Big changes coming….

I’ve mentioned a few times that there were some possible big changes coming for our family. I so appreciate those of you who prayed as we tried to discern the Lord’s will. We’ve come to decisions and can talk about them publicly now. I’ll let you know what’s happening up front, and then go back to how we came to those decisions.

1. Jim, Jesse (youngest son), Grandma, and I are moving from western South Carolina to eastern Tennessee this summer.

2. Jeremy (oldest son) is moving to Rhode Island at the end of the summer.

Over the last couple of years my husband has been working out of town more than days at home, and for over a year now has been working 4-5 days a week in TN. His company has wanted him to move for years, but we’ve resisted because we’d like to wait until our youngest was out of high school rather than have to have him transfer from the school he has been with since K-5.

But a good look at what is best for our family leads us to feel that it would be better for us to be together rather than separated as much as we have been. We all went up to TN over spring break to interview at a Christian school, look at the area, at houses, churches, etc. At first 4-5 days in a hotel seemed like a lovely break for me — no cooking or dishes to wash, someone else to make beds and pick up wet towels, etc. But after just that amount of time, hotel living got old. I can’t imagine how Jim has been doing this for so long. Plus we’ve seen with our older boys just how quickly time passes and how soon they’re grown, and we feel it’s best to be all together as a family for Jesse’s last few years at home rather than having Dad here only for weekends and holidays.

So with all of that and a few other considerations, we decided to make the move. We’ve been house-hunting, and how all of that works out will determine when we actually move. Jesse’s new school starts mid-August, and we’d like to be settled before that. I’d appreciate your prayers for that — as much as we research, only the Lord really knows what all the issues are with the house, what the neighborhood is like, etc. Years ago when we faced our first major move, I came across this verse in my Daily Light reading, and it was a great comfort in knowing that God was preparing the way before us: “the LORD your GodWho went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in” (Deuteronomy 1:32b-33a). (When I first showed that to Jim, he said, “Does that mean we’ll be living in tents?” Funny, dear. šŸ˜€ I hope not, anyway!)

When we first began to entertain the idea that we really might move, Jesse was of course less than thrilled about leaving his school and friends, and that’s what is the hardest aspect for us as well. But as I had devotions with him most nights, we prayed for the Lord’s will, for wisdom, and for grace to deal with whatever the Lord might have for us. And I think the Lord has worked that grace into his heart. Though still not thrilled with the idea, he’s not morose or gripy or complaining. He has accepted it with a good attitude (and is even excited about his bedroom situation if we get the house we want!) He has never had any trouble making friends, so I think he will adjust to a new school and youth group well, though I am praying about that as well and not taking it for granted. This will be the first major bump in the road he has had to deal with in his short life, and as such I am glad we can go through it together and help him with it.

Jeremy is 25 and has been wanting to move out and start life on his own as an adult, but just hasn’t known what he really wanted to do. We had hoped he would move with us: we’ll be near Knoxville, and we felt there would be a lot more opportunity there than here. But in the meantime he learned that a friend in Rhode Island had a job opening in his company, and as he inquired into it further, it sounded like something he’d like to do, and his friend told him the job was his if he wanted it. In all honesty, I am having a lot harder time with his move than ours. He will be our first one to actually move so far away. None of our kids has been away from home more than a summer, but Jeremy has never been away from home for more than a week at a time. But this is the first opportunity he has been really excited about, so we’re excited for him while still adjusting mentally and emotionally to it all. He’s not moving til the end of August, and he and his dad are going up to RI in a few weeks to look at apartments.

This will make things even harder for Jesse, though, because he and Jeremy do a lot together.

We did talk with Grandma about the possibility of moving when it first came up, and beyond reassuring her that she would come with us, it didn’t seem to faze her. But she would forget about it in between times of discussing it, so we finally decided not to bring it up again until a couple of weeks before we move. That may be harder to do now that we’ve made it public at church. She really likes where she is and doesn’t like change at all, but I have to think this move can’t be nearly as traumatic as when we moved her here from her home of 30 years in ID a couple of years ago, and the Lord really gave her a lot of grace for that. Jim did scout out one assisted living facility he really liked near his job site, but we’re waiting on making a decision there til we know where we’re going to live.

That leaves Jason and Mittu. We’re trying to talk them into moving to TN with us. They eventually want to go into a camp ministry and are just working now to pay off school bills before they can do that. They’ve been looking for better jobs, so it is a possibility they could join us there. For now it looks like they’ll likely be moving into our house here, working on painting and various repairs to help us get it ready to sell.

