I’m on a journey… and I’m hoping you wanna come along! A journey that involves letting go of A LOT and embracing change (and I HATE change with a capital H!) A journey where I am learning over and over again, moment by moment, to trust Jesus for my happily ever after.
Whew! What a ride I am on. In this first post, I just wanna take you briefly through the last year and half to show you God’s leading and why I am getting ready to take my flip flops on the road!
Are you ready?
- In January of 2016, I resigned from my position working at Cornerstone Community Church after being on staff for many years and investing my whole heart and soul into my work.
- In August, our youngest daughter Caitlin left to go on a missions trip for 11 months with nothing but a backpack, meaning both of our girls were living out of the US of A! (Our eldest daughter Jillian and her hubby Danny had been living in New Zealand since 2014.)
- On the same day that Caitlin went off on her adventure, my husband John was laid off after having worked at his company for nearly 30 years.
- At the end of that same month, John’s mom, Louise, passed away suddenly, though she had been battling Parkinson’s for a while. We were blessed to be able to get there just in time for John to say goodbye.
- And in May of this year, we sold our home of 21 years and have begun the process of moving to Little Rock, Arkansas.
Excuse me while I pick myself up off the floor! Just writing it down makes my stomach queasy!!
The truth is, I’ve actually done really well with all the change. (Okay, maybe not really well, but at least kinda well). Each of the events I’ve listed above have a story unto themselves, which I hope to address in later blog posts. But for now, lets just say I made it through by the Grace of God.
Now, I sit here in my office… the closet is empty, the pictures are all taken down, and I’m currently working on the last of my California photo shoots.
So about those flip flops…
I’ve never wanted to move out of California. I am a California girl, a beach girl, a girl from the OC! I spent many summers growing up lying on the beach and frolicking in the water. I love hunting for sea glass and I love being warm. I love the ocean breeze and being just 40 minutes away so that any time I need a fix, I can jump in my car and head to the water. I even lived for 5 years just a block from the beach, hanging with my friends at Beach Bum Burts, and Knob Hill while the guys played volleyball.
So, why would I ever want to leave Cali and go to the south?
My husband, who is originally from Arkansas, has always wanted to uproot and move. But every year I’ve had a good excuse as to why it just wouldn’t work and why I would never move there.
But here we are, 9 months after John was laid off, and he hasn’t found his footing in a new job market. We’ve had a lot to consider about how we want to live once his severance package runs out (which we are so blessed to have!) We still have a few months until that happens, and the truth is that we have enough savings to keep going without making any changes. But we stopped to consider:
Is that how we want to live our lives? What if we moved to the South, where things would be a little less expensive? What if we made it an adventure and explored other areas to live and create a new life? What if there was life outside of the crazy, busy, expensive lifestyle we were living?
So, we started the conversation. As it turned out, John’s mom’s house was going to become vacant as of June 10th. We talked to our realtor extraordinaire, Dana, and asked her opinion about the housing market. This led us to the decision that if we were gonna move, we needed to get our house up for sale immediately.
Please know that during my prayer times, I begged God not to let our house sell if we weren’t supposed to leave California. I asked if we were supposed to leave, that it would happen quickly so I wouldn’t struggle with saying goodbye to our home of 21 years and our dear friends. I asked for mercy and favor for John and that he would land a position so we wouldn’t need to move.
But the position didn’t come and just a couple days after we listed our house, the first offer came in. When it fell through, I thought, “That’s it, were staying.” But, just two days later, another offer (a better offer) came in. It was stronger and with a deal that we had to be out in 22 days.
It was official. The Lord had answered our prayers with an amazing offer, a quick escrow, and a new place to live.
And while it might not be the prayer I wanted him to answer, I trust that this will be an amazing adventure for us. A new beginning. A chance to explore, experience, discover. A chance to trust that the Father knows best.
I’ve been lucky to live this life in Southern California for the past 60 years. Now it’s time to pick up my flip flops and test them out on new ground, and I know Jesus will be walking beside us with every step.