As you already know, Kristin and her three boys have been getting ready to move out of the house that they have occupied for the past decade. Closing for the new home, already known as “Kiki’s Cottage”, was set for this past Friday and things went off pretty much without a hitch. Kristin referred to it as a “bittersweet” occasion – sad about the end of the previous season of her life, yet with hopeful anticipation about what God has in store for them in the future. At closing, I was kind of hoping that she would be full of joy and really excited, but I could tell that she was grieving the loss of something that she had hoped that she would never lose. But that’s yesterday’s news.
The move was originally set for June 12th, then moved up to May 24th, but I could tell that Kristin was done with the old and ready for the new. By Thursday of last week, she was ready to be gone from the old house, and in typical Kristin fashion, she put out the “bat signal” and asked for help getting ready for the move. Friday, after closing, we headed to the new place to get it opened up and by the afternoon, people were already arriving at her old house to help pack up boxes and start to get stuff moved over to Kiki’s Cottage.
By Saturday it was crazy. Early in the morning, people started to show up to help, and miraculously, whenever people left, new people showed up to replace them and keep the move going. By noon on Saturday, all the boxes and little things that were to be moved were done, but people kept coming. Soon, beds were down and moved, linens were put on clean beds, the kitchen cabinets were washed down and the appliances were ready for Kristin’s family; and it still didn’t slow down. Sofas, chairs, even the kitchen table, made the 1 mile trek to the new house. Seasonal decorations, shelving and knickknacks were all moved down the street.
Even extra furniture that would eventually make its way to our house has already been moved – and Kristin’s office is ready for her tutoring students this week. The grand piano came in today and the professional movers brought the really heavy stuff in this morning as well. In other words, Kristin is pretty much in the new place. And she owes it all to about 25 amazing friends – people who have stood by her throughout this entire episode. To say nothing about the moving bill being 50% under the original estimate because everyone helped so much.
Now I know that when I was younger, and was still into moving ourselves, I would always lay awake the night before and wonder if enough people would show up to help out. Not Kristin – it was like a big party. People were coming out of the woodwork – and they insisted on pushing even harder that I can even imagine to get things done. I got the impression that they wanted Kristin to move as much as she did – to get this last painful episode behind her and get on with living in the new place.
Families from church, tutoring students (and their parents), play group friends and longtime girlfriends all stopped by to help. Kristin was overwhelmed by their compassion and generosity with their time. The freezer filled up with frozen dishes to take care of dinners for the next week or so. Cards and letters of congratulations, along with plants and small housewarming gifts also arrived throughout the week-end. I don’t know that I have ever seen such an outpouring of love for one person.
New neighbors stopped by to introduce themselves and offered to help. I have no doubt that Kristin will soon be the darling of the neighborhood. Her next door neighbor, Gene, who is in his eighties, has already expressed his excitement at her move. Shirley, Bob and several others neighbors also welcomed her with open arms. Even our daughter Jill, who is usually unflappable, was amazed at the outpouring of love and affection for her sister.
But you know, that’s sometimes how God sends us a little surprise in the midst of our sorrow. He surrounded Kristin with people to help her transition to this new season in her life. There’s still clean-up at the new place – and cable service won’t be in until Wednesday, but in the scheme of things, the dreaded move is behind us. The kids are excited and as soon as Yogi (their dog) and Rowdy (their cat) get acclimated, they’ll all be up to speed.
So goes another chapter in the Toussaint family. Of course, I’ll keep you posted, but we are getting our groove back and hope that God will grant us a return to normalcy after so much turmoil. Tonight’s verse, in honor of friends, comes from 1 John 4:7, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” Certainly, Kristin’s friends love her, as she loves them – and that’s God’s wish for all of us.
My encouragement this evening is that you will realize that God desires for all of us to have deep friendships. After all, none of us is an island and we all need the camaraderie of people who care about us. My prayer is that God will provide you the kind of friendships that fulfill you and are a tangible expression of God’s love for you. Anyone who experienced the outpouring of love and affection for Kristin this week-end would want some of that for themselves. What a blessing… Grace and peace…