Friday November 5, 2010

{my last post}

There are so many things I want to say. To write and express.
And the words are there. I can see them.
Like floating scrabble pieces in my mind.

But when I reach for them and try to make some sort of sense in connecting sentences I find myself freezing up….

This is my last post to write from this house. We’re headed out on Sunday. Tomorrow will be a whirlwind of activity. Of packing and saying goodbye. My eyes stop and stare for a minute at those last two words. saying goodbye?” I hear them repeat back inside me. And feel my heart tighten as I start to miss the familiar, even now.

I was packing the last of the boxes upstairs this afternoon and walking from room to room to make sure we had everything. I found myself standing for awhile in each one. Shutting my eyes and lifting my face upward and just listening. Listening to the memories that echo so loudly inside those walls. The talks and the tears and the laughter. How that in these rooms I’ve learned to be a better mom. A better wife. What it means to surrender my will and find something sweeter in His. To know the joy of a family who loves you. And the security that they do no matter what. I think of the friends who’ve passed through here. The parties and fun and eating we’ve done together. The crazy games and my furniture getting destroyed. :)

I stopped and looked out the window in Ben’s room for a long time. Letting my eyes go slowly around the yard, taking it all in. The long lane up to the house… recalling all the walks to the mailbox down it. The snow covered icy attempts up it. The welcome sight it always was after a long trip.

I saw the tire swing too. Gently rocking back and forth in the chilly fall wind. It looks lonely. And I hope whoever rents this house after us will have children. And maybe they too will enjoy hours of exhilaration, flying high with toes pointed as far as they can, trying to touch the sky!

From my bedroom window I saw my flower gardens. Brown and lifeless now. But I know.. know of the beauty that’s there. And they’ll continue to bloom their artwork and bring someone else the smiles of satisfaction they brought me through the years.

There’s the field beyond the house — where Ben would ride his dirt bike. where a million pictures were taken in the tall yellow grass.  where our dog, Skylar is buried. and where times of frustration were walked off in countless circles around it.

Back in the summer, when I first knew we’d be moving, I said to Shayne one day, “I’m going to miss this house.”

“I thought you always hated it.” He laughed.

But I wasn’t talking about the moldy basement and sunken ceilings in the kids rooms. I was talking about what we’ve become in our years living here. How I feel in so many ways that this is the house I grew up in. “This house that built me.”

Last night as I locked the door before going to bed, I was thinking of how spooked I was when we first moved here. Living way out in the country in the middle of a cornfield!  But I learned to be brave here. To find courage and face my fears. And that goes way beyond just knowing where the shotgun shells are hidden.

And it’s hard. Hard to say goodbye to our home of 12 years. But the goodbye’s to come tomorrow of those we love. Gulp. They are a home to me of another kind. Holding so much of what I consider the dearest and most precious to me.

My mom came to get Reese this afternoon… she said she just wanted to hold her the whole day!

Suddenly, that thought makes me want to call Shayne right now, who’s on his way back from Canada, and tell him the whole thing’s off. ;)

But. pause. “When my heart is overwhelmed… lead me to the ROCK {steadfast.strong.unmoveable}that is higher than I.” ps.61:2

And there. Upon that strength, I find the courage to pack one more box. It’s not a tangible one. Like these big, brown, smelly ones surrounding me. It’s small and tucked back in a place inside me not very many people ever see. And I pull it out. Like I’ve done over and over again throughout my life…and take all the deepest, most sensitive parts of my heart, gather them up in somewhat of a crumpled heap and place them inside.

And the label I mark on it isn’t, “storage,” or “Canada.”
It’s says simply, “His.”
Because I am.

That’s why when everything inside you wants to stay, you can put your hand in The One who knows what He’s doing and where He’s leading. And that hand holding yours holds something else too – a precious imprint of a scar that reminds you… reminds you He knows a thing or two about pain and surrender and leaving His home for another.        

Oh the winds of change,
They blow slow and cool!
Oh the wandering of a fool,
But I have laid it down,
In my Father’s hands,
Where the weight of suffering,
Is carried by the arms of a cross,
Healing my loss…

Where I can walk,
Where I can run,
Where my heart sings,
And I feel the sun,
Where I can trust,
And I’m strong enough,
Free like the wind,
I’ll run into my Father’s arms

Finally home.

