Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Looking forward...

If you happened to read my post "2013: The Year in Review", you know I had some news about what's coming early in the New Year. If you didn't catch it then, here goes...

One thing I've learned in my Spiritual walk is not to spend too much time revisiting the past. God keeps us continually growing and moving. Maybe not always in the physical sense, but allowing Him to change and challenge us, is part of His plan for our life. He always has a plan that is for the "good"; sometimes it's hard to see exactly how that works, especially if we are hanging on too tightly to the past. So I'm looking forward, and not focusing on the past, except to take some wonderful memories, and times of blessing with me.




My husband and I have known for at least two years that there would come a day when we would need to downsize and be in a more manageable home. We live in a wooded area and have a pool, both of which need to have a young family to take care of the maintenance. My husband is thinking about retirement and this is not the place to do that. 



So after months of prayer and waiting we've taken the first step toward our goals and have leased a smaller house so that we can move in and get settled, then take the time to have some updates made to this house before we put it on the market. We need to lighten up and thin out our load of "stuff". I'm actually excited to be in a place where I don't have to yell at my husband to find him, and that I don't have to spend all day watering flowers and shrubs in the heat of the summer.


(Aren't these plaid tea towels adorable?
 My mom made these for me for Christmas with her new Monogram machine.) 



Now comes the part that I don't like even a little bit,
and that's the sorting and purging and packing.



(I mentioned earlier that I ordered 80 Paperwhite bulbs this year, so it's kind of a sea of Paperwhites around here. The ones below are planted in recycled candle jars. This is one of my problems...I hate to throw perfectly good "things" away, when there might be a way to reuse them later.)



This year will be a year of change, and right now we are heading for the first move. Hopefully, after this house sells we'll be able to start thinking about buying another home or building one. As much as I love the character of an older home, my husband and I both know we want and need new construction. I grew up in a 1840's farmhouse and it was cold and hot and unpredictable at best. 




We can't see the "big picture" here, except to know that God has called us out of this place and is asking us to be ready to move forward with whatever he asks us to do. Being "available" to God is what I've always been about. I don't want to miss out on the good plan for our future in any way. If it looks a little scary and overwhelming, then I'm trusting God to give us daily direction and wisdom. He sees the big picture so to speak, when I can only see what's right in front of me.



I'm still planning on blogging, but it may change up just a little. I had to crop out boxes and packing materials just to get these photos today. I'll keep you updated on how things are going, and you may even see some of the day-to-day work going on around here. Can you stand wading through cabinets filled with vintage decor and sorting my stash of magazines? My posts may be shorter, but you'll be with me through it all. As I said in the Review post, I consider this more of a "lifestyle" blog than a decor blog. It may not be all pretty pictures, but it will be "real life"...and right now I need to stay connected with you all through this blog. Hope you'll stick with me while we take on this new year of change, and blessing. 

sharing at:


Wishing all of you a wonderful New Year.
love y'all bunches,


71 comments:

  1. Looking forward to following your journey!

    Hugs,

    Sue

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  2. I, for one, will be right here! Your blog is one of my most favorite! Wishing you blessings as you allow God to work this for you. Take care of yourself and don't overdo it!! Praying for you to be able to listen for His guidance and follow His will. Happy New Year!

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  3. Happy New Year Debra to you and yours! I am looking forward to this next step in your journey of life and so inspired by your allowing the Lord to lead you in this journey. He will provide and bless you both for your trust in Him.

    2014 is going to be a great year!

    Judy

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  4. How courageous of both of you to take such a brave new step in life with God's guidance. I think it will be delightful to see how you manage to downsize and sort through a life's collection. Wishing the best and looking forward to your updates.

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  5. It will be hard to do--my husband and I moved out of state,and down-sized from a five bedroom to a three bedroom. It was so hard to start the process of getting rid of "stuff" we really didn't need anymore that I had kept "just in case", but once I started with the help of our daughter I really got excited to see that I could do it and now in our new home I have EMPTY drawers and cabinets. The house stays so tidy and is a breeze to clean. I wish I could have--or more to the point would have--done this in our previous home. So it can be done--just take a deep breath and put that first piece in a box to be donated--you will soon feel so good about purging all the stuff that just fills up your home and life. Good luck with your new chapter in your life...

