Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Reflection

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...I know it is almost the end of January and y'all have moved on from reflection and new year's resolutions.  I haven't ok.  I have been spending the last few weeks reflecting and thinking on all that 2018 held. 

I know the cool, trendy thing to do these days is to pick a "word for the year"...I'm not into that.  I usually don't make resolutions either.  (Let's be honest, my life is a constant resolution of trying to eat healthy and exercise.) 

Over  my weeks of reflection I feel like I brought two words out of 2018...

BRAVE

and

ADVENTURE

As I was looking over all that 2018 held these two words kept popping up.  Brave may seem obvious...because it is.  I have never in my life had to be more brave than I was in 2018.  Literally getting on a plane with a one way ticket to Idaho was the hardest thing I have ever done.  It wasn't just me that was brave though.  Everyday, still, I am amazed at how brave my kids are.  Just last week I dropped Broderick off at his first day of driving school.  He walked into a classroom full of kids he had never met.  Then 2 days later got behind the wheel of a car to drive for the first time.  (Parents:  if your children are not yet to driving age...prepare yourself.  I don't know if there is anything scarier.)
Not only leaving Ohio took great bravery, but since we've been here there are many days that require great bravery.  Some days just driving I need to be brave.   Ok, maybe not for the average person but for me.  There are roads that I have had to literally close my eyes when we are driving on them.

 Do you see the words at the bottom of my GPS screen? 
 HAHAHA..."Keep Your Eyes Open".  No thanks.

Looks beautiful, right?  And it is.  
Except the road winds up the mountain on the edge with no guardrail.  
BRAVE!

This is just a little (exaggerated...kind of) example.  Seriously though,  I am an extrovert and love getting out and meeting people and doing all sorts of things.  But, this move has stretched me in the area of fear and courage like I could never have imagined.  I am so thankful for the ways God has been with our family and pushed us past the fear to be BRAVE.

Now onto adventure.  Again, the move was a huge adventure and I find that most days there is always a new adventure to be had.  But even looking past that (while the move did consume most of 2018 we did do other things)

Rob and I got to go to Nicaragua with my favorite band NEEDTOBREATHE and serve with a ministry, One World Health.  One of the coolest things I have ever done and probably the most gorgeous place I have ever been.




In May, Rob and I also got to go to Belize.  (My hubby is a rockstar at his job and won an award.  He was 1 of 5 people out of the entire company to get the award.)  




I should also add here that this trip required me to be brave as well...I first had to get on a prop plane and fly to the island...


Then I took a boat ride through the jungle, with all kinds of creatures, with a local man.  I was certain we would never be returning.  (Are you gathering that I am a very fearful person?  I am.  God is growing me though.  Years ago, I would have NEVER even got on the plane or in the boat.)


We have had countless adventures since we've been in Idaho also.  Weekend trips to the mountains, "hiking" (I use that term lightly...hiking to me is different than hiking to native Idahoans), having visitors and showing them around, snowmobiling, driving to the grocery some days is an adventure.  I just never know what each day is going to hold and it has been a ton of fun.

Our family motto for the past few years has been, "On the other side of the hardest yes could be the greatest blessing."  I can definitely say that rang true in 2018.  Had I not gotten on the plane or in the boat I would have missed some of the greatest adventures we had last year.  I don't know what 2019 holds for us but I wait in expectant anticipation.



Sunday, December 2, 2018

A Year Later

Exactly one year from today we told our kids we would be moving to Idaho.  We had made the decision a few days prior but this day made it official.  And exactly 6 months ago we got on a plane and left all I had ever known as home and we had known as a family.  As I sit and write this my mind is flooded with many thoughts over the past year.  Many emotions surface and I fight back tears.

I think of February when Rob and I travelled here to buy a house and how God showed up in unimaginable ways.  After a long day of looking at houses and an even longer night of no sleep we decided to go to church.  We just went to one that our realtor had mentioned.  The church was having a guest speaker, Jeremy, and he was speaking about anxiety...interesting.  After church we introduced ourselves, shared with him why we were there that specific morning and asked for prayer.  One week before we moved here that church announced they were hiring a new pastor and it was going to be Jeremy.  Today, Jeremy and his wife, Stephanie are our dear friends.  We attend that church, that is about 5 minutes from our house and definitely feel God moving through it in our community.  God was with us.

I think of a morning in church when I was feeling very sad.  Ya know how churches do that churchy thing where they tell you to say hi to someone you don't know.  Well, I said hi to the guy sitting right next to me and began to tell him we had just moved here.  He said, "From where?".  I said, "Ohio".  "Where in Ohio?"  "Between Dayton and Cincinnati."  "Where between Dayton and Cincinnati?"  "Centerville."  "I lived in Kettering and went to Fairmont High School."  May not seem like much to you, but to me!!!  I grew up in Kettering and went to Fairmont High School!!!  I felt God saying, "I see you my daughter.  I know you feel alone, but I SEE YOU!  I am with you."

