Friday, January 31, 2014

settling in

So. We moved.

We actually did it. Two months ago our family pulled away from our beloved Ohio hills and we now call the great plains of Kansas home. It has been an adventure, for sure. This jumping and trusting that God will catch you is not for the faint of heart. Tears have been shed, loneliness endured, and a general stretching has been felt by each person in our family. The first week we were here, I would rise early each morning with a pounding heart. The darkness would surround and I would wonder what in the world we had just done. What were we thinking to leave our family, our community, our safety net behind? But deep breaths and long talks with Boss helped to ease the pain and the fear deep within. And prayer. Prayer sustained me those dark mornings and I wondered once more where people who do not know God find comfort. Because amidst all of the change, my relationship with God and my family are my forever constants.

But other things (namely ice cream, ahem) helped, too. In a place totally new I can still hang a familiar picture on a wall and feel at home. I can walk into a church building, sit on pews and sing songs and read scripture that I know, and feel at home. I can still go to Target, order a tall Chai tea with soy, and browse the isles and feel at home. Because (in our family) home is more of a feeling within. Home is traditions, and comfort foods, and discussions with those that you love, more than it will ever be a particular place. This I am learning.

So that is what these past two months have been. A slowing down, an embracing of our more quiet days, a strengthening of our dependence on God and each other. And as we are slowly beginning to leave the moving fog behind, I can honestly see that though the process has been hard, it has also been good. And I am still confident that being right here in the center of the United States, has put our family directly in the center of God's will for our lives in this particular season.

You should know that Boss is perhaps the happiest I have ever seen him. He is more energized, more full of life, and more excited about how he now spends his days than ever before. It's amazing how dreams realized can inspire a person towards greatness! Sometimes we pinch ourselves to make sure we are not still dreaming, and then we smile because we remember that this new life is our real life. And we thank God for the blessings. The children have made some new friends and are hopeful for more to come. Each new week brings more smiles and fewer tears. Every Tuesday afternoon the three big kids lace up ice skates and head to the rink for lessons. We figured a bold new move required being bold and trying our hand at a brand new skill! I am so proud of how my children, despite their sadness at saying goodbye to the old, are embracing the new and are discovering more of who God has created them to be in the process.

I count my children as one of my greatest blessings in this life and I am most thankful for the closeness and the amount of time we have spent together as of late. Our lives were good in Ohio, but they were busy. And sometimes, amidst the crazy busy of all things good, it is so easy to lose sight of what matters most. But our new, quiet days are bringing us back to the very best, and that is time spent together. I am sure as the months pass and our lives and connections here begin to expand, the busy will creep back in, but for now I am thanking God for this current quiet season we are in.

As for me? I am enjoying lazy mornings with a warm blanket curled around and a big mug of coffee in hand. Having no place to go most days has done wonders for the stress the last decade of being a grown up had brought into my life, and I am enjoying my mornings with my children like never before. I am loving taking the time to stare at my tiny baby who is growing bigger. We practice standing, and crawling, and we laugh and clap hands. Clapping is a new favorite. My little guy has finally gotten his first tooth, and I am trying to relish it all.... the daily small things that so often go unnoticed in the busyness of a full life. We still do school around the table each day, and there is more time for explaining long division and reading aloud. I must confess that I have felt burn out on the teaching front, but as of this last week, we seem to have found our groove once more.

The move has been hard, but it has also been good. A clean slate, if you will. A chance to slow down, regroup, and press on towards those things that are most important. I just wanted to let you all know that we are still here and all is well. We are settling in to this new life we are living and we thank God daily for directing our steps.