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  6. what a beautiful inspirational post, Garry had to take early retirement at 49, we were not ready for it emotionally or financially, we sold our house on the lake and took this nest in the sky on the same waters edge, it meant getting rid 2/3 of all we owned, it was ahrd but honestly was the best thing we ever did, it took our focus off of material things and gave us more room for important things, it was in all ways a blessing, my wish for you is to enjoy the journey and end result as much as we did.Happy New Year to you,

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  7. Of course I will stay with you dear Debra... and cheer you along on your journey... Jack and I have had to make alot of changes in our lives as well since we moved from our little farm and farmhouse... and as my fibromyalgia has gotten worse this year, I I just have fairly small gardens where we live now, and enjoy them alot!... now that we are both retired, we don't want to work so hard!... I love that your blog will become more of a lifestyle blog... my favorite kind... hearing about you, your day to day goings ons (is that even a word?)... your kitties... more like blogging used to be when you and I both started out... alot simpler... more like a couple of friends chatting over coffee... much love to you... good luck with those magazines!... I know you buy as many as I do and I really should part with some of mine too... but... well... maybe one day!... Happy New Year to you!... xoxo Julie Marie

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  8. Oh my, Debra, what a huge decision you two have made. I can only imagine the mixed feelings you have. The interim leasing sounds hard in terms of packing/unpacking, but I'm sure it will prove to be smart so you can take your time on both the sale and purchase. I know I will be very interested in watching it unfold, following your decision-making in the purging process, and how you proceed with your next chapter. I wish you the best, and the best in health as you go forward.
    Rita C. at Panoply

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  9. And oh yes, I LOVE those monogrammed towels! Your mother did an excellent job - what a great gift!

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  10. We did that very thing 8 years ago, and it is a real challenge. The Lord is perfect to guide you to the perfect place like he did us. Even if I thought it was way toooooooooooooooooooooooo small, he knew it was just right. God Bless and good Luck. Hugs, Marty

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  11. Of course I'll be sticking with you and looking forward to keeping up with your packing progress and your plans for moving to a new home. We're going to have to downsize one of these days too. Blessings to you in the new year Debra.

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  12. Sounds like exciting days ahead. Purging is always difficult, but liberating in the end. I have trouble parting with things, but find I really don't miss them after they are gone. Looking forward to following along as life brings you changes and we all understand what real life is about, so don't worry about the boxes.
    Happy New Year with God's richest blessing to you.
    Cindy

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  13. looks like we're both headed for a lot of change in 2014! Our house is on the market right now, in fact today we had someone look at it. Have no clue about our next home...but I know we'll end up where we're meant to be. And you will too! happy new year's Debra,
    xo
    Leslie

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  14. We've done this several times, and once you get into the spirit of purging (which comes when you think of moving everything you own into another house!) it really is a good thing. Since I don't enjoy doing yard sales, I would take loads of stuff to thrift stores, and save the receipts for tax deductions! When things seem daunting, just remember to keep moving forward, one step at a time...

    May you be surprised by many blessings in 2014!
    ~ Violet

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  15. Your love and faith in God is inspiring. Once you are done with purging you will feel a great "relief". Your journey is harder because it mean moving twice. Moving is not fun! I love small homes and feel a smaller home is more me than anything. There's the fact that we don't have to go far to find each other, less yelling "where are you" and always being close even when you are in different rooms, your just mere steps away. God will lead you right where you need to be! I'll enjoy following your journey!

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  16. It all sounds both exciting and daunting, Debra, but truly like you are making the right choice for yourselves. God does have His master plan and He will be guiding you all along. We will surely be there for you, available in blogland whenever you need us to help you through those not-so-fun packing & purging times. I can totally relate with you on the stash of old magazines. I still have a lot of my Victoria mags from the 90's! I wish you & your husband all the best for 2014 and look forward to reading along on your adventure. :)

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  17. Debra,
    I'm stuck like glue, dear friend!!!
    I'll be praying with and for you every step of the way!!!
    Remember Charles Swindol..."One Step Forward. . .".
    Stay focused on what lies ahead!!!
    Fondly,
    Pat

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  18. I admire your positive attitude, Debra. Moving is hard no matter what the reason, and the same goes for the many changes that are in store for all of us. You'll be feathering a new nest before you know it, and enjoying the freedom that will come with downsizing! As far as your blog, you've got to go where your heart takes you. I wish you health and happiness in the years to come. Happy New Year!

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  19. Hi Debra, sounds like an exciting year ahead of you. I believe all things happen for a reason and I wish you well with your journey. I look forward to following along in 2014. x Julie

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  20. Trust Gods plan it is always better than we can ever imagine
    Blessings to you and all you hold dear in the New year
    xo
    Pam

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  21. You have a fantastic attitude, Debra. We aren't moving, but I need to purge and downsize the stuff in our closets. 2014 is the year to do that for me. That's my goal! I'll gladly follow along as you lead the way.
    Happy New Year!

