Tuesday, June 16, 2009

{ For Whom The Bell Tolls }

I sat on the floor, in the corner of our living room, observing the empty space and the eerie way my voice bounced off the walls in an echo when I called out to my husband. In the mad rush that was filling and loading all our earthly belongings into boxes and the miles of bubble wrap and packaging tape that come with such a ritual, my little five week old son let it be known that just because we'd forgotten about our dinner, he had not forgotten about getting his. So I scooped him up in my arms and settled with him down on the floor, the flurry of moving day put on pause for a little bit, and then it all began to hit me. I could hear myself think and it scared me because I dreaded the deep surge of emotion that I had tried so hard to bury in box after box being loaded onto the U Haul, to be moved over the mountains, and across the state to a new home.

Then the bells from the Catholic Church adjoining the back corner of our yard began to ring out, their last call for Saturday night mass. As I sat there I thought about how much I'd grown to love those bells over the last five years of my life and remembered how I would always stop whatever I was doing to listen to their happy sound whenever they would ring, and I thought about how much I was going to miss those moments of peaceful reflection. Those bells expressed so well all my feelings toward this home sweet home we were about to leave...they summed up almost six years of memories made...hours of accumulated laughter, some tears, the birth of both our children and many beautiful milestones, great and small, along with the millions of just regular, ordinary sort of moments that make up life.
And as I listened to the familiar dong....dong...dong...the tears that had been pooling up in my eyes spilled out over my cheeks, as I felt an overwhelming pang of sadness knowing that I was hearing those bells for the last time.

The next morning as I stared out the car door window, familiarizing myself with the streets and houses around my future home, half pinching myself inside as we pulled up in front of the towering blue, circa 1909 house that we'll someday call home, half terrified at the task that lay ahead in making this house a home, I stepped out to the car, with a hopeful heart. It was then that I realized I was I hearing bells. Lood and clear, these glorious bells rang out around me. Goose bumps popped up all over my arms as, awestruck, I whispered my thanks to Him. In that moment I felt seen and known and loved as I listened to the bells ring in a new season as they had rung out an old,  His faithful love stunning me afresh.

But isn't that just like Jesus to send us little reassurances, like that.

P.S. - I cannot tell you how glad I am to have a blog full of memories to look back on, of the years we spent in our first home. It's one of greatest blessings of keeping a blog. That, and having the love and support and encouragement of each of you.


Lisa said...

Oh Chelle, I have miised you!!! I am so glad to hear you are enjoying your new cottage and getting back to a simpler life - something we all need to do!

But this post, this post has to be one of my favorites - I can hear the church bells from our yard too, every morning calling the children to class and I love them, such music to my ears!!!
What a gift in such a time of stress - moving is never easy, leaving the old memories and starting new, but in a few months once you are all settled in you will feel the same connection to that beautiful blue 1909 house......


Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

I can just imagine how wonderful the sound of those bells must have been!! Chelle, you have such a gift for articulating your emotions, the beauty in your life - and the pain. This was beautiful!

Praying for you guys as you settle in.

Leslie said...

oh my.
total tears. pouring down my face.
I too enjoyed those bells ringing in your little house.

but then to think new bells.. to get to know and make more memories.. and welcome more babies.... :) .... and and and...

your incredible, and are trucking along in some mighty big circumstances. God has giant plans for your sweet family...

I am certain about that.

~beautyandjoy~ said...

I love this! I grew up between several old churches and their bells meant so much to me! I love not just what you said, but how you said it. Beautiful writing and ditto everything Leslie said. So, so, so beautiful....

Heidi said...

I got goose bumps just reading the end of your post! What an awesome God we have!

Crystal said...


You don't know me, but it seems that I know you. I have been following your blog for some time now, and I must say YOU INSPIRE ME!!! You inspire me to be more hopeful, more cheerful and more content in my life. I wish that I could see every day of my life through your eyes. Then the world would always be such a beautiful place.

I often wonder, have you ever considered writing a book? You have such a way with words ... and such a beautiful message to share.

Best wishes from Texas,

Cottage Mommy said...

Wow, that is so cool...and such a reminder that God cares about the little things in life. That He knew you would have bells ringing in your new house too and that He was probably so delighted with you when you heard them for the first time! What a sweet story and now you can remember it forever - recorded on this blog in your amazing written voice. I ditto the post above me...you are a very gifted writer. You have the ability to paint pictures with your words and they are so lovely to read....have a sweet day!

Lisa said...

It's truly amazing how God lets us know He hasn't gone anywhere and that He loves to paint the Big Picture for us. Such a sweet post.

Little Candle said...

Oh Sweet Friend,
It has been such a joy to read those memories about your first home too. It seemed to be a sweet little home, but now you are moving on to something wonderful. I'm sure that your new circa 1909 home will become just as cherished and think of all of the memories you will be making there?! All good things and prayers going out to you.

shabby girl said...

What a wonderful story, and told so well. Yes, reassurances.:)
Trust, belief, and gratitude.

Aminta said...

oh! I too will miss that house! Not nearly as much as you though.
It is a beautiful thought to have you CLOSER! And I can meet you in Lewi! Oh so very excited!
I miss you, I miss everything.... but hoping to see you this week-end!!!!! YAY!!!!

kt mac said...

wow total shivers.
This is the most loveliest post.
I love Gods sweet whisper of assurance to you.
It is going to be the most loveliest little home.
I can't wait to see it!