See you on the other side as gracetobe~ where it’s certainly going to be enough!


p.s. thanKs for all the input on the new blog name.
in the end it was between placesofgrace & gracetobe.
i loved them both and couldn’t decide.. so i let shayne. :)

63 thoughts on “Friday November 5, 2010

  1. totallycherished

    you’ve learned far more than just how to be brave at that house!
    i hear it….

    My heart feels teary
    hearing your willingness to trust.
    Maybe you don’t feel it,
    but it’s there, girl.
    It’s there!

    Glad to be on this journey of grace with you!
    Until then…. much love!

  2. Elizabethmarie_1

    I am going to cry just reading your post. =(
    I don’t even live there, and I miss your house…..
    It’s so hard to follow God’s plan sometimes. But it’s His plan, and so it’s the best plan.

    Well, onto your New Adventure! New memories to be made! Canada is getting one GREEEEEAAAAT family!
    Is maple syrup cheaper in Canada? Ok, this is a serious post, no funny comments! 
    You guys have a safe trip.  I’m sad, but excited for you at the same time.
    Can’t wait to see your new grace2be! You are so very, very creative….I’m sure it’s going to be lovely!
    Love you guys…and deeply apologize for not sending your package. I will send it when I get your new address. I have never sent a package to Canada before!
    Poor Reese will not even be able to use what I have for her by the time this lazy girl gets it in the mail! =)

  3. thebaybunch

    Tears streaming down my face because I know the road you trek.  I found comfort in the Lord’s arms.  Our family clung to one another and out of that very hard time of leaving dear memories and family behind, we discovered that we had those memories etched in our hearts and there were still more to make and more dear friends to discover and family continues on in a steadfast and sure way. I am on the other side of that move now….eight years later.  I wouldn’t trade a single moment of the pain that pushed me deeper into the Cross and into the riches of my family and friends, His gifts to me for all eternity. I know you will be on the other side soon enough and trust that God will comfort you all along the journey. If you ever want to call, you know my number.  Our “Bay Bunch” will be praying for you….we are all well acquainted with this journey your family will take. 

  4. pettybunch

    I am feeling your pain, and probably more especially your mother’s pain.  I know, like Emily, you will find your niche’ in your new home, and you will begin to make new and wonderful memories there, and you will tell us about them, and we will all move on eventually.  But I also know the realness and the depth of this pain you are feeling right now, and I am so sorry for you all.  I am also so very grateful that you are putting your trust in the Lord, and that He is your Comforter.  I am praying for you all, and praying you will find joy in the midst of your sorrow.

    Much Love ~ Nina Petty

  5. alaskahannah

    I’ve never lived in the same house for 12 years.  Not even as a child.  Good thing “house” doesn’t = “home”.  Looking forward to reading about your new adventures.  I am touched by your open-ness with what God is doing in your life.  Thank you for being you.  Blessings and safety to you as you move.

  6. Donna7

    You bring back memeories of when I moved away from the house I lived in for 27 years. I still remember the moment we drove down the driveway with tears in our eyes. Hurting because of what we were leaving behind yet excited for the new that lay ahead. I pray your goodbyes are embraced in His Love. I feel for you as you leave the familiar and am excited for you for you new beginnings. Welcome to my country hun! I just wish you were moving to the west coast so that maybe we could meet in person one day. :) Lifting you in prayer as you say your goodbyes and head to your new home. {{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}

  7. fortheloveofblogging

    I can’t imagine how hard it must be. I’ve always too said that the house I’m living in is the one that built me, not the one I grew up in. In all reality, I did grow up in this house. Although I was married & had a child, I still had a ton of growing up today. Home is such a hard place to depart from and family is even that much harder.

    I’m sure your journey will be amazing. It will be filled with tears, sadness, happiness, joy and so many more emotions. Trust in the lord to guide you & in the end you will find the peace and love that you so very much deserve. Happy Travels & be safe. I look forward to following you on your journey.

  8. myhopeisinjesus

    I am still living in the area I was born in so have not had the experience you are going through but I wish you safe travels and look forward to hearing about your new experiences in a new place. Praying God’s peace and grace for you and your lovely family.

  9. purpleamethyst76

    I hate that you have to move away from your mom UGH—…but God’s grace is sufficient for you….the next year or so will be a roller coaster of ups and downs as you all adjust.  Give grace to yourself and to your family as you mother through all the adjustments.  Love ya~

  10. Mymom1

    I feel so sad that I didn’t get to see you one last time before you left. . . but you can be sure that I am praying for you and the family. . . .’till we meet again. . . love you guys!!