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  22. Happy New Year, dear Debra! That sounds like a good plan. I wish both of you health, happiness and that you'll be settled in your new home soon.
    Hugs,
    Julia

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  23. Dear Debra,
    I wish you all the best for this year with your plans for changing so much.
    Greetings from Germany Olga

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  24. I'm sticking right here with you , kiddo!!! You've got me for the duration!!!

    You have the right attitude and will do well with the move....you're side by side with your partner and that's all you need. You will be amazed at how light your life will be once you've downsized. I'm in a 2 story patio home and know eventually will move again into a one story........such is life.......but it is so manageable!!!! You can do this!!!

    Wishing you many blessings.......cleo

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  25. I'm so happy for you! I'm in the midst of doing the purging and cleaning now for my move in a few weeks. As others said, after the first bag, I was in high gear and felt good to know that I will start fresh. I'm downsizing too (due to a life change) but looking forward to using each and every nook, compared to having rooms that no one steps in for months! I wish you a Happy New Year!

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  26. I have such mixed emotions reading this for you and for me! We are heading in the same direction in a few years and I don't see how I will get through all the packing and down-sizing of my beloved treasures! I am encouraged by your post because you said it so perfectly....if this is where God is leading us then we have to follow and be blessed by it. I will be looking forward to following your new adventure and taking notes for when I am there. Love and blessings to you!

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  27. Hi Debra
    As one who has experienced this first hand, I wish you the very best and peace of mind as you go through this change in your life. I love our big, beautiful custom built home but it was so hard to care for and maintain. Now our new smaller home is so much easier and more comfortable for both of us. Do I miss the beauty of the old home....YES! but that's when I stop and remind myself that I've been there, done that.

    So, Happy New Year and I hope your house sells quickly. Look at the cleaning out and purging part as a pathway to newfound freedom.

    hugs
    Sissie

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  28. Best wishes for your move. It sounds as though you've thought if out well, and renting while getting your house ready for the market is a great way of adjusting and of finding how much space you can comfortably live in.
    When I do clearouts, it helps me to think of another person getting use from the things I no longer need.
    Only this morning, I was asking my daughter if she though getting rid of half our stuff might be a good move! Would be much less to move, dust, etc!
    Happy 2014!

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  29. You can do it Debra. After 35 years in Orlando we sold our house, pool and all. My mom had passed away and we had her house to sell also. So after packing, purging and a big estate sale, we loaded the bins and moved to North Carolina to be closer to kids. We rent a cute cottage and then moved into a house. It's not my dream house but one step closer. It's not as hard as I thought letting go of things but some things I still cherish and those are with us. Can't wait to see where you go, it will be fun watching you decorate your new place!! Much Love, Happy New Year, Di@Cottage-Wishes

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  30. Best wishes on your move, husband's retirement and purging. We are almost at the same point too. I know you and your husband will be so happy! Sending prayers your way!

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  31. Happy New Year and congratulations.We have been talking of doing the same when the day comes at retirement for my husband also.We plan on moving out of state,so we have got to get busy the years to come so we will be ready.Like you I also dread the thought of what we keep and what we need to go ahead and dispose of.`We actually thought 2013 was going to be the year,but they decided not to touch the dept my husband works for so for now we have got a little more time.Again Congratulations in 2014.

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  32. Happy New Year Debra. Good luck with your transition and move. I always remind myself that purging unused things around the house is sometimes better then losing a few pounds. Best Wishes, Laura

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  33. Dear Debra,
    This is exactly how my husband & I felt in 2003. It actually took us 9 years to downsize, starting back in 2001.... but now we're snuggled in to our small cottage, life is SO much simpler, and we are SO much happier. You are certainly not alone... He will guide you through every step of the way.
    I just know it will be a wonderful journey for you.
    Looking forward to your 2014 posts.
    Hugs,
    Lin

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  34. How exciting! Thank you for letting us tag along on your journey.........looking forward to this new transition!

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  35. How exciting! Thank you for letting us tag along on your journey.........looking forward to this new transition!

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  36. Debra I wish you well on your new adventure. I am sure you will come to enjoy the process of surrounding yourself with only the things you love the most and in a new home. Happy new year. Alaina

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  37. Look at it as a new adventure in your life, Debra. That's what I did when we went through the same thing. It was very difficult going through everything and deciding what to keep, give away, throw away, etc. Knowing we were moving into a place that was half the size of our house put the pressure on! It sounds like the way you and your hubby are doing it gives you some time to make your way through everything and pack up. Just do what you can and know that some days you may not be able to do it at all. Moving can be such an emotional experience.

