the wonderful memories. For sure I didn’t want to experience that last good-bye hug from dear friends, people I would never ever see again!

But God – He used the irritant to create a pearl.

This is what I learned about moving. I have shared it with many a contemporary corporate pilgrim who has overcome the grief of separation anxiety and learned to put the past behind, trusting that God’s relocation plans for our lives are never a mistake.

When I finally submitted to the reality that God's plan for my life would include many moves, I began to search His Word for direction. I learned that I have a lot in common with God’s main characters in the Bible. Almost every one moved! Adam and Eve left the garden. Noah and his family traveled on a ship. God called Abraham to move to the land God had chosen for him. Moses, Joshua, Daniel, Ezra, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus all experienced the challenges as they adjusted to new homes in foreign territories. One thing is ceeertain. Within each move God was glorified.

As I read each of the stories I found a fascinating concept. Once they arrived to new territory, they built altars creating mile stones to point out where they had been. If an altar already existed, they stopped to worship at altars already-built, thanking and praising God for His mercies in the journey. I began to study the concept of altars.

Genesis 8:20,12:7, 13:18, 22:9,26:25, Exodus 17:15, Judges 6:23

I read this about Noah’s altar. Matthew Henry writes: “God is pleased with free-will offerings, and praises that wait for Him. Noah was now turned out into a cold and desolate world, where, one would have thought, his first care would have been to build a house for himself; but, behold, he begins with an altar for God: God, that is the first, must be first served; and he begins well that begins with God.”

So I determined to praise God in the move and build an altar. Oh I didn't "build" an altar with stones and clay. I knelt and dedicated my home to Him before I unpacked the first box. I named the altar, “This house is set aside as a safe place in the neighborhood. Here You Spirit resides. Here all are welcome."

For years moving had been an irritant in my life. Then one day I realized, God had used the moves to get my attention, giving me the opportunity to "build" my house, and my attitude, on the Rock. The joy I have experienced as friends and neighbors enter my home far surpasses the irritant of the move. Today my memory boxes and scrap books are filled with reminders,


"Your pain, sorrow, conflict or trouble – what ever it is – is a pearl in the making! God has allowed the irritant to enter your life and around it He is developing a story that will build you, strengthen you, and give you wisdom to encourage another."

In turn I used the moves as lessons for my sons. I encourage you to build an "altar" in your home. If you are setting out on a journey to move this year, why not attempt the following altar-building activity:

As you prepare to pack and move, choose a box and create a Memory Box. Make sure it is big enough for a photo album and two quart size storage bags.

Take pictures of your house, all its nooks and crannies, making sure to capture marks on walls (growth charts), favorite hiding places and hang outs, maybe even favorite places in your community. One day you will create a memory or scrap book that will delight your children.

Take the storage bags outside. Dig up some dirt and put it in one bag. Gather some stones and put them in the other bag. Put the pictures (or camera), the photo album, and the storage bags in the memory box.

Weeks later, when you are in your new home, gather the family for a house blessing. Read the story of Noah and his altar. Take the rocks and dirt from your last home and fashion an altar so your family can remember that God brought you safely to this place to serve him. Enjoy the pictures and ask God to help you create a full and wonderful life in your new home.

For those of you who have never moved, you can still "build an altar" in your home. It would be an honor to know about the mile stones your family is celebrating.

5 comments:

Amy Wyatt said...

Van,
I loved this post. We moved about a year and a half ago and it was difficult, but God has opened so many doors of opportunity and provided so many blessings, that I'm not sure why I ever doubted or fought against it. I know he always does this... so why is it everytime I seem to fight against moving out of my comfort zone.
Thanks for your kind comments on my blog. Epilepsy is something that as redefined our focus in life, but we pray to let God use it to refine us and not define us.
I'm looking forward to attending She Speaks this summer and hope to talk with you more. Thanks again.
Amy

Janet Roller said...

Van-
As a recent transplant myself - I can appreciate your post. When my husband and I prayed about whether we should leave Greenville, SC to move to a small town in NC - the answer was a resounding "YES!" Even though we really didn't want to move - we knew it was what He wanted for us. Now, in true God form - my ministry is Living Oak and I'm living in Forest City. Just one of those God-winks that keeps you going. Thanks for a wonderful post.
-Janet

Charlene Kidd said...

Van,
I love your memory box idea. I appreciate your sharing your wisdom.
Charlene

Melissa said...

Oh how I hate to move!!! The thought of it just makes my stomach churn!

First because I don't like to pack and unpack. Second because I like to stay in one place...my comfort zone.

All that to say, I know there are blessings that come out of moving and believe me,God has kept me in one place yet removed me from my comfort zone more times than I have wanted!

Van, have an awesome day!
Love you,
Melissa

Shanda said...

What a blessing to read your blog today. We returned home from TN last night or should I say this morning at about 1:30am. We were looking to buy a house and still looking waiting for God's timing. I connected with claiming your new home as a safe place for all to be welcome. I want that same thing for our next home. I love the idea of building and alter from the dirt and stones from the old place to the new to reflect on God's provision and guidance! Bless you and I look forward to more advice on moving!
Shanda