As parents of course we’ve known that some day our kids would probably go further away from home as they became adults, but it seems ironic that our decision to move is becoming the impetus for that to happen. We’re really going to miss Sunday dinners and pizza and video nights and just the easy access to call each other up and get together. Hopefully we’ll be able to coordinate visits where we’ll all be able to be together again at times. We’ll be only three hours away from Jason and Mittu, so they’d be pretty easily able to come up when they have a couple of days off together (though I know they’ll have other things they want to do with time off than take a trip). It will probably be a little harder for Jeremy to get there, but I hope at least at Christmastime we can all be in one spot together.

Another aspect of all of this is dealing with change in the various ministries we’re involved in at church, particularly the ladies’ group. I have been feeling for some time like it might be time for a change, that I had taken it about as far as I could and it was time for someone new, but I was wrestling with whether those feelings were from the Lord or whether I was just being “weary in well-doing” and needed to get a renewed vision and passion for it. I have to think now that those feelings were the Lord’s preparations for this move. I’ve had several ideas buzzing in the back of my mind for other writing, a web site, an Etsy store….I’ll have to wait til the dust settles after our move and see what the Lord would have me pursue in any of those directions. We have found a church there that we’re very excited about, and will see what opportunities are available there. Back to the ladies’ group here, I know several ladies who could take it, but I don’t know who might be willing. Thankfully, finding a replacement is not my responsibility. šŸ™‚ But I am concerned and am praying about that as well.

So…I think that catches you up to date with us and covers all the bases, or most of them. As you think of us, I’d appreciate your prayers for this new phase in our lives.

23 thoughts on “Big changes coming….

  1. Wow. Oh wow! That’s a lot of change for your family! A LOT of change and has the potential of being very overwhelming. It’s times like these that you can only relax because you know the hand of God is moving. But families being further apart than they have always been can be a difficult thing at times.

    I’m going to commit to praying that the move goes well, you find delightful ways to celebrate being a family together while you are all in the same immediate area, that you are all HEALTHY as you make these changes and that everythign goes smoothly!

    Blessings on you as you begin a new season/journey and..CONGRATULATIONS as well! Change can be so exciting because the doors of possibilities are suddenly thrown wide open.

    WOW!!!!!

  2. Well my friend I think the right decision was made. Sounds lime a new exciting venture. Moms always worry about their kids. Don’t worry he will do great. And just think a new place to go and visit. šŸ™‚ my thoughts are with you.

  3. A lot going on… big changes for you folks. May the Lord richly bless you as you make your move. We moved this past year too… empty nest driven. Bittersweet. We love having less home to care for and lots of initmacy together. Really miss the kids…

    I sent your son’s iPhone app link to both my DH and my son. They’re trying to develop one too… congrats to Jeremy!

  4. To be honest, I’m relieved… I was afraid there was a serious illness lurking somewhere. An uprooting will have its hard parts, but it does sound like the right thing for your family, and it can be exciting to start out someplace new. (Once the goodbyes are said…)

    I hope Jason and Mittu will decide to move too!

    God bless you with his provision and grace and STRENGTH as you pack a lot of activity into a little time!

  5. Wow! This is exciting and scary and sad and exciting hard and exciting all at the same time! I, too, hope Jason and Mittu decide to move to TN! That was my first thought — poor THEM! Everyone is leaving them! But it sounds like their lives are very open to a change and so maybe they will. God is surely working on Jesse! What a GREAT kid he is! I can’t imagine anything harder at this stage of his life than leaving all his friends since kindergarten and starting over fresh IN HIS SENIOR YEAR! I have really prayed about that for you all too! Of COURSE I will continue the prayers. I’m sure Jim’s mom will be fine… like you said – the hard move was the LAST one for her. This one will be a lot easier. And she will be fine BECAUSE she will have all of you to help her.

    Congratulations to Jeremy! I’m glad he found something thats interesting him – I am sorry it’s so far away — but I’ve heard Rhode Island is gorgeous — and it will give YOU somewhere new to go to visit him too!

    It sure is a LOT of change going on all at one time. I will keep you all in my prayers that you don’t become overwhelmed by it all. But you have prayed WELL on it, and it does sound like the Lord is guiding you… and with THAT in place, it can only work out for the best! It IS exciting.

  6. I knew the basic gist of some of your changes, but the job in RI for Jeremy was a surprise! I didn’t realize he had done the app thing; congratulations to him on that selling well!