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  38. We did that two and a half years ago and I'm soooo happy we did! I purged and sold and gave away two thirds of our household items as our new digs were so small. There are only a few items I think about with a twinge, but nothing like the freedom we have now.

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  39. Yes Christmas 2013 is a thing of the past now, and nothing left here but memories, looking forward to this new year, and seeing what God makes me marvel at this year. His abundant love and patience just overwhelms me at times, I am so thanking for such a loving Saviour. Have a very blessed New Year.

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  40. Praying for God's best for you and much joy during this time of change. The joy of the Lord is your strength, and He will give it to you as you need it.
    This my friend will be a fantastic journey...
    Many blessings to you this new year of change
    Love to you
    R

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  41. Hi Sweetie,
    YAY for you! We are getting to the same place, and I am ready to purge...that's for sure! It's all good when we know it's from the Lord!! I will be praying for all of this, and that you will see the joy of God in all of the details! Here's to the adventure of this new year, my friend!! So glad that you are going to bring us all along!
    Love and Hugs,
    Becky

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  42. Wow! You have some big plans for 2014! I know it will be fun to go house shopping though. The moving part not so much though. We are not in our final home either. We will have to move one day because our house has too many steps. It isn't practical for old age. My house is best for a young family. I look forward to following your new journey.

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  43. Debra, Once again we are on the same page. Your life and mine mirror in so many ways. We too are discussing selling our home we built with our 3 kids, their friends, and our active church group in mind. There are 5 acres and 3 floors to manage. However my beloved father is living in a downstairs basement apartment we made for him after my mother got bad with Alzheimer's and they moved to VA from AR. Mama passed away in March. Because of daddy, we continue to hold on to this house of memories that we built. A house to me is like a pet. It takes on it's on personality and becomes family. Our paper GOD BLESS OUR HOME that my husband and I with our three children signed with the date and the prints of each of our pets paws is still buried in a container under the foundation as a reminder to us of what is really important in life. For now, we will stay here since daddy's area is so perfect for him. I dread the day that my sweet father isn't just downstairs anymore but know that it will come. For this moment I am just thankful that we can use him as an excuse to not downsize and get rid of a lot of furniture as well as memories. My prayers to you for 2014. Love, Lisa Gower Montgomery

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  44. Life truly is an adventure. My husband's company is closing its doors here. We know that 2014 will host a move somewhere, sometime for our family. We are putting our trust in Him.

    May 2014 be filled with love, happiness, and health for all.

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  45. Best wishes on your downsizing and move Debra. I look forward to sharing in it all with you as I read your posts in this new year. Happy 2014!

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  46. Exciting plans for 2014 with your downsizing. I really like that you mentioned God's guiding hand in your lives.
    Love your monogrammed plaid towels. Your mom did a great job. Best wishes for 2014. I'll be there visiting with you in all of your "adventures."

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  47. You are brave, and trusting. I know God will bless you. I look forward to this journey with you, Debra.

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  48. I am excited for you! I think it would be great to blog about downsizing and being in the "empty nester" stage of life. Even though we are not talking about selling our house (we live in a small house), the older I get, I want to start cleaning out all the "stuff" I have saved through the years and simplify things here at home. I'm sure I will be inspired from your new changes this year! :-)

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  49. I'm excited to follow you on your new adventure to downsize! When we thought we'd be selling our home last year, I went through that purging process. Then we decided to stay put. Reorganizing our home after twenty-five years was wonderfully freeing, and there have been few items I regret getting rid of. I am lucky to have two daughters to which I distributed a lot of our things, though, and now I can "borrow" those things back for a bit if I want to. Putting the things you're not sure about into a rented storage unit until you have a new permanent residence would give you time to know if you really want or need them. You could "shop" your storage unit for the new home, and then get rid of what's left. Ordinarily, I'd say just buy more when the time comes, but you have so many beautiful one of a kind items that might be hard to replace. Just a thought! Best of luck on this new journey, Debra!

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  50. Of course I will follow along. One of the things that I love about your blog is your keeping us up to date on your real life. I'm sure this season of change will be a difficult one at times but it's always best to be in His will rather than out of it. Prayers for you and your husband as you sort out, weed through and pare down your collections and move on.

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  51. Wishing you the best of luck both in the New Year and your new journey. It sounds exciting to me to have a change in a home and be able to go through everything and only keep what fits and what is needed. I'm feeling lost in piles of "stuff" lately and hope to get organized and purge quite a few things in the New Year.