  11. Byers7

    Amber, you have so much more to take with you than most people do….you have your wonderful blog of pictures and memories of things that are
    often forgotten. And these things will get even more precious as time goes on. Moving is kind of like growing up…yes, things change…but it is
    okay, God doesn’t change! So glad that you will continue your blog “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but
    let us encourage one another…” Heb 10:25 Thank you for your always encouraging words…now sit back and lean on the encouragement of friends
    and especially the loving arms of your Savior. Can’t wait to see all of the exciting things He has planned for your sweet family!!

  12. leasejw

    I cried as I read this. Its so beautifully written and I can feel your heartbreak and hope coming through. God’s blessings on you and your family as you begin a new adventure.

  13. chambray7

    Saying a prayer for you today that God will poor out an abundance of His Grace.  I know I would be needing a lot of it if I were in your shoes…..hugs to you~

  14. qawzse789

    God’s blessings to you as you move.. you’ve been a huge encouragement to me through your honesty and tranxparency. We just moved to another house, I have moved alot in my lifetime, and I packed all my emotions in “boxes” and labeled them “do not open” but God has been gracious to me on the journey and I want to revisit some of those.. and be blessed  by what I did learn and cherish those memories.

     I love grace2be.. :) what a freeing way to live!

  15. singingrachel

    Amber girl, it feels weird to say goodbye and I was so hoping that i could see you on Tuesday but God had other plans… but you will NEVER be far away in my heart.  This post tugged at my heart in such a big way….  And though you feel ordinary and believe in an extraordinary God I’m quite sure God also thinks your extraordinary.  I certainly do.

    Talking to God as he brings you to my mind and I know HIS grace is there and I love the way you are embracing that.  Safe travels.  Love you.

  16. Anonymous

    you and your family will be in my prayers~ I know exactly the feeling, that you are feeling right now… It’s hard. I know how it is to leave a home (even one that has things you hate about it ;) ), family, and familiarity. Just remember that you can always make a home somewhere else, family is just a phone call away, and places will soon be familiar~☺  Enjoy the adventure God is sending you on!



  17. wj3km

    So, did you wake up to a white morning :) we have snow and the kids are lovin it – already got a load in the washer of muddy, wet snowy clothes :)
    Joshua 1:9 Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
    I can imagine the emotions all of you feel today – praying for peace and joy, health and safety and trust in knowing God is with you always!
    Blessings to you as you travel a new adventure.

  18. Izzysgal

    Love you Girl! Know you are going to find new things in Canada…things to love, and those that are not so great, but praying Jesus keeps you in the palm of His hand no matter what. Praying that the move goes smoothly… for all of you, safety and lots of peace! Can’t wait to see Grace2be, your new home and maybe I’ll get to see you, if you don’t live too far from my sister….Canada can’t be that big ;), can it?

    Wish I could at least drop some food off today…but instead I’ll send prayers and blessings, love ya, Jess

  19. smilesbymiles

    Just reading this makes me feel a little sad …. and yet strong. The 12 years brought back such emotional memories for me. I lived in SC for 12 years before my family moved to VA. Then I lived in VA 12 years until I got married and moved to start a new home. It takes a long time to build a feeling of home ………… to make memories that tie your heart like the walks up and down the lane and the tire swing. To feel settled. And yet, I sense so much “settled” deep inside you. Knowing that you are going where God wants you. That even though all around you feels unsettled, there is God inside and the people you love most right next to you and you can take a little bit of settled with you anywhere you go. Love you girl! Can’t wait to read grace2be (LOVE that name!).

  20. lifeisadance

    What a tear-jerker… What a journey life is with God. Never standing still, sometimes [or should I say ‘often’] taking us places where we wonder if we really can do it… And yet the work He does within us when we hold our hands open to Him… Your testimony is truly beautiful, and a challenge beyond words…

    Thinking of you today… and whispering a prayer…

    Looking forward to grace2be! The continuation of the journey with Jesus!

  21. aretheyallyours

    Leaving memories is so very hard.  Thinking of your mom holding Reese and not wanting to let go makes me want to cry- I talked to my mom yesterday and she is aching to hold Lily Kate.  I know God has great things in store for the Hutchins family!  Praying for safe travel and for grace to get through the coming days and weeks as you settle into your new home. 