    I love your verse the Lord gave you years ago for your first big move; I have claimed that as my own for our next move, wherever and whenever it may be. Finding a place to live has always been my biggest concern when we move.

    We’ve always lived far away from our parents, and while it’s been hard, the Lord has also given much grace to Wes and me and to our families. When you know you’re in God’s will and your children are in God’s will, you may be sad about being apart, but you have a peace that is incredibly comforting. I’ll continue praying for that grace for your family, and also for all the practical little details of moving!

  7. Change is both exciting and nerve-wracking! I wish the best for you and your family. It’s encouraging to be able to see the Lord’s hand through it all. Another faith-building adventure for you!

  8. WOW – those are some serious changes in your family. You have impressed at how you are handling it so calmly – because of the peace of the Lord that abides in you.

    Will definitely keep you and yours in prayers.

    p.s. That quilt you made for your pastor is so sweet!

  9. I know you said big changes were coming, and I expected one of the kids to be moving but not you. This all sounds exciting, scary and a little bittersweet for you all at the same time. It does sound like you’ve thought and planned this out very well. And with the prayers that you have given, I’m sure that everything will work out for the best. The Lord will keep you and your family in His hands and take care of you all.
    My prayers will be with you and your family. I hope the move is a smooth one for all of you.

  10. Eastern TN is a beautiful part of the country! I know it will be difficult to be away from your eldest son, but you will be glad to have your DH back at home (or rather, you’ll be with him, I guess). My father worked out of town the entire time I was in highschool, and looking back, I wonder how my parents did it.

    God bless you and give you peace as you make this transition!

  11. Whoa…big changes indeed! I’ll be praying for you and your family! It sure will be nice to have your husband home more tough…when you live in TN. Mine travels A LOT too and I can imagine having him home more nights would be most wonderful.

  12. Where will you be living? Our “home” (where we rarely live) is in Crossville, west of Knoxville on the Cumberland Plateau. It’s a lovely, peaceful place. You’re going to love east Tennessee! By the way, I’ve discovered that when you most dread the changes, that’s when it’s most important to make them. You’ll find Him faithful. Good days ahead!

  13. Barbra
    I have been where you are at. All my kids and mother in law lived in the same area when they first left home and made lives for themselves. Then things happened and my whole life was changed by the Lord. My daughters live, one in CA. and One in Texas at this time. My son and his 5 kids live in the same area as me in AZ.
    You do have to deal with the empty nest-but the Lord has been so faithful to be right beside me all the way. I was a stay at home mom and they were my life for so long.
    I can say now on the other side of it all – that the Lord shows you how to deal with this and it becomes a new life.
    We are now thinking of refurbishing a bus for a ministry in going to churches, camps etc. to do whatever work needs done with a Christian RV group. Prayer for this would be appreciated. We have 2 years to retirement to do this in. It would have been the farthest thing from my mind to leave all my kids and do this at the stage you are in now-but now I am ready having been taught by the Lord to do whatever His will is and with Joy too. I just found this verse a month ago, which gave me peace about going from place to place.
    It was a great comfort in knowing that God was preparing the way before us: “the LORD your God…Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in” (Deuteronomy 1:32b-33a).
    You will do fine-but do expect some up and down time.
    Praying for you!!
    Nana

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  15. Wow, Barbara, what major changes you are all going through! May the Lord be with you every step of the way, preparing for you your future “tent” ;), your son’s school, your future ministry opportunities. Praise Him for providing your hubby with an ongoing job. It sounds like you are all in a good spot, looking to Him to provide the peace and direction to go forth. Exciting times. I’m sure you will miss your son(s) but I know God will bring you opportunities to get together. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of or been involved with an organization called Moms in Touch (www.miti.org, I think), but it is an international organization of praying moms — groups meet once a week and pray for an hour for their children. I joined a group a couple years ago and have found it to be a tremendous blessing as my kids are growing up and moving away . . . our group is a college/career group, so all of us have kids about the same age. Even though most of us are physically far from our kids, it helps keep us close to them. I would highly recommend it to help you through your transition šŸ™‚ God bless you as you enter this new (and, we hope, exciting!) time of your life.

  16. Oh Barbara,

    I just took the time to read about your move, and I DO UNDERSTAND! Remember, I was posting every day before, during, and even after our move; however, with our second move–the one from the rental into the new home–I got sick and shut down.

    Learn from me. Slooow down. Be kind to yourself. God loves you and I have no doubt it will prove to be a good thing.

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