I used to blog a lot, then I switched to Facebook. I've found that Facebook is great for keep up with old friends but its not the journal experience that I wanted. I'm not a fancy writer, I'm not motivational, I make lots of mistakes, occasionally offend people on accident, my spelling and grammar isn't perfect and I have my really really grumpy days. But I am a work in progress.
In a few days my family will be starting a new adventure. You could argue that it has already started.... but we are still in Bloomington. My husband recently heard of a temporary long term travel opportunity with his current job and applied for it. Thinking it was a real stretch we honestly didn't think we would get the position....but then we did. So we are relocating for 12 months so that Jeff can continue research within a bigger community. This is exciting for him but it comes with a lot changes.
The past two weeks Jeff has been super busy wrapping up old projects while starting new ones related to the relocation. This has required me to do the majority of the packing and household planning. In what seemed like an answer to prayers we found an apartment fully furnished with utilities to rent within a great school district. I've made all our plans around this apartment...and today everything had to be cancelled. A new policy is being written up regarding long term travel which means our funding four housing and expenses will now be cut to 50%. ... we are not pleased at all. One of the perks that compensated for the relocation was the opportunity to pay of student loans. Now we won't be able to be successful with that as we planned.
This adventure has started off feeling a bit bi-polar. A high, then a low, then a high...well the pattern continues. But as I reflect on the past three weeks there are some things that I can't ignore.
1. I know that my Heavenly Father has allowed Jeff to get a good education that will allow him to serve others greatly with his ability to be creative and solve problems. But this wasn't without a lot of hard work. Grad school wasn't easy for either of us. We had 3 children during those 5 years and Jeff spent hours upon hours studying. (He is a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to learning course material) But in the end, he has a fabulous degree and a career.
2. When we heard about this opportunity I really felt from the beginning that it was a good decision for us at this time. Sure it means leaving a house behind with renters, moving kids to different schools, making new friends, ending church callings and starting new ones, canceling my membership at the YMCA (Who knew that this part would be so hard!) But I keep going back to that original feeling that this is a good thing.
3. I have been reminded by friends and family that even though there have been significant rule changes that have affected us that I need to keep my faith strong. How I needed those words today. In tears of frustration I quickly ranted on Facebook about our housing and within minutes I had friends emailing me with apartment suggestions or contact numbers. Nothing is figured out yet but I feel calm again.
4. Back to friends, I know that the Lord does truly prepare a way for us in life. I have amazing friends here who have quickly stopped by to check in on my, who have watched my kids while I pack, or even dropped of a dessert to sweeten a long days work. I'm moving to a place where my Heavenly Father has already sent other families that I know and established them in a way that they have been able to assist me with this transition. I can see the Lords hand and I am grateful.
So this is the first post. Tomorrow I have a house to deep clean and a trailer to pack. A much look forward to lunch with some running friends and my last workout at the Y. In this new journey I want to keep a record of our progress and then publish it into a small book for our family and I invite you to read along as we experience this journey.
I have some goals. Hopefully in writing them down I will be more accountable and successful in meeting them.
1. I want to write at least weekly, with pictures and comments from all family members.
2. I want to continue to work towards my workout goals despite my lack of awesome YMCA instructors in Zumba, Bootcamp and Shockwave. This will require me to workout daily and really focus on nutrition... but I figure no one died from eating healthy so its worth the effort.
3. I want to focus on making each weekend meaningful for my family and maximizing on the amazing sites that we can see.
4. I want to find and encourage more personal growth in my children.
I want to look back a year from now and see progress and change. I want to feel success in our families ability to adapt positively to change. This is going to be a great adventure, even if there are a few bumps in the road.