Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Things I miss #4

I know, I know.  You are amazed I have gotten back on the blogging trail.  I have thought about it many times, but my life has been beyond crazy.  It is impossible to do it all and I guilted myself the other day after I realized, not only have I neglected capturing every moment of Lily's first year on video, but I have not written one thing down about our journey this past year. I just finished reading my last entries, since our decision to move west.  Can I just say, I feel like I just opened a fresh wound?  (sigh)  I still miss Florida so much.  I am much better, don't get me completely wrong but boy oh boy,  the heart strings were pulled tight, as I looked at the pictures and relived memories of so many.  It is Fall, the weather is changing- the decreased humidity here is nice, but it gets chilly at 68 degrees.  That brings me to what I miss #4.  You know that smell of fall? I don't know, it just has a smell.  At least on the east coast. All I smell here is dust, especially when it rains. It doesn't smell very pleasant, although natives here feel the same way I do about how Florida smells. they love it!  I really miss that smell of trees and cool weather and Fall Festivals.  Gainesville was awesome for those little "fill your day with simple, laid back festivals".  Here- not so much.  I think there are only 2 or 3 pumpkin patches that I know about, and they cost $10-12 to get in, even for kids.  Not back home.  Micanopy  and Macintosh were the best.  boy do I miss that. strolling down the streets, looking at crafts; oak trees shielding the rays, nice breeze for the moss to sway.  I miss that. It all goes back to the country, I guess. We finally found a place that is our country out here.  I try ignore the houses that sit along side our 1 + acre.  That is huge out here. It was difficult to find something we could live with and afford because land is very expensive and hard to come by.  What a different world it is.  we have neighbors all around yet the area where we live is still more rural than some areas.  It definitely feels better than where we were when we rented.  Our road is dirt, and I don't mind. It feels like "home".  And, it keeps the traffic down.  the kids are adapting to their new setting, and sometimes say they want more sidewalks, so they can ride their scooters.  Yet, in the next breath David says how much he misses the woods.  Yes, the woods. That is not a concept here. I think about that a lot.  Imagining how different the boys lives would be, had we stayed in Williston.  I really wanted that for them.  It continues to be my struggle, yet other things "seem" for the better.  Brian has seen his family a lot more.  His mom and dad come out almost every month. He also was able to go to his aunt's funeral last weekend, which wouldn't have been possible before.  The kids love to see their cousins, which will be again at Christmas.
I know. I don't sound healed.  I guess I am not. It has been a difficult move for me. My heart is still very much back home.   I know I am getting better though.  I have to. Every day is a gift.  why do I want to waste it always looking back?  There are many things I am yet to do and time marches on.  It is a tug of war with my heart right now.  Cherish the memories but live in the present.
Recently, God spoke directly to me through my reading.  Jesus Calling was profound for me this day. It said,  the best response to losses or thwarted hopes is praise: The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Remember that all good things- your possessions, your family and friends, your health and abilities, yur time- are gifts from Me.  Instead of feeling entitled to all theses blessings, respond to them with gratitude. Be prepared to let go of anything I take from you, but never let go of My hand!  I guess God has a plan to make me totally dependent on him.  I am searching more earnestly that's for sure. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Things I will miss #6

Somewhere along the way, i missed #6. Who misses work, right?  Well, it's crazy but true.  I really miss my work buddies. I have worked at Shands labor and delivery since 1999.  there are still a few of us "originals" and I have had an extended family for many years. Some of these ladies have been with me for all of my pregnancies and even the pre-Brian days. (those stories will be kept secret).  Shands gets a bad rapt because of its teaching status but I defend the nurses on L&D with passion, we are awesome.  And, there are changes happening to better our patient's experience.  I could go on and on but, what I really miss is the faces and friendships that I shared.  These ladies took me just like I am, we laughed together and pulled each other up by the boot straps, when times were hard and when are days were grueling and seemed to never end.  I miss being comfortable there.  13 years is a long time and I could relax and do my job without thinking about it.  I was senior staff with all of the perks.  I miss that.

