1) Peace has resided within my soul since my first night here.
Boxes linger in every room. The big furniture from our great room doesn’t exactly fit in our smaller living room, meaning furniture decisions still have to be made. Also, my clothes don’t fit in these itty-bitty closets, yet there is a peace that rests within me. What a gift.
2) The dogs and my FitBit have seen increased activity.
The smaller quarters and yard mean Lucy and Emma need more exercise, so each morning I take Emma on a walk, drop her off and then take Lucy. We walk past the ladies that run the valet parking at the hospital and they greet us each time. After dinner Kevin and I walk the dogs together on one last loop. This has been good for all of us!
3) I’m grateful we moved only 90 miles up the road.
Appointments on my calendar have kept me running back and forth between Marshall and Fort Wayne this whole time. It has been been wonderful for continued connection but also a little draining; there might not be as many boxes maintaining their position if I could stay home for an entire week.
4) It’s been a little lonely.
I’ve been reminded anew that noticing others matters. When someone moves into our neighborhoods, let’s all agree to go say “Hello, I noticed you moved in!” and “Welcome!” I’ve had one neighbor stop over to welcome me to town, it meant a lot. Other than that its been pretty quiet. Nothing and no one is familiar, so a friendly face and extension of some kind has the potential to go a long way. We did finally walk down to the brewery last week for pizza, and my favorite waitress welcomed me with a hug and asked if I was officially living in Marshall yet. When I said yes, she invited us to church. I want to be like her!
5) My girls are coming “home” for the first time this weekend and I am both excited and nervous.
This has never been their home, and their stuff doesn’t have a spot – at least not yet. (I mean seriously, my stuff doesn’t even have a spot yet!) I find myself hoping and praying they will find a high level of comfort and peace here. Home is where we are and we are here, may they feel at home. I want to be strong enough to allow them room to feel whatever they feel.
6) Living in the same house with my husband once again is what I’ve been waiting for.
When we entered this arrangement two years ago to grant Erin the opportunity to graduate from high school in her home town, I told Kevin we would be better or we would be worse, but we could. not. be. the. same. You cannot live apart for two years and be the same. Over the two years, sometimes it felt worse, and a few times it meant counseling, but we came through the two years and are stronger. I am so proud of us.
7) I love living where we walk everywhere!
We have one of the very old homes in historic downtown Marshall and so we walk everywhere…the bakery, the farmer’s market, to dinner, for milk, the flower shop, the hardware store and more. That is one of my favorite things about living here.
8) We have 1,200 square feet less space, but the unique features of this old house are making up for some of that.
I love the french doors, the screen porch, the small upstairs deck, the huge pocket door, the wood burning fireplace, the back porch/pantry room, the vestibule, that the front door has a mail slot and so our mail lands on my floor each afternoon. I love all the windows this home has. I really do love this old house.
9) I’m taking a year to figure things out.
My friend, Cathy, gave me a valuable piece of wisdom, “Take a year to figure out what you want to do.” In the quiet and loneliness it could be easy to join things and sign up to volunteer to fill time, but I am intentionally deciding to work through the tension I sometimes feel in the quiet days. I’m working on a logo for my blog, considering some options for an old project that belongs to my sister and I, and spending more intentional time in prayer, my Bible, devotions. In the silence I am discovering it is well with my soul.
10) Leaving our church family has affected me more than I expected.
Kevin and I will begin our search for a church community. We will. We have only been in town here for two Sundays, but we have not gone to any church. It almost feels like too much right now. As we discussed the invitation to church from the waitress, we just felt unable to muster the energy and emotional strength to walk into a new church. We will, we need, and will crave, a church community, but I’ve been surprised a bit by the grief I feel. I wonder if this is normal. Jesus is the reason we attend each Sunday, but the people we attend with became like family, and I do miss our big, huge extended family each Sunday.
On a final note, I have taken the 100happydays challenge. The premise isn’t that I’m happy all 100 days, it’s that within each day there is something that likely makes me happy. I’m on day 29 and it’s been a great discipline to intentionally be aware of at least one thing each day that makes me feel some level of happy, joy, or even peace. I have photographic proof that it really is the simple things in life that create that happy feeling within.