    Can't wait to follow you and maybe you can keep me motivated:-)

    xoxo
    Kathleen

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  52. Happy New Year, Debra. It will be both scary and exciting, I am sure, and I will be along for the journey. x

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  53. Sometimes change comes through pleasant circumstances and sometimes it comes through sorrow. Sounds like you are in a good place and making wise choices!!! At some place we will have to do the same but for now I am just beginning a business here and loving it. But I will be watching how you go about it...best wishes. Dianntha

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  54. I will enjoy following along on your new adventure. I think it is very fortunate and wise that you were able to lease a new space first. It should give you a smoother transition. Wishing you a wonderful and healthy year and all the best in your move.

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  55. I will follow your posts about your move with great interest. There may be a move from our home of 38 years sometime in 2014 and know what a wrenching, work-filled experience it will be. I will find inspiration in what you write about your move!

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  56. Your posts are always so inspirational to me. I just found your blog a few months ago and have been so impressed with you and your attitude through your physical journey. Your pictures and home are beautiful, almost as beautiful as you.

    I too am moving this year. Just trying to wrap my head around sorting through 20 years of stuff. We are also leaving a large house with a pool and 2 acres of yard that I can no longer keep up on. I'll enjoy our journey together. I'm not a great blogger, but I like to stalk and get inspiration from others.

    Best of luck!

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  57. It will be fun to see what God had in store for you and your husband.

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  58. Oh, it will be fun following along on your new journey. Happy New Year, Debra!

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  59. Happy New Year, my dear friend! I think that you and I have both known since very early on that we were kindred spirits. It makes perfect sense (to me, anyway) that you would be downsizing and going through some sort of construction beginning this year...perhaps it's wishful thinking or "misery loving company" as I spent NYE cutting a hole in the bathroom wall and am organizing a "household surplus" sale for sometime in March or April. I wish you the very best and I'm excited to be with you as you start this new chapter! Hugs to you, Kimberly

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  60. Your paper whites are so pretty. Mine got soooo tall this year. They fell over. Moving? I am still recovering from ours last year. It feels good to start fresh, though. Good luck! :) How exciting, too.

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  61. I hope that you have a smooth transition! Happy New Year! love, t.xoxo

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  62. Debra,
    I could have taken your post exactly as it is written and added my name to it. You have made me more encouraged and excited about our down-sizing move with your eloquent post! I too am trying to let go of much loved "stuff" but also know God has great plans left for us too so……….."Forgetting what lies behind, I press on…………." I love your blog and will look with great anticipation for each new post! Thanks
    Peggy@http://gardenhousestudio.com

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  63. I am right there with you my friend. Like Peggy I could add my own name to your post as well. It will be hard to know where to begin and what needs to go and what needs to be kept. It's going to be hard but maybe we all can give the purging support to each other and then happily write our success stories in 2015. You pray for me and I'll pray for you and we know who has our back and that makes the first step into the journey all the better. Blessings to you . Hugs
    Becky

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  64. Oh, Debra, your post gives me such inspiration! I, too, am looking at moving in this new year, me and my family. We love where we live and it's the only home my kids have ever known. But due to employment circumstances, we'll be moving to another state and it's quite a daunting task to do this, let alone with three kids. It will be my husband's and my fourth home together (!) Your attitude is an incredible one, and I can only hope to be as brave and accepting as you are and let God take the reins on this one. Blessings on your move and this life change for you and your husband! xoxo Kathleen

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  65. Debra, I so admire your ability to be open to change and even a new adventure. We are also at the point in life that we are starting to be open to change, too...I will keep you in my prayers! XO

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  66. Oh Debra…I can so relate…my hubby and I were discussing how much time we spend on the maintaining of our home and just seems to be not enough time to enjoy other things…I look forward to your journey of the moving process and new adventures..and also, I must say that I love your mom's new monogramming machine…the monograms are gorgeous!!...

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  67. Wishing you well on this new adventure Debra...we've just begun the conversation!
    Wish I lived closer...I love to pack!

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  68. Oh, Debra, it's been such an honor being invited into your beautiful home through your blog, and I look forward to the next chapter. We've been in our small split level ranch since 1981, and it is bursting with things, so I don't envy what you will be going through regarding moving. How wise of you to lease a place so you can work on it at your own pace, etc. Wishing you lots of love and new adventures for the New Year!

    Donna

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  69. Best wishes with the move Debra. It will all sort out.
    Happy New Year.
    Sherry

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  70. you're doing exactly what we need to be doing...it is just my husband and myself...and this house has 6 bedrooms!
    We have known it for awhile...on one hand I'm ready...on the other hand...not at all! Maybe you will inspire me to do...what I know needs to be done!
    Sharon

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  71. Definitely will stick with you through it all...

    Cindy

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