Gainesville Ale House

So, as I go to L&D here, I always think of my buddies and wish they were around. I guess God is giving me a chance to start over, lose some of those habits that I shouldn't be proud of and present myself in a different light." Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted". Matthew 23:12  I am learning a lot about that right now.
Still love these girls like crazy! I will cherish so many memories.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Things I will miss #5

May your unfailing love be my comfort, according to your promise to your servant. Psalm119:77

this is our Sunday School class at our going away party.  Thanks everybody! We miss all of you dearly. 
Well, to say I'll miss some friends, would be an understatement.  I have lived in Florida since I was 5 1/2 and have thousands of memories of many people.  I still keep in touch, not as much as before, with two good friends from high school. And, since the evasion of facebook, I seem to keep tabs on many people I may not know anything about had I not "friended" them. So, off the top of my head, I can think of a hundred people that I will miss, once I move to Arizona.  Unfortunately, I cannot post a picture of all you on that list- just trust me that one of those memories is of you.
Being apart of Westside Baptist Church has changed my life and brought many wonderful friends our way.  I think just about every person I will miss, is someone I know at Westside.  Brian and both started going to Westside about the same time, back in 2001, however neither of us knew one another.  I was off in my own world trying to get over my ex-boyfriend and slowly (re)surrendering my life to Christ, after pulling myself out of my mess I had made of my life.  Brian, well, pretty much the same thing.  Actually, I take that back.  I started going to Westside when my good friend, Holly, that I met at Shands, invited me to go way back in 1999.  That was in the old building, which is now Life South.  Anyway, years spent being challenged by Pastor Gary and building friendships with many senior adults has provided our family with many blessings and lessons of wisdom. We started out in a singles Bible study class which allowed us to become friends with many that are still are friends.  Through these years, we have shared the birth of our kids and spent days at the park.  My most close girlfriends have come out of the first Sunday school class we attended. (Annie, Suzanne, Katie, Jennifer, Abby....) As we grew as a married couple, we met new couples that have encouraged us along the way- the Swansons, Allens, Tilleys.  I know I am missing some as I write.  Our great friend Modene, has become a grandma to our kids and a mother-like figure to us both.  I cannot begin to express how deeply we will miss seeing her weekly and sharing Wednesday nights at supper together.

This picture was taken over and over and over, can you tell?  The boys and miss Lily were not feeling photogenic that day.
Of course, most of all I will miss my parents.  The only thing I worried about, when we decided to move after tons of prayer, was that I would break my mom's heart.  She told me that she had done that to her mom, when she moved away from Ohio when I was kid.  My mom has assured me that although she is deeply saddened, time is a healer and she rests in knowing that God has provided this opportunity for us.  Apparently, this move is His plan from what we can see.  Selling the house in a little over a month without a realtor. Brian selling off all of his big equipment. Helping us find a school for the boys and possibly a church. God provided us a rental home out of the blue, with two weeks to spare, before our arrival.  A family friend of a friend who was willing to lease month to month, located in Surprise.  Well, that is no "surprise" because God seems to have orchestrated this move from a very long time, and I am beginning to see little tidbits as His plan unfolds.
Nothing will however, fill the void that is in my heart for the loss of my dear friends, or leaving my parents.  I only fall in the arms of Jesus and ask that He ease the pain, helping me cherish the many, wonderful memories that I have.  I don't want to forget any of you, or do I want you to forget me.  But, I realize from past experience, that time has a way of taking some of the intimacy out of relationships and naturally that may happen.  Tears flood down my face as I consider that possibility.  I want to hang onto every friendship that has touched my heart.  Many of you will come to mind, as the kids grow and I remember past birthdays together and how the kids shared classes together and played.  I guess God knows what He is doing but it doesn't mean I have to like it. (smile)  
Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one's life for ones' friends. Proverbs 15:13

