As I said in my last post, we felt when the Lord moved us here to the deep-south from Colorado it was for a season. We have prayed many times during the past 14 years, checking to see if it was time to move back. We have gone through several (very serious) cycles of praying...and fasting....and a few times Jas put out feelers about jobs. And the answer was always the same: It wasn't time. Yet.
But a year and a half ago as we were pulling out of Colorado, we knew that we knew: It was time to start working toward moving back.
And we have been slowly working on it for the past year and a half. Praying at each step along the way for the guidance that we so desperately need. Praying for His wisdom. Praying for His timing.
We told only a small, small circle of friends. Jas had 4 people praying with him (including our pastor), and I only told two of my closest friends. (Our children have only known for not quite 3 weeks now.)
Near the beginning of Jason's job search, he looked into franchise opportunities. We were intrigued by the idea of owning our own business...and he spent hours (and hours) pursuing this line of thought. But after all the research and reading, we knew that none of those opportunities was right for us...and we abandoned that idea.
May 2016 - Jas was contacted by a company. After seeing his resume online, they thought he would be a good fit to own and run one of their offices. When Jas came home that day and told me about it, immediately it just. felt. right. Peace. Excitement. We both could totally see him doing this. From that first conversation we were both very intrigued and wanted to continue pursuing this path. He then spent hours and hours (and HOURS) reading, researching, and finally...studying. He had to take 8 exams in order to become licensed to run this office. And...he had to take the tests in the state of Colorado. Most people take some exams, study more, and then take more exams, etc. But with Jas needing to fly across the country to take them, he had to do this differently: He studied HARD for almost 8 weeks...and then...
8/24 - Jas flew to CO, took 4 exams on Thursday, spent all day Friday meeting with district staff, took the remaining 4 tests on Saturday, and flew home that afternoon. (btw - He rocked all the tests, finishing in record time!)(We told the kiddos that daddy was on a business trip...which was the truth.)
8/28 - Jas arrived back home in the wee hours of Sunday morning. We had a full day of church and community group on Sunday (like normal) and didn't have a chance to fully debrief.
8/29 - When we finally got to talk (alone!) on Monday morning before Jas headed to work, he said it was looking like we would move to Colorado in January, and he would open the doors of his new business on March 1st. My words were, "Hmmm, if we know for sure we are moving, my preference would be to "rip the band-aid off" and go ahead and move. I hate knowing it is coming, but just hanging around several more months." Famous last words. When Jas got home from work that evening, my friend Amy and I were sitting at the kitchen table chatting (and crying). Jas had an interesting look on his face, "You want to rip the band-aid off? We can rip it off." A new office of the company had become available, a turnkey opportunity. Ready to walk into. A great fit all the way around. It would require us to move in October, and Jas open his doors November 1st.
9/6 - Jas talked to his boss at the bank and turned in his letter of resignation. That night we told the children we were moving.
9/7 - It was announced at Jason's bank. We let all our family and friends know (the ones we didn't want to find out on FB.)
9/8 - We posted on FB-land that we were moving. And a couple hours later, almost as an after-thought (but was really the Lord's plan), I posted on FB a pic and short blurb about our house being for sale. 16 minutes later I had a message, "Can A and I come look at your house this afternoon?" And over the next few hours, four other couples were interested in coming to look also. But that first couple who contacted us were the first to come and view the house...and gave us a binder check. Done. Less than 10 hours after I posted on FB, our house was sold. (We totally intended to list our house with an agent, but when we called him on Wednesday afternoon, he was out of town and couldn't come to see us until Saturday....so I went ahead and posted it on FB, thinking it couldn't hurt to try, until we met with Jonathan on Saturday. This was another not-so-little detail in how the Lord has been working everything out, a "detail" that saved us five digits!) (And no, we didn't have our house way under-valued...we had it appraised several months ago, getting ready, and we sold it for right at the appraised value.)
Where will we live?
At first, we will live with Jason's mom for a bit. We don't really know how long...but it seems that it will likely be 3-6 months. With Jas just starting his business, we'll need three months of paychecks before we will be able to be considered for a mortgage loan.
Yes, Linda is basically a saint for taking in 8 of us (EIGHT!). But I think(hope?) she is as excited as we are. When we first told her about moving back and asked if we could live with her for a bit, she immediately said yes. And then when we talked with her next (a week later), she'd already taken a bookoodle bags of stuff to Goodwill, cleaning out closets and making room!
She is living alone in a 4 bedroom, 3 bath house. The three boys will share one room, the three girls will share another.
Will we have cows/chickens?
No. We are so, so thankful that the Lord allowed us this season out here on these 2.5 acres to live out this dream. And now this season is over. Sad...and not sad. We'll be glad to have less land/animal work to do. Our weekends were consumed by work. So glad we (and our children!) have had this opportunity and experience...and now we'll move back to an approximately 1/8 acre lot in town.
We intend to live in a neighborhood. You know, the kind where you can reach out from your window and practically touch your neighbors' house. Our kiddos are so. very. excited. about this. They have dreams/visions of running around playing with neighborhood kids.
Are you doing school? Will you continue homeschooling?
We began school early this year (mid-July) because we knew we'd need to take off time (sometime) during the school year to move. We have already completed 8 weeks of school, but now we're taking time off to accomplish the move. We plan to get started back the first Monday after we arrive in CO.
We intend to continue homeschooling. There will be many (MANY) more options available to us now...so things may look different in the future. Cottage schools? (2-3 days in a school, the remainder at home), homeschool co-op (for actual academic classes, instead of just for fun as we have been doing), etc, etc.... We'll see. We will continue to pray every year and seek the Lord for what he has for our children for the coming year.
How are you getting to Colorado?
Jas reserved the biggest Uhaul truck there is, and he will drive that to Colorado. We are flying Jas' middle brother Robert here, and Robert will drive Jason's truck. I will drive the Silver Bullet. We have sold/given away so much stuff (ALL our family room furniture, two of the 6'x6' Ikea Expedit bookshelves, kitchen table/chairs, crib, computer armoire/desk, riding lawn mower, trampoline, etc.), and we are hopeful that everything/everyONE else will fit in these three vehicles!
How are the children taking it?
The youngest five are thrilled. E took it harder. Much harder. She has made such sweet, precious friends....she is so sad. The others are sad about leaving friends too...but with E being the oldest (and a girl) it just seems different for her. But she is ok with it now.
This is all so very bittersweet. We aren't wanting to leave Georgia. (It would be so sad if we did!) But we very much know that we are supposed to be in Colorado.
I keep thinking that I wish I could just fast-forward through this next 3 months? 6 months? 12 months? This is so hard. Emotionally. Mentally. Physically.
Saying good-bye. The actual, physical move. Starting the business. Finding a church. Finding a house. Moving again when we find our house. Finding new health care providers (I just counted: we need at least 9 different doctors for the special needs we have going on). Finding a homeschool co-op (or maybe not in this season of our schooling life?). Finding a food co-op (or will Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Sam's and Costco eliminate my need for a food co-op?). FINDING FRIENDS.
But when I get right down to it, I don't really wish to skip ahead (I think). The Lord has guided us and worked things out in amazing ways (ways that everyone around us can see!) and we are so excited at what He is doing. When my head starts to spin thinking about all that needs to be accomplished and all the (HUGE) decisions that need to be made...I come back to the fact that the Lord already knows All The Things. And He will most certainly reveal His will and plan to us...as we need to know it (and not before!). We just need to "do the next thing"...and trust Him.
This process is hard, and good...and I don't want to miss anything He has for us. I want all the lessons. I *need* the lessons. The good, the bad and the ugly.