Wednesday, January 13, 2010
One year ago...
Just one year ago we watched movers disassemble our entire house where all 5 of our babies came home from the hospital, where 4 out of the 5 were potty trained, where walls were colored on, floors were run on, and games were played. Babies had eaten, crawled, laughed, been sick, cried, and enjoyed in that house. DH and I had saved our pennies until we could knock down a wall and create our dream kitchen. We had painted every room in the house, added hardwoods in our Master bedroom, fixed whatever needed to be fixed, added new light fixtures, added a basement bathroom and tile floor, and made countless memories. We loved our neighbors and our neighborhood. I can't tell you how many hours we spent playing in that yard. It was home. But DH received a promotion and we were to move to Florida.
We left behind our sweet neighbors, friends we had known for a lifetime or for the children's lifetime, schools we loved, and our precious family. As the movers came in our house and started packing our things, tears flowed over the memories and the familiarity. I knew everyone in my little world from the preschool director to the young daughter of missionaries who printed my cookbooks at Staples to Darlene at the post office. We had relationships. Long standing relationships. The last box was packed and the boxes filled our driveway. The idea of unpacking all of that in a new home was overwhelming.
We spent one night at my parents' house and then we loaded up our car with all of our most precious possessions, and started our adventure to Florida. There were tears, laughs, screams, and even excitement. We had our first glass of Florida orange juice at the Florida welcome center. We picked up all those messy little flyers about places we'd like to visit. We couldn't move in the car because it was filled with 2 adults, 5 children, a dog, sterling silver, a computer, a laptop, our most important documents, and snacks for the ride. I hid the journals I write to the children under the seats. I had files and more files with us. It was dark when we finally pulled into Tampa. We were exhausted, but we so wanted to see our new home!
DH drove us to our new home. I had no idea what neighborhood we were in or even how to get there. We pulled up and ran inside to see our house. The painters had worked tirelessly and we were greeted by familiar pinks, greens, and blues. The children were so excited and ran upstairs only to have wet socks from the carpet cleaner. Exhausted, we went to our hotel and checked into the condo we would live in for one week. More excitement followed as we discovered the great rooms and the elevator!! We fell into bed with dreams of our new life. We were pioneers.
Now it has been over 365 days. This is home. New memories have been made in our new home. It, too, has been filled with laughter, the pad of children's feet on the floor, potty training, screams, prayers, tears, sickness, health, and happiness. We have grown. We have grown in our ability to be brave in a place where we know no one. We have grown exponentially in our faith. The children have grown. They have learned to adapt to an unfamiliar place. They have learned to make new friends. They have learned Singapore math and more Bible verses than many preachers know!
We miss our old home. We will always treasure our friends and family and we will never forget them. But now this is home. We have built relationships here. We have found a church that truly teaches us the gospel and ministers to us. We have been able to love on others here. I never dreamed I'd live in Florida. I'm missing the blonde hair, big kahunas, and the tan. But Florida is now home and I am thankful. The truth is that home is where our precious family is and where God is. And this is home.