  22. sarahflorida1085

    Happy moving…I can only imagine how hard it would be moving from a place you have been in for 12 years. I have yet to live in one place for 12 years, let alone 3-4 years. I have a feeling God has even better things in store for you and your family! I am happy grace2be won as well :).

  23. mytoesareblue

    Dear Amber,

    I love you and I hope that this journey will be a good one for you. I have moved several times in my life, but in the last 18 years i’ve always had the same place to go back to…and i know what it is to put down roots, to make friends, to make memories..and to have your heart clench at the thought of leaving it all behind.

    I pray that those in your new neighborhood will embrace you with His love, and you will enjoy getting to know your new house and the new places where memories will be made. I look forward to seeing the artistic pictures that you come up and the decorating that you are able to do! i look forward to the journey of your kids as they grow in this journey as well. I pray that your heart is kept safe in his Hands. thank you for that reminder.

    Love you and I”ll be praying for you on Sunday! I’ll be praying for a nice sunny day and glimpses of beauty in the journey as God makes himself known on your journey!! love you hon!

    can’t wait to hear from you ‘on the other side’ be blessed!!

  24. DanishDoll

    I read with tears sliding down my cheeks! Oh, how I hate good byes! As one who is living an ocean away from my family, it is so difficult. When I do have a chance to be in the U.S. I think my mother is the hardest to leave. I literally have to peel her hands off my arms as she does not want to let me go. Every time I wonder, “Will this be the last time I will hug my mom on this earth?” It’s hard. Good byes are hard. Now I have a little grandson to miss as well, and another grandchild is expected soon who will live in N.Ireland. We are such a spread out family! And yet, God gives grace, doesn’t He? I know you already feel it sustaining you. This chapter of your life is coming to a close, but God has so many more amazing things to write in your life’s book, my sweet friend. I pray all will be well. I pray for His peace and strength to be wrapped around you as you say your good byes and begin living in a new place. Stay in touch! Love you.

  25. redladybug18

    I first read that you were leaving while I was on vacation and it was half a surprise to me. I’m sure it’s God’s leading though. Little by little you’ll make your other house into a home. Grace to you during this time! Have a safe trip! What part of Canada are you moving to?

  26. Mommaof6

    Letting go of the house that my hubby built for us was one of the hardest things I ever did….but one of the best! A house is just a house…..a home is “family”! That is what I learned….we can live ANYWHERE… long as our precious little ones are with us…….leaving and cleaving is hard to do when you live close to Mom and Dad, but good! Our family was sooo close to my folks, that it actually made us become “us” (*our own little family) by moving away….Bill became the patriark, instead of my Dad…something that needed to happen to make him the man God wanted him to become…It will be hard, but It WILL be good too! <3

    I have always loved you  like a neice, since you were just 5 years old!  Gonno miss all your post and insights!  I know God has so many new and special adventures for you and your precious family……even ones that envolve your dear Mom and Dad….it will hold many wonderful new beginnings for your whole family!  Love and prayers coming your way today from our home….love and blessings to you always!  Mrs. B 

  27. ABAHM

    My love to you Amber. I understand so much were you are, we lived for 17 yrs in our little cottage in Laguna and my boys grew up there. It was like leaving part of myself. I saw the film “you’ve got mail” shortly after moving and cried and cried when she had to leave her bookstore. BUT, I especially want to tell you that GOD goes with you! That you have your sweet family and the loving and life goes on! Just so you know that life will be good in your new place too!
    I’ll be praying for you all and look forward to hearing from you when you get settled! Love, Jenny

  28. aprescott

    May God’s grace fill you & surround you this weekend as you don’t say final “goodbyes” but “see you laters” ya know? Goodbye to wonderful memories & friends that you will hold forever in your heart, and hello to NEW beginnings & wonderful memories you will soon make.
    May God fill you with HIS peace this day!

  29. momstranz

    Though we’ve not often moved, countless others have. A daughter and new son in law, in-laws, beloved friends from our neighborhood ministry. Saying good-bye over and over again. You have spoken it well. It feels exactly as you say, bittersweet and filled with so many memories flooding our hearts. And it is true that God carries us through the pain of the good-byes and into a new reality of life. Praying for your farewells tomorrow, especially for your mother, whose heart’s grief is intimately understood. Prayers and showers of grace.

