Sunday, June 9, 2013

Learning and leaving

The past nine months have been crazy.  We moved to Sheboygan with the assumption that this is where we'd raise our family...three years later we are moving on.  There are many good things for us in Chicago.  God is gracious is moving us near family and dear friends.  Still, goodbyes are not easy, nor is processing a future different that previously pictured.  I wouldn't want to be anywhere but smack dab in the middle of God's plan, but I find myself mourning the loss of a future that  I've already envisioned in my head and heart.

I am so thankful that we sold our house.  It has not been easy to be separated weekly from our papa.  I wouldn't want to change it AT ALL...and yet as closing approaches, I find myself wanting to pull the covers over my head and run away.  Goodbyes are hard and in the next two weeks, we'll have lots of them.  Ava is old enough to be very aware of the goings on and shepherding her though this process is sometimes heart breaking. 

Her best friend came over for their final play date today.  Ava had been nothing sort of strange all morning.  Weird nervous energy and excitement, and I get it.  She was looking forward to the afternoon with her friend, but not the farewell.  She didn't know how to process all the feelings jumbled inside her and so her actions were jumbled too.  Half her life has been spent here.  She loves so many people in Chicago so she looks forward to being there too- but the loss she is feeling leaving Sheboygan is palpable.  We went to Claire's earlier in the week and she picked out a "Best Friends" necklace to give Lily today.  Lily made her a recordable picture frame with their names on it and a picture inside.  Ava will treasure being able to hear her voice at the push of a button.  Lily is a special friend and so goodbye was hard.  But the spent the day play, laughing, and even there goodbye was adorably joyful.  It was as we pulled away that the tears started.  We had some pretty heavy conversations this evening.  I wish I had an answer that just made it all better.  We focused on scriptures and talked about trusting what we DO know and just acknowledging what we don't.  We KNOW God is good and in control, we DON'T know what every detail of the future will look like, etc.  The truth is as we talked, I had to acknowledge these lessons take a lifetime to learn.  I am still learning them now at 36.

Over the next couple weeks, I hope to help my heart process by blogging.  By cementing memories and the goodbyes, by pondering the precious moments in my heart.  God has grown us here, we will always have a piece of our hearts with the people of Sheboygan.  Just as I was encouraging Ava this evening, I,myself, don't want to get so clouded by feelings that I neglect the lessons I have learned thus far or am currently learning.

What do I know for sure that I have learned so far?

1) Having a perfect house comes at the cost of living.  Having our house on the market for the past four months has mandates keeping it close to perfect to be ready for showings.  So much of me loves that.  I love no mess, perfect cleanliness, etc., but with small children the cost is great.  It has felt like we are only partially living.  Little kids make messes and have accidents.  They play and create and imagine.  This has been stifled a bit by the constant need to clean up after ourselves.  I like clean, my house will always be relatively clean, but I used to yearn some were inside of me for before kid perfection.  Now, I have had it for four months and not only is is exhausting- it isn't us.  I want life and laughter and creativity to reign in my home.  I won't miss perfection any longer, that nagging thought that it would be good to have a "perfect" thought has definitely proven to be a lie.  I have had the "privilege" of a perfect, orderly house and I will gladly welcome back lively, creative, laughing children- mess and all.

2) I am glad God didn't give us the benefit of knowing our time in Sheboygan was short term.  We have made roots here, poured our hearts into Sheboygan and into people and I am so glad.  Now we are leaving and while it is hard, I have no regrets.  It has challenged me to always live life to fullest, love deeply no matter the amount of time you think you are guaranteed.  I am so grateful for my friendships here, for the way God has so blessed us.  Every person he has placed in our lives has taught us something.  I never want to miss that because I am too afraid to risk saying Goodbye and the hurt that accompanies it.  Goodbye DOES stink, but being loved and loving go beyond time and place and Goodbye therefore is always temporary.  Watching Ava and Lily play and laugh today, challenged me to spend these final two weeks, fully engaged and living too.  I don't want to spend time moping.  Feelings are real and so is sadness, but I will aim to cherish each day I am given, whether a goodbye is looming or not.

3)  I love no traffic, and lots of nature.  It has done wonders for my soul and spirit.  I knew I wasn't a city girl, but being surrounded by the city, I think I always felt on some level that I SHOULD fit.  I think what I have learned in a deeper way is that God makes us all different and he created me just the way he wanted.  The hustle and bustle of the city excite and fulfill many people, gets their creative juices flowing, makes them feel alive.  It makes me feel like I can't breathe.  I think living in the city where people who move to the suburbs are often called, "sell outs" I had on a small level believed that my desire for space and nature were "wrong" and signs of discontentment.  Whether it was real or perceived I think I always felt people judged suburb folk as less spiritual and if I was "hard core" I would be where it really matters. Living here has affirmed to me that I am "fearfully and wonderfully"made...God used these few years to help my soul know that "full well".

4)  The most precious things in life don't come easy.  If you've followed my blog for any period of time, you are aware that Sheboygan hasn't been easy.  I struggled with the change in culture.  But perseverance does bring reward.  I have deep friendships here.  I have seen God provide for us in amazing ways through other people and I am profoundly grateful he brought me through the first season of dryness so that this season of fruitfulness is evermore sweet.

More to come...