Life has been busy lately. I think that's to be expected when you're preparing for a move. Some days I enjoy the busyness and appreciate the lack of boredom, but other days I feel overwhelmed and like I'm drowning under the weight of all that needs to be done. I appreciate all the offers to help, but there really isn't much that anyone else can do- packing is such a personal thing- having to go through all of your belongings to decide what to keep and what should go... those are decisions that can't be made by others, even close friends. I'm finding that the packing is the least of my worries, though. I have no problem getting rid of stuff that hasn't been used (or sometimes even seen!) in a year or more. I've been going through each closet and room and slowly packing up what we won't need for the next month or so. It's the thought of things like painting and caulking that raise my anxiety level. Have I mentioned that those two are my least favorite activities of all time??! I would seriously rather unclog a drain than have to do caulking. It'll all get done... one thing at a time.
This has been an amazing journey already, and we haven't even made the move yet. I have seen God's hand working in our lives in so many ways. First there was the timing of the new job. David had been forewarned that he was going to be let go so he had started to look for a new job. Nothing was looking even slightly hopeful until one of his clients called and told him that a company was looking to start a new office in Steubenville, and could he recommend David for the job? Of course!! It was no time at all before the new company called and wanted to set up an interview. After negotiating moving assistance, David accepted the new position and prepared to turn in his letter of resignation at the end of the week. This is where it gets good- David's bosses from Evergreen decided to come up on Thursday (they didn't tell him why, but we already knew.) They were actually not happy with the decision to get rid of David and had fought the owner of the company to get David 2 weeks' severance pay. I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but he's the first person to ever get a severance package from this company. The funny thing is, had they waited ONE more day... David would have turned in his resignation letter and they wouldn't have given him the severance pay. When I start to question God's timing, I just remind myself of this instance of perfect timing.
When I learned that we would be moving to Steubenville, I was crushed. I know it's a huge blessing that David was able to have a job lined up before being laid off, and I'm extremely grateful that this time we didn't have to go through a period of unemployment, but the thought of leaving "home" was depressing. Cincinnati is the first place we've lived that has really felt like home. It has a lot to do with our church family and how warmly we've been welcomed and loved. I also love this area- there are so many places to go hiking, so many things to see and do. I'm sad that I won't get to do them all before I move! As we started preparing for the move, the anxiety has been overwhelming at times. I'd like to say that I completely trust God and that things will work out, but I've always had some serious trust issues and that extends even to my relationship with God. I try really hard to trust and have faith, but I'm prone to extreme anxiety and hate not knowing what's going to happen.
Thankfully, Heavenly Father is very patient with me and keeps revealing the path we should take right when we need it.
Over spring break I spent the week with David in Steubenville to find a temporary apartment for him and to do some house hunting. I saw over 15 houses in a period of 3 days and each time I came back to the one that felt like home the moment I stepped in it. Although there were other homes that had some better features (finished basement, updated kitchen) none of them felt "right." I already knew from our house buying in Cincinnati (when we had only 2 days to find a home) that we would be guided to a place that was safe and that would work for us. I thought it was great that it was one of the first ones I saw! I think it's great that it also has a large front porch and a japanese maple tree... two things David has always wanted. Small things but we recognize them as the blessings they are. God is always aware of what we need, but He also cares about what we want, and He often gives us those little "extras," especially when they mean the most to us.
David has been staying in Steubenville for a couple of weeks now. At first he was able to come home on weekends, but he's there until graduation and the move now. We found a safe apartment for him to stay in temporarily and although he's not enjoying living the bachelor life, at least he's safe and somewhat comfortable (buying him a used recliner helped!! lol)
Now we're waiting to close on the new house. Since finding a home in Steubenville (one of my biggest worries) I'm finding that the anxiety level has dropped considerably. I still have to deal with all the stuff that goes with buying a house, but just knowing that we have a place to move to helps. When we go to closing I'll drive out to Steubenville and stay for the weekend. We'll have to buy a used fridge but then David will be able to move into the house. I must admit, I'm starting to get a bit excited about moving. I never thought I'd say that because I love Cincinnati and all my friends, but I get the feeling good things await us in our new town.
David went to the Wintersville Ward for the first time yesterday. Needless to say, they are excited about having a family move into the ward (it doesn't happen often!!) Everyone is anxious to meet Aimee and me. A few people, when they heard we have a daughter who's graduating, made sure to point out the fact that the ward has 4 newly returned missionaries!! Looks like Aimee will be a hot commodity, at least until she leaves for BYU Idaho in September! The ward seems to be friendly and welcoming, which is what I expected after meeting so many nice people in Steubenville. (Let's face it, when you stop in at a bank and the lady you talk to finds out you're new to the area and welcomes you to the town and even gives you a hug when you leave- you know you've found someplace special!)
Right now I'm staying busy enough that I can push away the reality of moving. This year is a big one for changes and I'm trying to take life one step at a time. Between losing my cat and moving away from the friends who have loved me and helped me become who I am today, it's been hard at times not to give in to the tears. I could literally write an entire post sharing the amazing qualities of the ladies I've gotten to know here. I'm going to miss every one of them, and hope to one day be more like many of them, because they have truly shown me what it is to be Christ-like. I try to focus on the excitement and adventure of moving, because there's no point in dwelling on what I'm losing. And I'm not even facing the reality of Aimee heading off to college in the fall. I've got to get through this move first.