I feel a bit like Adele starting out this blog, “Hello….it’s me…” Life is swift and sudden and, I have found after all of these years, often gets in the way of my fingers hitting the keyboard to put into words what God puts on my heart.
A year plus has slipped by now since I have written, and, though I am pleased to report I did not just let a year slip by doing nothing and putting my dream of writing aside, still, I wish I had not stopped for such a long period of time, but life happened in a pretty major way over the last fifteen months or so.
To begin with, my husband sat me down last summer while home on leave. We were having a beautiful dinner at Food and Friends when he looked squarely at me and said, “Look, you talk about being a writer, you talk about saving marriages, and you talk about having a wedding venue. I support you no matter what you want to do, and maybe you can eventually do all three, but right now you have to pick one and follow it.” I knew three things instantly. One, he was right (yeah, I used to have a problem admitting that, but after twenty-five years, it comes pretty easily now, I highly recommend trying it with your spouse!), two, my heart literally jumped out of my chest at the phrase, “You want to save marriages”, and three, I knew it was impossible to miss the gratitude I felt over those words, “I will support you no matter what you want to do.”
I knew what I had to do. The next day I applied to the Liberty University Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy Program. I was accepted and began my Master’s work immediately. Blog? What blog? Did I even have a blog? Taking three Master’s courses per semester left no time for writing simply for the sake of speaking from my own heart. There were weeks when I had to write three papers per week and the last thing I wanted to do was grab my computer and write even more!...so, that is part one.
Part two is probably more monumental, but I have to digress a bit to get everyone up to date. Our youngest child has always just felt like he belongs in California. We brought him to CA in previous years, mainly to dissuade him from any thoughts of it. We traveled the state from North to South so he could see the good the bad and the ugly, including a trip where we easily could have lost our lives when we accidentally exited the freeway in LA during rush hour in search of a gas station. The first thing our son exclaimed from the back seat as we exited the freeway was, “Hey, I see two guys over there fighting with machetes”. Now, since this is not a common occurrence in the Appalachian Mountains, we thought for sure that once we were back home, he would have fully recovered his senses and see the joy in living where we were living. Instead I noticed he seemed a little sad one day upon returning home. When I asked what was wrong he said, “I just wish we hadn’t come home from vacation.” Whoa, parent fail moment! We moved these kids to this wonderful little town so they could experience something on the level of a Norman Rockwell childhood, but our son’s visions of it were far from ideal. We continued to encourage him that he could go to college wherever he wanted and we would support his decision no matter what. His decision? UCLA. Yikes! What if there are a lot of machete's there????
Which leads us to our daughter, the older of our two kids. She immediately fell in love with our little West Virginia town when we moved there from New England. We just knew she was going to be the one that would grow up, fall in love with an awesome guy, buy a farm just outside of town and stay there forever, she loved it THAT much. That is why her Daddy and I were so shocked when she came to us one day during the beginning of her sophomore year and said, “You know, I am with my brother, I think I want to go to CA for college also.” I for one was in love with our little town, so to think of leaving was really not much of an option, so I began doing what I do best, planning. West Virginia University was known to have an awesome Fashion Design program, so I told our daughter, “Why don’t you plan on going there for your first two years, then you and your brother travel to CA together when it is time to go to UCLA, that way your Dad and I will feel better knowing you guys are out there together, then we will consider whether we want to come live out there when you guys graduate.”
West Virginia has an unexplainable way of literally becoming just as much a part of ones heart as the blood that flows through it, so I had zero desire to leave, but I knew it wasn’t likely to happen. After four years in LA, I imagined our kids would welcome the chance to come back to a quiet, simple life in the mountains. But isn’t it funny that we even plan as humans? Am I the only one that does this? When we serve a mighty Heavenly Father who already has it all worked out, but we just sit here on earth and plan and plan and plan like we are in charge, digging our feet in the mud, convinced our plans are better than His! Well, I had it all figured out in my head, but on December 14th, 2015 He would literally show us His plan and begin to teach me to let go.
Our daughter, who has the most spiritual heart of any child I have ever met, came to me on the morning of December 14th and said, “Mom, God told me we are supposed to go to CA now.” Now remember, this is our child who loved where we lived! Luckily, The Yankee was home on leave so I said to her, “Well, take Dad on your walk with you when you walk your dog. You guys talk about it and let’s see what comes of it.” About thirty minutes later they returned from their walk and the Yankee called a family meeting. “So, God told K we need to move to CA,” he looked at our son, “What do you think of that?” Our son replied, “I wish we were already there.” He looked at me, “Mom, what do you think?” I replied, “I trust K’s heart, if God told her that then He told her that for a reason and we should probably listen, what do you think Dad?”
“I THINK WE ARE MOVING TO CALIFORNIA”, he replied. And just like that, our new life began. (Just FYI, that tends to be the way we roll!)
We have had a lot of people question our decision, but those are thoughts for another blog. We began the moving process on December 15th, getting our house in order in WV, trying and failing to sell it and then God providing the PERFECT renters for us. And on May 31st, after help from some very dear friends loading up an excessively large moving van, we sat off, a bit like the Beverly Hillbillies, two Jeeps, a hound dog, and a mutt from Wyoming County, off to see what God had in store for us in our new home outside of LA. I prayed it wasn’t machete wielding strangers on the side of the road!
So now that we have been here for a few months, we are getting settled in. I had to begin a new Master’s program with a new school because California did not accept most of my classes from my old school. My health has failed me a bit, which will also be another upcoming blog post, hard for me to deal with because I have always taken great pride in how healthy I have been. But school, and move and health aside, I am writing again, for one, because my new Master's program is a tad less stressful than my old one, so I have a bit more time on my hands. I will soon be switching my blog format to new website because I have a new business to promote, so many changes, it makes my heart beat faster with anticipation just thinking of it all, but for this week anyway, we will stay parked here at Hills of Mercy, we do still have hills here, they are just a bit different, some of them even have a beach view!!!. Thanks for being so faithful to always read my blog!!!