I think of the week the kids went to camp and I was a hot mess.  I was so worried because they would be jet skiing and tubing, and white water rafting with people they didn't even know.  And then as the week went on and I saw pictures of there smiles with other kids their age I knew we were all going to be okay.  God was with them.

I think of a Facebook post I read of a woman, Lisa, who said, "My family and I are moving from Georgia.  I have a 7th grade girl. (she has other kids too but that one stuck out to me) I would love to meet some people."  So what do I do as an extrovert?  I message her and say, "hey.  I am new here too and I have a 7th grade girl.  Let's get together."  So, we met at the zoo (dragging our children along) and the rest is history.  We had our first Thanksgiving in Idaho with Lisa and her sweet family.  God was with us.

I also think of days sitting in my closet crying texting my friends in Ohio of how sad I was.  And of getting a phone call that someone I love was in the hospital and not being able to get to them.  (Worst feeling ever.)  And of lying on Carys' bed as she sobbed because dance is not the same here and she just wants to be with Miss Holly and Miss Andrea and her dance friends.  And arguing with Broderick (because he's 15) because he doesn't know how to verbally express what he is feeling.  Even in those hard times God was with us.

There has not been one day, not one, that I have questioned our move here.  There has not been one day that I have wondered why we did this.  There has not been one day I regretted moving.  There have been many days that I wake up and literally have to give myself a pep talk to get out of bed.  It takes a lot of mental and emotional energy when EVERYTHING has changed.  But God whispers, "I am with you" every.single.day.

Tonight we will host our first (Idaho) annual Christmas party. One year after we officially made the decision to move, my house will be filled with new friends to celebrate Emmanuel, God with us.  Coincidence?  I think not.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

New Year! New Adventure!

Over 2 years have passed since I last updated this space of the world.  I love writing here and have missed it immensely.  Over the past 2+ years many things have changed and many things are about change.  That is why I am revamping the blog.

First, we must rewind to a little over a year ago...

As I mentioned in my last post, we moved to a new house after looking at moving closer to Rob's work.  We love this house and its location.  However, there were some things going on and I felt stirred to pray about Rob's current job situation.  He had been with this company for around 20 years and they have been so good to us, but we both felt like something needed to change.  So, I just started praying...I can't tell you exactly what I was praying but it was something along the lines of "change".  About a month after I started praying this Rob called me and said, "Are you sitting down?"  I replied, "no, why?"  He said, "What exactly have you been praying?"  My first thought was, oh crap!  He's losing his job!  ok...I prayed about this so if so, it's all good.  He proceeded to tell me that the company was being bought and what the could mean for him and us.  My heart started beating at a more normal pace and I wasn't freaking out as much.  I just kept thinking, I prayed for change and this is definitely that so it's going to be fine.  Different, sure.  Hard, maybe.  But fine nonetheless.

Fast forward a few months...

Things with the buying/selling of the company were almost final.  Rob was approached with the question if we would relocate.  See, the main office would now be in Boise, Idaho not Newport, Kentucky.  We talked about it and felt like we needed to say yes we would be willing.  If I had prayed about "change" then I had to be willing to go where God was leading.  Last December Rob and I both took a trip to Boise to see if we really were willing to move.  To our surprise, we both really liked it.  It has the same Midwest feel as Ohio but with mountains!  Time passed and nothing really ever came of the relocation.  We continued to settle into our new (we've lived here for 2 1/2 years now) house, doing remodeling projects and such.  We switched churches (another post for another time) and have fallen in love with it and met new friends that we are coming to adore.

Then about a month ago Rob came home from work and we had a very emotional conversation...relocating had been brought back up.  This time it was very serious.  We spent a week praying and seeking counsel and asking a lot of questions.  We talked to the kids and told them what was going on.  We asked how they felt and told them to start praying.  They could pray that we do move or don't.  They could tell God they don't want to or they do.  We encouraged them to have their own faith journey in this process.  After nearly a month we had all the information we felt we needed to make a decision.  It is with great excitement we announce we will be relocating to Boise!!!



Even typing that makes my stomach flip and feels fake...it's not.  As you can imagine there is many emotions with this decision...fear, excitement, anticipation, and the list goes on.  Rob and I truly believe this is a huge faith step and are very excited about what God is going to do in our lives over the next year.  We will absolutely miss our family and friends and our church and our house.  However, for the past few years our motto has been, "our biggest blessing could be on the other side of the hardest yes."  We adopted that phrase before I went to Africa because I was terrified to go.  It turns out, one of my greatest blessings was indeed on the other side of the yes to go.  I believe the same about this.  I don't know what God has in store but I believe it will be a blessing.  Hard, yes.  Different, sure. But a blessing nonetheless.