  30. grams53

    What a well-written post!   It made me feel your feelings and brought tears to my eyes.  I’ve never moved much.  My parents lived in the same house for 60 years and that’s where I lived until I married.  And our situation was reversed.  After raising a family and living in the same house for 44 years, WE were the ones to move away from our children and the community we lived in all our married lives – although not the same community we grew up in.  It was an adjustment for our married children  to have us move away from them – just not what any of us had “expected”, but all felt we were following what the Lord was asking of us so that made it easier.  And YES, His grace will be there!   I love the name you chose for your blog!  Peace to you.

  31. resolved2worship

    grace to you for moving! it’s exciting! :)
    and that pic at the end – you look so much like you’re mom to me! Not that I’ve met your mom, but through pics.
    He’ll see you through. He is an awesome God and He never changes. Always the same.

  32. A_Full_Half_Dozen

    Where in Canada are you moving to?  I know several people who live in Toronto, and also a couple who just moved here to NC from Toronto. 

    What you wrote really hit me: “That’s why when everything inside you wants to stay, you can put your hand in The One who knows what He’s doing and where He’s leading. And that hand holding yours holds something else too – a precious imprint of a scar that reminds you… reminds you He knows a thing or two about pain and surrender and leaving His home for another.”

    I have a hard time letting go of things…..or thinking about the things/people I’ll have to have give up (be without) in the near and far future.  I really appreciate you writing that.   I’m definitely saving it in my “quotes” folder. 

    Prayers are being lifted up for you and your family this weekend.  God bless.


  33. down_onthefarm

    i feel like i am saying goodbye to Hutch5 with this post and my heart feels full.

    i know that old saying, when He closes a door, He opens a window.
    i haven’t always liked what He has closed,
    especially when He opens the garage door and pulls up a moving truck!
    but i am whispering tearful prayers for you and your family
    that He would open the windows of heaven
    and pour out His blessing
    in such a big way
    that there would not be room enough to receive it.

    He’s not going to follow you. nope. He’s got you surrounded ~held~ and He’s already there!
    love to you my friend and hello grace2be…

  34. inhislight07

    Oh Amber!  I can’t help to think of just the short time I have known you, and all that has happened in that house.  And I can’t help but be in awe of how God has ended it there for you, with a new life.  A life of a child you so prayed, hoped, and cried out for.  What a beautiful ending to this new beginning!  I feel so excited for you.  Maybe just because I love adventures, and am even a bit envious hehe.  I am so thrilled to hear of the new stories in your new home.  (Funny that you’d be moving to yours before we are getting into ours.  God is funny.)  I know you will make your new place as great as you have made this one.  I will be praying for safe travels and rest in your soul.

    Love you dear friend!!

    ps could you message me your new address?

  35. lovinbloggin

    oh i know the feeling, ambs. your post brought back a flood of memories of our move less than 3 yrs ago from ohio to oregon! wow. i am praying for you, girl. that you will experience supernatural strength and courage and yet be able to take the time to process all the changes. *squeeeeeze* luv you.

  36. SpazzyMommy

    Prayers for the journey, hugs for the memories that you’ll be packing up and love for the home that you are sure to make on the otherside of the border. ;)
    Thoughts are with you during all the changes and adjustments.

    Love, Cass

  37. Judio29

    love sent your way :) I have always enjoyed your posts!…change is so hard isnt it? Yet, He  is there…through it all…blessings on you in this time of change!…May you feel him near!

  38. threejoys

    Oh Amber, it’s been sooo long since we’ve talked….have not even met your baby!! And now I see you are entering a new chapter. I’m the Mother with the children who moved away. Maybe I need to talk to your mother and share about the grace that God does give. It’s hard….but He specializes in showing Himself strong just for times like this.  I pray you will experience His joy……one day at a time. My heart is full and I’m not sure what words to use to bless you so I will pray for you instead. ~Blessings

  39. appalolly

    I am so often struck by your way with words when I read what you wrote.

    Did I tell you this before? If you ever write a book, I want one of the first copies. You have such a gift!

    You are such a wise and brave woman! 

    I saw on Facebook you got into Canada, finally.

    Maybe we’ll get to hear that story?

    I hope getting settled into your new home goes well for you all! 

    Love ya, girl!

  40. DeRossettphotography

    Thinking of moving soon. It’s so hard. Your post brought it into perspective. My folks just moved from a place we all as kids belonged to, at least thats how we felt. But it was time my folks move on, they wanted a smaller place in another state. But we will always have the memories.


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