Twelve years ago, I came to live in this valley with the intent on healing and having a peaceful, safe and calm life for myself and my children. Little did I know there was another blessing awaiting me in the arms of finding my sweetheart and being blessed with the gift of two sons he brought into my heart and home. My desire for change and the focus to not return to life in a state of sleep walking was met through the blessings and challenges of this land I moved to and the relationships I have embraced.
For a few years now, I have felt in my heart, I had learned what I needed to learn here in this place and it was time to move on. However, when you are a wife and mother, sometimes your time table is different than those around you, and you have to go through a season of waiting. Sometimes it is a very long season.
It has been as if I have been flying around in a holding pattern for those in my family, particularly my spouse, to come to a place where change could be embraced. I have always known Paradise was not to be my permanent home, though I have tried very hard to mend, mold, and even break myself into accepting it as such, I have always always known it was not where I was intended to to permanently land. I was here for a season.
It has been a season of chipping away all those things which needed to be let go of; a season of fire to refine what was left; times of hard lessons and amazing blessings. I'm not sure if I am entirely in a place, at this point, where I can truly be thankful for all I have learned on this part of my journey, though I am fully aware I would not have changed it. There is not one thing I can fully embrace as a regret in my life because in each lesson there has come moments of serendipity.
Embracing change comes easily, but the lesson here was to embrace standing still. To embrace the lessons of putting down some roots. Standing still does not come easily for me. I am a doer! The season for change has once again arrived, and I am forward focused. I have been placing positive prayer and energy into what things I want in our life and family. The first step was for Seth and I to be on the same page, as I value our partnership and things run so much more smoothly when we work together as a team with a common positive focus.
Next, I began envisioning what I wanted life to be like. My children's comfort and happiness are always at the front of my mind, and knowing change is harder for kids, my goal was a smooth transition. I did what I always do. I made a list. The list is not in specific order of importance.
1. Smaller community
2. Excellent schools (strong academics, more classes offered than we have here)
3. Close to Seth's work (no more than 3 hours away)
4. Had to have a really good wrestling, football, and b-ball program( they have soccer!)
5. Music Opportunities for my youngest who plays piano and violin (I'm tired of driving 2 hours away)
6. Reasonable rental prices (not going to even look at buying yet)
7. School must seem friendly, supportive, and ability to communicate
8. Area should have natural beauty and mountains close by
9. 4H programs
10. Family oriented communities
11. Outdoor recreational activities
12. Wide range of churches to find a good fit
13. Hospital and medical clinics in close proximity (not willing to drive an hour away any longer)
I began a search in earnest using the internet as my primary tool. When I found a place I though might fit the bill, I contacted the chamber of commerce in the area and they sent me info. I then contacted the schools and spoke with the principle and coaches. I compared school requirements with ours here to make sure they were compatible and it would not mess with my high school kids graduating. I perused Craiglist to get and idea of rental prices, and Googled pictures of the area. When I had it all together, I moved on the step 3. ( I have to tell you everything on my list was met and more).
I wrote the pros and cons of moving and of remaining where we are at. There are definite sacrifices and things each person will have to give up if we were to move. Letting go, for the time being, of opening my own shop was a tough one(though I will be taking everything with me as I know I am meant to get it open somewhere/someday). Saying goodbye to good friends and family was another. However, the intent and focus and how I envision my life to be and the healthy direction it needs to take kept shifting my focus to moving.
My heart was anxious and a mess. I went back and forth. Then of course I settled in, asked those I can count on for prayer, and let it go, knowing every time I have left it in the hands of God to let me know a clear path, my creator is always faithful. I woke up one more with perfect peace about moving and said "Ok, now you have to do the work in Seth's heart." I waited a few days. When he had a moment to really focus his attention, I let him know all I had been wrestling with and shared with him the information I had gathered. I had been really praying for receptiveness from him, and don't know why I was shocked when he said "Let's do it" and immediately began making plans to make it happen. Another door opened.
Kids are always a hard sell when it comes to change. Sometimes being a parent is tough and we have to make the choices when we know in our heart a different direction is healthy. Being a parent gives me balance and reminds me to take one day at a time. It reminds me to have empathy and compassion. It teaches me to be mindful of others. It compels me to pray constantly. It forces me to take the tough stances in life when it is the right thing to do. It won't allow me to take the path of least resistance. I am never more grounded, stronger and sure than when I am focused on my family unit and meeting what needs to be done. My prayer everyday is to be a tool for God to use to in the lives of my children. I'm a little nervous about what this next stage in our journey will bring, but very positively focused on on the spiritual and life lessons and blessings we are moving toward.
Saying goodbye is always hard. Closing a chapter always is done with an amount of regret, and anticipation for what one will find on the next page. When you find yourself faced with two paths, a decision has to be made bringing with it sadness and blessings; bitterness and sweetness. I have always loved The Serenity Prayer but never has it seemed so fitting as it is in this stage of my life. There are attitudes and people I cannot change. There are things I have a measure of control over and things I do not. As my sweet family travels this path of transition over the next few months; as we journey into the unknown, I am going to keep the words of the prayer for most in my heart and thoughts.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.