Last year for my New Years post I shared my hopes of being “Intentional” in 2014. As I look back over the post, I see areas where I definitely grew in Christ and areas that I definitely became intentional. However, I still see areas that I could use some work. This past year has assuredly many ups and downs, twists and turns, mountains and valleys. It has been incredibly challenging.
As I began 2014, I never expected to leave Washington in a few short months. In fact, I was prepared to stay there until Clay retired. There is an old saying in the military, “The only thing that doesn’t change is things will always change.” I wasn’t crazy about the state. In many ways I was glad to leave. Don’t get me wrong, the state is beautiful during the summer months when the sun shows itself. The other 9 months of the year is cloudy and usually raining. I witnessed too many people fall into depression because of a lack of vitamin D, the constant overcast, or the fact that it rained almost 9 months out of the year. However, we had an absolutely WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL church and church family. I cannot count the blessings of our church there enough. I love everyone there and I miss them dearly. I can hardly wait to see them again.
We also had wonderful friends during our time in Washington. The type of friends who would drop what they were doing if you were in need, regardless how busy they were or how much of an inconvenience it may have been. I hold these friends in my heart and look forward to seeing them again.
Our little church in Washington was where Clay received the call into the ministry. It was in 2014 when he received his license to preach. When I left Washington and was looking forward to coming home, I honestly didn’t realize how much I would miss being there. There have been many days since coming to WV that I would have given anything to have went and sat in that church with our wonderful Pastor, made faces at Carmen (my sister in heart), and feel the warmth of Jesus as I feel Him blessing my soul. I miss our little church and all the wonderful people!
Since returning to WV in May of this year, I have struggled in so many ways. I think part of my struggles have been through my own expectations. I expected things to be as I remembered before I married Clay. I expected the churches I attended to be as I remembered. I expected my friends and family to be as I remembered. Unfortunately, none of it was how I remembered. I have struggled with finding a church family. Maybe I was spoiled in Washington, but I seem to be an inconvenience here. Maybe it’s because I was spoiled by my other sisters in Christ who were also military spouses, but we seem to be an after thought throughout the illnesses and surgeries. Another part of my struggles were through personal experiences. I have gone through situations, attacks and false allegations that I would not wish on my worst enemy. I have struggled to remain positive here. Perhaps I will share more on all of this in a later post.
Recently, I posted that I had a BIG announcement coming. As the old year fades away and the new year is coming in, I thought it would be a good time to share!
The original plan had been for me and the kids to stay with my parents while Clay was stationed in Korea. Once he came back we were going to build a house on property we had in WV. After Clay was settled in Korea and our finances began to level out from the move across country, he wanted me to begin building the house we would call home. We figured the house would be move in ready before he returned or at least really close to move in ready. I called around to different home builders trying to get the best price for the best quality. However, something about retiring in WV was making us feel uncomfortable. Around this time, some situations had occurred that concerned us all for our safety. We began talking about different options and decided not to move forward with building. I prayed here as Clay prayed in Korea and felt God moving us elsewhere. The question became if not here, then where? What did God have in mind?
We prayed and sought the Lord. We looked at various places, states, and locations. Finally we narrowed it down to 5 states: Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and (according to my husband) a toss-up between Alaska or North Dakota. Yes, he is a weird creature that prefers the cold weather over the warm weather. As we continued to narrow down our search, one particular state continued moving to the top of our list. During this time, Family Christian Bookstores invited me to Nashville for the Dove Awards. I was presented with a perfect opportunity to research one of the areas Clay and I had discussed! Clay was already familiar with this area when he was stationed at Fort Campbell, but that was almost 20 years ago. Things had obviously changed in that amount of time. After spending the weekend in Nashville, we solidified our decision. I fell in love with this area of Tennessee!
