It’s apparent that I am not capable of keeping our blog up to date. Good grief. To write all that has happened since our last posts, in the fall, would take more time than I have to write. Although I am gifted at making short stories long…I will attempt to just hit the high points of our recent family adventure!
On November 29th, a crew of almost 30 people loaded a 24 foot Budget truck, headed from Petersburg, IL to Haymarket VA. Honestly, it was one of the most emotional days of my life. To say that our 5 years in Petersburg changed us would be an understatement. God used our time there to break us, to teach us, to help us learn to love. It was a time filled with incredible sorrow and unspeakable joy. We made the very best kind of friends and, unfortunately, some enemies as well. But when I look back at our time there, what I will remember most is the way I got to witness God’s changing power in people’s lives. I am so grateful for the season we were able to live in Petersburg and serve at PCOC. And I’m so thankful that the internet has made the world so small, so we can continue to keep up with all of you who made that time so special!
God blessed our trip out east. My in-laws were generous enough to take time off to help us make the drive. We had beautiful weather, well behaved children and no break-downs! Because we had so much help loading the truck, we were able to leave Sunday afternoon, rather than Monday morning. It made our trip much more relaxed and we arrived in Haymarket sooner than expected. It was so fun to see our home for the first time. Donetta (my mother-in-law) and I couldn’t hold back the tears as we approached the house. I guess it was a mixture of excitement and relief. I am so thankful to Shirley Hancock and Kara Simpkins for their help in picking our home. It was difficult for me to let go of that control and allow others to make such a big decision for us. We were not disappointed! Our neighborhood is amazing and our home is fantastic! (I do plan to post pictures later today or possibly tomorrow.) We had a great crew of people to help us unload. They wanted me posted at the front door to direct traffic, so I took the opportunity, with the help of a new friend (thanks Jacqui!) to put up my Christmas tree right away! Donetta and Randy stayed with us for a couple of days to help with unpacking. Can’t say enough about how much help they were! Stan’s cousin Brooke even made the trek up from Galax to help for a day!
Moving to a place where we knew almost no one, to a home we’d never seen, to an area of the country far away from all our friends and family….not my idea of fun! To be blunt, I HATE CHANGE! However, when you feel God’s call, it is almost impossible to say no. Stan is transitioning into his role at New Life Christian Church and loves it. He thrives on change, and comes home each day excited (and tired) about the possibilities here. I have good and bad days. Sometimes I feel horribly homesick and other days I am thrilled to be here. It will take me more time to feel “at home” but I know that eventually, I will. The kids have done wonderfully. Grant hasn’t started school yet (we’re waiting on medical records to arrive), so he’s enjoying the time at home. He is so much like me, and needs time to adjust, so I’m pretty glad he didn’t start this week like we had planned. Ashton is more like his Dad, embracing change. While we moved in, Ashton met two boys in our neighborhood who he promptly dubbed his “best friends.” Avary has asked a couple of times to “go home” but for the most part, she’s doing well. She does enjoy looking at facebook pictures of all of our friends in Petersburg!
We’ve met some wonderful people here in NOVA (Northern Virginia…I’m trying to learn the lingo!). We already love our church family here and feel like it is a perfect fit for us. It’s great to see Stan so energized and I’m really enjoying just being a wife and Mom right now! I’ve been reluctant to post much about how excited we are to be here. I don’t want anyone in Illinois to feel like our love for where we are now diminishes our love for them in any way! (Maybe that’s silly.) I just want to be sensitive to people we left behind. But I know ultimately, you guys are wishing and praying for the best for us, just as we are for you!
Ok, now for 5 superficial things I love about our move.
1) Wegmans. Coolest grocery store EVER. Great prices, great selection, fun atmosphere.
2) Yummy food all within 10 miles. Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle, Five Guys, Pei Wei…and the list goes on and on…
3) Our gated community. We don’t live in a fancy home, but our neighborhood is fancy. It’s fun to drive past gorgeous homes every day!
4) Our gas fireplace, which we use on a daily basis.
5) My bathroom. I love it. Love, love, love it!
So many of you who are reading this have helped us with this life change. Thank you! And for those of you who continue to pray for us, here are some things you can continue to pray about…
1) A quick sale for our house in Petersburg.
2) A vehicle for Stan.
3) Grant’s transition into his new school.
4) A possible job opening for me at a pre-school, where Avary could also attend.
Love to you all…