Google image from my grandfather’s birthplace in IrelandFor years my husband and I felt that we’d like a bigger house and garden, but we pushed those feelings aside in the name of simplicity and loyalty to our neighbors, whom we love. But this spring several things happened that shifted our assumptions. First, our neighbors had a baby, which means that with two other children, they are feeling even more cramped than we are in a three-bedroom, one bath rowhouse. Through a series of conversations and a few house hunting trips, it became clear that we were entering a new phase when expanding a bit felt right, rather than extravagant. Since we’ve settled on a high school for our daughter and are excited about the fact that she’ll be able to walk to school next year, we are clear that we’d want to stay in the same neighborhood, if we do move, which made the prospect of looking much simpler.

Long story short—we have an agreement on a house, but it is a short sale, which makes it complicated and unpredictable, so it would be overly optimistic to go so far as to say, “We’re moving.” Still, I’m an optimist by nature, so I’m starting to go through bookshelves and boxes looking for things we can pass on rather than haul with us. It was overdue anyway and worthwhile, even if the deal falls through.

I’m also in work transition. This Saturday is the last event I have scheduled to publicize The Wisdom to Know the Difference. Although I still want to help readers find the book, for the past few months most of my writing energy has been going into a new project that is gradually growing in my Word document into something that feels like a new book.

It feels like God is at work in all this (as well as in the changes in our two growing children) and I feel exceedingly grateful, though not at all certain about what the next year will look like. It feels like we’ve been given a compass and a shove, rather than Mapquest directions, but that’s OK. A compass and a shove are all most people get.

Recently a friend sent me this story, which feels relevant, though I can’t authenticate or credit it:

“When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for three months at ‘the house of the dying’ in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as to how best to spend the rest of his life.  On the first morning there he met Mother Teresa.  She asked, “And what can I do for you?”  Kavanaugh asked her to pray for him.

“What do you want me to pray for?” she asked.  He voiced the request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States: “Pray that I will have clarity.”

She said firmly, “No, I will not do that.”  When he asked her why, she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go of.”  When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, “I have never had clarity; what I have always had is trust.  So I will pray that you trust God.”