When I returned from the Dove Awards, I began researching that area and then I sought out a realtor. I have to tell you that I am part of an amazing blogging group on Facebook. All I had to do was post the question and within a matter of seconds (at least it seemed like seconds) I was in touch with a realtor. Clay and I corresponded with David (our realtor) through email with our list of needs and wants for a house. In a matter of days, he shared an extensive list of homes that fell within our parameters. Clay and I narrowed down the list and I scheduled a time to look at the houses we liked. We viewed what seemed like a ton of houses in a short amount of time. I further narrowed down our list to three houses after our walk through. Then the “fun” began of putting in an offer! We were already pre-qualified for a loan (more on that in another post). The process should be fairly simple, right? No. LOL!! The house that topped my list (Clay and I had the same houses in different orders) was move-in ready and the owners were looking to sell before Christmas. It was a really nice house. Not too fancy, but the walls were nicely painted and made the house warm and inviting. The layout was almost exactly what I had in mind. The square footage made this the largest house we have ever lived in. We decided to put in an offer on the house. We went back and forth with the owner on the price of the house. Clay thought the house was overpriced and David didn’t necessarily agree, but thought we could get the house cheaper than what they were asking. We made an offer and they returned with a counter offer that made us scratch our heads. The owner refused to work with us on the price at all. Then another buyer stepped into the picture. The owner said they wanted to sleep on both offers and choose the best one. Clay refused to get into a bidding war on a house that was already over our cost comfort level. This was God nudging us to leave and we withdrew our offer. Long story short, as I will write more on this in another post, we looked over the list again and we went with another choice. It was a house that offered more negotiating room because the owner needed to sell the house immediately. He had already moved out of country on a corporate move. The house had so much potential! Large square footage but it would need some TLC. Structurally, it was wonderful! Unfortunately, all the walls were painted hospital white and the house didn’t have that inviting appeal the first house had. 🙂
In the end we bought the second house. So with that said—-2015 will bring about some changes for us in location!!!
We are moving to Tennessee!!!!
We are absolutely thrilled to end Clay’s military career, begin his retirement from the military world and finish his seminary studies in Tennessee. I am thrilled that the area we are moving to is VERY home school friendly. I have already been in contact with several people there and am in several home school groups. I can hardly wait! I am excited about the churches I have seen in that area and the potential for our family.
In 2015, my focus is on being “Content.”
This is more of a personal word than a blogging word. Being content is mixed for military wives. We learn to be content regardless where we are planted. We learn to be content through the late work nights, training exercises, deployments, missed holidays and missed special events. These things happen so often for military wives that we never learn how to be content; instead, it comes as second nature.
Personally, being content means that I will not get the itch for a new assignment or to move homes in a few short months. I will be content until God moves us, if He moves us.
We will prayerfully find a church to attend and be content. We will be content with the church God puts us in, rather than hurrying to find a church that meet our immediate needs. We will no longer rush into a church, only to find it was never where God wanted us. We will be content with His decision and focus on being content for years to come.
I want to be content with our financial status. I want to touch more on this in another post, too. However, with the military we have always been able to travel and do things often. We have literally saved thousands of dollars over the years by tying vacations in with military moves. Clay and I both love to travel and while we will still be able to do that some, it will not be to the scale we are used to. I need to practice and be content to save up and trust God in this area.
I will be more content with my wardrobe. Since I post so many outfits I have tried hard to do so frugally. However, with hubby retiring and me not being entirely sure of our financial state, clothing needs to fall into the “being content” category. I need to showcase more options of mix and match outfits, dressing modest frugally instead of getting the desire to shop quite so often. I plan to set a budget for myself each month that I can spend. I will be content with using only that money I budget for things like clothes, scarves, shoes, headbands, etc.
I hope to blog throughout the year how I am learning to be more content. I hope you will join me as I continue to grow in the Lord and our journey to retirement, a new state, and a totally new life!
In the comments, please share anything you liked about 2014 and what you’re looking forward to in 2015. Aside from all the above, my most longed for thing in 2015 will come in April, Lord willing. That is when Clay comes back from Korea. God has seen us through the bulk of this military “separation” and I am so excited for it to end. I will continue to try to be content with where the Lord has us both for now. It is a struggle, but God puts us where He wants us.