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Reality setting in

Brian made it.  To Arizona that is.  He left last Tuesday and safely landed in Phoenix Friday mid morning.  He made good time considering he made an adventure out of it.  I couldn't believe he took his Toyota.  That thing is such an eye sore, but let me say, it keeps on keeping on.  Brian looked at me like I was crazy, when I asked him if he was taking it.  'Ah, yea why wouldn't I?', he said and I just laughed.  He told me he would drive it until it dies and unfortunately, I don't think it ever will.  Basically, he checked out all of the hot spots ahead of time.  Like the USS Alabama, Alamo, and Tombstone.  I teased him about his "little vacation" but I guess he really deserves it.    The boys, especially David are really starting to miss him. 
Mommy too. 
Life is all about experiences and God supplies them hoping we will use them to his glory.  I know I fail at that every day but as we begin this new journey, I consistently pray that in the midst of "missing everything", that I won't miss what experience God wants me to have.   With that in mind, the thing I will miss #7 is David's school, WCCA.  This experience is a great example of using it to God's glory.   I remember when we were considering where to send him for kindergarten.  I came across a flyer for Williston Central Christian Academy at his preschool and thought it odd, since I had never seen a christian school in Williston.  Long story short, it was the best decision we ever made.  To see where it all began and now as the school continues to grow, is so uplifting.  I believe David's decision to be baptized so early in his life was encouraged by him being at WCCA.   And, God has stepped in to provide a new school for he and Daniel in AZ.  When I went out with Brian to look for houses, we stopped at some schools.  None of them seemed to feel right and I was pretty shell shocked and discouraged for most of the trip.  Ironically, the one school that I didn't really care if we made it too or not, because I thought the name boring, turned out to be where God wanted us to send them.   At the end of a frustrating Friday afternoon, when most schools are already closed, this one wasn't.  And, had we been 15 minutes later we would've missed the director, whom took us on a tour, welcomed us with open arms and filled in all the blanks..........same class size, same tuition, same curriculum, day care on site.  It just felt right.  God glorified time after time. 
(field trip to peanut farm in williston)
Along with #7 is also Daniel's school.  Back in the summer things fell threw at his previous preschool. I was pretty bummed, thinking I wouldn't find the right place and sad to leave his teachers behind.  There are a number of daycares/preschools in Williston, believe it or not, but I just thought his other school was the "best".  But, once I made the decision to send him to Two by Two for Pre-K, I knew it was the right place.  Driving by, one would not think to put her kids there.  The building is old, needs paint and the playground is pretty dumpy.  However, looks are deceiving (and they are almost ready to build a new playground with the funds raised).  Because inside those walls of chipped paint and hand me downs are the best teachers who love their kids to the fullest.  Everything is structured, tidy and filled with kindest.  After having the boys there for only a couple months, I already felt so much affection toward their teachers.  It is sad to think that a portion of his class will move over to David's school for Kindergarten and Daniel will not- but it has been a good year there and I will miss everyone a lot and appreciate the care they took to make it feel like family.  
(field trip to pumpkin patch)

Friday, March 15, 2013


Today, I am trying to convince myself, is just an ordinary day.  However, the fact is, we are meeting to sign a contract with, most possibly, the future owners of our house.  It feels weird. Although, I know this step is needed to fulfill "the plan", my stomach churns every time I think of it.  On the bright side- this might very well be a miracle.  Considering the slow economy and bad house market, it shouldn't  be anything short of a miracle that our house may sell after only being on the market for a month.  So, I will consider my options and I choose to thank the Lord for, again, showing me that we are moving in (His) the right direction.  
That brings me to the things I'll miss: #8-Living in the country . This encompasses a lot of small, yet significant treasures.  A few that come to mind are, having bonfires whenever we want.  The kids have had a ball, helping daddy light up a big fire.  It has become one of the highlights during this chilly season and being able to sit by a fire and listen to the crickets and wood crackle, under a blanket of stars is priceless.  Another great thing about living in the country is, I can drop the boys off, at two different schools, stop by the grocery, swing by CVS, and return the books to the library- all within a 1 mile radius.  I used to think Williston was boring and too backwoods, but there is something to be said about going to the grocery store in the same clothes you've had on all day, even if they are stained and a little dirty.  No one seems to notice (wink). It is also nice knowing everyone.  The other day, I picked David up from school and he was excited to see his teacher's husband driving his truck and trailer up in front of us.  "Look, there's Mr. Leo!".  I thought now how cute is that?  That will probably not happen in Surprise, Arizona.   Privacy is nice too, in the country.  One rainy day the boys had a blast running through the rain. Eventually, they were all naked and chasing each other in the puddles.  Now, that only happens in the country. (lol)  As, I drove home after getting the kids the other day, I was surprised at how much I enjoy watching the farmers out on their tractors baling hay.  Seems silly, I guess, but not seeing cows everyday grazing in a pasture is something I will really miss.  

