Jul 5, 2013

Book Review: After the Boxes are Unpacked

I have a confession to make.

When I was younger I did not like to read. My parents allotted 30 minutes before bed each night for my sister and I to read. I remember laying under my Strawberry Shortcake blanket staring at the pages of my Nancy Drew novel, waiting for my time to be up.

Thankfully I grew out of that phase!

My most recent reading endeavor is a fabulous book by Susan Miller called After the Boxes are Unpacked. 

Can I just say how amazing this woman's heart is? Mrs. Miller shares her journey of moving 13 times and how God dealt with her life through every new journey. She explains how He takes our moves and uses three methods to help us move on: He mends, He molds, and He matures.

"The journey of healing is one of action, according to God's plan. I let go-God mends me. I start over-God molds me. I move ahead-God matures me." Susan Miller

These words spoke so clearly to me, I didn't even make it through the first chapter without crying!

Each chapter Mrs. Miller explains the hardships of moving to a new town, not knowing where the nearest grocery store is, and how much our hearts ache to put down new roots. She gives excerpts from her NEW Ministries classes and shares other women's moving stories.

She goes on to explain how marriages can suffer or flourish, the different ways children need to be nurtured, and how we must make time for ourselves during the difficult transitions. Most importantly, Mrs. Miller explains how we each have a clean slate and can begin building habits and relationships that were just a dream in our old life.

There is also a huge emphasis throughout the book on spending time in the Word, listening to God, and asking Him for new direction. My calendar has never been so empty since I had children so I want to take advantage of this time and make the right decisions about how to spend my time.

The topic which touched my heart the most in this book was friendship. Most of the women in my life that I call friends have been by my side for at least seven years. I do have a BFF and we met in 8th grade 20 years ago!

This recent move was very exciting for us but I knew it would be extremely hard for me to say goodbye to my friends. Mrs. Miller offers some great advice about how to meet people in your new town, how to behave (don't be shy, smile, be approachable), and to pray about finding at least one woman who can became a constant in this life.

"When we move, so many of the things we leave behind can be replaced rather quickly, and life then resumes its pace with a fairly normal rhythm. Friendships are the exception. The void created by the absence of a dear friend leaves a gaping wound in our hearts, and longing for shared intimacy keeps us out of step with the world around us." Susan Miller

Each day is a new page in this chapter of our lives in Ohio. I don't know how long we will be here but I do know that God was here before me and is preparing a way for my family to go forward. I am so blessed to have been recommended this book and I hope you will pass it on to any friends or family going on a new journey! 

Just Moved Ministries  is a non-profit organization founded by Susan Miller. You can find lots of helpful information, encouragement, and maybe there is a Just Moved class near you!

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