Moving Update

On Wednesday, March 19, we said goodbye to life as we had known it in the wonderful town of Cookevile, Tennessee. As our movers were arriving in Madison, Mississippi, on Thursday afternoon, we wanted to spend the night in Memphis so as to avoid having to leave Thursday morning at 5:00 a.m. We had hoped to leave Cookeville on Wednesday just after lunchtime in order to make it to Memphis by dinner, and have time to swim in the hotel pool with our children. But there was so many last minute loose ends to tie up around our empty house and last minute errands to run around town, that we didn’t leave until after 5:00. (That did give my dad more time with our children, which was good.)

It was hard to drive away from the house that has been our home these past six and a half years. We arrived with three children, we left with five. Daniel arrived age 4, and left age 11. That was just about the same age I left my home on 4845 Newcomb Drive in Baton Rouge, and I think back to all the memories I have there, and I know he will remember 1370 Rachel Lane in the same way. I’m sure Elizabeth has aspects of our family life on Rachel Lane that will stick in her mind, but here are a few of mine: Building the fort in the backyard, and enjoying the kids jumping off of it onto the trampoline. Planting the blueberry bushes, and a garden most every spring. Building my workbenches and having my woodshop in the garage. Having our Strawberry Festivals and Crawfish Boils there each May. Watching Daniel and his friends play Army and Lord of the Rings all around the house. Watching the girls and their friends make mud pies under the fort. Jumping on the trampoline with the children. Swinging the children. Playing football and basketball with Daniel, and soccer with Daniel and Laura (not enough! and not enough Ultimate Frisbee!). Having campfires on the back deck. Camping out in the backyard, in the fort and in tents. Raking leaf piles and jumping into them. Sledding down our slight incline – then going over to Cane Creek Park for real sledding. Riding bikes and taking walks. Enjoying the forsythia, the weeping cherries, and the one rhododendron bush I planted. Not enjoying that much having to take care of a yard – mowing, fertilizing, overseeding, trimming bushes, spraying weeds, etc. Enjoying very much the day Daniel was able to start push mowing for me! The morning sunlight breaking through the open blinds at breakfast. The fall leaves all around the neighborhood. Driving by Tennessee Tech each day to work and church. Most important of all, family worship in the living room and around the dinner table; homeschooling in the basement and on the couch; and singing “All Praise to Thee My God This Night” and praying with the children each night. Some of those things will continue even in Mississippi; some we won’t be able to experience here; but there will certainly be new memories and new experiences that we will have as time proceeds on.

So back to the story of our last week and a half. We stopped in Lebanon for dinner at Chick-Fil-A, and didn’t arrive in Memphis until nearly midnight (note to large families: the Marriott Springhill Suites will allow seven people in a room – they have a pull out couch, two queen beds, and will bring in a rollaway bed). So no swimming at night; but we did wake up and swim after breakfast. The children loved it. We arrived in Madison around 2, and the movers got to the house we’re staying in until we sell our home around 3. They worked until 7ish. We spent the first night with Elizabeth’s parents. The next morning the movers were here bright and early, and they worked all day unloading. We only made them completely rearrange the furniture once… After finishing up at the house, they dropped off all my books at Pear Orchard, where they still sit in boxes until next Saturday (when I hope to unpack as many as the bookshelves will hold, and then probably build bookshelves with a woodworker here for the rest – I may get all my books in my office yet for the first time in my ministry, which would be really nice).

I can’t say enough good things about Gordon Moving out of Crossville, TN. They have completely spoiled me whenever I have to move again. They were efficient, quick, and careful (only one mirror broke, and I got a reimbursement check in the mail within a week). Their price was $10,000 (!) less than the competitor, and not that much more than renting Penskes yourself and paying for the gas (plus you save yourself the headache of loading and unloading and driving a behemoth of a van or two). Since they are a local company, they don’t have to pay a lot of overhead. And here’s the thing – they will travel anywhere to move you. So if you’re planning on moving, even an in town move, you should give Mark Gordan a call at 931-456-6029, or check them out at I couldn’t imagine anyone beating his prices.

On the way home from the church Friday evening, I drove by our house and saw all our stuff flowing out of the carport; I realized I better spend the night there or someone might decide we were giving it all away to Goodwill. So I spend the night amidst boxes. All day Saturday we unpacked; I worked on getting things cleared out of the carport, since rain was in the forecast. The whole family spent our first night here last Saturday. Sunday morning we worshipped at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, an intentionally multi-racial church in Jackson, MS; it was a joy to worship with the saints there and here Pastor Mike Campbell preach on I Corinthians 11:2-16. Sunday evening we worshipped at First Presbyterian Church in Jackson; we have so many friends there, and it was a joy to see a lot of them – as well as to get to hear David Strain, who has been recommended to the congregation to be the new Senior Pastor there. There is rich preaching in the Jackson area, and I was thankful we got to visit these churches before beginning my ministry at Pear Orchard.

All last week we unpacked. My goal has been to finish unpacking by this past weekend, because I want this coming week to be restful and rejuvenating as much as possible – and unpacking boxes is anything but restful and rejuvenating. With late nights and help from family and friends, we were able to get nearly all the boxes unpacked or put in the attic. Our plan was to go to New Orleans on Thursday and Friday, and Baton Rouge on Saturday and Sunday, but Ezra came down with fever and Elizabeth also got sick, so I ended up taking the older four children to Mandeville on Friday and Baton Rouge yesterday and today by myself. Not as much fun as the original plan, but we still had a great time seeing friends and family. We worshipped at South Baton Rouge PCA this morning, and it was great to hear my old pastor Woody Markert preach God’s word. This evening we went to Pear Orchard for the first time, and the saints there were so welcoming. Elizabeth and her sister drove up to Hot Springs, Arkansas, today, to see and help my sister in law who just gave birth to triplets (they were so healthy, praise God, that they didn’t even have to go to the NICU, and they are sending them home after three days in the hospital, just a day over a normal delivery!).

The children haven’t done school in three weeks, so we’re planning on hitting it hard this week. We also plan on taking a break to go hiking at Tunica Falls – nothing like Rock Island, Fall Creek Falls, Cummins Mill Falls, or Burgess Falls, but it will have to do till we get back up to Cookeville in the fall. Pray for us as we get settled into normalcy here. We’re thankful for the house we have to stay in, all the Pear Orchard families who live nearby, Elizabeth’s family a few neighborhoods down the street, and the new adventure of life and ministry to which the Lord has called us. We miss all our friends in Cookeville; pray for them as they search for a new pastor in the coming months and continue to grow through this transition. Pray for me to be spiritually refreshed this week, and to be prepared to start work on Saturday. Pray for our children to adjust to life here quickly. Most of all, pray that we and they will hunger for the Lord, His word, communion with Him through prayer, and have wisdom as we enter a new culture and calling.



2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ashtyn Farris on March 31, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Even though this brought tears of both joy and sorrow to my eyes by the end, I’m ultimately joyful that your family has made it safe and sound to your new home and life. I pray for all the things you hope for, but most of all, I want to thank you for your time at Grace. You and your family blessed our little church for six wonderful years. The Lord has blessed you in countless ways Pastor Caleb, and I am so thankful to have been under your ministry. You always inquired after my well fare, and welcomed me during my time in town. I’m sad I was not able to spend the last few months of your time at Grace at home, but your new flock is so blessed to have you. Please give my love to your family for me. I always loved babysitting your children, and I’m sorry I was not there to wish you farewell.

    Much love and in His Name,


  2. Glad y’all are moved. I have been thinking of y’all a lot. We love y’all and pray for you as you adjust to life in Jackson. Miss y’all.


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