This is the scripture I am focusing on today as I pack and prepare for my new adventure.  
"Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.  Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it?  I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert"  Isaiah 43:18-19  

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Since we made our decision to move to Arizona, life has taken on new meaning. Devotion after devotion and scripture, repeatedly speaking to me personally, guiding my every thought and move.  It was not an easy decision.  I look back now, and in some ways, want to take it back. I find myself wondering, did I really hear correctly, did I fast the right way?, did I just want to prove to Brian that I could decisive? Well, regardless of how I feel now, we are in the thrones of moving. It seems every other day, someone is either coming to look at the house, or coming to buy something Brian has for sale. Honestly, I can see God's hand in everything. Once we all get out to our new home in the west, I will proclaim to everyone I meet, God has done a miracle.  Ok,so this sounds ridiculous but I have recently been reminded that little miracles happen too. It's all how you want to see it.  I say this because, the other day, Daniel was in the shower with David and I heard him exclaim.  "Look, David it's a miracle!".  I thought I heard him say what was so miraculous but then I wasn't sure so I asked him later. He replied, God took the dirt off my legs, "See?". "I rubbed my legs like this and now it's gone". "It's a miracle!"  Well, I'll be. I couldn't help from start laughing but I caught myself so I would't ruin his delight. 

Right now, God is doing a miracle in my heart. The daily ache as I count the things I'll miss seems to cloud that little part of me that can see the adventure that waits. A few of those things are: #10- Oak trees. North central Florida is covered with them and many of us take them for granted. But, when you're out, 'Look!, the moss hangs seductively and beautiful from every limb and the comfort that a huge,old oak brings is more than just shade. It just feels right.      

 #9 The Beach - this one is obvious to most of us.  Maybe not to Brian, but for me, even though I rarely go; I will miss the beach. Ahhhh,  the smell of the water, the breeze, the sand (only at the beach, not in my car) and watching the boys run from the waves.  West coast beaches are not the same!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Striving to Trust

I am amazed today, again that God is real.  In the ups and downs of life, I can honestly say I question His presence from time to time.  And, Satan manages to trip me up even trying to fool me and leave me in confusion. Likenow, everything is adding up and although I don't want to believe it or follow God's prompting,  I can't shake His presence.   Since Brian got wind of an job opportunity back in October, my heart has been guarded.  Could this really be God's leading?  Arizona?  This soon?  We specifically prayed in the past year and half for another job to open up for Brian somewhere and we prayed that we might find our way out closer to his family.  In our minds and hearts, we thought it'd be Oregon.  Maybe on his grandparents farm, or nearby; we liked the area and it had sentimental value.  However, we struggled with the idea because of the weather.  Florida has it's moments but mostly it is a pleasant place to be, at least you get used to it after all of these years.   And, if we moved closer to California, we knew we didn't want to be  in California and it'd probably be in the next five years or so.
We didn't see it coming........ARIZONA. What?  Of all places.  Don't get me wrong.  I like Arizona.  I lived there for awhile and visited many times but that was when I was single and free (sort of speak).  Not now.  With our kids?  How will they climb trees?  Are you kidding me?  My boys will be messed up for life. 
Well, here we are-the interview came and it's been two weeks, a decision needs to be made.  I can totally relate to Jonah.  'God, you want us to go here?'  Are you sure?  I think I have asked that a hundred times.  Everything leads this way as God's soveriegn hand has orchestrated a plan yet, I don't want to.  He has been so patient with me.  Each day I continue to search for confirmation and there it is.  Today was no different.  I opened my Bible and devotional and STRIVE TO TRUST ME  was bold across the page and it was as if Sarah Young was in my brain, although it was really God. 
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3 :5-6.

It also can't be a coincidence that my online Bible study, which started the day after Brian came back from his interview, is titled Leaving Our Comforts- Walking by Faith.  To some, this may be a coincidence but as I try to run the other way, I continue to be presented with another "duh" moment. 
My heart continues to be heavy, even though this seems like the right thing.  The relationships I have made over the years are irreplaceable and there are dozens of "comforts" that I am already missing.  And, yet some of those things are just that, things.  God will provide another great house, and another great school for the kids.  He keeps whispering in my here,  ' I am the most important thing'.
To my wonderful friends reading this, please keep us prayer this week.  And, if we make a decision pray that doors will open and shut as God leads and peace will fill my heart.  It breaks every moment I think about leaving here and all of you so pray for my hearts mending.   May living in obedience bring God all of the glory.