I don’t have any pictures this time. Just some thoughts.
The time here in Virginia has been whirlwind-cool. Seriously. So much has “gone right” even from the beginning:
- The timing: Mike was offered a job and start date that would allow us to move out of our townhouse in Tallahassee the very month our lease was up. We did not plan this at all. It just “happened.”
- My job: I was offered two very competitive jobs up here in a time of great economic turmoil. Both offered me a substantial raise, and both offered great experiences. Ultimately, I am confident I chose the “right” one. I’m having fun.
- Our new digs: I “randomly” found a realtor online – I saw a place I liked, clicked on “I want more info” and was assigned to Steve Fred with Coldwell Banker. Btw, anyone in the DC Metro area should use him. I gave him our criteria, which other realtors only laughed at (seriously, they thought it was “cute”):
- Maximum of $1900/month rent (I know that sounds like a lot to our Florida friends, but it’s actually pretty low)
- At LEAST 2 bedrooms, preferably 3
- At LEAST 2 FULL bathrooms (other, extra, half bathrooms was fine)
- Some kind of fenced-in yard for the puppy dog
Steve showed us tons of great options, and we found the one we live in now for LESS than $1900/month, with FOUR bedrooms, 2 full baths and 2 half baths, a fenced-in yard, and a great location. Seriously. When we told people around here what we got (and for how much), their mouths actually went slack-jaw.
- The little things:
- My work people were so supportive. I leaned heavily on the wisdom and encouragement of Jackie Gillie, my living diary. (*wink*).
- Our best friends were supportive. No bitter abandonment cries from them – just promises to visit.
- My mom even put aside her very strong sadness to give us the best “last supper” and last night possible.
- Our church back home was very supportive, as Josh and Katie Hughes sat with Mike and I for over an hour and counseled us through our decision and prayed with us.
- Mike’s best friend (and my very good friend, too), Adam Kincaid, lived just 2 miles from our town house here in Virginia. Now he lives 20 minutes away, but still close enough so Mike has his BFF nearby.
- I have even been able to (re)furnish our entire town house for free, even gaining slight profits here and there. I used Craigslist.com, Freecycle, and a local LDS listserv forum to get: two new dressers (one with a mirror), a new couch, another new couch, a new loveseat, a kitchen table and chairs, a “couch” table (or hallway table), a queen bed and sheet set (frame, box spring, and mattress), a twin bed (frame, box spring, mattress), an Ikea wardrobe, and a coffee table. ALL for free (or, we sold what we had in place of it and broke even).
- Mike and I have been able to pick up tennis again, because there are 8 courts just down the street from us.
- I’ve learned the Metro and take it to work every day.
- We’ve found cool (cheap or even free) things to do and see on the weekends, and have been busy even on week nights with baseball games, West Wing tours, and gala events.
But – if you’ve read this far, and I know most of you visit for the pictures – you should know that all of this… ALL of it… means nothing unless we view it as what it is: God’s provision for us.
Not because we earned it or deserve it, but because God is good and gracious to His children.
Mike and I have had a great time, but I would be lying if I said it hasn’t also been hard. Moving is expensive, and we went about a month with no income (it took a while for our new jobs to process payroll and my old company had a problem getting my last paycheck to me). It was (and is) tight for a while. But we saw God provide time and time again. My boss, Jim, has bought me Starbucks coffee a few times. A coupon came in the mail for a free pizza at a great local shop a mile away – no purchase necessary. It was a “Welcome to the Neighborhood” thing. The snack stand guy at the baseball game (for which our tickets were free) GAVE Mike and me our drinks for free. He said he loved his job and wanted to do that for us. God has provided for us abundantly more than we asked or imagined.
Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
I’ve been discouraged lately because Mike and I have not found a church home. My faith is my most valued possession (more than my marriage, yes – but God doesn’t make me choose). And that possession is nurtured in the local church. Four Oaks was faithful in leading me and others in our walks with God, and I miss my Pastors so much. I especially miss my Fellowship Group very much, and the relationships that were fostered there.
But amidst this discouragement, Mike has been a Godly husband by reminding me of God’s goodness, faithfulness, provision, sovereignty, and love for us. I’ve been challenged to remember what I learned in my Women’s bible study this summer – that all we do is meant to bring glory to God and for us to ENJOY Him – not just blindly obey Him. God is most glorified in (or BY) us when we are most satisfied in Him.
I am not being “satisfied” when I wallow in self pity over not having found a local church home yet. God is faithful and He WILL provide that. But right now, I can bring Him glory even as we visit other churches, as Mike and I seek to grow in grace together at home during the week and as individuals each day, and in my attitude each moment. I’ve been convicted to give God glory for what He has done, for saving me and leading me and loving me and allowing me to walk with Him and talk with him daily.
I know this was long, but if you’ve read this far, may I encourage you to pray – right now – and give God glory for what He has done in your life. Thank Him, worship Him, and enjoy him. Forever.