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 God…Who 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. 😀 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. 🙂 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.