Family Life

Life Begins Anew (part two)

So, you know that heavy weight I mentioned? The idea of moving was much harder for me to come to grips with than it was for Mark. After all, he was moving back home, where he still had friends, not to mention his parents and brother/sister-in-law. For me, the thought of starting over was scary and depressing – I had worked for years developing the relationships I had in Washington. For an introvert like me, the thought of doing that again was exhausting – besides, I really liked the friends I already had! But on that Shabbat, Mark said something to a friend that spoke to me heart and gave me the strength to keep pressing on over the weeks to come. He said that the last time he heard God’s voice so clearly was when he was in Costa Rica and God told him to change churches (another story for a another time). His obedience to that difficult directive was the main event that made us who we are today. Not only did it bring us to our congregation and the Messianic walk of faith, but through relationships that formed there we learned about attachment parenting, natural birth, and all sorts of other things that have had a big role in our family’s formation. Anyway, it occurred to me that just as that act of obedience brought about all of those blessings, this act of obedience would as well.

And so, clinging for dear life into this promise, I began to plan our relocation! Mark found a job – he actually found it the day he had the dream/vision, but interviewed and got it a couple of weeks later. I scoured craigslist for a week in search of a home, and found one. I started a moving journal to keep all of my lists and notes – that little book and I were inseparable for weeks! We stopped doing school so that I could focus on all I had to do. We worked hard to find balance in our lives those last weeks – we knew we needed to get a lot of work done in a short amount of time, but we also had a deep and almost desperate need to spend as much time as possible with our friends we were leaving behind. Plus, we knew that all of the busyness was going to take its toll on our children and we wanted to spend as much time together as a family as possible. So we planned, packed, AND played! We went to Jump Planet, took a ferry ride to get ice cream, and went to the zoo. We savored every Shabbat at BT and celebrated Passover with friends.From the time we received Mark’s job offer to our moving day was only three weeks, and wow, did the time pass quickly! We gratefully accepted every offer of help and had several friends come play with our kids or help me pack.

On the ferry!

All too quickly, our last week in Washington was upon us. Our congregation prayed over us and sent us off with a blessing. We spent time with our most cherished friends. We packed up the rest of our stuff and purged a ton. (I love throwing things away, but that’s another post too… 😉 Mark’s mom came to help us those last few days, which was a godsend! I kept very busy, not really taking any time to process through the intense flood of emotions that I carried with me throughout the days. I wanted to, but I just didn’t feel free to – there was so much to be done and I had no idea how we’d pull it off.

On Thursday afternoon, we picked up the truck and started packing it. Our plan was to pack the truck on Thursday and leave Friday morning. Debbie (my mother-in-law) and I worked to do as much as we could, as Mark was still working (albiet, from home). That evening, a couple of men from our congregation and Mark’s brother came over to help Mark load up the truck, and it soon became apparent that our truck was too small. So there I was, desperately trying to hold it together, frantically trying to get the last-minute packing and cleaning done, and suddenly faced with the fact that I’m going to have to choose some of my possessions to leave behind at the last minute! I had been praying for the Lord to help me simplify our lives, but this wasn’t what I had in mind! 😀 We packed until around 11pm when our amazing and selfless friends had to head home and we had to collapse into bed. The lack of space made packing so much harder, and the truck was only half done. We spent our last night in our home on the living room floor, and awoke early to finish the packing.

In the morning, the three of us got off to a slow start due to our frazzled brains from the day before. A friend of mine came around lunchtime and brought with her energy and a fresh perspective that proved invaluable! With her help, we worked the afternoon away, stopping only for our walk-through, at which point all of our belongings were on our front lawn. When she had to leave, it quickly became apparent that we couldn’t do the rest of it on our own, so I called a close family friend and her wonderful husband came and helped Mark finally finish the job. We had to leave behind our tv and beautiful tv armoire, a few storage items, our lawn mower, our garage freezer, our sukkah (so sad!), and many other little things. But the job was done. We were packed – everything our family owned was in a big yellow moving truck. We closed that big back door around 9:30pm, after the sun had set on Friday night. What a way to begin Shabbat!

(To be continued…)

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