Today the movers have come to pack us for Ohio. Ugh. As you can imagine, this is a bittersweet time for our family as we're excited about the plans ahead of us but oh-so-sad to leave a home here in Alabama that we've absolutely loved.
What I haven't shared with you all yet (but you may have figured out?), is that my husband has been in Ohio since Thanksgiving working at his new job. Because I didn't really want to share that I was here by myself with a bunch of (rowdy) kids 😉 I kept that part a secret. I've felt a little bit like a
liar (story-teller? my kid's “nicer” term for it . . .), as I've shared menu plans we haven't eaten, and recipe tips when we've really had little more than cereal for dinner most nights. (I hope you understand?)
Last October, when I was driving home from our local apple orchard (I'd been checking to see how the apple prices compared to those at our local grocery store), I got a phone call from my husband which I was pretty unprepared for. His company decided to shut down their office in Alabama, and while they offered him a position in another location, there was nothing for him here.
We were devastated.
We looked at our options. He considered moving to another city with the company, and was offered a few jobs here locally with other firms as well as a position in Columbus, Ohio. (Folks, I didn't even know where Columbus, Ohio was. Of course, when we moved to Alabama nine years ago I wasn't quite sure where Alabama was either ~ clearly geography is not my strong suit!) After a lot of praying, he decided to take the position in Columbus, and left to start work there the weekend after Thanksgiving.
It's been a long six months.
A funny thing happened though. That very same day that I was at the apple orchard, I had a tiny unexpected boost to my traffic here on Passionate Penny Pincher. That unexpected boost grew a little, then a little more, and six months later I think I'd call it more than just a boost. (Translate: we went from 14,000 FB fans to over 108,000 FB fans in six months, and our traffic has more than quadrupled. At least for me, it's been a bit of a big boost that I never expected!)
Y'all, I've been typing away on this computer for over four years hoping that my little blog might be a wee bit more worth my hours each day, but it ever so slowly grew until the exact day that I needed some extra peace. I can't believe that was merely a coincidence, and am more thankful for it than I can express. I can't tell you that blogging will ever make you rich (however it is way more work than I ever imagined), but it's almost like God waited to let this prosper until the season when we needed extra peace financially the most. (If you're curious how to start a blog, I'd encourage you to read this and this ~ I've learned everything I know from Google and those two resources!) 😉
So in December my husband left for Ohio while I stayed here with three children, a home to sell, and a small business that decided just then to start growing.
Jump ahead six months.
I've learned a lot about myself. I'm a fantastic light-bulb-changer, terrible freak in the middle of the night when I hear a noise, and am capable of unhooking the kitchen sink all by myself. I can grease a garage door without any help (thanks to the help of my favorite cooking spray), figure out what's wrong with a car and even talk somewhat sensibly to a mechanic, and I learned just yesterday how to navigate a lumberyard to replace a window on my to-do list.
I've learned that single-parenting is hard (HARD), Skype is awesome, and more than anything else there's just nothing so precious as being truly valued by another human being. (I really don't consider my husband and myself very sappy folks in the least, but goodness when he's been home these last few months it's been wonderful to just be cared for by someone!)
I'm tired. (Ummmm, exhausted.) Today and tomorrow the movers are here packing, Monday they load the trucks, Tuesday we close on the house, attend a bunch of end-of-school-year parties, and then drive eight hours to Columbus. We'll close up there on Wednesday, cross our fingers that our new home is ready for us, and hopefully all our stuff will join us near the end of next week.
To say I'm anxious about all of this is an understatement. I have no idea what the future holds, if anyone will like me or my kids in Ohio (isn't it silly that I'm already worrying about that?), or if I'll be able to survive the winter way up there. I don't know where we'll go to church, which store I'll pick to use coupons at, 😉 or how my kids will ever forgive us as they're pretty frustrated about the whole situation right now. (Goodness, that just hurts my heart the most!)
I do know though that God has amazingly and consistently had His hand on our lives, and these last six months are just more crazy proof of that for me. (I kid you not folks, I completely felt God holding me so close this week when I needed Him most. Grace, I tell you!)
(I sobbed as I took down this picture this morning that's on our stairwell – my kids were just babies when it was taken!)
So, if things are slower here this next few weeks, know that my hope is to be right back at it once we've settled in. (Thanks to the help of Shannon and a few other friends hopefully things will move right along!) If you could say a prayer especially for my kids this next week I'd sure appreciate it (this is so hard on them!), and pray that we manage the next week or two safely too.
And if you're in a spot where you feel as if you're working at something that just isn't turning out the way you'd hoped, remember that you really never know what might be right around the corner. Know that there's a plan out there just for you, so just hang on and be blessed.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11