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!

FacebookFriend Van on Facebook

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


Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Monday, June 2, 2008


Out From the Garden

Do you live in an area of the country ravaged by the storms? We all love the blessings of a spring shower. I am not talking about rain that refreshes our gardens and bathes our flowers. I am talking about the quiet gathering of clouds, the darkening of the sky, the quick dip in temperature and the increasingly blowing winds. Far away thunder rolls. Suddenly strong winds blow through bringing rain and then pounding rain. More wind, thunder, lightening… In too many places across the US this spring storms have destroyed the landscape, ruining homes, snuffing out life.

Moving can be compared to a natural disaster. The winds start to blow and emotions become fragile. Details pile up and all control is lost. Family and possessions are repositioned and displaced. There is no place to call home. There is much stress and little rest. In a short period of time the world appears to turn upside down. I stand helplessly as I watch everyone I know and everything I own disappear. In a few short days in a strange place I will attempt to piece my life back together. Nothing is the same. I grieve, but have nothing to bury. I mourn, but have no one to eulogize.

I’ve often wondered what life would be like if we could have stayed in the garden. One thing is sure: humanity would not be moving, chasing careers as we do today. Moving isn’t the worst thing, although I have wished to die rather than move. It can be adventurous and challenging. It is always exhausting. Preparing the house, packing possessions, loading the van and then turning around to do the same thing, only backwards stresses the best of us. A relocation ranks in the top five for major life stressors! We can be prepared for moving day, but somehow it always manages to put everyone in a tail spin.

On moving day my eyes flutter open and my heart skips a beat as I become aware of the huge task ahead. I think, “I can do this. Families have been on the move since the beginning of time.”

Our ancestors understood moving. They moved because the land was cursed as a result of sin. Humankind will always be searching for a place to tie down tents and drive in the stakes. This business of packing my entire household is unnerving. Watching the packers pull up to my house and take control of each room, grabbing everything in sight and tossing it into boxes absolutely puts me over the edge. I stand by helpless as, one by one, my possessions are taken out of my control. I am reminded of THE CAT IN THE HAT by Dr. Seuss and decide to read it to my children as soon as I can get my hands on it. I’ll keep it handy for the next move so I can toss a bit of humor into my dreaded packing days.

The roar of the semi truck announces that moving day has arrived. Looking out my window I watch it park, come to take my life away. By the end of this day everything I own will be in that truck. With a fake smile I welcome the movers into my shell of a house. Sometime over the past days my home turned into a cold lifeless and empty place. I used to rest and relax, laugh and lounge in this home. Now there are only memories. Life is over for me here. I have to get through this day. Right now I am exhausted mentally and physically.

I fight the emotion and the tide. Moving day has arrived all too soon. The driver of the van comes like a hearse in the night. to take away my life. Slowly the house turns into a cold tomb as the contents that once represented life began to fill the truck. I watch numbed while my life is taken from me. My emotional contents spill out in the form of tears, prayers, hugs, and good-byes. In a state of exhaustion I sign packing papers. Making my last walk through the place that was once my home I linger here and there. My slow movement toward the door tortures me. I don’t want this life to come to an end. For whatever reason, up until that moment I’ve deceived myself, not facing reality. Now I know, “It is finished.” I turn, take one last glance and, filled with agony, close the door behind me. Hiding my head in the crook of my bent elbow, I whisper to God. “I don’t want to go.”

I feel it! Here comes the flood! I am incapable of stopping it.

I wonder, “Is this how Mrs. Noah felt when she stepped on the ark and left her life behind her?”

How will I put my life back together? I feel like I have been through a storm. I have lost everything that means anything to me. My possessions no longer fill my needs. I just want to go back. I don’t know if I can start over.

Something is certain about storms. They blow over. The rainbow, calm, and beauty signify a new beginning, new life. All is washed clean. It’s time to begin anew.

The winds drop me into my new home leaving me overwhelmed by the mess. Nothing is in its place. My work is laid out before me. The tedious job of unpacking looms before me. Maybe before I start un PACKING I’ll dedicate my new life to God. In fact each day until the boxes are un PACKED I’ll remind myself: “I’m (un) packing today” means, I’m Placing Aside All Cares, Kneeling Intimately Near God.”

Maybe you haven’t just moved. But maybe you do need to (un)pack some emotional or spiritual garbage, you can still

Place Aside All Cares, Kneel Intimately Near God.


Laura said...

It's hard to believe the storms blow over when we are in the middle of them, Amen? Your revisiting of moving day touched me so much, Van. Although I've moved seldom in my life, I can relate to your last statement: "maybe you do need to (un)pack some emotional or spiritual garbage". It seems like I put down one burden, only to pick up another. time to kneel? well said, my friend!

Anonymous said...

"Unpacking some emotional or spiritual garbage." Wow that so speaks right to my heart. I suppose that's what my momentary move to Baghdad did for me. I finally unloaded the emotional trash that had built up over six years.

It's awesome how going to Iraq, a place where our ancestors came from, cures me of my pains and of my ills. Letting go of that garbage and pain allowed me to see the love and care in front of me. It's so beautiful.